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Is there a term for this?

  1. Oct 13, 2014 #1
    When a singer is performing a song, and they're singing syllables which are not words or have any meaning, but only have some aesthetic quality.

    For example, "la la la" or here in this song from about 2:25-2:50

    What is the term or word for this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2014 #2
    Scat singing is perhaps the closest description?
  4. Oct 13, 2014 #3


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    Hi! Maybe there is another more modern term, I'm not sure/don't remember, but otherwise there is something called "scat singing":

    (EDIT: Another post just before mine about it, I was a couple of seconds late...))
  5. Oct 13, 2014 #4


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    Couldn't resist posting this clip: :)
  6. Oct 13, 2014 #5
    Morrissey isn't scat singing in the linked song. What he's doing is closer to yodeling, though it isn't all that way over into yodeling.

    I can't think of any blanket term that covers all singing of meaningless sounds.
  7. Oct 13, 2014 #6


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    "Non-lexical vocables" is the umbrella term. There are specific terms for different genres, such as 'scat' in jazz already mentioned. Doo-Wop (Sha-Na-Na, "Get a Job"), blurred lyrics ("Mairzy Doats"), and nonsense (Disney's done quite a few, "Zip-a-dee-Doo-Dah", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" et al.)

  8. Oct 15, 2014 #7
    Ha, well that's about as straight forward as it gets. I'm surprised there's not a more colloquial term though.
  9. Oct 17, 2014 #8


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    It referred to as 'vocal improvisation', where the voice is manipulated to act as another musical instrument:

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