Jane W. Davidson and Robert Faulkner
Group singing practices interact with socio-cultural context, and this relationship depends on predominant social trends. Furthermore, ability to act in the world is expressed through Self-Identity, whereby we constitute ourselves as agents, authors of our actions, and generate our identities. There are three principal components of Self: the Material Self (the body; the physical world); the Social Self (expressed in relationships); and the Spiritual Self (found in religious/ spiritual experience). These elements interact in a web of individual and cultural circumstance, the overall becoming labeled The Created Self. In this chapter Selfhood is acknowledged as developing within a social and cultural milieu and is shaped by the specific roles we enact. Identity is primarily developed in relation to others, comprising many elements that are not fixed, but changing. Case studies are used to explore how social musical identities are developed in the social activity of group singing.
David M. Howard and Eric J. Hunter
Humans sing to communicate with other humans. Basic to communication are the links and commonalities between singing voice production and human hearing. This chapter introduces the hearing system and how it enables pitch, loudness, and timbre to be perceived, and how the frequency ranges of voice production and hearing are linked to best advantage. The role of singing environment factors in relation to the acuity of hearing of a listener are discussed along with the presence and importance of high frequency energy above that associated with the perception of the sounds of language. Knowledge of the essential perceptual features in singing provides performers with strategic possibilities for enhancing overall communication during performance. In addition, such knowledge is important in the recording studio where the frequency responses of contributing musical parts can be and are altered in the context of achieving clarity and an artistic “sound stage” in the overall sound.
The concept of raga in Hindustani classical music is a complex phenomenon not least of all because it is simultaneously an inventory of melodic elements, a performative process, and an aesthetic outcome. These different dimensions to raga pose challenges to systematised ways of accounting for how it works in performance. Symbolic modes of thought in the tradition have long taken recourse to analogies to attempt to portray the gestalt of raga and also provide alternate modes of pedagogical knowledge and aesthetic sensibility for engaging with raga. Building on the long-held predilections between music, food, and cooking in Hindustani music, this essay provides another vantage point from which to consider raga and also the significance of rasa in the performance of raga.