Treatise on Vocal Performance and Ornamentation by Johann Adam Hiller

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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. This present edition, translated with an introduction and extensive commentary by musicologist Suzanne J. Beicken, makes the 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.

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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
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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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Translator's introduction and commentary; Treatise on Vocal Performance and Ornamentation: Preface; Dedication; 1. On the qualities of the human voice and its improvement; 2. On good performance and how to use the voice; 3. On good performance, with regard to text and music; 4. On good performance, with regard to ornaments; 5. On good performance, with regard to Passaggi; 6. On good performance, with regard to the various genres of vocal forms and in consideration of performing in various places; 7. On Cadenzas; 8. On arbitrary variations of the Aria; Appendix: biographical information on singers and composers mentioned by Hiller; Bibliography.

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