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Solutions for Singers: Tools for Performers and Teachers / Edition 1

Solutions for Singers: Tools for Performers and Teachers / Edition 1

by Richard Miller

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ISBN-10: 0195160053

ISBN-13: 9780195160055

Pub. Date: 01/08/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press

While many texts and courses on the art of singing offer comprehensive overviews of technique and performance, few have time to delve into the specific questions they spawn. Solutions for Singers explores these unanswered questions, filling in gaps that professional performers, students of singing, and voice teachers have long sought to close.



While many texts and courses on the art of singing offer comprehensive overviews of technique and performance, few have time to delve into the specific questions they spawn. Solutions for Singers explores these unanswered questions, filling in gaps that professional performers, students of singing, and voice teachers have long sought to close.

Fielding over 200 questions, distinguished teacher and performer Richard Miller tackles problems raised during hundreds of his master classes and pedagogy courses. He deliberately avoids abstract generalities, concentrating instead on specific, recurring questions: What are some good exercises to loosen or relax tension in the back of the tongue? Do you apply the same principles regarding breathing to a younger student that you do to older students? What is meant by voiced and unvoiced consonants? Is there a female falsetto? Through such specialized questions, Miller probes the very essence of artistic expression.

The questions are organized under ten broad topics, which Miller considers from various angles. He couples traditional and modern philosophies to present the most relevant and precise solutions. The result is an invaluable handbook for singers, which, read either sequentially or selectively, provides a unique and pragmatic approach to vocal artistry and technique.

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Oxford University Press
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Edition description:
New Edition
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9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.90(d)
1270L (what's this?)

