Singing is an interesting phenomenon. There are joyful songs like paeans. There are songs of praise, like psalms. Ballads, lullabies, rapping, all of these styles encapsulate the human experience in victory and tribulation. It is a joy to sing, because it is a privilege to be able to express the human experience through music.
As singers perform their song, whether the lyrics be jubilant or melancholy, the body experiences suffering from the stress of singing. As a result, singers experience suffering in joy, sacrificing their bodily comfort for the joy of relating to and interacting with others through song.
Billie Holiday experiences a kind of suffering in joy through her song “Strange Fruit.” In my paper, I explain how the music and physical gestures work together to create this experience, and why specifically, when applied to Holiday’s performance, it is so powerful and emotionally compelling. To fully grasp the concepts of the paper, I recommend going to my “Strange Fruit” page and engaging with the audio and the video first.MorrealeGabriellaresearchpaperfinaldraft