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Thai Singing


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So I was thinking....

 

Don't leave... I know it makes my friends nervous but hear me out.... :D

 

Thai is a tonal language... so how are these tones translated when singing?

By definition the notes in a song should change the tone of certain words.

 

This is probably accounted for in traditional songs, but the Thai modern and pop songs would change the tones... wouldn't they?

 

Pardon my ignorance for you Thai speakers, but I was curious... please enlighten me. :)

"When the going gets weird... the weird turn pro" - Hunter S. Thompson

 

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As you know, a music note on a score sheet is the representation of an exact frequency, (change pitch if you want to differ) and duration, nothing more.

The tones of a song could hardly be expressed by the notes themselves, but the lyrics of the songs – when written in Thaï, indicates clearly the tones to be used. This is your answer: different consonants (and vowels) are used for the rising, low, high,… tones.

The Thai song books that I own, are only filled with the Thai lyrics and chords. No notes on the music score at all.

As far as I know, most musicians here in the bars are playing by ear.

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Don’t you have anything else better to do mate? :)

 

Based on my humble Thai skills, it appears for me that Thai drops tones in singing as much as English drops word stress in songs. By the very nature of music, you can tweak intonation or stress to fit the rhythm of the song.

 

On the other hand, it seems like traditional singers might pronounce tones more of the time.

It would be interesting to know more about Thai pop songs. I can’t hear tones in those songs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are absent.

 

One possibility might be that native speakers of non-tonal languages interpret tone using the right-hemisphere musical part of their brain, where as native speakers of tonal languages process tone with the left-hemisphere linguistic part of their brain. Perhaps the reason non-native speakers like myself, “hear” tones being dropped in songs is neuro-linguistic in origin.

 

Huh, think too much...

Edited by Benny10

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Don’t you have anything else better to do mate? :)

 

Umm... no mate. :P

 

 

it appears for me that Thai drops tones in singing as much as English drops word stress in songs.

 

With English you can get away with that. But in Thai many words have multiple meanings depending on the tone given them... don't they?

"When the going gets weird... the weird turn pro" - Hunter S. Thompson

 

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Umm... no mate. :P

 

 

 

 

With English you can get away with that. But in Thai many words have multiple meanings depending on the tone given them... don't they?

Actually in English there are many words that change in meaning by the tone in which you speak them. The perfect word for that is Fu_k. It can mean many things depending on how it is said. I can't really answer your original question, other than to say that a vocalist has many liberties that can be taken as artistic freedom.

 

As a vocalist myself I often wonder about Thai music. I can not distinguish what is good or bad as there doesn't seem to be any real singing that takes place. Sure there are people who sound beautiful and have beautiful voices, but what separates one beautiful voice from another? To me it all sounds the same. I listen to Issan songs and musically a lot of it sounds like beach music of the 50's and 60's. I know I will probably be shot or stabbed for saying this stuff the next time I'm in Thailand, so it was nice meeting at the Den. :GoldenSmile1:

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So I was thinking....

 

Don't leave... I know it makes my friends nervous but hear me out.... :D

 

Thai is a tonal language... so how are these tones translated when singing?

By definition the notes in a song should change the tone of certain words.

 

This is probably accounted for in traditional songs, but the Thai modern and pop songs would change the tones... wouldn't they?

 

Pardon my ignorance for you Thai speakers, but I was curious... please enlighten me. :)

This is something I've wondered about too. But then again people always tell me that I think too much as well.

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I read somewhere a Thai person saying "You cannot sing the tone, so you just guess the meaning"

Obviously the context of what is being discussed in the song would give a clue.

I figure most Thai songs are always about Love, rejection, hardship, boy meets girl, girl finds true love etc. so it shouldn't be too hard.

 

Kind of makes me wonder why when I stuff up the tones in normal conversation with Thai folks they don't give me the same latitude??

"Remember, you've never lost the girl, only your turn"

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The tones are still present when singing ... people often listen to the musical notes of the song and miss the tonal nuances that are present. Saying that the tones 'go out of the window' would make nonsense of the language (and the song). It may be easier to notice with certain singers and I admit that more 'modern' styles may take slight liberties. Listen to Earn The Star and you'll see the tones are clearly there.

