A History of Vocal Pedagogy: Intuition and Science (Paperback)Joseph Talia (author)
Paperback Published: 01/05/2015
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This book has been written for voice teachers, vocal researchers, serious vocal students and vocal connoisseurs. It documents the development of vocal principles chronologically by examining the ideas and techniques of the great masters over the last four hundred and fifty years. This period began with Maffei's first physiological treatise in 1564, traversed the golden era of the Castrati, such as Farinelli and Caffarelli, Bernacchi Senesino and Pacchierotti, and ended with the remarkable artistic and technical achievements of Caruso, Callas, Sutherland, Horne and Pavarotti. It is the objective of this book not only to present the ideas of the great masters chronologically and systematically, but more importantly to analyze them through the prism of contemporary aesthetics and musical and scientific developments. In the process, through its incessant quest for enduring historical truth, combined with current scientific research, the book serves as both a filter and prioritizing system.It does so by recommending the historical ideas that have weathered the scrutiny of time, whilst at the same time guiding the student through the potential minefield of dangerous ideas whose sparkle and glitter have for long deceived us. We see that attractive ideas are not always right, and controversial ones are sometimes worth fighting for. From a technical point of view, the book traces the history of such important topics as the transition from the "sostegno system" of breath management to the "appoggio system", the latter is definitely more appropriate to the dramatic requirements of Wagner, Verdi and the Verismo repertoire. The book also elucidates the debate on vocal registers and whether they are essentially, as Garcia suggests, purely a "glottal phenomenon" or whether, as Giovanni Lamperti and Herman Klein suggest, supraglottal events also play a substantial role. In addition, the book addresses in depth the controversy over Garcia's "coup de glotte", and assiduously assesses the importance of articulation and pronunciation over the centuries, culminating in an explanation of formants in general and the singing formant in particular.Finally, Dr Talia recognizes the contributions to the art and the science of great masters of the past, such as Bernacchi, Porpora, Tosi, Mancini, the Garcias, the Lampertis and the Marchesis, as well as vocal scientists including Van den Berg, Vennard, Hirano, Fant, Titze, and Sundberg, among others. From the Author A History of Vocal Pedagogy is the first of two books (the second, Voice Science for Elite Singers is published simultaneously) which present a complete body of knowledge by combining the techniques of old masters with the findings of vocal scientists in the second. Inherent in this structure is paying tribute to the old masters for their wondrous contribution to their vocal art, whilst at the same time acknowledging that there is all this new physiological and scientific knowledge out there that is waiting to be discovered and assimilated into our teaching. The point is that it doesn't matter that scientific research has changed the way we teach vocal technique today relative to how we did it fifty or even a hundred years ago. What matters is that it is available, it is accessible, it is reliable and it would be a shame to hide our head in the sand.The books present a complete body of work with authority, with color and on occasions with a style that is more reminiscent of one of the old masters such as Nicolo Porpora, Garcia Pere and the older Lamperti rather the measured academic and politically correct approach too often on display in the early twenty-first century. This is a unique approach in our times, when more and more people approach our art from a team teaching point of view, where everybody is good at something but nobody is great at anything. More importantly, very few teachers take responsibility for the final product as a whole, and even fewer believe it is their responsibility to inspire students towards greatness. The authority for these books comes from a deep knowledge and appreciation of historical pedagogy and a genuine affection for the old masters, but this alone would not be enough. What makes the work really important is a deep commitment to developing and incorporating new knowledge into the existing strategy. It does so, however, from the perspective of one of the old masters. It asks the question, What would Porpora, Garcia or Lamperti do with this knowledge?; and how would they teach it to their students?The answers to these questions can only be provided by a knowledgeable, passionate, historically aware, and accomplished vocal teachers.
Publisher: Compton Publishing Ltd
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm
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