Tilo Hähnel, The Liszt School of Music Weimar
Pitch-Gliding as a Stylistic Feature in Blues and American Popular Song
The continuous gliding between two different pitches is conventionally notated with a glissando-sign, i.e., a straight or zigzagged line between two adjacent notes. As an additional sign, the glissando modifies the meaning of note symbols and thus shows an exception to the rule which is the organization of pitches as a series of discrete steps. The presentation concentrates on that exception. By abandoning the thinking in discrete pitchsteps while examining recordings of popular music, various types and forms of gliding appear that are characteristic for a range of singing styles. By using selected recordings of Blues and Crooning around 1930, the presentation aims to systematise some of these continuous pitch changes and relate them to personal singing-styles and genres.
Dr. Tilo Hähnel is a research assistant at the DFG-project “Voice and Singing in Popular Music in the U.S.A. (1900–1960)” at The Liszt
School of Music in Weimar. He studied Musicology, Psychology and Art History at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin. From 2008–2011 he worked at the faculty of computer science at Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg. In 2012 he did his doctorate at Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg on computer-based models of expressive performance, particularly on parameters of historically informed performances.