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Table of Contents

1Breath Management
Appoggio versus Belly Breathing (Bauchaussenstutz)1
Protruding the Stomach Wall4
How Long Should It Take to Acquire the Appoggio?5
Routining the Onset, Silent Breathing Exercises, and the Farinelli Maneuver5
The Short Onset8
Appoggio della Nucca8
Explaining the Appoggio to Junior and Senior High School Students10
La Lotta Vocale11
Rigidity in the Support Mechanism12
Singing on the Gesture of Inhalation13
Atmospheric Pressure and the Singing Voice14
The Breath-Management Candle Test14
Expelling Air from the Lungs16
Leaning on the Breath17
Holding the Breath17
Natural Breathing18
Tanking up for Long Phrases21
Pressed Phonation21
Increasing Energy but Not Volume23
Upper-Dorsal Breathing23
Nose Breathing25
Air Pressure Levels in High and Low Singing26
Correcting High-Breath Emission Levels in Young Female Voices26
Singing on the Breath27
Breathy Singing in Youthful Female Upper Range28
Energy Levels in Tenor and Baritone Voices28
Precision in the Release31
Sensation Associated with Melismatic Movement (the Bouncing Epigastrium)31
Abdominal-Wall Muscle Contact34
Always Noble and Axial?35
Breaking Stance and Shifting the Body Weight36
The Swayback Singer37
The Falling Sternum39
The Garcia Position39
Singing in the Supine Position41
Sitting or Standing to Vocalize?42
Physical Movement during Singing42
Neck Tension44
Can the Head Be Held Too Low?45
Neck Protrusions during Singing45
3Laryngeal and Intralaryngeal Function
Myoelastic/Aerodynamic Source of Vocal-Fold Vibration47
Abduction and Adduction48
Heavy and Light Laryngeal Mechanisms50
False Vocal Folds51
Epiglottic Behavior during Singing54
The Trachea as a Resonator55
Elevating and Lowering the Larynx55
Separating the Thyroid and Cricoid Cartilages?58
Flow Phonation59
Adding Air to Pressed Phonation60
4Resonance Balancing
The Vocal Tract63
Vowel Definition and the IPA Symbols65
Keeping Uniformity of Timbre throughout the Changing Vowel Spectrum66
Voce Aperta and Voce Chiusa67
The Role of Sensation in Singing68
Sympathetic Vibration69
Ear-Cupping as an Acoustic Device70
Formant Information. Why?72
Maintaining the Male 3K (3000 Hz) Factor in Back Vowels73
Maintaining the First Formant (the Oscuro Factor) in Female High Range74
Falling Back on the Vowel /a/75
Dealing with the Vowel /u/76
Using the Good Vowel /u/77
Using Phonetic /oe/ and /o/ Mixtures as Transition Vowels78
Using /ae/ as Pedagogic Assist in Resonance Balancing79
Forward Placement81
Tenor and Baritone Resonances82
Una Bocca Raccolta83
Si Canta come Si Parla; Chi Pronuncia Bene Canta Bene84
The Idiot Jaw84
Three Fingers in the Mouth85
Pulling Down on the Jaw87
Relaxing the Tight Jaw88
TMJ and the Singing Voice89
Submandibular Muscles90
Mouth Shapes in High Piano and Forte91
Sfogato Timbre91
Using the Zygomatic Muscles92
Elevating the Fascia of the Cheek Region93
Faucial Arch94
Upper-Lip Tension95
Directing Attention to the Tongue95
Learned, Habitual, or Natural Tongue Positions?96
Tongue-Point Trill97
Lip Trilling98
External-Frame Support and the Trembling Jaw and Tongue99
Back Tongue Tension102
Retroflex Tongue103
Structure of the Nose105
Flaring the Nostrils and Wrinkling the Forehead106
The Scotch Tape Threat108
Making Space in the Throat?108
Throat Sensation during Singing109
5Nasal Continuants and Nonnasal Consonants
IPA Symbols for Consonants111
Correcting Nasality112
Velum Lowering112
Nasals Followed by Vowels113
Duration of Sung French Nasals114
Voiced and Nonvoiced Consonant Pairs115
Using Pilot Consonants for Adjusting the Resonator Tract115
Anticipatory Consonants116
Consonant Doubling118
Consonants as Assists in Creating Legato118
Ich and Ach119
Learning to Flip and to Roll the /r/ Phoneme120
6The Phenomenon of Vibrato
Free-Swinging Vibrancy121
Identifying and Steadying Vibrato Rate122
Coloratura and Vibrato122
Vibrato in the Young Singer125
Spectrographic Vibrato Display126
Using Straight Tone as a Pedagogic Tool126
Is There a Germanic versus an Italianate Vibrato Rate?127
Fach Designations in the Young Male Voice129
Evaluating Fach Change from Baritone to Tenor132
Chest Voice in the Low-Voiced Male134
Tension Buildup during Soprano High-Lying Phrases135
Narrowing at the Passaggio136
Developing Upper Range137
Low-Range Loss in the Female Voice after High-Range Singing138
How Much Female Chest Is Too Much?140
Early Steps for Developing Female Chest Voice140
Weak Spots in the Female Scale141
The Role of Falsetto in the Tenor Voice143
Is There a Female Falsetto?147
Voce Finta148
Falsetto and Airflow149
More on Falsetto149
Vocal Glissando (Extended Portamento)150
Mezza Voce151
Register Separation152
Vocal Fry157
Baryton Martin158
Young Tenors and Upper Range158
Laryngeal Elevation and Throat Tension at the Tenor Secondo Passaggio159
Laryngeal Elevation at the Baritone Primo Passaggio160
Early Covering in the Young Male Voice160
Vowel Modification at the Male Passaggio162
Extending the Low Range in Young Male Voices163
Inserted /h/ ("ha") in High-Lying Intervallic Tenor Leaps164
Cracking in Male Voices165
Intermittent Cracking on the Male High Note166
8Healthy Singing
The Singing Athlete169
Increasing the Size of the Voice172
Dreadful Speaking Voices173
Obesity and the Appoggio174
Weight Reduction and the Singing Voice175
Water Babies176
Flushing of the Face and Neck177
Voice Rest? When? How Long?178
Sensation of Phlegm at the Male Secondo Passaggio180
Nasal Irrigation181
Inhaling Steam181
Tea, Honey, and Lemon182
Vocal Skill and Vocal Longevity183
9Pedagogy Issues
Establishing or Altering a Tonal Concept187
Syntax of Voice Technique189
National Tonal Preferences190
American School/American Sound?192
Literature Styles and Voice Technique193
The Reluctant Student195
What Is the Best Musical Training for a Singer?197
Repertoire for Beginners199
Musically Unmusical199
The Second Half of the Note201
Exchange of Studio Information201
Pedagogic Justification204
Nurturing the Singing Instrument206
Teaching as Learning208
Teaching Young Voices208
Is One Technique Possible for All?209
Dissimilar Voice Techniques in Performance211
Completing the Technical Work212
Uniting Technique and Literature213
Female and Male Voice Modeling214
Syntactic Doubling in Italian215
Soprano and Mezzo-Soprano Instruction216
Searching for a New Voice Teacher217
Is There a Racial Sound in Classically Trained African American Singers?218
How Much Should a Singer Know?222
10Performance Concerns
Learning to Portray Emotion225
Internal and External Listening227
The Problem of Faulty Intonation228
Flatting on Final Descending Notes229
Amplification of Opera Performance230
Rehearsal Room versus Hall Dynamics231
The Relativity of Voice Dynamics231
Messa di Voce232
Prephonatory Tuning233
Oratorio versus Opera234
Performance Attire235
Performance-Day Diet236
Solo Singer in a Choral Setting237
Tenor Choral Falsetto238
British Treble Choral Tradition240
Gesticulation in Singing, and the Kinesthetic Sense241
Reasonable Warm-up Time243
Flying on Automatic Pilot244
The Broadway Sound245
Holistic Singing247
Glossary of Terms249
Appendix I.Pitch Designations257
Appendix II.IPA Symbols for Vowels, Semivowels, and French Nasal Vowel Sounds259
Appendix III.IPA Symbols for Consonant Sounds261
Appendix IV.Repertoire for Younger or Beginning Singers263
Select Bibliography273

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