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Style in Singing   By:

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First Page:

TO MY PUPILS

STYLE IN SINGING

BY

W.E. HASLAM

NEW YORK: G. SCHIRMER 1911

Copyright, 1911 By G. SCHIRMER

22670

PREFATORY NOTE

"Of making many books there is no end." Surely, the weary observation of the sage must have an especial application to the literature of Song.

One could not number the books anatomical, physiological, philosophical on the Voice. A spacious library could easily be furnished with "Methods" of Singing.

Works treating of the laws governing the effective interpretation of instrumental music exist. Some of them, by acknowledged and competent authorities, have thrown valuable light on a most important element of musical art. Had I not believed that a similar need existed in connection with singing, this addition to vocal literature would not have been written.

In a succeeding volume on "Lyric Declamation: Recitative, Song and Ballad Singing," will be discussed the practical application of these basic principles of Style to the vocal music of the German, French, Italian and other national schools.

W.E. HASLAM.

2, rue Maleville, Parc Monceau, Paris, July, 1911.

INTRODUCTION

In listening to a Patti, a Kubelik, a Paderewski, the reflective hearer is struck by the absolute sureness with which such artists arouse certain sensations in their auditors. Moreover, subsequent hearings will reveal the fact that this sensation is aroused always in the same place, and in the same manner. The beauty of the voice may be temporarily affected in the case of a singer, or an instrument of less æsthetic tone quality be used by the instrumentalist, but the result is always the same.

What is the reason of this? Why do great artists always make the same effect and produce the same impression on their public? Why, for instance, did the late Mme. Tietjens, when singing the following passage in Handel's Messiah , always begin with very little voice of a dulled quality, and gradually brighten its character as well as augment its volume until she reached the high G [sharp] which is the culmination, not only of the musical phrase, but also of the tremendous announcement to which it is allied?

[Music: For now is Christ risen, for now is Christ risen.]

This last tone was delivered with the full force and brilliance of her magnificent voice, and was prolonged until the thrill produced in the listener became almost painful in its intensity. Again I ask, why did this world famous singer perform this passage always in the same way? Unreflecting people may reply vaguely that it was because the artist "sang with expression." But what constitutes "expression" in singing? No great artist no matter what the vehicle or medium through which his art finds manifestation does anything at random. "The wind bloweth where it listeth" only in appearance; in reality, it is governed by immutable law. Similarly, the outward form of an art is only apparently dictated by caprice and freedom from rule. The effective presentation of every art is based on well defined and accepted principles. And it is with the earnest desire to throw light on this most important phase of vocal art, that I present the principles of "Style in Singing."

CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFATORY NOTE v

INTRODUCTION vii

CHAPTER I: Elements of Vocal Training 1

Emission of Voice 2

CHAPTER II: The Value of Technique 7

CHAPTER III: Analysis of Style 12

Colour 14

Accent 21

Intensity 27

Phrasing 32

Portamento 37

Variations of Tempo 41

CHAPTER IV: Tradition 44

Pointage 61

CHAPTER V: Répertoire 91

CHAPTER VI: Conclusion 98

STYLE IN SINGING

CHAPTER I

ELEMENTS OF VOCAL TRAINING

If the practical education of the singer be analyzed, it will be found to comprise four fundamental elements:

(1) POSE: or Emission of voice;

(2) TECHNIQUE: or the discipline of the voice considered as a musical instrument;

(3) STYLE: or the application of the laws of artistic taste to the interpretation of vocal music;

(4) RÉPERTOIRE: or the choice, in the literature of vocal music, of works most suited to the voice, temperament and individuality of the particular singer... Continue reading book >>




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