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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 Lively Dying Art of Singing

The Lively Dying Art of Singing

46 The Lively Dying Art of Singing
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the art of singing, which has been declared dying for more than two and a half centuries, remains remarkably alive. It cannot be denied that there are singers lacking sufficient vocal endowment, adequate technical training, and essential musicianship who make auditions and who advance in major competitions. Yet anyone who frequently adjudicates or attends today's singing contests must report that the general level of artistic singing has improved over the past thirty years. Herbert Witherspoon's comment of more than three quarters of a century ago is an appropriate perspective for the singer and voice teacher of the present decade: “There have always been few good singers and fewer great ones. So a tirade about present-day conditions in comparison with the glorious past is of no use. Let us take the world as we find it. Perhaps if we heard the singers of a century or two ago we should not care for them. We do not know! Our task is with today, not yesterday.”

Keywords:   singing, technical training, musicianship, Herbert Witherspoon, singer, voice teacher

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