Macquarie University
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Story, song & voice: investigating the musical creativities of Australian singer-songwriters

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posted on 2022-03-28, 10:22 authored by Veronica Stewart
As artists, singer - songwriters are critically revered for their reflective and introspective craft. They are described and understood as conduits of personal and artistic expressivity, for reflecting the times, for activism and social change, and for self - development. The essence, tradition and duality of their work is identified in the literature as being both musically and ideologically based. While such literature on these segmented creative processes exist, there are limited evidence - based understandings on the singer - songwriter as an artistic entity. The definitions and descriptions of singer - songwriters often focus on the resultant artefacts or the associated style and creator persona. Such accounts often neglect to consider the specific influences that occupy creative practice, and more specifically, the inherent meaningful connections found within the creative processes that bind the individual, the singing voice and the original song. To address this, the following study offers evidence - based understandings on singer - songwriter artistry and creative practice. Through implementing a mixed methods approach, this research adopts qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Of the 115 research participants, 20 engaged in in - depth interviews and 95 completed an online survey. The data included narratives from emerging and established Australian singer - songwriters, and provided broad perspectives on diverse and highly individual, creative practices. The emergent themes signify singer - songwriters as complex and pluralistic artists distinguished by their inherent consolidation of several art forms and behavioural processes. These include singing, songwriting, performance, entrepreneurship, community and social focus, and singing/songwriting as a strategy for wellbeing. This research contributes to the understanding of the contemporary singer - songwriter, the attributes of songwriting through singer - songwriter perspectives, of the singing voice as a creative and performative construct, and of singer - songwriter musical creativities. Lastly, the research findings are used to progressively develop a creative practice framework that situates the contemporary singer - songwriter.


Table of Contents

1 Overview -- 2 Literature review -- 3 Research design and methodology -- 4 The contemporary singer - songwriter -- 5 Motivation and creative impetus -- 6 Interactions, collaboration and the field -- 7 The singer - songwriter voice -- 8 Survey results -- 9 Artistic realisations -- 10 Conclusions: the contemporary singer - songwriter.


Bibliography: pages 267-282 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Diane Hughes


Copyright Veronica Stewart 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (xiv, 282 pages)

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