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  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Georgina.

  • [Singing badly] DO, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, TI, DO !

  • Neil! What are you doing?! Please stop!

  • Oh, hi Georgina! I'm practising my singing.

  • I'm going to do virtual karaoke tonight with some friends!

  • Karaoke?! – really, Neil?!

  • I heard you singing at the Christmas party and to be honest

  • I think you might be tone deafyou know, you can't sing in tune.

  • Me? Tone deaf?! I'm a nightingale! Listen: DO RE MIIII !

  • Between you and me, I think Neil is a bit tone deaf!

  • Wait until I tell him singing is the subject of this programme.

  • I heard that, Georgina!

  • And I'm glad this programme is about singing because I love it

  • and what I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm!

  • I'm sure your karaoke buddies would agree with you, Neil.

  • That reminds me of my quiz question, Georgina.

  • As you know, I love karaoke - meeting up with friends

  • to sing the words of our favourite pop songs

  • over a musical backing track.

  • Karaoke was invented in Japan and its name is a combination of

  • different Japanese wordsbut what words?

  • What is the meaning of 'karaoke'?

  • Is it: a) machine voice?,

  • b) angry cat?, or, c) empty orchestra?

  • Well, after listening to you sing, Neil,

  • I'm tempted to say b), angry cat, but that would be mean,

  • so I'll guess, a) machine voice.

  • OK, Georgina. I'll take that as a compliment.

  • But however good - or bad - my singing may be,

  • there's no doubt that the act of singing itself

  • is a very complex skill, involving a huge number of

  • processes in our bodies and brains.

  • So what happens physically when we sing a musical note?

  • Usually something unexpected in your case, Neil!

  • So here's Marijke Peters, presenter of BBC World Service

  • programme, CrowdScience, to explain exactly

  • what happens when we open our mouths to sing.

  • Listen out for the different body parts Marijke mentions:

  • Vocal folds, also called vocal cords, are crucial here.

  • They're two flaps of skin stretched across your larynx that

  • vibrate when you sing and create a sound.

  • The pitch of that sound, how high or low it is,

  • depends on the frequency of their vibration,

  • so if you want to hit the right note

  • they need to be working properly.

  • Important body parts needed to sing include the vocal cords -

  • a pair of folds in the throat that move backwards and

  • forwards when air from the lungs moves over them.

  • The vocal chords are stretched over the larynx -

  • also known as the voice box,

  • it's the organ between the nose and the lungs

  • containing the vocal folds.

  • Singing is similar to what happens when you play a guitar.

  • The vocal cords act like the guitar strings to produce

  • a buzz or vibration – a continuous and quick shaking movement.

  • They vibrate over the larynx which, like the body of a guitar,

  • amplifies the sound.

  • So why do some people (Neil!) find it hard to sing in tune?

  • Is it because they cannot physically reproduce sounds?

  • Or because they hear sounds differently from the rest of us?

  • Well, according to psychology professor, Peter Pfordresher,

  • it's neither.

  • He thinks that for poor singers the problem is

  • generally not in the ears or voice, but in their brains

  • specifically the connection between sound perception

  • and muscle movement.

  • So there's no hope for you?

  • Not necessarily.

  • Here's Professor Pfordresher encouraging the listeners of

  • BBC World Service's, CrowdScience:

  • I think there's reason for you to be hopeful

  • and however accurate or inaccurate your singing is,

  • one recommendation I would have for you is to keep

  • singing because there is evidence that singing itself,

  • whether accurate or inaccurate, has

  • benefits socially and also for stress responses,

  • so good reason for you to keep it up!

  • Whether you're tone deaf or pitch perfect,

  • there's lots of evidence for the health benefits of singing.

  • For one, singing strengthens your stress responses.

  • Otherwise known as 'fight or flight', stress responses

  • are the human body's reaction to external threats

  • that cause an imbalance, for example pain, infection or fear.

  • From operatic Pavarottis to enthusiastic karaoke fans,

  • Professor Pfordresher thinks singers should keep it up

  • a phrase used to encourage someone to continue doing something.

  • So, Neil, maybe you should keep singing, after all!

  • You've changed you tune, Georgina!

  • Maybe you'd like to come with me to karaoke

  • next time we're allowed out?

  • Hmm, I think some practice would be a good idea,

  • but first let's return to the quiz question.

  • You asked me about the meaning of the Japanese

  • word karaoke

  • Right. Does karaoke mean, a) machine voice,

  • b) angry cat, or c) empty orchestra? What did you say?

  • I said a) machine voice.

  • Which wasthe wrong answer!

  • Karaoke actually means c) empty orchestra,

  • or in other words, music that has the melody missing.

  • Well, that's better than an angry cat, I guess!

  • Let's recap the vocabulary starting with tone deaf

  • a way to describe someone who cannot

  • sing in tune or hear different sounds.

  • Like playing a guitar string, singers use their vocal cords

  • a pair of folds in the throat that are stretched

  • over the larynx, or voice box, another part of the throat,

  • to produce a sound vibration - a quick, shaking movement.

  • No matter how good or bad a singer you are,

  • singing is good for your stress responses

  • the 'fight or flight' mechanism your body uses

  • to regain inner balance.

  • So no matter what Georgina thinks about my singing,

  • I'm going to keep it up – a phrase used to

  • encourage someone to continue their good performance.

  • That's all from us.

  • Keep singing and join us again soon at 6 Minute English.

  • Don't forget we also have a free app

  • you can download from the app stores. Bye!

  • Goodbye!

Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

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B1 karaoke georgina vocal deaf voice tune

Singing in tune - 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/18
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