Exploring Twentieth-Century Vocal Music: A Practical Guide to Innovations in Performance and Repertoire

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The vocal repertoire of the twentieth century—including works by Schoenberg, Boulez, Berio, Larsen, and Vercoe—presents exciting opportunities for singers to stretch their talents and demonstrate their vocal flexibility. Contemporary composers can be very demanding of vocalists, requiring them to recite, trill, and whisper, or to read non-traditional scores. For singers just beginning to explore the novelties of the contemporary repertoire, Exploring Twentieth-Century Vocal Music is an ideal guide.
Drawing on over thirty years of experience teaching and performing the twentieth century repertoire, Sharon Mabry has written a cogent and insightful book for singers and voice teachers who are just discovering the innovative music of the twentieth century. The book familiarizes readers with the new and unusual notation systems employed by some contemporary composers. It suggests rehearsal techniques and vocal exercises that help singers prepare to tackle the repertoire. And the book offers a list of the most important and interesting works to emerge in the twentieth century, along with suggested recital programs that will introduce audiences as well as singers to this under-explored body of music.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"From Ives to Berio, and Cowell to Libby Larsen, she has given an excellent summary of works by twentieth-century composers and the performance challenges they present...Mabry's book is a superb find for solo singer and choral conductor. It is highly recommended, as is her approach to twentieth-century vocal music.—Choral Journal

"[A]n invaluable polemic for and introduction to singing the still insufficiently known vocal repertoire of the 20th century....Essential."—CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195141986
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Mabry is an accomplished mezzo-soprano who has established a distinguished career as a recitalist and soloist with symphony orchestras and has performed at international festivals, premiering the works of over thirty contemporary composers. She is currently Professor of Music at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I New Directions 1
1 The Art of Singing Twentieth Century Music 5
2 Choosing Appropriate Repertiore 14
3 Vocal Requirements of Twenth-Century Music: Common Characteristics 28
4 Vocal Coloration 39
Pt. II Nontraditional Notation and Extended Vocal Techniques 53
5 The New Language of Notation 59
6 Vocal Hybrids: Sprechstimme and Recitation 77
7 Nontextual Sonic Vocabularies 105
8 Vocal Effects 122
Pt. III Repertoire Choices 141
App. A: Sample Programs 143
App. B: Suggested Repertoire 154
App. C: Sources For Composer and Score Location 181
Bibliography 187
Index 189
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