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On the Art of Singing$
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Richard Miller

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195098259.001.0001

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Woofy Baritones and Tinny Tenors

Woofy Baritones and Tinny Tenors

10 Woofy Baritones and Tinny Tenors
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the baritone in relation to the tenor. A baritone presents himself in competition with one of the standard arias from the Operatic Anthology, emitting a cavernous, sepulchral timbre. A competing tenor produces a twangy, metallic sound that seems to amalgamate the properties of brass and tin through a catalyst of nasality. One commonly encountered viewpoint is that in order to comply with the aesthetics that determine vocal coloration in each Fach (category), the basic function of the instrument must be altered. In such pedagogical orientations, tenors use one technique of singing and baritones another, as do sopranos and mezzos. Woofy baritones, tinny tenors, strident sopranos, and bovine mezzos can never replace healthy voices that sound like baritones, tenors, sopranos and mezzos because their instruments work efficiently, and therefore freely.

Keywords:   vocal coloration, tenors, singing, baritones, sopranos, mezzos

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