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  1. I have decided to copy and paste Wikipedia definition of " SPINTO". I have had many people online and in this forum write. Telling me they are Spinto, upon listening to their voice sample however. It becomes clear they mis-understand what Spinto is. I have also had a few suggest I'm not a Spinto which indeed I am. They seem to confuse Tenore Leggerio with Tenore de forci. I am merely copying and posting this definition as I find it accurate and well worded. Some have suggested my voice is heavy for Tenor, It is proper for my Tenor type. I am going to organize full discription of voice types and add them to this post ASAP. I think it is Important for people to know their proper voice type. This in no way is indicative of range although the voices cover and change register usually one third higher, hence Baritone a third higher then Bass, Tenor a third higher then Baritone. The same is true of female Mezzo a third above Contralto, Soprano a third above Mezzo Soprano. There are voices which will fall in between. For those voices it is wise to train in the voice type closest to your natural register changes. Properly trained however every healthy voice can master the three main registers and many the forth that upper whistle register. However lower voices will not print( that is sound the same in those registers) when fully supported and properly articulated. "Spinto (from Italian, "pushed") is a vocal term used to characterize a soprano or tenor voice of a weight between lyric and dramatic that is capable of handling large dramatic climaxes at moderate intervals. Sometimes the terms lirico-spinto or jugendlich-dramatisch are used. This voice type is recognized by its "slice", allowing the singer to be heard over a full Romantic orchestra in roles excluding, in particular, the most taxing of the Verdi, Puccini and verismo parts, such as Otello. Spinto soprano: a lyric soprano with a fair amount of "pulp". As they have both a lyric and a dramatic quality, spinto sopranos are suitable for wide range of roles, from lyric roles such as Micaela in Carmen and Mim in La Bohame to Verdi heroines like Leonora (in Il Trovatore or La forza del destino), Aida or Puccini's Madame Butterfly. Tenore spinto: the tenor equivalent of the above. They can sing roles like Rodolfo in La Bohame and Alfredo in La Traviata all the way up to Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca and Radames in Aïda. The tenor lead in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci is another well-known example of a spinto part. Rosalind Plowright defines a spinto voice as one that has a tonal colour one down from its range. For example, a voice with a mezzo's tone colour and the high notes of a soprano, or a voice with a tenor range and a baritone's tone colour, is a spinto. She names Placido Domingo as an instance of the latter.[1] Plowright's generalisation does not hold true for all spinto tenors, however. Giovanni Martinelli, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi and Jussi Bjrling, for instance, sang spinto roles such as Radames with bright-toned voices that lacked any baritonal colouration." LIST: COLORATURA Coloratura has several meanings. The word derives from the Italian colorare (to colour; to heighten; to enliven) or colorazione (colouring, coloration). Its most well-known meaning is applied to voice type - i.e., the coloratura soprano, most famously typified by the role of Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflate.[1] This type of soprano has a high range and can execute with great facility the style of singing that includes elaborate ornamentation and embellishment, including running passages, staccati, and trills. Other female and male voice types may also be masters of coloratura technique, but the term coloratura when used without further qualification means soprano coloratura. Richard Miller names two types of soprano coloratura voices (the coloratura and the dramatic coloratura)[2] as well as a mezzo-soprano coloratura voice[3], and although he does not mention the coloratura contralto, he includes mention of specific works requiring coloratura technique for the contralto voice.[4] For Males the Term COLORATURO is more likely applied. SOPRANO A soprano is a singing voice with a vocal range (using scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4) from approximately (C4) to "high A" (A5) in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) or higher in operatic music. In four part chorale style harmony the soprano takes the highest part which usually encompasses the melody.[1] For other styles of singing see Voice classification in non-classical music. Typically, the term "soprano" refers to female singers but at times the term male soprano has been used by men who sing in the soprano vocal range using falsetto vocal production instead of the modal voice. This practice is most commonly found in the context of choral music in England. However, these men are more commonly referred to as countertenors or sopranists. It should be noted that the practice of referring to countertenors as "male sopranos" is somewhat controversial within vocal pedagogical circles as these men do not produce sound in the same physiological way that female sopranos do.[2] The singer Michael Maniaci is the only known man who can refer to himself as a true male soprano because he is able to sing in the soprano vocal range using the modal voice like a woman would. He is able to do this because his larynx never fully developed like a man's voice does during puberty. In choral music the term soprano refers to a vocal part or line and not a voice type. Male singers whose voices have not yet changed and are singing the soprano line are technically known as "trebles". The term "boy soprano" is often used as well, but this is just a colloquialism and not the correct term. Historically women were not allowed to sing in the Church so the soprano roles were given to young boys and later to castrati - men whose larynxes had been fixed in a pre-adolescent state through the process of castration.[4] The term soprano may also be used to refer to a member of an instrumental family with the highest range such as the soprano saxophone. In opera, the tessitura, vocal weight, and timbre of soprano voices, and the roles they sing, are commonly categorized into voice types, often called fächer (sg. fach, from German Fach or Stimmfach, "vocal category"). A singer's tessitura is where the voice has the best timbre, easy volume, and most comfort. For instance a soprano and a mezzo-soprano may have a similar range, but their tessituras will lie in different parts of that range. The low extreme for sopranos is roughly B3 or A3 (just below middle C). Often low notes in higher voices project less, lack timbre, and tend to "count less" in roles (although some Verdi, Strauss and Wagner roles call for stronger singing below the staff). Rarely is a soprano simply unable to sing a low note in a song within a soprano role. The high extreme: at a minimum, non-coloratura sopranos have to reach "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C), and many roles in the standard repertoire call for D6 or D-flat6. A couple of roles have optional E-flat's, as well. In the coloratura repertoire several roles call for E-flat6 on up to F6. In rare cases, some coloratura roles go as high as G6 or A6 such as the concert aria Popoli di Tessaglia or the role of Europa in Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta. While not necessarily within the tessitura, a good soprano will be able to sing her top notes full-throated, with timbre and dynamic control. The following are the operatic soprano classifications Coloratura soprano Lyric coloratura soprano- A very agile light voice with a high upper extension, capable of fast vocal coloratura. Lyric coloraturas have a range of approximately middle C (C4) to "high F" (F6) with some coloratura sopranos being able to sing somewhat higher or lower.