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Unread 17 Jun 2007, 22:58   #1
All Systems Go
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Non-English Music

this is a thread for all of you who live in a country whose first language is not English. My question si simple; what proportion of your official album chart is made up of home-grown bands, and how many of those do not sing in English?

In the UK the charts are made almost totally out of records sung in English. there will be the occasional novelty record or some kind of freak like Rammstein, but generally you never see bands which do not sing in English.

I would imagine in non-English speaking counties would be higher, but not by that much.

?
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Unread 17 Jun 2007, 23:33   #2
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Re: Non-English Music

for me it'd be about 95% English, 3% German, 1% Dutch, 1% Spanish/French. on my PC/laptop, i have much more music in languages other than English though.
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Unread 17 Jun 2007, 23:39   #3
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Re: Non-English Music

Wha about the chart in your country?
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Unread 17 Jun 2007, 23:51   #4
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go
Wha about the chart in your country?
this type of music is hip in Holland now. Dutch music is not an option. :crymeariver:
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 00:08   #5
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Re: Non-English Music

Erm ... there is the occasional singer/poet like Acda&De Munnik, Blof, van Dik Hout and the Dijk here in the Netherlands who have truely ace songs, but generally, I do not judge people on their nativity. However what I've realized far too late is that in the Netherlands there are plenty of English sung songs who are or originally Dutch or German, while the real 'American' and 'English' songs never really reach us.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 05:15   #6
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Re: Non-English Music

Quickly counting there's 13 "Finnish" albums on the top40 at the moment. While the top40 doesn't say much, there are bands that sing in Finnish and consistently sell at least equally good if not better than English-singing bands.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 06:44   #7
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoeN
this type of music is hip in Holland now. Dutch music is not an option. :crymeariver:
What the hell?! It is? I haven't set foot in a club for ages, and now I surely won't go anymore.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 07:08   #8
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tietäjä
Quickly counting there's 13 "Finnish" albums on the top40 at the moment. While the top40 doesn't say much, there are bands that sing in Finnish and consistently sell at least equally good if not better than English-singing bands.
In the german album charts it was more like 15-20 german artists in the top40 (wasn't sure about all) but again some of them don't have any songs in german (:

I think in the last 10 years more and more german music is played and listend to which i really dont mind because it adds some more variety to the radio.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 07:33   #9
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Re: Non-English Music

While our first official language is English (spoken by 99% of everyone) there is still some room for the Maori language (they are very musical!).

That said, almost all Maori music is sung in English

I don't enjoy listening to it, it isn't really my sort of music. Most of it is rap/hip-hop - typically with American underpinnings. I tend to think that it is a sad example of the declining importance of traditional Maori culture generally. They have imported the American 'Negro Gangster' stereotype into their youth; and in turn they are losing touch with their tradition, and inevitably their cultural identity.

Perhaps the music isn't the cause, it's probably a symptom of a wider cultural malaise; but it is certainly sad to see.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 09:41   #10
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by jupp
In the german album charts it was more like 15-20 german artists in the top40 (wasn't sure about all) but again some of them don't have any songs in german (:
I only counted the artists that primarily perform in Finnish. (Should one add those that are Finnish but perform in English one would probably come well above 20).
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 09:43   #11
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Re: Non-English Music

The dutch charts are for about 85% in english I guess. But only a thirth of the songs are made by Americans or Brits. Music sung in Dutch is a genre of it's own.

The dutch charts seem a bit artificial tho and arn't very representative for what people listen. And that's proberbly a good thing because the youth listens to either what Koen posted or Bubbling/rap.. or both.

I tend to listen to music from the Italian Dance/Techno charts or dutch music from a decade ago.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 10:03   #12
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Re: Non-English Music

In the album top40 there's 17 records in German, singles only 8. I prefer German songs, because I somehow can't really enjoy beautiful language in a song when it's in English. When casually listening I rarely even pay attention to the meaning of a song if it is in English (which has its upsides too, since I don't notice bad lyrics, either).
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 11:52   #13
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Re: Non-English Music

I find that I can enjoy lyrics in different languages. There are bands that do nice lyrics in German (Rammstein to start with), in English (I rate Faithless high here), and in Finnish (the never-heard-ofs to you Asa and YUP). Shouldn't let the language barrier keep you from listening the lyrics!
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 12:40   #14
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Re: Non-English Music

Even though I'm English & live in England I recon it's a good contribution that I listen to alot of African / Indian music and music from the Far East. Quite traditional stuff.

As a jazz music student it really lets me get into the roots of most western popular music, jazz's evolution and inclusion of western classical music & traditional African music which has brought about what we listen to today.

I did go on a trour covering Japan then Africa in 2005 and discovered that the Japanese love the Beetles and the Spice Girls got played a lot by the Africans.

It made me smile.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 12:44   #15
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go
In the UK the charts are made almost totally out of records sung in English. there will be the occasional novelty record or some kind of freak like Rammstein, but generally you never see bands which do not sing in English.
Some possibile theories for why this is the case:

1. Language education. People in England and America generally have poor relationships to foreign languages compared to how well people in other countries tend to understand English. Therefore English speaking music will largely be understood in most European/Asian countries whereas the converse will not be true.

