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John Cowan's Modes

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eggplantbren
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Hi all, I'm new to this forum, I've been lurking for a while though.

I have been studying with SLS teachers for a couple of years, but decided to give something else a try since my progress was slow. So I'm working with CVT at the moment. I have a question about what modes are used by my favorite singer, John Cowan. I can hear a lot of the curbing vowels in there so I think that's what is mostly being used. Thing is, I wouldn't call it restrained or plaintive, especially on the money notes. Perhaps those are edge - or is curbing able to sound that powerful also?

Here's a clip, I hope you enjoy it.

New Grass Revival - A Good Woman's Love

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The guy rocks out with curbing like 99% of the song :D He seems to be a big fan of doing money notes of the vowels "o" as in "woman". This vowel in that range only works in curbing so there is no question about the mode. I actually think you can hear the restrained sound, it's just that curbing starts to get abit volume at those ranges. :)

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The guy rocks out with curbing like 99% of the song :D He seems to be a big fan of doing money notes of the vowels "o" as in "woman". This vowel in that range only works in curbing so there is no question about the mode. I actually think you can hear the restrained sound, it's just that curbing starts to get a bit of volume at those ranges. :)

Snorth: They are doing this song in G major, so the prominent notes (as mentioned) which occur with the /o/ vowel are the G above middle C. In this guy's voice, when singing that G that vowel has its first formant sitting right on the 2nd harmonic, which is characteristic of the top of the male chest voice for a tenor. The distinctive sound you mention is the result of this alignment. I imagine that they picked the key because that note and vowel combination works so well. Its also pretty easily played on all the instruments they have onstage :-)

When he goes above that note, his resonance strategy changes, and you can see that he does 2nd-formant tuning to higher harmonics. He also adds some singer's formant from time to time. you can hear that as distinct bright resonance not associated with the particular vowel at the moment.

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