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The Singing Voice in Contemporary Cinema

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This volume focuses on the singing voice in contemporary cinema from 1945 to the present day, and rather than being restricted to one particular genre, considers how the singing voice has helped define and/or confuse genre classification. Typically heard in song, the singing voice is arguably the most expressive of all musical instruments. This volume celebrates the ways in which singing features in film. This includes the singing voice as protagonist, as narrator, as communicator, as entertainer, and as comedic interlude. Whether the singing voice in film is personally expressive, reflexive and distant, or synchronized for entertainment, there is typically interplay between the voice and visual elements. Extending beyond the body of literature on ‘the musical’, the volume is not about musicals per se. Rather, The Singing Voice in Contemporary Cinema discusses the singing voice as a distinct genre that focuses on the conceptualization and synchronization of the singing voice in the post-War era. It explores the relationship between screen, singing, singer and song; it celebrates the intersection of the singing voice and popular culture. In doing so, the volume will cross multiple disciplines including vocal studies, film studies, film sound studies, and music production (vocal processing).

Published: Mar 1, 2020

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
Representations of Voice in Cinema Diane Hughes, Mark Evans
Chapter 2
Singing, Sonic Authenticity and Stardom in Dancer in the Dark (2000) Nessa Johnston
Chapter 3
Find Your Voice: Narratives of Women’s Voice Loss in American Cinema Katherine Meizel
Chapter 4
The Female Singing Voice: Gospel, Blues, Epic Stories and Animation Anne Power
Chapter 5
Singing a Life in Bondage: The Case of 12 Years a Slave Gianpaolo Chiriacò
Chapter 6
Ghost Singers: The Singing Voice in Korean Pop Cinema Sarah Keith, Alex Mesker
Chapter 7
Voices of Sheila: Re-signification in Bollywood Filmic and Non-filmic Contexts Nina Menezes
Chapter 8
Hearing the Industry Sing: 20 Feet from Stardom Diane Hughes, Mark Evans
Chapter 9
Trailer Trash or Inspired Vocality? Song as Promotion and Aesthetic Object in Cinematic Previews James Deaville, Agnes Malkinson
Chapter 10
You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Singing Voices in the Toy Story Trilogy Natalie Lewandowski, Penny Spirou
Chapter 11
Why Bad Singing Makes Good Cinema Mark Evans, Philip Hayward
Chapter 12
The Singing Voice as Uncomfortableness and Violent in Cinema Mark Thorley, Liz Giuffre
Chapter 13
The Animated Singer: Singer-songwriter Vocality in Animation Veronica Monro, Diane Hughes