An investigation into the origins of Belt and Legit
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
This paper looks at the origins of two distinct sounds with the vocal repertoire of the contemporary commercial singing student. These are sound of legit as it was performed in Western European classical music in the sevente enth century and the sound of belt as it emerged from the African American slaves before emancipation. Audio and visual recordings will be used to demonstrate the origins of these traditions. Using visual aids, major environmental and cultural events will be examined to outline the difference between these two sounds and how this is relevant to the student singer. Demonstration will be made of how the contemporary singer draws on the techniques and conventions of Western European classical singing and African American slave songs within the singing studio. Further remarks will be made explaining the relevance of this investigation, how it impacts upon my Masters thesis and how it has informed my practice and teaching.