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The Child-Voice in Singing treated from a physiological and a practical standpoint and especially adapted to schools and boy choirs   By: (1858-)

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[Transcriber’s Note:

A few pages in Chapter VI (Vowels) contain characters that will only display correctly in unicode (utf 8) text readers: ā, a̤, ē, Ī, ō, Ū (“long” vowels) ă, ĕ, ĭ, o͡o (“short” vowels)

The “flat” symbol ♭ is also used a few times. Sharps are shown with the “number” sign instead of the less widely available ♯.

If any of these characters do not display properly in particular, if the diacritic does not appear directly above the letter or if the quotation marks in this paragraph appear as garbage, make sure your text reader’s “character set” or “file encoding” is set to Unicode (UTF 8). You may also need to change the default font.

In the printed text, all musical references including single notes showing pitch were shown on a musical staff. In this e text, these brief passages are shown in brackets as [Music: e' e''], where c' c'' is the octave beginning at middle C. Durations are not significant and have generally been omitted.

Within illustrations, text in {braces} was added by the transcriber. Typographical errors are listed at the end of the e text.]


Treated From

A Physiological and a Practical Standpoint and Especially Adapted to Schools and Boy Choirs


Supervisor of Music in the Public Schools and Choirmaster of St. John’s and Trinity Churches, Bridgeport, Conn.


New York: The H. W. Gray Co. Sole Agents For NOVELLO & CO., Ltd., London Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1895 By F. E. HOWARD

Copyright, 1898 By NOVELLO, EWER & CO.

Copyright renewed, 1923


One of the most encouraging signs of the growth of musical taste and understanding at the present time as regards the singing of children, is the almost unanimous acquiescence of choirmasters, supervisors, teachers, and others in the idea that children should sing softly, and avoid loud and harsh tones; and the author ventures to hope that the first edition of this book has helped, in a measure at least, to bring about this state of opinion.

It is true that for a long time the art of training children’s voices has been well understood by choirmasters of vested choirs, and by many others, but its basis was purely empirical.

Something more, however, than the dictum of individual taste and judgment is needed to convince the educators of our schools of the wisdom of any departure from established customs and practices. The primary end, then, of the author has been to show a scientific basis for the use of what is herein called the head voice of the child, and to adduce, from a study of the anatomy and physiology of the larynx and vocal organs, safe principles for the guidance of those who teach children to sing.

The conditions under which music is taught in schools call for an appeal to the understanding first, and taste afterward. These conditions are:

First, the actual teaching of music is done by class room or grade teachers. The special teacher, who usually supervises also, visits each room, it may be as often as once a week, but in most towns and cities not oftener than once in three or four weeks. At any rate the class form their ideals and habits from the daily lessons, which are given by their grade teacher.

Second, these teachers in the great majority of cases acquire their knowledge of music through teaching it, and must also, it can easily be understood, develop a sense of discrimination in musical matters in the same way... Continue reading book >>

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