Lilting, vocables, Irish, nonsense, dance, traditional music, vocal music
This paper seeks to provide a foundation for understanding lilting, a traditional type of vocal music found in Ireland that involves improvising non-lexical vocables to dance tunes, in order to help preserve this genre in its traditional form as well as encourage its transformation and incorporation into modern music. Through a case study, this research paper demonstrates certain features and patterns that may characterize traditional lilting. A recording of Seamus Fay’s performance of the traditional folk jig, “Humours of Ballyloughlin,” has been transcribed for analysis and examined for possible relationships of vocables or vowels to music and vocables to other vocables. Characteristics suggested by the transcription include the importance of [d], the extent of the vocable vocabulary used throughout the piece, the typical arrangement of vocables in relation to one another, and the connection between vocables to metric accents and vowels to agogic accents.
Mullins, Catherine E.
"Blah, Blah, Blah: Making Sense of Nonsense in Irish Vocal Music,"
Musical Offerings: Vol. 5:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/musicalofferings/vol5/iss2/2
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