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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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Mysteries and Miracles

Mysteries and Miracles

(p.68) 23 Mysteries and Miracles
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the use of “mystery” techniques in voice lessons and whether they will produce miracles for the student. It argues that skillful singing depends on repeatable maneuvers that permit artistic imagination to emerge, and not on mysterious maneuvers that are magically elicited through Svengalian influences. The presence of an audience, and the excitement generated by performance circumstances, can at times enhance coordination to the improvement of vocal sound (or inhibit it). There is, indeed, a kind of magic that surrounds an excellent performance; performer and listener experience a mysterious unity. But mysteries and miracles are not the source of performance enhancement. The voice teacher who believes he or she is dealing in secret discoveries regarding the technical aspects of singing reveals a lack of information about the voice as an instrument, and knows little of comparative vocal pedagogy.

Keywords:   mystery techniques, voice lessons, singing, performance, voice teacher, voice, vocal pedagogy

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