2. Musical education. The UK and America tend to have appallingly low standards of musical education at school level which results in people who focus only on one aspect of music (mainly the lyrics) rather than on deeper aspects. As such, music in a foreign language is more likely to be thought incomprehensible than it would be to someone who listens primarilly to things other than the lyrics - the relationship that the man-on-the-street has to a German-language pop song is likely to be different than that which a lover of opera has to Wagner.

3. Pop music and commercialism (related to 2.). Youre asking exclusivity about popular charts .rather than music in general. These charts are dominated almost exclusively by pop music which tends to be focused on lyrics and imagery rather than on musical content. As such you would expect tracks with lyrics sung in a non-understood language to be less successful than they would be in other styles of music.

4. Singing ability (related to 2. and 3.). Most pop musicians arent very good singers by any objective standard. The voice of someone like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or a good opera singer has the ability to transcend words and make its meaning and emotional content clear through the delivery and phrasing even when the language used isnt understood (the reaction that the opera singer received on Britain's Got Talent recently is a good example of this). Since most popsingers have nowhere near this level of ability, it follows that their work is going to be less able to cross linguistic boundaries.

5. Rock/pop as anglo-american. Ever since the 60s rock/pop have been perceived as being an English language movement, since thats where the most important early figures came from and have continued to come from. Even a lot of the great German rock bands (eg Can/Faust/Kraftwerk) released their music with English rather than German lyrics since that was the done thing at the time (although Kraftwerk actually released both English and German versions). Hip-hop continues this trend, by being a fundamentally 'American' music style.

Last edited by Nodrog; 18 Jun 2007 at 13:07.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 15:16   #16
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Re: Non-English Music

Seriously, how is Kraftwerk rock
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 15:31   #17
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Re: Non-English Music

I'm listening to Hardcore/Metal and Indierock stuff most of the time, to chill down I listen to some Pop and Rapmusic but the amount of homegrown bands is shockingly low here, my guess is about 2-3%. Infact there are only 2 Bands with german lyrics in my CD/LP Collection and in my Winamp List ! I just think german aint very polular in my style of music...sadly
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 15:38   #18
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSmoke
Seriously, how is Kraftwerk rock
1. Their influence has been far more prevalent in rock music than in German novelty pop.
2. This is because they were a rock band.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 18:40   #19
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
5. Rock/pop as anglo-american. [...] Hip-hop continues this trend, by being a fundamentally 'American' music style.
While I absolutely agree that the anglo-american dominance of Rock/Pop is the main reason for there being a lot of it in the charts (even in non-English speaking countries) I think Hip Hop actually goes against this trend. As opposed to the rock bands you mentioned, nearly no one in Germany raps in English, the same seems to be the case in France. Rapping in a foreign language is just unnecessarily complicated.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 18:49   #20
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Re: Non-English Music

I'm pretty sure I've heard French rappers, although I will be the first to admit I'm not an expert on either French or rap.

I also remember reading articles on some Zionist rappers who performed in Hebrew. There's probably Yiddish rappers too, given that language appears to have only ever been invented for the amusement of others.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 18:54   #21
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSmoke
Seriously, how is Kraftwerk rock
Listen to Kraftwerk 2 (one of their best albums imo), its fairly straight-up jam rock. They didnt really start becoming an 'electronica' group until after Autobahn, but even then they were just as much a rock band with electronic elements as they were an electronic act. In any case, you have to classify them based on the scene they were a part of rather than treating their music in isolation; they were one of several German progrock bands that were experimenting with electronic stuff at the time.

Last edited by Nodrog; 18 Jun 2007 at 19:05.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 20:19   #22
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv
Even though I'm English & live in England I recon it's a good contribution that I listen to alot of African / Indian music and music from the Far East. Quite traditional stuff.

As a jazz music student it really lets me get into the roots of most western popular music, jazz's evolution and inclusion of western classical music & traditional African music which has brought about what we listen to today.

I did go on a trour covering Japan then Africa in 2005 and discovered that the Japanese love the Beetles and the Spice Girls got played a lot by the Africans.

It made me smile.

With each paragraph you wrote i grew to dislike you more. I can't believe nobody else has told you to **** off yet.
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Unread 18 Jun 2007, 21:04   #23
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by jupp
I think in the last 10 years more and more german music is played and listend to which i really dont mind because it adds some more variety to the radio.
Mia. Silbermond and the like make me want to vomit. Wir sind Helden i liked, at least the first album. What else? Xavier Naidoo (this christain pop-crap is really annoying me), Grönemeyer (PLEASE, retire), Sportfreunde Stiller (ever since this crappy football song i hate them). I like some of the hip hop stuff, but only as long as its not this wanna-be gangsta-crap
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Unread 19 Jun 2007, 10:54   #24
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Re: Non-English Music

I can't say I own much in the way of non-english music, but I often enjoy many songs that are.