[2] To hear an example of a Lyric coloratura soprano. Dramatic coloratura soprano- A coloratura soprano with great flexibility in high-lying velocity passages, yet with great sustaining power comparable to that of a full spinto or dramatic soprano. Dramatic coloraturas have a range of approximately middle C (C4) to "high F" (F6) with some coloratura sopranos being able to sing somewhat higher or lower. Soubrette In classical music and opera, the term soubrette refers to both a voice type and a particular type of opera role. A soubrette voice is light with a bright, sweet timbre, a tessitura in the mid-range, and with no extensive coloratura. The soubrette voice is not a weak voice for it must carry over an orchestra without a microphone like all voices in opera. The voice however has a lighter vocal weight than other soprano voices with a brighter timbre. Many young singers start out as soubrettes but as they grow older and the voice matures more physically they may be reclassified as another voice type, usually either a light lyric soprano, a lyric coloratura soprano, or a coloratura mezzo-soprano. Rarely does a singer remain a soubrette throughout their entire career.[1] A soubrette's range extends approximately from middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). The tessitura of the soubrette tends to lie a bit lower than the lyric soprano and spinto soprano. Lyric soprano A warm voice with a bright, full timbre which can be heard over an orchestra. It generally has a higher tessitura than a soubrette and usually plays ingenues and other sympathetic characters in opera. Lyric sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6).[6] There is a tendency to divide lyric sopranos into two groups. Light lyric soprano- A light-lyric soprano has a bigger voice than a soubrette but still possesses a youthful qaulity Full lyric soprano- A full-lyric soprano has a more mature sound than a light-lyric soprano and can be heard over a bigger orchestra Spinto soprano Also lirico-spinto, Italian for "pushed lyric". This voice has the brightness and height of a lyric soprano, but can be "pushed" to dramatic climaxes without strain, and may have a somewhat darker timbre. Spinto sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). Dramatic soprano A dramatic soprano has a powerful, rich, emotive voice that can sing over a full orchestra. Usually (but not always) this voice has a lower tessitura than other sopranos, and a darker timbre. Dramatic sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). Some dramatic sopranos, known as Wagnerian sopranos, have a very big voice that can assert itself over an exceptionally large orchestra (over eighty pieces). These voices are substantial and very powerful and ideally even throughout the registers. TENOR Within Choral and pop music, singers are classified into voice parts based almost solely on range with little consideration for other qualities in the voice. Within classical solo singing, however, a person is classified as a tenor through the identification of several vocal traits, including vocal range (the lowest and highest notes that the singer can reach), vocal timbre, vocal weight, vocal tessitura, vocal resonance, and vocal transition points (lifts or "passaggio") within the singer's voice. These different traits are used to identify different sub-types within the tenor voice sometimes referred to as fächer (sg. fach, from German Fach or Stimmfach, "vocal category"). Within opera, particular roles are written with specific kinds of tenor voices in mind, causing certain roles to be associated with certain kinds of voices. Here follows the operatic tenor facher, with examples of the roles from the standard repertory that they commonly sing. It should be noted that there is considerable overlap between the various categories of role and of voice-type; and that some singers have begun with lyric voices but have transformed with time into spinto or even dramatic tenors. (Enrico Caruso is a prime example of this kind of vocal development.) The categories are: Leggiero tenor The male equivalent of a lyric coloratura, this voice is light and very agile and is able to perform dextrous coloratura passages. The Leggiero tenor has a range of approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the Eâ™­ above tenor C (Eâ™­ 5) with some leggiero tenors being able to sing up to the F or even Gâ™­. This voice is the highest tenor voice and is sometimes referred to as "tenore di grazia". This voice is utilized frequently in the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, and the highest Baroque repertoire for tenors. Leggiero tenors also frequently perform roles in the light-lyric tenor repertoire. Leggiero tenor roles in opera and operettas: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Rossini) Arturo, I puritani (Bellini) Belmonte, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) Elvino, La sonnambula (Bellini) Ernesto, Don Pasquale (Donizetti) Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Mozart) Gualtiero, Il pirata (Bellini) Lindoro, L'italiana in Algeri (Rossini) Nemorino, L'elisir d'amore (Donizetti) Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Mozart) Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Rossini) Tonio, La fille du régiment (Donizetti) Leggiero tenor singers: John Aler Luigi Alva Rockwell Blake Alessandro Bonci Juan Diego Flarez Alfredo Kraus William Matteuzzi Chris Merritt Tito Schipa Ferruccio Tagliavini Fritz Wunderlich Lyric tenor A warm graceful voice with a bright, full timbre that is strong but not heavy and can be heard over an orchestra. Lyric tenors have a range from approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5). Lyric tenors can be divided into two groups: Light lyric tenor A light-lyric tenor has a slightly warmer sound than the Leggiero tenor and some coloratura facility but does not have quite as high of an upper extension as the leggiero tenor. This voice is used frequently within French comic operas. Full lyric tenor A full-lyric tenor that has a more mature sound than a light-lyric tenor and can be heard over a bigger orchestra. Light-lyric tenor roles in opera and operettas: Chapelou, Le postillon de Lonjumeau (Adolphe Adam) George Brown, La dame blanche (Francois-Adrien Boaeldieu) Gerald, Lakme (Delibes) Le Prince Charmant Cendrillon (Pauline Viardot) Nadir, Les pacheurs de perles (Bizet) Vincent, Mireille (Gounod) Full-lyric tenor roles in opera and operettas: Alfredo, La traviata (Verdi) Chevalier, Dialogues des Carmelites (Poulenc) David, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Wagner) Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto (Verdi) Edgardo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) Elvino, La sonnambula (Bellini) Faust, Faust (Gounod) Hoffman, The Tales of Hoffman (Offenbach) Idomeneo, Idomeneo (Mozart) Le Prince Charmant, Cendrillon (Massenet) (when performed by a tenor, originally written for soprano) Rodolfo, La bohème (Puccini) Romeo, Romeo et Juliette (Gounod) Tamino, Die Zauberflute (Mozart) Werther, Werther (Jules Massenet) Wilhelm Meister, Mignon (Ambroise Thomas) Lurcanio, "Ariodante" Handel Lyric tenor singers: Roberto Alagna Marcelo Ã�lvarez Giacomo Aragall Jussi Burling Joseph Calleja Jose Carreras Richard Crooks Giuseppe Di Stefano Salvatore Fisichella Miguel Fleta Beniamino Gigli Nicolai Gedda John McCormack Luciano Pavarotti Alfred Piccaver Dmitri Smirnov Leonid Sobinov Richard Tauber Joseph Schmidt Alain Vanzo Rolando Villazan Spinto tenor This voice has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be "pushed" to dramatic climaxes without strain. (They are also known as "lyric-dramatic" tenors.) Some spinto tenors may have a somewhat darker timbre than a lyric tenor as well, without being as dark as a dramatic tenor. Spinto tenors have a range from approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5).[2] Spinto tenor roles in opera and operettas:[2] Alvaro, La forza del destino (Verdi) Andrea Chenier, Andrea Chenier (Umberto Giordano) Canio, Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) Don Carlos, Don Carlos (Verdi) Don Jose, Carmen (Bizet) Erik, Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner) Ernani, Ernani (Verdi) Manrico, Il trovatore (Verdi) Mario Cavaradossi, Tosca (Puccini) Maurizio, Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Riccardo, Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) Turiddu, Cavalleria rusticana (Pietro Mascagni) Spinto tenor singers: Carlo Bergonzi Donald Braswell II Enrico Caruso Antonio Cortis Charles Dalmores Giacomo Lauri-Volpi Francesco Merli Aureliano Pertile Giovanni Martinelli Helge Roswaenge Harry Theyard Georges Thill Richard Tucker Dramatic tenor Also "tenore di forza" or "robusto" a ringing and very powerful, clarion heroic tenor. The dramatic tenor has an approximate range from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5).