I've been listening to Roger Waters (from Pink Floyd) and quite often his vocalising doesn't seem close enough to singing to actually call it singing. His vocalising for Pink Floyd is usually singing, and his vocalising for his solo albums is usually much closer to talking to the listener in tune with the music, but definitely not rap.

Is there a name for this talking-in-tune style of singing?

3 Answers 3


I don't know whether any of them apply to rock music, but there are terms like Sprechstimme, Sprechgesang, recitative, parlando, and talking blues. All of them apply to rather speech-like singing.

  • I forgot to mention that I'd looked up some terms, but they were only applicable to opera.
    – CJ Dennis
    Jul 16, 2018 at 5:46

'Declamatory singing' might be the term you're after.


If there's next to zero pitch involved, "patter-song" applies. Quoting Wikipedia,

The patter song is characterised by a moderately fast to very fast tempo with a rapid succession of rhythmic patterns in which each syllable of text corresponds to one note. It is a staple of comic opera, especially Gilbert and Sullivan, but it has also been used in musicals and elsewhere.

"Recitative" would, I think, involve singing pitches while "speaking" a sentence that is not part of a song. This could apply to conversations in an opera between arias.

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