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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

 Read More Articles About: Art Of Singing

Vocal Hygiene From The Musical Point Of View

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

A well-placed voice is not afraid of work, does not suffer from it, and is not subject to disagree-able professional accidents. A voice is well placed only when its strength is in harmony with its carrying power. It is all a question of securing natural tone production.

How to Practice.—Sing according to the voice you have not the one you have not. Do not persist in practicing for notes not yet matured, not ready, for it will result in breaks in the voice, and you may lose that note forever along with others. Develop and make sure of your "G," the "A" will appear later. Practice easily and take time to develop your range, so that gradually you will gain a voice which will be equalized, healthy and sure and of sufficient range.

Do not work when fatigued or if you are not sure of yourself. But if you feel yourself in form, practice as long as you consider you are progressing.

Do not measure the strength of the voice by the effort that it costs. And at the least constraint, at the least difficulty, release the voice, sing farther off still (not stronger).

When the voice seems as if it were going to fail you, don't "pinch."

Vocalize in full timbre upon all vowels, and with as much more "carry" as you sing more quickly or higher.

The testiture or easy range has a certain center of gravity which by no means should be sacrificed for the notes at the extreme ends of the voice. This center of gravity in the testiture may fall or rise during practice; but Nature must attend to that herself. Depend upon it, she will not be paralyzed in her movements when the voice is used in a free manner.

For every strained effect, the singer must pay, and pay dearly. Mistakes in practicing are not easily repaired.

When studying songs, if you find a difficult phrase, for which your voice is not sufficiently advanced, change the song. By continuous practice on a phrase, song, or aria, for which the voice is not ready, you will injure it seriously. The voice develops by practicing things it finds easy, and is injured by any premature effort.

How Long to Practice.—The necessity for repose in vocal practice depends mostly upon the expenditure of strength. It is possible to practice a long time without danger, but with small intervals of rest. The human voice can stand easily several hours' work daily, but only when the tone is free. The darkened and wrongly reinforced voices are a great strain upon the muscles. Free exercises develop the free voice. Do not fail to practice in the mornings, always remembering to sing "freely."

How Long to Study.—The celebrated singer and vocal teacher of the eighteenth century, Pacchierotti, when asked by his pupil, the great tenor, Rubini, about the length of time necessary for the study, answered : "The study of our art is too long for our life. When young we have the voice but lack the schooling, afterward we get the schooling but lose the voice."

When Should the Vocal Education Be Started?—If the pupil does not abuse the various vocal reinforcements, if he endeavors to develop and not to change the quality or timbre of his voice, if he tries to sing "wide spacious far and large" without trying to sing strongly, if he sings with the voice which nature at that period has given him without trying prematurely to gain volume and range, something that is dependent upon the maturity of the body in other words, if the pupil sings only with a free voice the sooner he or she starts vocal education the better.

It is possible to sing well and without harm even though the pupil be not entirely matured. It is logical that a perfectly natural vocal exercise cannot fail to assist in the development of a voice destined for a singing career. But when a wrong method of singing is applied, a young and not entirely developed throat will soon and forever be ruined.

Every premature effort to impose upon the voice notes for which it is not ready results in disaster. On the contrary, however, practicing in free voice will progressively add more and more notes to the range without danger to those you already have.

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