The Student Voice: An Introduction to Developing the Singing Voice
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- 15 Jul 2010
- Dunedin Academic Press
- 176 pages - 234 x 156 x 15mm
This book is written for students of singing. Whilst primarily designed for undergraduate and graduate level students, it will also be of use to mature singers and to those already in the singing profession, who simply want to keep their technique and knowledge alive. Over a successful career as a singing teacher for more than a quarter of a century, Colin Baldy has been frustrated by the lack of suitable reading materials aimed specifically at the student of the singing voice. He hopes that this book will be a useful resource, not only to students, but also to their teachers who undoubtedly receive frequent requests for such a book. The book includes a certain amount of physiology, enough but not too much, with suggested exercises and methods for developing the correct use of that physiology. It suggests a suitable repertoire to run alongside the exercises, and contains a large amount of trouble-shooting advice. The author's intention is to encourage the singing student and to assist them in avoiding common pitfalls. It is also hoped that the book may help singers to identify vocal problems which they may already have developed.
Foreword; Introduction; Section 1: Developing the Voice; 1. How Easy is Singing? What is singing? - Text, emotion, body - Using the text - The emotional response - Finding the text within ourselves - The body: the physical response; 2.A blank canvas: Looking after yourself - Diet - Preparing to Sing - Give yourself time - Muscular Memory - What is a 'varnished' voice and how does it arise?- Can we remove the 'varnish', and should we worry?- Taking care at the start - First steps - Posture - An open throat - Gentle stretching of the vocal folds; 3. The concept of support: Supporting from the abdomen rather than the diaphragm - How tiring does singing need to be?4. Support in practice: Releasing the breath - Breath release in practice - Using the back muscles - Exercising; 5. Placing the voice: Resonance - Locating resonating cavities - Facial and head resonance - Exercise 5.1 - Chest resonance - Amplifying the sound - The soft palate - Avoiding a dropped soft palate - What does a raised soft palate look like? - Tongue position and the soft palate - Tenor/baritone and soprano/mezzo-soprano problems - What we hear and what we actually sound like - Checking the position of the soft palate and the tongue - The bulk of the vocal folds - Identifying a slightly dropped soft palate - - and a completely raised soft palate - Creating overtones - Placing and support - Brighter sounds and chest resonance - Breathy tone - Vocal onset: starting the sound; 6. The Tongue and the Larynx: Problems arising from a habitual dark sound - Supporting in the throat - A hard tone - Good positioning of the tongue - A released larynx - Tilting the larynx; 7. The falsetto and its importance to all voice types: The importance of this falsetto, and how it helps; 8. The messa di voce, vocal registers and the passaggio: Vocal registers - The risks of breaking the voice into sections at an early age - Moving into adulthood - Developing the messa di voce: some excercises - Moving from falsetto to full voice: the physiology - Applying this in singing - Upper vocal range: the passaggio - Marking; 9. Hearing Your Own Voice: Acoustic perception - Another pair of ears - The need for patience. Section 2: The process of vocal training: 10. From child to adult: Taking care of young voices; 11. Vocal Pedagogy: Singing in schools - Children singing opera - Vocal pedagogy through the ages - Manuel Garcia - Frederick Husler - Jo Estill - Conclusion; 12. Artistry in Singing: Using the Text: Good diction - Exercise: thinking about vowels - Case study - Understanding the text - Singing in foreign languages - The meaning of the words - Text in opera - Text in oratorio - Using text in contemporary music; 13. Repertoire with purpose: Repertoire or exercises? - Pure vowels and a simple line - Giuseppe Giordano: 'Caro mio ben' - Italian vowels - Learning to sing in French - Henri Duparc: 'Extase' - Singing with control - Faure: 'Claire de lune' - Releasing tightness in the throat - Wagner: 'O du mein holder Abendstern' (and preceding recitative) - Involvement and excitement - Charles Gounod: 'L'air des bijoux' - Jules Massenet: 'Va laisser couler mes larmes' - The passaggio - Edouard Lalo : 'Vainement, ma bien-aimee' - Growing the sound - Donizetti: 'Una furtiva lagrima' - Handel arias - Bach arias - Imagination and choice of repertoire; 14. Performance: avoiding pitfalls: Preparation - Marking - Will I be heard? - Singing in choirs - Coloratura - Patter arias - Releasing the breath - Dealing with nerves in performance; 15. The Countertenor: a Special Case? The historical background - Castrati - The countertenor in the twentieth century - The vocal production of the countertenor - Finding countertenors; References.
Colin Baldy has taught singing at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Utah State University, Pisa University and a number of summer schools in the UK, France and Italy. From 1990 to 2001 he trained the singers, men and boys, of the world-famous choir of New College, Oxford. He receives frequent invitations to work as visiting professor around the world. A previous book, Voice for Life 5 was published by the Royal School of Church Music in 2002. Colin is a character baritone and an exponent of the songs of Noel Coward.