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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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The Law of Contingency and Vocal Pedagogies

The Law of Contingency and Vocal Pedagogies

20 The Law of Contingency and Vocal Pedagogies
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the law of contingency within the context of vocal pedagogy. It tells the story of a rabbit, a hunter, and a young lover. When the hunter takes aim and fires at the rabbit, the amorous young man crosses the trajectory of the bullet. Fortunately for the rabbit, but not so for the lover, the buckshot grazes the latter's buttocks. The rabbit runs back into hiding while the young man is taken by the chagrined hunter to the local clinic for the treatment of a superficial wound. The rabbit's salvation depended on the contingency of the early morning hurry of a young lover and on an overly eager hunter. The law of contingency required that the young man be shot in the backside because he happened by chance to have placed that part of his anatomy in the wrong place at the wrong moment. So it is with much of what the singer has encountered in the way of vocal instruction. He or she gets shot by the particular bullet of vocal pedagogy that comes his/her way.

Keywords:   law of contingency, vocal pedagogy, rabbit, hunter, young lover, singer

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