Why Do Stutterers Not Stutter When Singing

by Bob Bodenhamer

Over the years I have been asked many times, “how is it that a PWS does not stuttering when singing?” I have heard several explanations such as the value of “cadence” in the music makes it possible to structure the PWS’ voice with the beat of the song and this helps fluency.  I have heard others speak about the “flow of air” through the vocal cords while singing that permits fluency.

There may very well be truth in both those replies, but the following one makes more sense than any that I have heard:

“Why don’t British singers sing with a British accent?”
Or
“Why stutterers don’t stutter when singing?”

I just found quite by accident a very interesting article entitled “Why don’t British singers sing with a British accent?”

By Joram on “Answering squeebs’s question”

It is found at:

askville.amazon.com/British-singers-sing-accent/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=1351524

I have copied and pasted the full article below (Bold & italics Bob’s):

“Because singing forces the singer to pronounce “true” vowel sounds.

English vowels are the same, no matter where you’re from. Speaking employs gliding vowels…transitions from one to the next. Singing is phrased such that vowels are held longer (to the note), which more or less erases regional accents. In singing, vowels tend to sound more like their true sounds (monophthongs), rather than diphthongs.

“Imagine the difference between accent disappearance in, say, an Andrew Lloyd Weber song, vs. a Cake song, if sung by the same person. The Weber track (Memory, to take an annoying example) would almost entirely mask any accent because vowels are held for a relatively long time. In Comfort Eagle, on the other hand, the words are barely sung…almost spoken over the music. Any regional accent would come through quite strongly.

“And of course, it’s possible to maintain or manufacture an accent when you sing (anyone who’s ever heard Charlie Daniels or Randy Travis knows that). But it may take some effort. The Proclaimers are a particularly egregious example pointed out by one commenter on the topic.

(Bob says, Randy Travis is a country music singer. He is from Marshville, NC about 60 miles from me. We have very similar accents when we talk. I sure wish I could sing like him.)