[2] Dramatic tenor roles in opera and operettas:[2] Calaf, Turandot (Puccini) Otello, Otello (Verdi) Radames, Aida (Verdi) Rodolfo, Luisa Miller (Verdi) Samson, Samson et Dalila (Saint-Sans) Dramatic tenor singers: Franco Bonisolli Franco Corelli Carlo Cossutta Jose Cura Mario del Monaco Jean de Reszke Placido Domingo Giuseppe Giacomini Ramon Vinay Francesco Vinas Franz Volker Ivan Yershov Giovanni Zenatello Heldentenor A rich, dark-toned, powerful, and dramatic voice. As its name implies, the Heldentenor (English: heroic tenor) vocal fach features in the German romantic operatic repertoire. The Heldentenor is the German equivalent of the tenore drammatico, however with a more baritonal quality: the typical Wagnerian protagonist. The keystone of any heldentenor's repertoire is arguably Wagner's Siegfried, an extremely demanding role requiring a wide vocal range, great stamina, and extended dramatic suspension. The Heldentenor has an approximate range from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5). Heldentenor roles in opera and operettas: Florestan, Fidelio (Beethoven) Tannhäuser, Tannhuser (Wagner) Loge, Das Rheingold (Wagner) Lohengrin, Lohengrin (Wagner) Parsifal, Parsifal (Wagner) Siegfried, Gutterdmmerung (Wagner) Siegfried, Siegfried (Wagner) Siegmund, Die Walkare (Wagner) Walter von Stolzing, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Wagner) Tristan, Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) Heldentenor singers: Bernd Aldenhoff Richard Cassilly James King Heinrich Knote Ernst Kraus Lauritz Melchior Albert Niemann Ticho Parly Ludwig Suthaus Set Svanholm Josef Tichatschek Jacques Urlus Jon Vickers Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld Wolfgang Windgassen Tenor buffo or Spieltenor A tenor with good acting ability, and the ability to create distinct voices for his characters. This voice specializes in smaller comic roles. The range of the tenor buffo is from the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the C one octave above middle C (C5). The tessitura of these parts lies lower than the other tenor roles. These parts are often played by younger tenors who have not yet reached their full vocal potential or older tenors who are beyond their prime singing years. Only rarely will a singer specialize in these roles for an entire career. Tenor buffo roles in opera and operettas: Don Basilio, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) Mime, Siegfried (Wagner) Don Anchise/ Il Podesta , La finta giardiniera (Mozart) Monostatos, The Magic Flute (Mozart) Pedrillo, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) Examples Fucher Singer Role Composer Opera Example on YouTube Leggiero tenor Juan Diego Florez Tonio Donizetti La fille du ragiment link Light lyric tenor Alain Vanzo Nadir Georges Bizet Les pcheurs de perles link Full lyric tenor Salvatore Fisichella Rodolfo Puccini La bohame link Spinto tenor Mario Lanza Canio Leoncavallo Pagliacci link Dramatic tenor Franco Corelli Radames Verdi Aida link Heldentenor Lauritz Melchior Lohengrin Wagner Lohengrin link Tenor buffo Norbert Orth Monostatos Mozart The Magic Flute NOTE IN REGARDS TO CROSSOVERS- You will notice some like Caruso, Corelli etc are classified in more the one voice type I.E- Dramatic ,Lyric Tenor Robusto. This is because many voices have greater dynamics then type specific and/or they upgrade/down grade with normal shifts in the voice at various ages. The typing is more a standard for role naming and what voice requirements are held for specific roles. MEZZO - SOPRANO A mezzo-soprano (meaning "medium" or "middle" "soprano" in Italian) is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above (i.e. A3-A5 in scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4). In the lower and upper extremes, some mezzo-sopranos may extend down to the G below middle C (G3) and as high as "high C" (C6).While mezzo-sopranos generally have a heavier, darker tone than sopranos, the mezzo-soprano voice resonates in a higher range than that of a contralto. The terms Dugazon and Galli-Marié are sometimes used to refer to light mezzo-sopranos, after the names of famous singers. A castrato with a mezzo-soprano range was also called a mezzo-soprano castrato or mezzista. Today, however, only women should be referred to as mezzo-sopranos, and men singing within the female range should be called countertenors. Mezzo-sopranos typically sing secondary roles in operas, with the protagonist in Bizet's Carmen and Rosina in Rossini's Barber of Seville as the most notable exceptions. Typical roles for mezzo-sopranos include witches, nurses, and wise women such as Azucena in Verdi's Il trovatore; trouser role (male characters played by female singers) such as Cherubino in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro; and villains and seductresses such as Amneris in Verdi's Aida. Mezzo-sopranos are also well represented in baroque music, early music and baroque opera. Some roles designated for lighter soubrette sopranos are sung by mezzo sopranos, who often provide a fuller, more dramatic quality. Such roles include Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte and Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Mezzos also sometimes play dramatic soprano roles such as Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth, and Kundry in Wagner's Parsifal. In general mezzos are broken down into three categories: Coloratura mezzo-sopranos, Lyric mezzo-soprano, and Dramatic mezzo-sopranos. Coloratura mezzo-soprano A coloratura mezzo-soprano has a warm lower register and an agile high register. The roles they sing often demand not only the use of the lower register but also leaps into the upper tessitura with highly ornamented, rapid passages. They have a range from approximately the G (G3) below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C (B5). Some coloratura mezzo-sopranos can sing up to high C (C6) or high D (D6), but this is very rare.[1] What distinguishes these voices from being called sopranos is their extension into the lower register and warmer vocal quality. Although coloratura mezzo-sopranos have impressive and at times thrilling high notes, they are most comfortable singing in the middle of their range, rather than the top. Many of the hero roles in the operas of Handel and Monteverdi, originally sung by male castrati, can be successfully sung today by coloratura mezzo-sopranos. Rossini demanded similar qualities for his comic heroines, and Vivaldi wrote roles frequently for this voice as well. Coloratura mezzo-sopranos also often sing lyric-mezzo soprano roles or soubrette roles. Coloratura mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Angelina- Cenerentola, La Cenerentola (Rossini)@ Ariodante, Ariodante (Handel) -- trouser role)@ Griselda, Griselda (Vivaldi)@ Isabella, The Italian Girl in Algiers (Rossini)@ Orsini, Lucrezia Borgia (Gaetano Donizetti) Romeo, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Vincenzo Bellini) -- trouser role @ Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Rossini)@ Julius Caesar, Giulio Cesare (Handel) -- trouser role@ @-denotes a lead role Coloratura mezzo-soprano singers Cecilia Bartoli Teresa Berganza Joyce DiDonato Gail Dubinbaum Vivica Genaux Marilyn Horne Vesselina Kasarova Giulietta Simionato Conchita Supervía Lucia Valentini Terrani Lyric mezzo-soprano The Lyric mezzo-soprano has a range from approximately the G below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C.