Skip to main content
Vocal Authority
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 22
  • Cited by
    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hall, Clare 2018. Masculinity, Class and Music Education. p. 45.

    Leppänen, Taru 2018. Always More Than Two: Vibrations, the Foetus, and the Pregnant Person in Childbirth Singing Practices. NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, Vol. 26, Issue. 2, p. 99.

    Shuwen, Qu 2018. Her “vocal authority”: the semiotic and cultural soundscape of Chinese female rock singers’ voices in the late 1990s. Social Semiotics, Vol. 28, Issue. 3, p. 349.

    Zayaruznaya, Anna 2017. Intelligibility Redux. Music Theory Online, Vol. 23, Issue. 2,

    Tiainen, Milla 2017. Sonic Technoecology: Voice and Non-anthropocentric Survival in The Algae Opera. Australian Feminist Studies, Vol. 32, Issue. 94, p. 359.

    Prior, Nick 2017. On Vocal Assemblages: From Edison to Miku. Contemporary Music Review, p. 1.

    Goron, Michael 2016. Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Respectable Capers'. p. 107.

    Goron, Michael 2016. Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Respectable Capers'. p. 169.

    Weidman, Amanda 2015. Keywords in Sound. p. 232.

    Shields, Ronald E. 2014. Sailing Within and Beyond. Text and Performance Quarterly, Vol. 34, Issue. 2, p. 219.

    Weidman, Amanda 2014. Anthropology and Voice. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 43, Issue. 1, p. 37.

    2013. Frieda Hempel and the Historical Imagination. Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 66, Issue. 2, p. 437.

    Weidman, Amanda 2012. The Ethnographer as Apprentice: Embodying Sociomusical Knowledge in South India. Anthropology and Humanism, Vol. 37, Issue. 2, p. 214.

    Bruhn-Jensen, Klaus 2010. The Sounds of Media. An Interdisciplinary Review of Research on Sound as Communication. Comunicar, Vol. 17, Issue. 34, p. 15.

    Hawkins, Stan and Richardson, John 2007. Remodeling Britney Spears: Matters of Intoxication and Mediation. Popular Music and Society, Vol. 30, Issue. 5, p. 605.

    Sorce Keller, Marcello 2007. Why is Music So Ideological, and Why Do Totalitarian States Take It So Seriously? A Personal View from History and the Social Sciences. Journal of Musicological Research, Vol. 26, Issue. 2-3, p. 91.

    Barlow, Christopher and Howard, David M. 2005. Electrolaryngographically derived voice source changes of child and adolescent singers. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, Vol. 30, Issue. 3-4, p. 147.

    Welch, Graham F. Howard, David M. Himonides, Evangelos and Brereton, Jude 2005. Real-time feedback in the singing studio: an innovatory action-research project using new voice technology. Music Education Research, Vol. 7, Issue. 2, p. 225.

    Olwage, Grant 2004. The class and colour of tone: An essay on the social history of vocal timbre. Ethnomusicology Forum, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 203.

    F. Mitchell, Helen T. Kenny, Dianna Ryan, Maree and Davis, Pamela J. 2003. Defining ‘open throat’ through content analysis of experts’ pedagogical practices. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, Vol. 28, Issue. 4, p. 167.


Book description

Why do singers sing in the way they do? Why, for example, is western classical singing so different from pop singing? How is it that Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé could sing together? These are the kinds of questions which John Potter, a singer with the Hilliard Ensemble and Red Byrd, and himself the master of many styles, poses in this fascinating book, which is effectively a history of singing style. He finds the reasons to be primarily ideological rather than specifically musical. His book identifies particular historical 'moments of change' in singing technique and style, and relates these to a three-stage theory of style based on the relationship of singing to text. There is a substantial section on meaning in singing, and a discussion of how the transmission of meaning is enabled or inhibited by different varieties of style or technique.


‘… immensely stimulating … This book should encourage us, and also make us take more seriously the need for a very different type of voice.’

Source: Early Music Review

‘The book brings enlightenment of some kind on each page …’

Source: Musical Times

Refine List
Actions for selected content:
Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive
  • Send content to

    To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to .

    To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

    Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

    Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

    Please be advised that item(s) you selected are not available.
    You are about to send

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed