Treatise on Vocal Performance and Ornamentation by Johann Adam Hiller

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $50.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 7%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $50.99   
  • New (4) from $50.99   
  • Used (3) from $53.08   


"Hiller's Treatise on Vocal Performance and Ornamentation was published in Germany in 1780 and is an important manual on vocal technique and performance in the eighteenth century. Hiller was a masterly educator and was active not only as a teacher but also as a critic, theorist, composer, conductor, and music director. Thus, his observations served not only to raise the standards of singing in Germany, based on the Italian model, but to present complicated material, particularly ornamentation, in a manner that his peers, the middle class, could emulate." "This present edition, translated with an introduction and extensive commentary by musicologist Suzanne J. Beicken, makes Hiller's treatise available for the first time in English. With its emphasis on practical aspects of ornamentation, declamation, and style, it will be valuable to instrumentalists as well as singers and is a significant contribution to the understanding of performance practice in the eighteenth century."--BOOK JACKET.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I find this translation well organized, simple, and easily accessible...Not only does the book explain his technique and philosophy of art and aesthetics, but also offers numerous examples of invaluable insights into historic performance practice." --Opera Journal
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521358705
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Musical Texts and Monographs Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne J. Beicken is Lecturer in historical musicology at the University of Maryland and is also a performer, concert manager and music administrator. She is founder of the award-winning Maryland Boys Choir.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Translator's introduction and commentary 1
Note on the text and musical examples 32
Treatise on Vocal Performance and Ornamentation 33
Preface 35
Dedication 49
1 On the qualities of the human voice and its improvement 51
2 On good performance and how to use the voice 56
3 On good performance, with regard to text and music 66
4 On good performance, with regard to ornaments 72
5 On good performance, with regard to passaggi 101
6 On good performance, with regard to the various genres of vocal forms and in consideration of performing in various places 110
7 On cadenzas 121
8 On arbitrary variation of the aria 135
App Biographical information on musicians mentioned by Hiller 155
Bibliography 185
Index 190
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)