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Title: Musical identity of classical singers : musical labels, stereotypes, and behaviour
Author: Jordan, Nicole Denise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 493X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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The aim of this research was to investigate the nature of singers' musical group identity from the perspective of singers themselves. This examination is the first of its kind to show that singers' behaviour may be influenced by musical m-group identification. Singers do not fit the typical definition of "musician" (i.e. plays an instrument) and have been largely neglected as musicians in the research literature. This thesis examines whether singers label themselves as "musicians" or as "singers". It explores the stereotypes associated with the two labels, how singers themselves respond to group stereotypes, and how and why these stereotypes emerge. An initial qualitative investigation of singers' musical identity found that some singers see themselves as musicians whilst others see themselves as singers. These different selflabels appeared to influence singers' self-perceptions as singers were seen to have poor musicianship when compared with musicians. A closer examination of stereotypes showed that singers themselves believe that musicians engage in musical practice, whilst singers do not. Using social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) as a framework, two studies involving 161 singing student participants showed how group identification can cause singers to self-stereotype and influence their attitudes towards stereotyped behaviours. The results suggest that a strong singer identity may result in stronger adherence to singer-stereotyped behaviours such as individuality, whilst a strong musician identity may lead to more musical practice. A final qualitative interview of professional singers revealed that although some singer stereotypes may be perceived as negative, they may provide an adaptive function, and emerge as a consequence of behaviours which are necessary for achieving a successful singing career. These results, combined with those found in previous research, made it possible to theorise a novel Singer Identity Model based on aspects of singers' personality, motivation, and behaviours arising from these factors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available