Default pop accent

Auckland University of Technology University culture, discourse and communication masters student Andy Gibson has found that an American-influenced accent is the default when singing pop music. Gibson studied three New Zealand singers and looked at why people pronounce words differently when they sing. “Studies in the past have suggested that non-American singers wilfully put on American accents but the research suggests the opposite,” Gibson said. “We do it automatically; it does not require any effort to sing with an American-influenced accent.” Even well-known artists — such as Crowded House and Dave Dobbyn — sing with the pop music accent. “To sing in a New Zealand accent takes awareness and effort, and it is usually quite noticeable because it is so uncommon,” he said. “The American accent doesn’t stick out in singing because we are so used to hearing it.” But not all pop musicians sing with the default pop accent. “Anika Moa has moments here and there where you can definitely hear her distinct New Zealand vowels.”

Tags: Accents  AUT University  Crowded House  pop music  Times of India