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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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Covering in the Singing Voice

Covering in the Singing Voice

3 Covering in the Singing Voice
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the notion of covering in the singing voice. It first considers what “covering” may mean in the several languages and pedagogical traditions in which the term appears and how various methods of “covering” relate to actual physical and acoustic events. It then looks at copertura, a technique of subtle adjustment (aggiustamento) of vocal timbre that produces the equalized scale in mounting pitch. Within the fabric of the complete scale, a vowel will modify toward its nearest neighbor through acoustic adjustment dependent on graduated mouth opening, while the basic resonator-tract shape for each targeted vowel is maintained. This process avoids heavy mechanical changes at the level of the larynx or within the resonator system. Vowel modification avoids the segmenting of the vocal scale that is so often audible in systems of heavy and early “cover.” However, “open” singing can be equally damaging to the vocal instrument and is not an acceptable alternative to heavy covering.

Keywords:   covering, singing voice, singing, copertura, vocal timbre, pitch, vowel, acoustic adjustment, vowel modification, open singing

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