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Title: The grain of a vocal genre : a comparative approach to the singing pedagogies of EVDC integrative performance practice, Korean 'pansori', and the Polish centre for theatre practices 'Gardzienice'
Author: Thomaidis, Konstantinos
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is a cross-cultural examination of the relationship between the trained physiology of the voice and culture. Building on Barthes's notion of the grain of the voice,' I argue that each training system moulds the body in a way that decisively affects aesthetic phonation. Therefore I analyse voice training as a bodily inscription, in its Foucauldian sense, and I focus on the pedagogical ethics crystallised in the 'grain of the genre.' This I define as the collective 'grain' to which pedagogies of codified genres aspire, beyond and apart from the individual singing performer's 'grain' ; in other words, the 'grain of the genre' is the means by which culture is reaffirmed in/through the trainee's voice. The introductory chapter looks at the anatomical and physiological properties of the voice, traces the history of theorisations of the voice in order to situate my project, and explains my methodologies as a practitioner/researcher. Drawing on extended practical fieldwork, each of the subsequent three chapters explores the ' grain' of three pedagogies in the light of my personal training and the historical, musicological and broader cultural research I conducted in relation to each method. The three training approaches are a recent development in the area of bel canto (Integrative Performance Practice by 'Experience Vocal Dance Company,' USA and UK), an Asian traditional genre (Korean pansori), and a training pertaining to the Western avant-garde tradition (Centre for Theatre Practices 'Gardzienice,' Poland). Chapter 2 argues that the transdisciplinary grain of IPP on one hand adheres to a scientific approach to voicing, while attempting to bypass the deadends of the predominant training of the 'natural' voice. Chapter 3 acknowledges the grain of pansori as developed and promoted through the explicit aesthetic agenda of Korean han. Chapter 4 studies the grain of Gardzienice as one of 'laughing openness,' a grain mainly preoccupied with the inter-corporeal and the relational. The final chapter revisits the category of the 'grain of the genre' through my embodied perspective as a cross-cultural researcher. I reexamine the Foucauldian aspects of the 'grain' and its disciplinary character through the lens of the axis docility-resistance. I conclude the thesis with the suggestion of a dynamic relation between culture and vocal practice, the resistant aspects of which are, I argue, foregrounded when voice is addressed and taught as phonic and foreign.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available