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The class and colour of tone: An essay on the social history of vocal timbre

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The voice as timbral entity has proved especially resistant to analysis. Focusing on the voice of black South African choralism, this essay attempts to do two things: provide an account of the colonial-historical conditions - political acts and "structural aesthetics" - in which the black choral voice was fashioned, and then, through an approach one might call the "phonetics of timbre", describe that voice's sonic identity.

Keywords: Choir; Class; Colonialism; Race; Resistance; South Africa; Timbre; Victorian; Voice

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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