Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices

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Perhaps the most renowned writer in the field of vocal pedagogy, Richard Miller has delivered a new and outstanding contribution to the study of vocal technique in Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices. The first thorough and comprehensive treatment of low male voices, this book draws on techniques and practical advice from Miller's years of professional experience as a performer and pedagogue.

With a unique focus on "securing" the technical stability of the male voice, the book offers practical advice to students, their teachers, and professional performers, through numerous practical exercises and repertoire suggestions appropriate to various stages of development. Miller synthesizes historic vocal pedagogy with the latest research on the singing voice, always emphasizing the special nature of the male voice and the proper physiological functioning for vocal proficiency. An indispensable guide to male low voices, this book is an essential text for performers, aspiring performers, and instructors alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What a masterpiece! A world of information about our art, presented clearly and charmingly. It should be read and studied, not just by bass clef singers, but by all singing teachers and every one really interested in singing." —Dale Moore, Past President, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Professor of Music (Voice) Indiana University

"Richard Miller's Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices is unsurpassed in its clarity and logic in defining the lower male singing voices. His method based on Italianate School vocal development, and supported by scientific voice research, Miller leads you step by step through the vocal process of development, to the point of applying it to the creative process of interpreting vocal literature. He leaves no page unturned. Clearly, this is a singer's manual like no other and a must for emerging and performing artists-bravo!" —-Donald Bell-international baritone-Professor, the University of Calgary

"As with his other books, this is an essential text for serious students and teachers of the art of singing. Concentrating on the low male voice, it is thoroughly researched, clearly presented and accurate in its descriptions of efficient and beautiful voice production. It is the only significant text with this focus I have ever seen and it will be on my desk-for use by my students and myself-for the rest of my career." —David Small, Baritone, Associate Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of Texas, School of Music

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195322651
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/19/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,002,766
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Miller is Professor Emeritus of Singing at Oberlin Conservatory. A visionary force in the uniting of tradition and the acoustics of the singing voice, he is the author of many books on voice pedagogy, literature, and performance, including The Art of Singing (1996), Training Soprano Voices (2000), Singing Schumann (1999), and Solutions for Singers (2004).

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Table of Contents

Who Is a Baritone? Who a Bass-Baritone? Who a Bass?     3
How to Determine a Male Voice Category     4
The Lyric Baritone     9
The Verdi Baritone     9
The Nonoperatic Baritone     10
The Baritenor     10
The Bass-Baritone     11
The Bass     11
Beginning in the Speech-Inflection Range (the Onset)     13
Making the Transition from Speech to Song     14
Managing the Breath     17
The Respiratory Cycle     17
Breath Management Methods     18
The Role of the Diaphragm     18
The Thorax     19
The Abdominal Musculature     19
Appoggio     20
Alerting the Singer to the Appoggio Experience     21
"Farinelli's Exercise"     25
Breath-Management Literature Examples for the Young Singer     27
Vowel Definition and the chiaroscuro     35
The Role of Spectral Analysis     35
The Vowel Series and Their Formants     36
The Singer's Formant     37
"Voice Placement"     38
Voce finta     38
Securing the Chiaroscuro Tone     39
The Role of theTongue     39
Using the Front and Back Vowel Series     39
Using Consonant Pairs to Induce Correct Tongue Postures     41
More on the Retroflex Tongue     43
The Role of the Jaw     44
The Role of the Facial Elevator Muscles     45
The Role of the Larynx as a Resonator     47
Dealing with Tension in the Lips, the Jaw, the Tongue, and the Neck     47
Using the Nasal Continuants in Balancing the Chiaroscuro     51
Vowel Modification ("Cover"), Energization, and Range Equalization     56
Moving into Middle Voice (zona di passaggio) and Above     60
Zona di passaggio Exercises for Lyric and Dramatic Baritone Voices     61
Exercises for Baritone That Prepare for the Region of the secondo passaggio     63
Useful Passages from the Literature     68
For the Bass-Baritone and for the Bass     79
The Agility Factor     86
Agility Passages from the Literature for the Baritone     89
Agility Passages from the Literature for the Bass-Baritone and the Bass     93
Further Consideration of "Resonance" in Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices     100
More on Positioning of the Larynx     102
Securing Laryngeal External-Frame Support      104
Stabilizing the Larynx     106
Pedagogic Uses of Falsetto for Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices     107
The Phenomenon of Vibrato, an Inherent Component of Elite Voice Resonance     114
Establishing Technical Security (Trusting the Body)     118
The Wisdom of the Body     119
Developing an Individual Tonal Concept     123
Dynamic Control, mezza voce, and the messa di voce     126
Voice Viruses (Dealing with Some Common Problems of Male Low Voices)     129
The Unipeeper (Undersinging)     129
The Uniboomer (Oversinging)     130
The Shatterer (Intermittent Breaking in the Passaggio Region)     131
The Wanderer (Flatting and Sharping)     134
The Sausage Maker (Nonlegato Singing)     134
The Univoweler (Diction Distortion)     135
The Sluggard (Sighing and Yawning)     136
The Uniregistrant (The No-Register Singer)     136
Contributing to Performance Effectiveness     137
Obtaining the Axial Position     137
The Role of Physical Quietude in Classical Singing     139
Distinguishing between Resonance and Nasality     140
Introducing the Uses of Strohbass     141
Voce aperta (Open Timbre) and voce chiusa (Closed Timbre), and the Larynx as a Resonator     141
Avoiding voce ingolata (Pharyngeal Timbre)     143
Raccogliere la bocca (una bocca raccolta): Natural Communicative Expression     144
Performance Preparation and Enhancement
Performance Preparation and Enhancement     149
The Developmental Continuum     149
Dealing with Performance Anxiety     150
The Question of Relaxation     151
Marking Properly     153
Prevocal Warm-Up Activity     154
Early Career Preparation and Pursuit     157
Mastering the Art of Communication     160
Daily Regimen and Healthy Vocalism     163
Useful Passages from the Literature     164
Early Repertoire Suggestions     166
A Few Less-Demanding Items for Baritone     166
A Few Less-Demanding Items for Bass-Baritone and Bass     169
Choosing Audition Material     172
A Sampling of a Few Great Baritones, Bass-Baritones, and Basses of the Past and Present Who Serve as Good Models     175
What Should the Well-Equipped Teacher Know?     178
IPA Symbols for Some Sung Vowels, with Model Words     181
The Ten Commandments of Voice Pedagogy (Diagnosing and Prescribing)     182
Glossary      185
Select Bibliography     193
Index     205
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