Vocal Mastery eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 207 pages of information about Vocal Mastery.

Shall the young singer practice with half or full voice seems a matter depending on one’s individual attainments.  De Luca uses full power during practice, while Raisa sings softly, or with medium, tone, during study hours, except occasionally when she wishes to try out certain effects.  Martinelli states he always practices with full voice, as with half voice he would not derive the needed benefit.  Mme. Easton admits she does not, as a rule, use full voice when at work; but adds, this admission might prove injurious to the young singer, for half voice might result in faulty tone production.  Anna Case says when at work on a song in her music room, she sings it with the same power as she would before an audience.  She has not two ways of doing it, one for a small room and another for a large one.  Mr. Duval advises the young pupil to sing tones as loudly and deeply as possible.  Singing pianissimo is another fallacy for a young voice.  This is one of the most difficult accomplishments, and should be reserved for a later period.  Oscar Saenger:  “The tone should be free, round and full, but not loud.”


Does the singer really hear himself is a question which has been put to nearly every artist.  Many answered in a comparative negative, though with qualifications.  Miss Farrar said: 

“No, I do not actually hear my voice, except in a general way, but we learn to know the sensations produced in throat, head, face, lips and other parts of the anatomy, which vibrate in a certain manner to correct tone production.  We learn the feeling of the tone.”  “I can tell just how I am singing a tone or phrase,” says De Luca, “by the feeling and sensation; for of course I cannot hear the full effect; no singer can really hear the effect of his work, except on the records.”  “The singer must judge so much from sensation, for she cannot very well hear herself, that is, she cannot tell the full effect of what she is doing,” says Anna Case.  Mr. Witherspoon says:  “The singer of course hears himself and with study learns to hear himself better.  The singer should depend more on hearing the sound he makes than on feeling the sound.  In other words, train the ear, the court of ultimate resort, and the only judge, and forget sensation as much as possible, for the latter leads to a million confusions.”


Farrar:  “A thing that is mastered must be really perfect.  To master vocal art, the singer must have so developed his voice that it is under complete control; then he can do with it what he wishes.  He must be able to produce all he desires of power, pianissimo, accent, shading, delicacy and variety of color.”

Galli-Curci:  “To sum up:  the three requirements of vocal mastery are:  Management of the Larynx; Relaxation of the Diaphragm; Control of the Breath.  To these might be added a fourth:  Mixed Vowels.  But when these are mastered, what then?  Ah, so much more it can never be put into words.  It is self-expression through the medium of tone, for tone must always be a vital part of the singer’s individuality, colored by feeling and emotion.  To perfect one’s own instrument, must always be the singer’s joy and satisfaction.”

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Vocal Mastery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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