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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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Sharpening Up Some Old Pedagogical Saws

Sharpening Up Some Old Pedagogical Saws

(p.75) 25 Sharpening Up Some Old Pedagogical Saws
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers a number of expressions in vocal pedagogy that can be placed under the heading “old saws” and can be sharpened up. Old voice-teaching saws exist because they embody concepts held essential or useful to accomplishing the tasks of singing. Many have been around for a long time; some are more recent. Almost all describe sensations experienced by singers or are based on physical actions that look as if they ought to work. Some are useful and others are harmless. There are also saws that induce malfunction of the vocal instrument; if they cannot be eradicated, they can at least be sharpened up. This chapter discusses three groups of old saws that correspond to the three parts of the singing instrument itself: breath management, laryngeal activity, and factors of resonation.

Keywords:   vocal pedagogy, old saws, singing, vocal instrument, breath management, laryngeal activity, resonation

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