The true irony and part of the lure is the fact that I have no idea what the hell they are singing about and focus more on the melody or musical composition rather than the meaning of the lyrics. Often they are songs that I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole if it were its english counterpart (they might be singing about the beauty of the south-west african butterfly for all I know).
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Unread 19 Jun 2007, 11:19   #25
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Re: Non-English Music

This used to be my favorite list on the radio, last few years it's been going downhill though, but that's the whole radioscene actually. All by all it's still the best list on belgian radio:

http://www.stubru.be/node/15040

* 01 (01) REGINA SPEKTOR Samson 07
* 02 (03) FALL OUT BOY Thnks fr th mmrs 08
* 03 (08) SMASHING PUMPKINS Tarantula 03
* 04 (05) THE WHITE STRIPES Icky thump 05
* 05 (02) ZORNIK Black hope shot down 11 (belgian, sings in english)
* 06 (04) KINGS OF LEON On call 09
* 07 (13) QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Sick, sick, sick 04
* 08 (16) CHEMICAL BROTHERS Do it again 05
* 09 (20) EDITORS Smokers outside the hospital doors 03
* 10 (10) ARID Words 08 (belgian, sings in english)
* 11 (22) ARCTIC MONKEYS Fluorescent adolescent 03
* 12 (14) MINTZKOV Ruby red 03 (belgian, sings in english)
* 13 (12) JERBOA Number 1 06 (belgian, sings in english)
* 14 (07) MUSE Invincible 13
* 15 (06) MILOW You don't know 21 (belgian, sings in english)
* 16 (09) SIOEN No conspiracy at all 11 (belgian, sings in english)
* 17 (11) LINKIN PARK What I've done 09
* 18 (17) VAN JETS Our love = strong 04 (belgian, sings in english)
* 19 (27) AIR TRAFFIC Charlotte 04
* 20 (30) TOKIO HOTEL Monsoon 02
* 21 (24) INTERPOL The Heinrich maneuver 02
* 22 (25) KAISER CHIEFS Everything is average nowadays 05
* 23 (29) BILLY TALENT Surrender 02
* 24 (26) ABSYNTHE MINDED I wanna forget 02 (belgian, sings in english)
* 25 (18) GABRIEL RIOS Angelhead 11 (belgian/brazilian, sings in english)
* 26 (21) BJORK Earth intruders 06
* 27 (00) BLOC PARTY Hunting for witches 01
* 28 (15) MINTZKOV One equals a lot 18 (belgian, sings in english)
* 29 (00) VIVE LA FETE La route 01 (belgian, sings in french)
* 30 (00) MARILYN MANSON Heart shaped glasses 01

So of the 30 songs, 11 are of belgian bands of which 10 are sung in english

Something I've always wondered about, do English people hear if a band that sings in English isn't English by tongue?
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Unread 19 Jun 2007, 12:46   #26
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharur
Something I've always wondered about, do English people hear if a band that sings in English isn't English by tongue?
I've noticed that most singers lose their accent when they sing, so on the whole i think the answer would be no. Their maybe one or two that you can tell aren't native English speakers, but I can't think of any examples
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Unread 19 Jun 2007, 12:56   #27
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon Dave
I've noticed that most singers lose their accent when they sing, so on the whole i think the answer would be no. Their maybe one or two that you can tell aren't native English speakers, but I can't think of any examples
This is generally the result of clever mic'ing & use of production tools during the recording process.
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Unread 19 Jun 2007, 13:44   #28
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharur
Something I've always wondered about, do English people hear if a band that sings in English isn't English by tongue?
Depends on the style of music, pretty much. A stadium rock band will sing in the same pseudo-grunt wherever they're from, whereas a rapper/spoken-word artist will usually let more of their accent through, purposefully or not.
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Unread 20 Jun 2007, 09:25   #29
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Re: Non-English Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv
Even though I'm English & live in England I recon it's a good contribution that I listen to alot of African / Indian music and music from the Far East. Quite traditional stuff.

As a jazz music student it really lets me get into the roots of most western popular music, jazz's evolution and inclusion of western classical music & traditional African music which has brought about what we listen to today.

I did go on a trour covering Japan then Africa in 2005 and discovered that the Japanese love the Beetles and the Spice Girls got played a lot by the Africans.

It made me smile.
Maybe you should migrate to Africa so you can live with your friends
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Unread 21 Jun 2007, 14:39   #30
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Re: Non-English Music

The current Dutch top 40 looks like this:

http://www.radio538.nl/top40.html (thursday 21 July)

Dutch Artists: 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 16, 17, 23, 25, 31, 32, 37, 39 (15 of 40) (37,5%)

Non English/American/Dutch artists: 15, 18, 24, 26 (4 of 40) (10%)

Songs sung in Dutch: 1, 6, 7, 9, 25, 31 (6 out of 40) (15%)

unknown : 27 (probably Dutch)

It's all crap though, but I don't think that's very different in any other country.
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