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The Human Nature of the Singing Voice: Exploring a Holistic Basis for Sound Teaching and Learning

Peter T Harrison

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Product Details
19 Oct 2006
Dunedin Academic Press
256 pages - 234 x 156 x 23mm
Human beings have a deeply ingrained desire to sing, and the human voice has inspired composers to write some of their most beautiful music. But what is 'the true singing voice'? Why do some voices 'work' while others do not? How do we 'discover' our singing voice, and how can singing teachers most effectively train their pupils' voices when it seems such a demanding individual and personal matter? Peter Harrison starts from the holistic principle that human beings are 'designed' to sing and believes that through our voices we are able to communicate our collective as well as our individual humanity. In "The Human Nature of the Singing Voice" he offers a fresh and lively insight to the understanding of the voice with which we were born for those who seek a comprehensive and sustainable basis for their work. In this major new exploration the author interrelates all aspects of singing, including breathing, emotional expression, the articulation of words and musical interpretation. He also outlines what can be expected of those responsible for teaching singers and of those eager to learn. Invaluable to teachers and singers, and of more than passing interest to all those who work with singers and care for their voices, "The Human Nature of the Singing Voice" provides thought provoking ideas on how we can learn to liberate and enjoy our voice whilst offering practical advice for the proper maintenance of the voice in our daily life and professional work.
Pt I: 1 Sounds of Life; 2 Sounds Intelligible; 3 The Stifled Cry; 4 Bowing to Life; 5 The Inspiration of Life; 6 Unavoidable Conclusions. Pt II: 7 Making Connections; 8 Mixed Objectives; 9 Vocal Liberation; 10 Training Ground; 11 Hearing our Way; 12 Trial and Error; 13 Muscle Training and Fitness; 14 Singers' Health; 15 Gurus or Guides? (Teaching); 16 A Clean Slate (Learning). Pt III: 17 Attributes of the Liberated Voice; 18 Attraction and Repulsion; 19 Being Fully Prepared; 20 Going Deeper; 21 The Ego and the Egoist. Pt IV: Back and Beyond - Redefining Bel Canto: 22 Healthy Communication; 23 Redefining Bel Canto; 24 Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty. Postlude. Endnotes. Bibliography
Peter Harrison has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a singing teacher having taught at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School in London and led voice seminars and workshops throughout the world. Peter's long list of pupils includes some of the most notable names in opera and the wider musical world. For the past five years he has been Resident Professor of Singing and Director of Vocal Studies for the Estudio de Opera do Porto, Casa da Musica, Portugal

'Harrison manages to successfully combine thought-provoking ideas on how to liberate and enjoy our voice while at the same time offering practical advice for the care and maintenance of the voice... required reading for the singing professional.'

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