As a singing technique popularized by famous singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Jazzmeia Horn, scatting has had a long and ever-changing history.
Scatting began with improvised vocables in Jazz music beginning around the late 1920’s and really evolved in the 1960’s. While the art-form started with some simple moving vocal pieces along typical scales, the development of scatting normalized using ‘non-musical’ sounds such as screams, cries, and laughter as musical additions. Pop culture, at one point, was so interested in the singing style that it helped make the Disney movie song “I Wan’na Be Like You” from The Jungle Book one of the most popular and well-known songs of the century.
Vocal Workout teacher and curator, Alyson Williams has certainly incorporated scatting into her performances (as seen in the Instagram video at MISTHarlem above) and shows us how fun it can be! Scatting is now extremely complex with focuses on vocal imitation of instruments and bouncing intervals.
Do you think scatting should be a singing style in the forefront of music today? Let us know in the comments and on our social media pages – we’d love to hear what you think!