Global Notes: “Vocables” and the Global Influence of Brazil's Rhythmic, Wordless Chants
The term “non-lexical vocables” was first defined by Christine Knox Chambers in her doctoral thesis “Non-lexical vocables in Scottish traditional music”. “Non-lexical vocables”, also known simply as “vocables”, are sounds that are sung, spoken or written but have no semantic meaning. Vocables can imitate sounds from nature: like animals or onomatopoeia. And sometimes vocables mimic instruments and their rhythms. On this week’s Global Notes, Worldview production assistant Galilee Abdullah talks about vocables in various kinds of music, and how the non-lexical chants of Brazilian popular music made its way to the U.S.