[1] This voice has a very smooth, sensitive and at times lachrymose quality. Lyric mezzo-sopranos do not have the vocal agility of the coloratura mezzo-soprano or the size of the dramatic mezzo-soprano. The lyric mezzo-soprano is ideal for most trouser roles. Lyric mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Annio, La clemenza di Tito (Mozart)-- trouser role Arianna Arianna (Claudio Monteverdi)@ Carmen Carmen (Georges Bizet)@ (Also Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano) Charlotte, Werther (Massenet)@ Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart)-- trouser role The Composer Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss)-- trouser role Sorceress, Dido and Aeneas (Henry Purcell) Dorabella, Cosi fan tutte (Mozart)@ Hänsel, Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck) -- trouser role @ Mignon, Mignon (Ambroise Thomas)@ Mother, Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti)@ Nicklausse, Les contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach) -- trouser role though he is the (female) Muse in disguise. Octavian, Der Rosenkavalier (Richard Strauss) -- trouser role}@ Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) (Johann Strauss) -- trouser role Sesto, La clemenza di Tito (Mozart) -- trouser role Siebel, Faust (Charles Gounod) -- trouser role Stephano, Romeo et Juliette (Charles Gounod) -- trouser role Suzuki, Madama Butterfly @-Denotes a lead role Lyric mezzo-soprano Singers Janet Baker Agnes Baltsa Sarah Connolly Malena Ernman Brigitte Fassbaender Susan Graham Magdalena Koen Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Christa Ludwig Nan Merriman Frederica von Stade Risa Stevens Tatiana Troyanos Anne Sofie von Otter Dramatic mezzo-soprano A dramatic mezzo-soprano has a strong medium register, a warm high register and a voice that is broader and more powerful than the lyric and coloratura mezzo-sopranos. This voice has less vocal facility than the coloratura mezzo-soprano. The range of the dramatic mezzo-soprano is from approximately the G below middle C to the B two octaves above middle C.[1] The dramatic mezzo-soprano can sing over an orchestra and chorus with ease and was often used in the 19th century opera, to portray older women, mothers, witches and evil characters. Verdi wrote many roles for this voice in the Italian repertoire and there are also a few good roles in the French Literature. The majority of these roles however are within the German Romantic repertoire of composers like Wagner and Strauss. Like Coloratura mezzos, dramatic mezzos are also often cast in lyric mezzo-soprano roles.[4] To hear an example of a dramatic mezzo-soprano (Olga Borodina as Eboli in Don Carlos) Dramatic mezzo-soprano roles in opera and operettas Azucena, Il trovatore (Verdi) Amneris, Aida (Verdi) Brangune, Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) Carmen, Carmen (Bizet)@ (Also Lyric Mezzo) The Countess, The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky) Dalila, Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns)@ Dido, Les Troyens (Berlioz)@ Eboli, Don Carlos (Verdi) Herodias, Salome (Richard Strauss) Hexe, Hänsel und Gretel (opera) (Humperdinck) Judith, Bluebeard's Castle (Bartak)@ (Also Dramatic Soprano) Kundry, Parsifal (Wagner)@ (also Dramatic soprano) Klytemnastra , Elektra (Richard Strauss) Laura, La Gioconda (Ponchielli) Marina, Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky) Mother, Hänsel und Gretel (opera) (Humperdinck) Ortrud, Lohengrin (Wagner) Princess de Bouillon, Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) @-denotes a lead role Dramatic mezzo-soprano Singers Irina Arkhipova Fedora Barbieri Olga Borodina Grace Bumbry Viorica Cortez Fiorenza Cossotto Maria Gay Rita Gorr Denyce Graves Waltraud Meier Elena Obraztsova Regina Resnik Giulietta Simionato Ebe Stignani Shirley Verrett Dolora Zajick BARITONE Bariton/Baryton-Martin Common Range: From the low C to the Ab above middle C (C3 to A­4)[7] Description: The Baryton-Martin lacks the lower G2-B2 range a heavier baritone is capable of. Has a lighter, almost tenor-like quality. Generally seen only in French repertoire, this fach was named after the French singer Jean-Blaise Martin. Associated with the rise of the baritone in the 19th century, Martin was well known for his fondness for falsetto singing, and the designation 'Baryton Martin' has been used (Faure, 1886) to separate his voice from the 'Verdi Baritone', which carried the chest register further into the upper range. Roles: Pellas, Pellas et Melisande (Claude Debussy) L'Horloge Comtoise, L'enfant et les sortilèges (Maurice Ravel) Orfeo, L'Orfeo (Claudio Monteverdi) Ramiro, L'heure espagnole (Maurice Ravel) Singers: Jean Perier Pierre Bernac Wolfgang Holzmair Jacques Jansen Simon Keenlyside Camille Maurane Richard Stilwell Bel Canto (coloratura) baritone Common Range: From the B below low C to the G above middle C (B2 to G4) Description: The sound is more or less the same as the lyric baritone voice, but must be considerably agile to sing fioritura and coloratura passages. They are usually the comic relief in Bel Canto operas. Roles: Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Gioachino Rossini) Dandini, La Cenerentola (Gioachino Rossini) Belcore, L'elisir d'amore (Gaetano Donizetti) Note: Its ambitus is greater than the lyric baritone's. Lyric baritone Common Range: From the B below low C to the G above middle C (B2 to G4). Description: A sweeter, milder sounding baritone voice, lacking in harshness; lighter and perhaps mellower than the dramatic baritone with a higher tessitura. It is typically assigned to comic roles. Roles: Conte Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Guglielmo, Cosa fan tutte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Papageno, The Magic Flute (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Marcello, La bohème (Giacomo Puccini) Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Rossini) The kavalierbariton Common Range: From the A below low C to the G above middle C (A2 to G4).[9] Description: A metallic voice, that can sing both lyric and dramatic phrases, a manly noble baritonal color, with good looks. Not quite as powerful as the Verdi baritone who is expected to have a powerful appearance on stage, perhaps muscular or physically large. Roles: Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) Justin Labelle, Wakonda's Dream (Anthony Davis) Tonio, Pagliacci (Ruggero Leoncavallo) Count, Capriccio (Richard Strauss) Germont in La traviata (Giuseppe Verdi) Singers: Eberhard Wächter Dmitri Hvorostovsky Verdi baritone Common Range: From the A below low C to the G above middle C (A2 to G4).[9] Description: A more specialized voice category, Verdi baritone refers to a voice capable of singing consistently and with ease in the highest part of the baritone range, sometimes extend it up to the C above middle C. Roles: Amonasro, Aida Carlo, Ernani Conte di Luna, Il trovatore Don Carlo di Vargas, La forza del destino Falstaff, Falstaff Ford Falstaff Germont, La traviata Macbeth, Macbeth Renato, Un ballo in maschera Rigoletto, Rigoletto Rodrigo, Don Carlos Simon Boccanegra, Simon Boccanegra Singers: Ettore Bastianini Renato Bruson Robert Merrill Sherrill Milnes Titta Ruffo Leonard Warren Carlos Alvarez Dmitri Hvorostovsky Dramatic baritone Common Range: From the F half an octave below low C to the F above middle C (F2 to F4).