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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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In Search of the Tenth Rib

In Search of the Tenth Rib

78 In Search of the Tenth Rib
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the importance of the area below the tenth rib in singing. A major part of vocal pedagogy is directed toward the coordination of breath with laryngeal action. Not all techniques of singing are in agreement as to how best to accomplish that coordination. Varying systems of “breath support” may offer completely opposing views on how to manage the breath for the tasks of singing. Still others avoid the whole controversy by ignoring how airflow rates affect phonation. Two common techniques of breath management are the “down and out” and the “up and in” approaches, in which specific kinds of abdominal actions are recommended. Perhaps the most prominent and efficient approach to breath coordination in singing is the appoggio technique, in which expansion takes place in the lateral and anterior (side and front) abdominal wall, just below the rib cage, that is, below the tenth rib.

Keywords:   tenth rib, singing, vocal pedagogy, phonation, breath management, appoggio, abdominal wall, rib cage

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