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  1. #1
    wwwp is offline Newbie
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    singing songs without words

    What do you call singing a song without its lyrics? I thought it was humming, but the definition of the word describes making a buzzing sound without opening your mouth.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: singing songs without words

    I too used to think that "humming" was when you kept your lips closed, but others have told me that for them, it can include saying "la la la" or similar sounds along to the tune of the song.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: singing songs without words

    I used to say 'If you don't know the words just "la, la" it.

    Rover

  4. #4
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    charliedeut is offline VIP Member
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    Re: singing songs without words

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I used to say 'If you don't know the words just "la, la" it.

    Rover
    Ahem... a little problem there, methinks?
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  5. #5
    wwwp is offline Newbie
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    Re: singing songs without words

    Thank you for the replies! So, there is no word to describe "la-la-ing"? Could you say "singing a tune/melody" or "vocalizing the song"?

  6. #6
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    Re: singing songs without words

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Ahem... a little problem there, methinks?
    There is no problem. If you don't know the words [to the song], just la-la it [it = the song].
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: singing songs without words

    Quote Originally Posted by wwwp View Post
    Thank you for the replies! So, there is no word to describe "la-la-ing"? Could you say "singing a tune/melody" or "vocalizing the song"?
    No. Your suggestions do not make it clear that the words are not being sung. I would use "humming" if the mouth were closed and "la-la"ing if the words were being replaced with "la-las".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    charliedeut's Avatar
    charliedeut is offline VIP Member
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    Re: singing songs without words

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There is no problem. If you don't know the words [to the song], just la-la it [it = the song].
    Indeed, but the (vital) context was missing. So all I said (or pretended to - context again) was "there might be a problem as Rover's wording stood. That's all. Funny intention included in my comment, too.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  9. #9
    Anwar1973 is offline Newbie
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    Re: singing songs without words

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Indeed, but the (vital) context was missing. So all I said (or pretended to - context again) was "there might be a problem as Rover's wording stood. That's all. Funny intention included in my comment, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There is no problem. If you don't know the words [to the song], just la-la it [it = the song].
    I heard it from someone says it called (sounds words), I dont know (doubt) there is sound but without words

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: singing songs without words

    There is the term 'scat singing', but this is not just 'la-la'ing when you don't know the words. It's the creative use of vocal sounds in a musical context: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong did it.

    b

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