[9] Description: A voice that is richer and fuller than a lyric baritone and with a darker quality. This category corresponds roughly to the Heldenbariton in the German fach system except the Verdi baritones have been separated. Roles for this voice are also called bass-baritone and are typically dramatic in their tone. Roles such as these tend not to have a slightly lower tessitura than typical Verdi baritone roles, only rising above an F at the moments of greatest intensity. Many of the Puccini roles fall into this category. Role Jack Rance, La Fanciulla del West (Giacomo Puccini) Scarpia, Tosca (Giacomo Puccini) Nabucco, Nabucco (Giuseppe Verdi) Iago, Otello (Giuseppe Verdi) Escamillo, Carmen (Bizet) Singers: Norman Bailey Tito Gobbi Peter Kajlinger Sergei Leiferkus Lyric Low Baritone/Lyric Bass-baritone Main article: Bass-baritone Some bass-baritones are baritones, like Friedrich Schorr, George London, James Morris and Bryn Terfel. The following are more often done by lower baritones as opposed to high basses. Roles: Don Pizarro Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven Golaud Pellaas et Melisande by Claude Debussy Mephistopls, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Cosafan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Singer: Thomas Quasthoff Bryn Terfel Dramatic Bass-baritone/Low Baritone Range: From about the G below low C to the F above middle C (G2 to F4) Igor, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Dutchman The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner Hans Sachs Die Meistersinger by Richard Wagner Wotan Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner Amfortas Parsifal by Richard Wagner Examples: George London Hans Hotter Friedrich Schorr Baryton-noble Description: French for noble baritone and describes a part that requires a noble bearing, smooth vocalisation and forceful declamation, all in perfect balance. This category originated in the Paris Opéra, but it greatly influenced Verdi (Don Carlo in Ernani and La forza del destino; Count Luna in Il trovatore; Simon Boccanegra) and Wagner as well (Wotan; Amfortas). CONTRALTO In music, a contralto is a type of classical female singing voice with a vocal range somewhere between a tenor and a mezzo-soprano. The term is used to refer to the deepest female singing voice. The typical contralto range lies between the F below middle C (F3) to two Fs above middle C (F5). In the lower and upper extremes, some contralto voices can sing from the E below middle C (E3) to two Bâ™­s above middle C (Bâ™­5).The contralto voice has the lowest tessitura of the female voices and is noted for its rich and deep vocal timbre. In current operatic practice, female singers with very low tessituras are often included among mezzo-sopranos, because singers in both ranges are able to cover the other, and true operatic contraltos are very rare. The term contralto is not synonymous with the term alto which designates a specific part within choral music and is not a voice type. Technically, "alto" is only a separate category in choral music where it refers simply to the vocal range and does not consider factors like vocal tessitura, vocal timbre, vocal facility, and vocal weight. Although both men and women may have voices in the contralto vocal range, the word is always used in the context of a female singer. Men singing in the contralto, mezzo-soprano, or soprano range are called countertenors. Contraltos are fairly rare in opera, since there is very little work that was written specifically for them. Most of the time, contralto roles are limited to maids, mothers and grandmothers, but they do occasionally get notable roles, often playing female villains such as witches or playing male figures that were originally intended to be performed by castrato singers. "A common saying among contraltos is that they're only allowed to play 'witches', 'bitches', or 'britches'." Contralto roles in operas The following is a list of examples of contralto roles in the standard operatic repertoire Art Banker, Facing Goya (Michael Nyman) Auntie, landlady of The Boar, Peter Grimes (Britten)* Azucena, Il Trovatore (Verdi)* The Baroness, Vanessa (Barber) La Cieca, La Gioconda (Ponchielli) Erda, Das Rheingold, Siegfried (Wagner) Madame Flora, The Medium (Gian-Carlo Menotti) Katisha, The Mikado (Gilbert and Sullivan) Klytemnestra, Elektra (Strauss)* Maddalena, Rigoletto (Verdi)* Mama Lucia, Cavalleria Rusticana (Pietro Mascagni) Malcolm, La donna del lago (Rossini)* Mary, Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner) Olga, Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)* Orfeo, Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) trouser role Lel, The Snow Maiden (Rimsky-Korsakov) Didone, Egisto (Cavalli) Pauline, The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky) La Principessa, Suor Angelica (Puccini) Ruth The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan) Ulrica, Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) Widow Begbick, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Kurt Weill) * : Indicates a role that may also be sung by a mezzo-soprano. Notable contraltos Classical and operatic contraltos are singers who have regularly performed unamplified classical or operatic music in concert halls and/or opera houses. Some of the most notable of all historic and contemporary contraltos include: Marietta Alboni (1826-1894) Marian Anderson (1897-1993) Irina Arkhipova (1925-) Eula Beal (1919-2008) Marianne Brandt (1842-1921) Muriel Brunskill (1899-1980) Clara Butt (1872-1936) Lili Chookasian (1921-) Belle Cole (1845-1905) Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953) Maureen Forrester (1930-) Louise Homer (1871-1947) Sigrid Onegin (1889-1943) Ewa PodleÅ› (1952-) Marie Powers (1902-1973) Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861-1936) Annice Sidwells (1902-2001) Nathalie Stutzmann (1965-) Vittoria Tesi (1700-1775) BASSO - BASS A bass is a type of classical male singing voice and possesses the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a range extending from around the F two octaves below middle C to the E above middle C (i.e., F2, E4), with a tessitura, or comfortable range, normally ranging between the outermost lines of the bass clef. Basso Cantante/Lyric High Bass/Lyric Bass-baritone Basso Cantante means 'singing bass'.[4] Basso cantante is a higher, more lyrical voice. It is produced by a more Italianate vocal production with a faster vibrato. A lyric bass-baritone. Main article: Bass-baritone for listings of baritone as well as bass roles. Roles: Duke Bluebeard Bluebeard's Castle by Bela Bartak Don Pizarro, Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven Count Rodolfo, La sonnambula by Bellini Blitch, Susannah by Carlisle Floyd Mephistophels, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Cosa fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Voice of the Oracle, "Idomeneo" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Boris, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Silva, Ernani by Giuseppe Verdi Philip II, Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi Count Walter, Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi Banquo, Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi Zaccaria, Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi Fiesco, Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi Ferrando, Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi Daland, Der fliegende Holländer by Richard Wagner The King of Scotland, "Ariodante" by G.F. Handel Hoherbass/Dramatic High Bass/Dramatic Bass-baritone Hoherbass or "high bass" is a dramatic bass-baritone. Main article: Bass-baritone for listings of baritone as well as bass roles. Roles: Igor, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Boris, and Varlaam, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Klingsor, Parsifal by Richard Wagner Wotan Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner Caspar, Der Freischatz by Carl Maria von Weber Jugendlicher Bass Jugendlicher Bass a young man (regardless of the age of the singer). Roles: Leporello, Masetto, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Varlaam, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Colline, La bohame (Giacomo Puccini) Basso Buffo/Bel Canto/Lyric Buffo Buffo, literally "funny", basses are lyrical roles but demand a solid coloratura technique. They are usually the antagonist or the comic relief in Bel Canto operas. Roles: Don Pasquale, Don Pasquale (Gaetano Donizetti) Dottor Dulcamara, L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti Don Bartolo, The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini Don Magnifico, La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini Mephistophels, Faust by Charles Gounod Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Leporello, Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Schwerer Spielbass/Dramatic Buffo English equivalent: Dramatic comic bass Roles:: Khan Konchak, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Baculus, Der Wildschütz (Albert Lortzing) Ferrando, Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi Daland, Der fliegende Holländer by Richard Wagner Lyric Basso Profondo English equivalent: lyric low bass Basso profondo, is the lowest bass voice type. According to J. B. Steane in "Voices, Singers & Critics", the basso profondo voice «derives from a method of tone-production that eliminates the more Italian quick vibrato. In its place