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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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The Gilda-in-the-Sack School of Singing

The Gilda-in-the-Sack School of Singing

41 The Gilda-in-the-Sack School of Singing
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter comments on the tendency of some singers to produce one constant volume of tone when singing, with no variation of timbre throughout an aria or an evening. “Softness,” a vocal timbre not necessarily related to piano dynamic level, when occasionally introduced in contrast to stabilized timbre, can be exceedingly effective in shaping the character of an aria or song. But except for those instances where imminent death or psychological devastation is to be portrayed, no singer dare continually reduce the innate beauty of vocal tone in the hope of becoming more expressive. No singer can afford extended departures from good vocal timbre in an attempt to be “artistic.” Vocal style and artistry should not rob one of good vocalism. Producing tone appropriate to the dying Gilda is not the way to sing publicly.

Keywords:   singer, tone, aria, softness, vocal timbre, vocal style, artistry, vocalism, singing

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