Vocal Fry & The Voice of Authority
And Donna Summer
I’m going to get straight to the point.
Recently the vocal coach who does YouTubes for Wired put together a woke collection of historical narratives in explication of the reasons why certain ethnic accents are what they are, along with a bit of verbal fine print reminding us not to be categorical. I used to think it was just cool to listen to the accents and understand what parts of the mouth were doing what. But it really annoyed me when he implied the sexism of hearing a woman’s vocal fry and as compared to that of a man in another video of his. Has this fool never heard Britney Spears or Donna Summer? Vocal fry is sexy. There may be some men whose measure of respect might be measured by their attention to pillow talk, not me.
Now listen to this:
Singing isn’t speaking. I know that. But women singing sexy has all kinds of vocal fry. I learned that when I was a teenager. My teacher? Probably not the best…
So that’s basically all I wanted to say. I have that pet peeve against upspeak and vocal fry. And once again, I’m going to mention Simon Prebble once more because I love his voice. And while I’m at it I also recognize the excellent voice of Judy Dench. Is she demonstrating fry? Arguably so. So there’s that too.