is a kind of tonal solidity, a wall-like front, which may nevertheless prove susceptible to the other kind of vibrato, the slow beat or dreaded wobble». Roles: Rocco, Fidelio by Ludwig von Beethoven Osmin, Die Entfhrung aus dem Serail by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sarastro, Die Zauberflte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Pimen, Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky Baron Ochs, Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss Dramatic Basso Profondo English equivalent: Dramatic low bass. Dramatic Basso Profondo is a powerful basso profondo voice. Roles: Vladimir Yaroslavich, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin Hagen, Gutterdmmerung by Richard Wagner Heinrich, Lohengrin by Richard Wagner Gurnemanz, Parsifal by Richard Wagner Fafner, Das Rheingold and Siegfried by Richard Wagner Marke, Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner Hunding, Die Walkare by Richard Wagner The Grand Inquisitor, Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi Bass roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas The Mikado of Japan (The Mikado) Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance) Old Adam Goodheart, and Sir Roderick (Ruddigore) Private Willis (Iolanthe) Carpenter's mate (HMS Pinafore) Notary (The Sorcerer) Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen of the Guard (bass-baritone)(The Yeoman of the Guard) Wilfred Shadbolt, Head Jailer and Assistant Tormentor (bass-baritone or baritone)(The Yeoman of the Guard) Don Alhambra (Bass) (The Gondoliers) Some prominent operatic basses Norman Allin Ivar Andresen Feodor Chaliapin Boris Christoff Nazzareno De Angelis Edouard de Reszke Adam Didur Gottlob Frick Ferruccio Furlanetto Nicolai Ghiaurov Jerome Hines Marcel Journet Alexander Kipnis Emanuel List John Macurdy Kurt Moll Giulio Neri Rena Pape Tancredi Pasero Ezio Pinza Paul Plishka Samuel Ramey Lorenzo Regazzo Mark Reizen Leon Rothier Matti Salminen Cesare Siepi Martti Talvela John Tomlinson Ludwig Weber COUNTERTENOR A countertenor is a male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of a contralto, mezzo-soprano or (less frequently) a soprano, usually through use of falsetto, or more rarely the normal or modal voice. A pre-pubescent male who has this ability is called a treble. This term is used exclusively in the context of the classical vocal tradition, although numerous popular music artists also prefer employing falsetto. The term first came into use in England during the mid 17th century and was in wide use by the late 17th century. During the Romantic period, the popularity of the countertenor voice waned and few compositions were written with that voice type in mind. In the second half of the 20th century, the countertenor voice went through a massive resurgence in popularity, partly due to pioneers such as Alfred Deller, by the increased popularity of Baroque opera and the need of male singers to replace the castrati roles in such works. Although the voice has been considered largely an early music phenomenon, there is a growing modern repertoire. The countertenor in history In polyphonic compositions of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the contratenor was a voice part added to the basic two-part contrapuntal texture of discant (superius) and tenor (from the Latin tenere which means to hold, since this part "held" the music's melody, while the superius descanted upon it at a higher pitch). Though having approximately the same range as the tenor, it was generally of a much less melodic nature than either of these other two parts. With the introduction in about 1450 of four-part writing by composers like Ockeghem and Obrecht, the contratenor split into contratenor altus and contratenor bassus, which were respectively above and below the tenor.[2] Later the term became obsolete: in Italy, contratenor altus became simply alto, in France, haute-contre, and in England, countertenor. Though originally these words were used to designate a vocal part, they are now used to describe singers of that part, whose vocal techniques may differ. In the Catholic church during the Renaissance, St Paul's admonition "mulieres in ecclesiis taceant" ("let women keep silent in churches" - I Corinthians 14, verse 34) still prevailed, and so women were banned from singing in church services. Countertenors, though rarely described as such, therefore found a prominent part in liturgical music, whether singing a line alone or with boy trebles or altos; (in Spain there was a long tradition of male falsettists singing soprano lines). However, countertenors were much less prominent in early opera, the rise of which coincided with the arrival of a fashion for castrati, who took, for example, several roles in the first performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo (1607). Castrati were already prominent by this date in Italian church choirs, replacing both falsettists and trebles; the last soprano falsettist singing in Rome, Juan [Johannes de] San[c]tos (a Spaniard), died in 1652.[3] In Italian opera, by the late seventeenth century, castrati predominated, though in France, the haute-contre remained the voice of choice for leading male roles, and this was also true to a considerable extent in English stage works of this period, for example, the roles of Secrecy and Summer in Purcell's The Fairy Queen (1692). In Purcell's choral music the situation is further complicated by the occasional appearance of more than one solo part designated "countertenor", but with a considerable difference in range and tessitura. Such is the case in Hail, bright Cecilia (The Ode on St Cecilia's Day 1692) in which the solo "'Tis Nature's Voice" has the range F3 to Bâ­4 (similar to those stage roles cited previously), whereas, in the duet "Hark each tree" the countertenor soloist sings from E4 to D5 (in the trio "With that sublime celestial lay". Later in the same work, Purcell's own manuscript designates the same singer, Mr Howel, described as "a High Contra tenor" to perform in the range G3 to C4; it is very likely that he took some of the lowest notes in a well-blended "chest voice" By Handel's time, castrati had come to dominate the English operatic stage as much as that of Italy (and indeed most of Europe outside France), and also took part in several of his oratorios, though countertenors also featured as soloists in the latter, the parts written for them being closer in compass to the higher ones of Purcell, with a usual range of A3 to E5. They also sang the alto parts in Handel's choruses, and it was as choral singers within the Anglican church tradition that countertenors survived throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Otherwise they largely faded from public notice The modern countertenor The most visible icon of the countertenor revival in the twentieth century was Alfred Deller, an English singer and champion of authentic early music performance. Deller initially called himself an "alto", but his collaborator Michael Tippett recommended the archaic term "countertenor" to describe his voice. In the 1950s and 60s, his group, the Deller Consort, was important in increasing audiences' awareness (and appreciation) of Renaissance and Baroque music. Deller was the first modern countertenor to achieve fame, and has had many prominent successors. Benjamin Britten wrote the leading role of Oberon in his setting of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1960) especially for him; the countertenor role of Apollo in Britten's Death in Venice (1973) was created by James Bowman, the best-known amongst the next generation of English countertenors. Russell Oberlin was Deller's American counterpart, and another early music pioneer. Oberlin's success was entirely unprecedented in a country that had seen little exposure to anything before Bach, and it paved the way for the recent great success of countertenors there also. Today, countertenors are much in demand in many forms of classical music. In opera, many roles originally written for castrati are now sung and recorded by countertenors, as are some trouser roles originally written for female singers. The former category is much more numerous, and