A Demographic Study of Professional Belters: Who They Are and What They Do

Published:November 25, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.09.019

      Summary

      Objectives

      The overall goal of the survey was to ascertain from belters common characteristics of belting and belters as determined by their own experience. The survey sought information from those who responded to an online questionnaire stating they were professional singers who had been paid to sing as belters and were comfortable using the sound quality called belting. The survey asked various questions regarding the definition of the word belting, how the singers learned to belt, whether or not they could explain the auditory and kinesthetic experience of belting and their history with vocal health. This was a partial follow-up to a study done by one of the authors in 2007 on the same topic and with the same general population which was never submitted for publication. The data from that study, which was longer and more complex, will be referenced where the present survey has similar data, partly to see if answers may have changed in the time since data was collected more than a decade ago.

      Methods

      The survey was an online questionnaire on Google. A call to respond to the survey was put forth by the authors through their network of colleagues, associates and students with the request that respondents also share the survey with others they knew. The questionnaire consisted of 30 questions and garnered a total of 238 responses from professional singers who consider themselves to be belters. Data was collected between February 1, 2019 and July 31, 2019 Topics included Demographics, Vocal Training Background, Definitions, and Vocal Health.

      Results/Conclusion

      The data collected presents demographics on vocal training, professional experience, gender, age, performance venues, definitions of key words, and vocal health issues. The majority of respondents are female, from the USA, have had training, and sing other styles of music in a belt quality. Specific statistics on each question are given. The earlier study, from 2007, referenced several similar questions from a smaller group of respondents. Corresponding information will be presented where applicable at the end of the article for purposes of comparison.

      Key Words

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      References

      1. “Belt”. Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belt. Accessed July 1, 2021.

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