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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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Please Tell Me My Fach

Please Tell Me My Fach

64 Please Tell Me My Fach
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter comments on the tendency of preprofessional singers, such as those enrolled in performance degree programs or the preparing for careers through private study, to know what specific vocal category they belong to based on the German-theater Fach system. The word Fach refers to any specialized work or skill. In the German-language theater, Fach refers to a specialized category of opera role, such as dramatic soprano, soubrette, Heldentenor, lyric tenor, bass-baritone, etc., within one of the chief vocal categories. In the professional world, Fach designation is a device for the contractual protection of the singer so that he or she will not be forced to sing roles that require unhealthy modes of phonation to accomplish. It is quite another matter to burden the college-age student with Fach exactitude. Maturation of the singing voice follows a developmental continuum. It is rarely possible for a teacher of singing or a vocal coach precisely to pinpoint a singer's Fach during the early years of vocal training. Besides, much of the vocal literature does not require Fach categorization.

Keywords:   singer, Fach, theater, opera, vocal categories, phonation, singing voice, singing, vocal training

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