includes Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice and many Handel roles, such as the name parts in Giulio Cesare and Orlando, and Bertarido in Rodelinda. This is also the case in several of Mozart's early operas, including Amintas in Il Re Pastore and Cecilio in Lucio Silla. Many modern composers other than Britten have written, and continue to write, countertenor parts, both in choral works and opera, as well as songs and song-cycles for the voice. Men's choral groups such as Chanticleer and the King's Singers employ the voice to great effect in a variety of genres, including early music, gospel, and even folk songs. Other recent operatic parts written for the countertenor voice include Edgar in Aribert Reimann's Lear (1978), the title role in Philip Glass's Akhnaten (1983), and Trinculo in Thomas Adès's The Tempest (2004). Countertenors have also appeared in rock music, most notably Freddie Mercury and Roger Meddows-Taylor of Queen and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. Anthony Green of the band Circa Survive sings entirely in the contralto range without any use of falsetto. A trained countertenor will typically have a vocal centre similar in placement to that of a contralto or mezzo-soprano. Peter Giles, a professional countertenor and noted author on the subject, defines the countertenor as a musical part rather than as a vocal style or mechanism. In modern usage, the term "countertenor" is essentially equivalent to the medieval term contratenor altus (see above). In this way, a countertenor singer can be operationally defined as a man who sings the countertenor part, whatever vocal style or mechanism is employed.The countertenor range is generally equivalent to an alto range, extending from approximately G or A3 to E5 or perhaps F5. In actual practice, it is generally acknowledged that a majority of countertenors sing with a falsetto vocal production for at least the upper half of this range, although most use some form of "chest voice" (akin to the range of their speaking voice) for the lower notes. The most difficult challenge for such a singer is managing the lower middle range, for there are normally a few notes (around Bâ™­3) that can be sung with either vocal mechanism, and the transition between registers must somehow be blended or smoothly managed. In response to the (in his view) pejorative connotation of the term falsetto, Giles refuses to use it, calling the upper register "head voice." Many voice experts would disagree with this choice of terminology, reserving the designation "head voice" for the high damped register accompanied by a relatively low larynx that is typical of modern high operatic tenor voice production. The latter type of head voice is, in terms of the vocal cord vibration, actually more similar to "chest voice" than to falsetto, since it uses the same "speaking voice" production (referred to as "modal" by voice scientists), and this is reflected in the timbre. Controversy over the terms male soprano, male alto, and countertenor The terms male soprano and male alto have been invariably used to refer to men who sing in the soprano or alto vocal range using falsetto vocal production instead of the modal voice. This practice is most commonly found in the context of choral music in England but has not been universally embraced elsewhere, particularly within operatic vocal classification which prefers the terms countertenor or sopranist. Several vocal pedagogists have argued against the use of the terms male soprano and male alto because of the differences in the physiological processes of vocal production between female singers and countertenors. From this perspective, the singer Michael Maniaci is the only known man who could refer to himself as a true male soprano because he is able to sing in the soprano vocal range using the modal voice as a woman would. He is able to do this because his larynx never fully developed as a man's voice does during puberty. Other authorities have the opposite view, preferring to restrict use of the term countertenor to singers employing little or no falsetto, equating it with haute-contre and the Italian term tenor altino. Russell Oberlin was himself a countertenor of this type, noted for his ability to sing alto and/or countertenor parts extending above C5 (the notorious "tenor high C" popularized by Italian opera) while still employing modal voice (many high tenors, particularly those who specialise in the bel canto repertoire of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and their contemporaries can also do this, but generally use a more robust voice production). Some writers insist that this can only be accomplished physically by a man in possession of vocal cords considerably shorter than average, and that such a singer would therefore possess an unusually high speaking voice (a falsettist countertenor normally speaks as a baritone or bass). Like the haute-contre, these tenorial countertenors have a lower range and tessitura than their falsettist counterparts, perhaps from D3 to D5. Those authorities who hold that only non-falsettists are "real" countertenors would prefer the phrase "male alto" or "male soprano" for the more common falsettist type.
  2. Mikey Said No . Mikey Said No.mp4 (Click Bottom Right Corner menu to Download this Video to Share) My Music Staff Integrates Skype & Zoom Download the PDFs Below Print_MMS Online Teaching Checklist.pdf Click_MMS Online Teaching Checklist.pdf If you do not want to use Skype or Zoom, this is the best service available for offering virtual lessons. Go to PLAY WITH A PRO... CLICK HERE >>> . .
  3. Ever wanted to add some sparkle to your mic cable? Item: Neutrik crystalCON, Decorative Mic Cable Connectors Price: $18 (US), £15 (UK) (per connector) Mic Rating: 4/5 At A Glance: Neutrik’s crystalCON range consist of XLR (mic) connectors that are decorated with Swarovski crystals to add some sparkle to your mic cable. They have a tough black metal housing and gold plated contacts to ensure you get a great quality connection to your microphone that will withstand years of use. The connectors also support Neutrik’s colored coding rings that allow you to add a further degree of customisation so that your mic lead doesn’t get mixed up with your band mates if you all have similar looking cables. High Notes: The are available in both male (NC3MXX-B-CRYSTAL) and female (NC3FXX-B-CRYSTAL) XLR connection formats – so you could just solder one to the end of your mic cable that is on display if you wanted to and not have to buy both connectors. The CRYSTALLIZEDTM, Swarovski Elements stand out nicely against the Black chromium chassis and the color ring can be changed without unsoldering insert. Off Pitch: Adding crystals to your mic cable won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Also, there are very few ready-made cables available that use the connectors – so you may need to solder your own. VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Love them or hate them, Neutrik’s crystalCON connectors offer something a bit different from your usual mic cable connectors. They are built to an excellent quality and if your stage look involves a lot of sparkles, then these could be the perfect to addition to your setup. It is a shame that there are very few ready-made cables available that feature these connections, as I’m sure many singers are not that confident using a soldering iron (however, it’s not as difficult as you might think and can be a useful skill to learn). If you also play guitar or keyboards while you sing, Neutrik also produce a ¼ jack lead version of the connector if you want it to match your mic lead. Manufacturer’s Website: Neutrik Other Reviews: We could not find any other reviews at the time of publishing.
