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Voice analysis in ethnomusicology: De-mystifying Bulgarian singing

Interview Questions

Please answer these questions as best you can, either on this document, or in a new one. Answers can be as short or as long as you like, and if there is anything that you feel you cannot answer, leave it blank. If you need clarification of any of the questions, please contact me (refer to contact details on the interview consent form).

  1. Do you have any Bulgarian ancestry?
  2. What are your qualifications or what experience do you have in this area? (For citation and bibliographic purposes)
  3. Please describe the areas of resonance in the body that are experienced in the traditional Bulgarian singing style (e.g. resonance in the chest area, or in certain facial cavities).
  4. Do you think the term "open-throat singing" is an appropriate name for the Bulgarian singing style? If so, what does this mean exactly? If not, is there another term that you use?
  5. Have you heard of the term "belting" in relation to singing? If so, do you think this technique is incorporated in Bulgarian singing?
  6. What position/s does the tongue have in Bulgarian singing? (e.g. resting/back/forward/tense/loose)
  7. How is the larynx positioned in this singing style? (e.g. high/low, relaxed/tense)
  8. How is the pharynx positioned in Bulgarian singing?
  9. How are the soft and hard palates incorporated in Bulgarian singing?
  10. What are the different vowel positions in Bulgarian singing?
  11. How is the jaw positioned in Bulgarian singing?
  12. Is nasality a factor in Bulgarian singing?
  13. How are "chest voice" and "head voice" employed in Bulgarian singing? Do these terms exist, and if not, what are the names for these voices?
  14. How is the breath managed in this style?
  15. Are there particular Bulgarian terms for different ways of singing and different timbres? What are they and what do they mean?
  16. How wide can the vocal range extend in this style of singing?
  17. Do you know any of the origins of the Bulgarian singing style? (cultural/historical etc.)
  18. How does the Bulgarian language affect the way Bulgarian music is sung?
  19. Do you have any favourite solo singers and/or choirs who specialise in Bulgarian singing? What are their names?
  20. Could you recommend any particular CD, literature, solo artist, choir, researcher or teacher to assist me with my research?
  21. Is there any other information about Bulgarian singing that you would like to share?

Please email your completed interview within three (3) weeks of receipt to [email address]. If there is a problem with this time-frame, please let me know and we will extend the interview time.


Jenny Sawer
1 June 2003

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