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This is how they change tone, or is it pitch ? sorry I always get confused...

 

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what i find annoying is the traditional A tonal thai singing over 12 tone scale

 

always sounds flat

 

the words will be understood in the context of the other words not the tones used

so dropping the original pronunciation isn't a problem

Member since Dec 06.

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  • 1 month later...

This is how they change tone, or is it pitch ? sorry I always get confused...

 

 

MauBud answers : ...well in this case there's actually a change of gender during the song ..

 

this is much more than a change of tone or pitch .... LOL

 

yes very elaborate , I physically couldn't do it for sure ...

 

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เวลาที่เราอยู่คนเดียว à¹à¸¥à¹‰à¸§à¸™à¸±à¹ˆà¸‡à¸¡à¸­à¸‡à¹à¸‚นมองดูมือ ดูหน้าตามองตัวเอง ในà¸à¸£à¸°à¸ˆà¸ จะทำให้เà¸à¸´à¸”คำถามมาà¸à¸¡à¸²à¸¢ ที่มาพร้อมคำตอบมาà¸à¸¡à¸²à¸¢à¸žà¸­à¸à¸±à¸™ จะทำให้เราเข้าใจตัวเองà¹à¸¥à¸°à¸Šà¸µà¸§à¸´à¸•à¸¡à¸²à¸à¸‚ึ้นไปอีภอย่ามัวใช้ชีวิตเพื่อทำอะไรมาà¸à¸¡à¸²à¸¢à¹€à¸žà¸·à¹ˆà¸­à¸™à¸„นอื่นอย่างเดียว ทำเพื่อนตัวเองบ้าง ชีวิตเรามันไม่ได้ยาวนานอย่างที่คิดหรอภทำวันนี้เพื่อพรุ่งนี้à¸à¹‡à¸žà¸­à¹à¸¥à¹‰à¸§...

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I have had lots of trouble listening to classical music sung in different languages and I have the utmost respect for any one who is bilingual and sings in more than one language. I once attended a rehearsal where a French professor spent an hour explaining to a quior about different inflections on a few words in a song....They all sounded the same to me but it seemed very important to everyone else.

 

My thai GF has sung to me a few times and I liked it but it is nothing like the Philippine girls,,, They sing more than they talk...And many have beautiful singing voices, Point is that I like Thai language much more than Tagalog but it is the other way around with singing

There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.

 

Voltaire

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My thai GF has sung to me a few times and I liked it but it is nothing like the Philippine girls,,, They sing more than they talk...And many have beautiful singing voices, Point is that I like Thai language much more than Tagalog but it is the other way around with singing

 

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Oo5c3F9tO9o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

คนโà¸à¸«à¸à¹€à¸¡à¸·à¹ˆà¸­à¸žà¸§à¸à¹€à¸‚าไม่สามารถจัดà¸à¸²à¸£à¸à¸±à¸šà¸„วามจริง

 

เวลาที่เราอยู่คนเดียว à¹à¸¥à¹‰à¸§à¸™à¸±à¹ˆà¸‡à¸¡à¸­à¸‡à¹à¸‚นมองดูมือ ดูหน้าตามองตัวเอง ในà¸à¸£à¸°à¸ˆà¸ จะทำให้เà¸à¸´à¸”คำถามมาà¸à¸¡à¸²à¸¢ ที่มาพร้อมคำตอบมาà¸à¸¡à¸²à¸¢à¸žà¸­à¸à¸±à¸™ จะทำให้เราเข้าใจตัวเองà¹à¸¥à¸°à¸Šà¸µà¸§à¸´à¸•à¸¡à¸²à¸à¸‚ึ้นไปอีภอย่ามัวใช้ชีวิตเพื่อทำอะไรมาà¸à¸¡à¸²à¸¢à¹€à¸žà¸·à¹ˆà¸­à¸™à¸„นอื่นอย่างเดียว ทำเพื่อนตัวเองบ้าง ชีวิตเรามันไม่ได้ยาวนานอย่างที่คิดหรอภทำวันนี้เพื่อพรุ่งนี้à¸à¹‡à¸žà¸­à¹à¸¥à¹‰à¸§...

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