General Question

AshlynM's avatar

How come some singers accents fade when they sing?

Asked by AshlynM (9348points) February 8th, 2012

You don’t know they have an accent when they sing. But obviously when they talk, they do.

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13 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

They train themselves to sing without an accent or they tone it down a lot. Don’t ask me how.

gailcalled's avatar

Many don’t. Listen to Edith Piaf sing in English.


lonelydragon's avatar

Some train themselves not to do it, but a lot of singers (like the Beatles) keep their accents.

auhsojsa's avatar

Well singers are trained to announce and stress certain words a certain way. Folk singers that are trained are taught for the most part not to pronounce the ‘r’ in words whilst British singers are taught that singing in the American form is fine. When you’re on stage you can be anyone you want. Being a musician is an entertainment job and inspiration runs deep for an artist. For the The Beatles, it was probably important to sound similar to Buddy Holly.

Maybe to answer your question more simply. Singers are going more for a “mimic” as opposed to how they want to sound.

filmfann's avatar

@gailcalled much lurve for that!

I think there is a difference between accents not heard in songs sang in a native tongue, and those, like Ms. Piaf, who didn’t. Julie Andrews isn’t trying to sound American, but her singing is noticably absent an english accent.

auhsojsa's avatar

@AshlynM In my culture on my moms side, from the Philippines, they sang Beatles songs all day to learn their English. Their Filipino accent is pretty much non existant when they sing. So a learning tool as well.

gailcalled's avatar


To me, Julie Andrews, when she sings, sounds more British than most Brits. Where does she sing without the accent?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Don’t people use different parts of the brain to sing and to talk?

ETpro's avatar

@WestRiverrat Yes, you are exactly right. People who have suffered traumatic brain injuries that compromise or disable the area of the brain devoted to speech and word memory often relearn speech by relying on a completely separate area where music is remembered and processed. If you learn a song just as a song, it goes into that music area, where your ordinary access is walled off from it. Of course, as @auhsojsa mentioned, if you are intentionally learning speech through memorizing songs, they are probably relying heavily on the speech center and your native accent will come through.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@ETpro if you are using it to learn a language, you are correct. But if you are just learning the song to perform, without worrying about the meaning, then you are less likely to cross the two and your accent will not be present for the most part.

ETpro's avatar

@WestRiverrat Right. That’s what I was trying to get across.

filmfann's avatar

@gailcalled I was thinking about Sound of Music songs.

gailcalled's avatar

So was I.It is hard to imagine anyone sounding more British.

Have another listen.

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