Art Of Singing:
Natural Tone Production
Vocal Hygiene From The Musical Point Of View
Peculiarities Of Tone Incident To Different Nationalities
Anatomy, Physiology And Hygiene Of The Vocal-organs
Hygiene Of Voice
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Natural Tone Production
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Forward Voice.—The mouth, or better stated, the lips, are the last of our vocal organs participating in the control of tones, before they come in contact with the air. This fact suggested the calling of the forward voice "voice on the lips" (French, Voix labiale) (Italian, Voce sulle labbra).
The forward voice seems to comply with the vocal traditions of all the great masters, as well as meeting the requirements of today.
In this voice the maximum of vocal intention is directed upon the forward mouth ; it is a voice free of any constriction and is based on perfect equilibrium or balance in the distribution of the work upon the breath, larynx and resonating cavities. The voice carries even with slight pressure, and being forward, in the region of the proper articulators, maintains its verbal distinctness. In short, it is a voice which demands the least in effort, while giving the most in effect. Recalling to mind Rubini's remark in the introduction of this book, it is the only voice which permits singing on the interest and conserving the capital of the voice.
The voice thus produced can be sent in any direction the singer requires. It is also ideal for public speakers, etc.; in fact for all who use their voices professionally. In this production the tone is focused entirely outside and away from the singer. The total abandonment of all "in-ward" thoughts, which tend invariably to con-strict tone production, is exemplified in the mental attitude of directing the tone to its point of destination, in the same way as the marksman takes aim at a target. In this way our ear learns to grasp the sound at its destination instead of at its origination; the voice adjusts itself spontaneously and automatically to the mental attitude. It is the free voice. To the hearer this voice gives the sensation of coming from the center of the audience. It is a voice that will surely and always master the conditions of all halls or auditoriums.
Voice has value only at the point to which it is addressed, namely, the audience. Sound is judged from the same angle as the scenery, the make-up of the actors, the tableau effects, etc. Just as it does not matter how these things look "close up," the test of the voice is its sound at the required distance. It can no more be properly heard near by than can an oil painting be closely scrutinized. Where it is intended that the voice should have a maximum of effect, there is the place at or from which the voice should be analyzed.
The Full Voice.—This production is the same as that of the "forward mouth" with the exception that it is deepened and widened to embrace maximum power. It is characterized by a proper balance of vocal effort, distributed among all the resonating surfaces. It combines the maximum of effect with the minimum of effort. The tone carries, with all its good qualities. In this voice it is impossible for the hearer as well as for the singer to know what parts of the vocal organs give the most powerful reinforcement, the vocal equilibrium is so well maintained.