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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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31 Liederwurst
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that producing Liederwurst is neither communicative nor vocally arresting, and that the potential for the communication of the poetry and the music depends upon vocal sound, not on parodistic vocalism. In singing, professional preparation requires good coaching from persons who understand requirements unique to the several vocal repertories. To apply a single singing style to the Lieder of Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, and Hugo Wolf is to misunderstand the musical and romantic progression of a century. Yet, it is not uncommon to hear well-intentioned public instruction in which young professional singers are admonished to sing Lieder in a fashion that is fundamentally nonvocal. Expressive vocal sound is dependent on the well-functioning physical vocal instrument as its medium, and it confuses desirable nuance with undesirable vocal mannerism.

Keywords:   singing, Liederwurst, poetry, music, vocal sound, vocalism, singing style, Lieder, vocal instrument

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