Social Question

MaisyS's avatar

Why is belting such a staple in music?

Asked by MaisyS (194points) 3 weeks ago

I auditioned for an a capella group two weeks ago. If you’ve seen some of my other posts you’ll know my parents won’t let me pursue music like I want to. It took a lot of persuading to get their permission to audition for this a capella group. I’ve never taken vocal lessons so naturally I was also terrified because obviously other more talented people would be there. A couple days later the group called me to say I’d been shortlisted and they wanted me back for another round of singing. I went back day before yesterday and they seemed pretty happy. One of the members who was judging told me I could consider a spot guaranteed for myself. I was over the moon.
But just an hour ago they called me to say that their final decision was that they would not have me. I asked them why. They had said they particularly wanted a contralto and I have a good range, am acceptable at runs, have good vibrato and I was approached by many people at the audition who complimented my tone and timbre. So I was confused since I thought and was told that I’d done very well. They told me it was because I can’t belt. I’m not a natural belter. I have a smooth voice. I’m most comfortable singing lana del rey, Amy winehouse and some billie eilish.
I’m sorry about the long rant, I’m just terribly upset right now and I especially can’t bear my parents and their gloating looks.
I guess I want to know why belting is such a must nowadays. I had this thing in the bag except for I can’t belt. Why do people today not recognise the value of a good voice and just fixate solely on glorified screaming? I mean no offence to people who can belt but that shouldn’t be the baseline for judging a person’s singing ability should it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

1 Answer

Zaku's avatar

I would say much has to do with the music industry. They learned they can use their power to largely control which musicians are popular and successful. Since they are all-for-ever-increasing-profit corporations, they don’t like giving significant amounts of money to actual independent artists, and so they have studied and refined the art of steering popular music styles to styles that can be industrialized and don’t require a lot of unique human talent. That way they can stipulate contract terms, and have more dependent, disposable, and predictable people churning out their pop music products.

Also, most people don’t study a lot of music, and don’t develop diverse or sophisticated tastes. It takes experience with a type of music for most people to develop an “ear” or appreciation for it. But someone singing very LOUD (belting) is an easy (and now very familiar) style that most people will notice and respond to even if they pay little attention to. And, it’s not that hard to teach, and isn’t unique, so the music industry likes that being popular, because that means predictable buy-in and profits.

And no, of course it should not “be the baseline for judging a person’s singing ability”, from perspectives other than the corporate model.

But even small performance groups (even a capella) tend to be aware of that trend or bias in audiences, and often want to cater to that. And/or they end up with a bias for being loud. Sometimes (no so much in a capella) it’s about not being great at tuning amplifiers and balancing all sound sources, or other technical issues.

For the part about not being taken into that group… if you really are good at everything else but that group thinks it needs everyone to belt… then perhaps it’s good you’re not in that group, as it might tend to bring up that issue over and over. I’d just look for other groups to join that don’t have that problem.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther