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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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Diction and Vocal Technique

Diction and Vocal Technique

(p.26) 6 Diction and Vocal Technique
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the importance of diction and vocal technique in singing. The production of vocal sound deals with the acoustic phenomena of vowel differentiation. Physiologically, laryngeal configuration and vocal tract configuration require correspondence if a sung vowel is to be clearly delineated. Trying to “add diction” to preexistent vocal sound violates the processes of both the tone and vowel differentiation. If permitted, the vocal tract filter (the resonator tube that extends from the vocal folds to the lips) will reinforce the acoustic potential inherent in each vowel by assuming the natural shapes of the resonance cavities appropriate to that vowel. The mouth and pharynx will match laryngeal vowel formation. Good singing is the result of laryngeal action and the corresponding shapes of the resonator tube. One may adopt a “diction” approach as the basis of good vocal pedagogy only if it means that vowel definition and consonant occurrences are produced phonetically, thereby inducing matching laryngeal and vocal tract adjustments.

Keywords:   diction, vocal technique, singing, vocal sound, vocal tract, tone, resonator tube, vocal pedagogy, vowel, consonant

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