There’s a very undefinable border that is crossed where simple singing becomes art. The reason it is undefinable is because to define something, that something must be agreed by more than one person that it exists and is what it is.
If you see a cat, it’s because others have seen cats and between all of us, somewhere back up the line, we decided to define them as ‘cats’.
Well, art is a little more general and vague and, to a degree, undefinable. Because what is art to one person is not necessarily art to the next. Therefore, a way a person sings may be art to one person and well…not art to another. That’s why the border is undefinable. Mostly.
It can only be defined by two things, and only one of them really matters. And it probably won’t be the one you think.
Those are the only two people that can define your singing as art. And guess which one is more important.
That’s right. You. Only you can truly decide if your singing is art. If it is art to you, it is communicating to you and you have decided that it is art. When it communicates to others and they then consider it art, then it becomes art to them. But it still starts with you.
Look, there are some pretty famous people out there that I personally can’t sing worth a damn. But hey, it I’m not their audience. And just because I don’t consider what they do as art obviously doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t. They are famous after all. And there are some exceptional singers out there who people have barely heard of. There’s a lot of reasons why there is such a difference in popularity, but being artistic with singing isn’t one of them.
Singing as art is subjective dependent upon the opinion of the audience. Even if that audience is of one.
There is no telling how many people you will have as an audience that will consider your singing as art. But there are a few basic tools that EVERY singer who is an artist uses to one degree or another. Those are Vibrato, Volume, and Emotional Expression.
But more to the point and physically speaking, emotional expression is created with combinations of volume control and vibrato. Emotion is emotion and necessarily a physical thing. In other words, the creation of emotion is not done physically with the body. Some would argue this point, but my belief is that it is created spiritually then delivered to what we know as the tangible physical universe via the body in the form of physical motion.
Well, physical motion is what the voice is doing. Muscles, bone, ligaments and cartilage are being manipulated to move air (a physical thing) and create sound waves. Pretty simple.
So, beyond emotion, bodily motion, and the first 5 elements of singing, how do we express emotion vocally?
Volume and Vibrato