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Art Of Singing:


 Classification Of The Voice

 General Conservation Of The Voice


 Breathing Exercises

 Development Of Voice

 Interpretation And Expression

 The Halls

 Defective Voices

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General Conservation Of The Voice

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Proper classification of a voice (in some cases when quality or testiture is injured and abused) may take weeks or even months. It is necessary to let the voice grow normally in strength, in extent, in beauty, in plasticity each branch of the restorative process taking its proper time. To cultivate vocal strength without amplitude (breadth and depth), for example, is to condemn the voice by continued effort to fatal deformity, breaking the harmony of vocal accommodation and upsetting the physiological plan. The same is also true of the other qualities of the vocal tone.

There is no danger in developing the amplitude of the voice, because the amplitude works only with a free voice. It consists in accommodating the resonating walls in a fashion that permits singing "carryingly" and grandly. The voice becomes powerful and large without local effort, without constriction, and soars to the distance desired. Only thus is it possible to obtain perfect harmony and equilibrium among all parts of the vocal machinery.

Breathing, intensity, range, quality or timbre and expression are the fundamentals of a fine voice; therefore I shall analyze them separately. But a warning the order and measure in which they should be applied must be left to the conscientious teacher, for it depends entirely upon each pupil's individuality and vocal peculiarities.

A starting point, so to say, in the adjustment and development of the voice is indicated by a French scientist, Dr. Pierre Bonnier (in a way which I consider exactly right and logical)

The singer should know that he is singing not for himself but for others, that others must hear and understand him. The voice of a singer must first of all have enough carrying power to fill the hall and be heard equally well by the entire audience, and there is only one way to obtain that power the singer must project his voice to a distance, and must learn to hear his voice at the place where others hear it.

I shall often return to this point.

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