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Vocal Authority: Singing Style and Ideology

Overview

Vocal Authority is about how singing styles develop and change, why classical singing is different from pop singing, and what singers actually mean when they sing. It takes a historical perspective, beginning with the ancient world, looking at changes in style up to the present day and why, for example, Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe could sing together.

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Overview

Vocal Authority is about how singing styles develop and change, why classical singing is different from pop singing, and what singers actually mean when they sing. It takes a historical perspective, beginning with the ancient world, looking at changes in style up to the present day and why, for example, Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe could sing together.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… immensely stimulating … This book should encourage us, and also make us take more seriously the need for a very different type of voice.' Early Music Review

'The book brings enlightenment of some kind on each page …' Musical Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521563567
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

John Potter is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Singing (2000) and his book Tenor: History of a Voice was published in 2009. He has contributed articles to many academic journals and chapters to other books, including The Cambridge History of Medieval Music (forthcoming) and The Cambridge History of Musical Performance (2012). He is Reader Emeritus in Music at the University of York, having stepped down from his lectureship in 2010 to focus on his portfolio of freelance projects. His most recent book, published by Cambridge University Press in 2012, is A History of Singing (jointly authored with ethnomusicologist Neil Sorrell). As a singer John has partnerships with instrumentalists in various parts of the world, notably the Argentinian lutenist and vihuelist Ariel Abramovich, the American medieval harpist Jan Walters and the British electro-acoustic composer Ambrose Field. He also sings with Red Byrd, The Dowland Project, the Gavin Bryars Ensemble and German group The Sound and the Fury. His most recent venture is Cantum Pulcriorum Invenire, a research project at the University of Southampton, which will see the release of three CDs of twelfth-century music on Hyperion, and a multimedia live version with tenor Christopher O'Gorman and video artist Michael Lynch. John spent eighteen years with the Hilliard Ensemble and his complete discography runs to some 150 titles. He also coaches vocal ensembles all over the world and chairs the ensemble contest jury at the Tampere Vocal Festival (Finland).

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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Classical ideology and the pre-history of singing; 2. The medieval period: religion, literacy and control; 3. The Italian baroque revolution; 4. The development of the modern voice; 5. Concerts, choirs and music halls; 6. Armstrong to Sinatra: swing and sub-text; 7. Early music and the avant garde: twentieth-century fragmentation; 8. Elvis Presley to rap: moments of change since the forties; 9. Singing and social processes; 10. Towards a theory of vocal style; Notes; List of references; Index.

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