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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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Singing the mélodie

Singing the mélodie

29 Singing the mélodie
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how the mélodie should be sung. When it comes to singing French music, some non-French singers misjudge both the French people and their song literature. There seems to be a prevailing assumption among North American singers (and their teachers) that the literature of the mélodie is precious and fragile, and one should therefore avoid using one's normal singing voice in performance. This is because of the extraordinary attention directed to poetic meter, to accent, and to the complexities of language intonation on the part of most composers of the mélodie. Understatement is a characteristic of much of the mélodie literature, but emotional noninvolvement and withdrawal from vocalism are not the ways to achieve that restraint. No singer should diminish vocal beauty in order to perform the demanding mélodie literature. That would diminish the music and the vocalism.

Keywords:   mélodie, singing, French music, singing voice, vocalism, music

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