  4. Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers could gain a great deal from learning one of the most elaborate and sophisticated singing techniques that was invented more than 200 years ago by the Scuola Italiana del Belcanto (translated freely into: The Italian school of beautiful singing). This ancient school of thought has produced some of the most fundamental Opera music and singing techniques that are on a daily basis use by most Opera houses in the world. But , you don't have to be an Opera singer to take advantage of the great benefits the Appoggio technique has to offer a professional vocal user You can learn to master it with an extremely good voice coach or as a part of professional voice therapy design with a voice specialist like me. Appoggio is coming from the Italian word Appogiare which means to lean on What do we lean on when we sing? On air ! Our breath support which is crucial to voice and speech production. Breath support means exactly that, the support our breath is getting before and while we produce sounds of speech or singing using the air that is coming up from our lungs moving our closed vocal cords approximately 100 times per second (Hz) for men, 200 times per second (Hz) for women and up till 400 times per second (Hz) for a child. Many singers and actors (especially beginners or natural ones- that do not attend comprehensive voice coaching as part of their training) are referred to my voice clinic by ENT surgeons after suffering from vocal nodules, vocal cords hypertrophy, detuning and other vocal abuse symptoms mainly because they do not use the correct breath support while stretching their voices to the limit. Simply put, the air support or the breath support for professional voice users like Opera singers, classical singers, actors, cantors, preachers and even nowadays rock stars and rappers should be based on the abdominal muscles. In most cases, state of the art technique for a singer will be MBS = Midsection (abdomen) Breath Support and for an actor the AGIN technique (abdominal breath support while the body is in motion, like on stage). Most clinical professional vocal abuse cases will require an exact Stroboscopy / Laryngoscopy done with the ENT specialist and the professional voice evaluation by the speech pathologist that specialize in professional voice therapy, and then the patient will be given vocal cords physiotherapy and a full 12-weeks technique for improving his breath support and tone control. While this procedure is extremely good for beginners or natural singers and actors, cantors, preachers, rock singers and rappers. It must be understood that these patients use their voice for their living their voice is their profession! Most of them simply cannot wait 12 weeks of correction like that because they will lose their jobs / places in their scheduled performances And what about the veteran singer or actor who had done a great deal of vocal training already with his voice coach and knows all about how to breath correctly? That is why this Appoggio technique will be most beneficial in these cases! Simply put, when you use Appoggio you first take in lots of air using upper chest muscles then you push in your belly muscles the diaphragm will move up pressing on the air in your lungs (that is abdominal breath support !) then you will start voice production while the pressed air is coming from below the vocal cords supporting them while vibrating, then you will use your upper chest muscles dropping them slowly controlling high pitch sounds or extra long periods of vocal singing with extra air support from the chest. So, basically, Appoggio is leaning on two breath support techniques put together the abdominal and the upper chest. A veteran singer or actor could learn that pretty quick while the beginner will be able to learn it combined with the full scale technique on the 3rd treatment providing him enough air support to hold onto his scheduled performances and thus proceeding with his 12-week voice therapy. It is good practice for the voice speech pathologist to teach the patient how to project his voice thus improving volume without putting more effort on the vocal mechanism.
  5. www.vocalizing.com By Karen Oleson and Timothy Strong The genesis for this article comes from a workshop I was asked to present for a local chapter of NATS (National Assoc. of Teachers of Singing). It is only in very recent history, that performance studies in vocal jazz have been offered in academic settings. Prior to this if one wished to be a jazz singer they learned by listening to, following and copying other singers and experimenting and performing at every opportunity. Now that jazz styles have been codified it is easier for modern educators to expose jazz singing to students at almost any age. It can be confusing for both student and teacher to try to translate the voice building techniques and exercises needed to produce desired results for both classical and jazz singing. The vocal choices one makes for singing jazz are quite different from a classical singer. My students love singing jazz and are thrilled when they are accepted into their jazz choir or ensemble but are challenged to bridge the differences between techniques. So what are these differences? Can we bridge these diverse techniques? Can they be compatible? Have we been allowing style differences to interrupt the goal of voice building? The following chart suggests some of the presumed differences in vocal technique and style. Classical Technique Voice Quality: Resonant, full bodied, clear. Breath Management: Fundamental building block for voice development. Opera singers need to sing for hours over symphony orchestra with no mic(rophone). Articulation: Pure vowels, clipped consonants, years of study in at least four languages Range: Wide range, 2 1/2 to three octaves, top notes of prime importance no matter what voice type. Flexibility: Desirable for keeping voice fresh and healthy. Necessary to negotiate challenging cadenzas. Registers: Blended, seamless connection between registers Posture: Very important consideration for breath management and voice projection. Dynamics: Requires large dynamic range from pp to ff. Messa di voce important study for voice building. Vibrato: Used extensively, integral part of the vocal quality. Jazz Technique Voice Quality: Can be earthy or breathy. Close to speaking voice. Breath Management: Singers also required to sustain long phrases and scat. But since the sound doesn’t need to as resonant, or as powerful, learning nuances of mic technique becomes essential. Articulation: Very close to speaking voice. Diphthongs are used according to singers’ choice. Range: Ranges of more than an octave unnecessary but often desired. Vocal improv takes the singer to the extremes of the voice both low and high. Flexibility: Desirable for improvisation. Registers: Breaks in voice often dramatically emphasized. Posture: Appearance often cool, dispassionate Dynamics: Fewer vocal extremes required. Vibrato: Often used minimally and at end of phrases. Classical Style Pitch: Often taught to come in on top of pitch, but to sing in middle of pitch. Rhythm: Precision is important. Runs done as meteronomically accurate as possible. Rubato done at specific places in music and according to era of music and composer. Attack: The onset of the pitch is executed gently. Letting the breath lead. The pitch needs to be precisely in tune. Musical Accuracy: Do not deviate from composers apparent intent. Sing rhythm and pitches according to what is written in the score. Improvisation: Improvisation is dictated according to current trends. Improv is allowed only in certain styles and periods of music Other features: Acting and presentation skills are important in classical singing. The quality of the sound, communicating the text and music are prime considerations. Jazz Style Pitch: Sing on lower part of pitch. Enter or scoop from under pitch. Rhythm: Fluidity within the meter is allowed and desired. Sing against or after the beat. The pause is strictly kept by the drummer so that the rest of the group can play with the rhythm. Attack: Sometimes hard onset in used, other times soft. Enter from below pitch, strong blues influence. Musical Accuracy: The whole point of singing jazz is to be a co-creator with the composer in that particular moment in time. Next time it will be different (hopefully). Improvisation: Scat syllables and improvisations are influenced by current trends. Improv is the name of the game. Other features: Presentation is secondary to listening and responding to other participants while performing. Everything is new, so that cultivating awareness of what's going on around you is of primary importance. Being in the musical moment. The chart shows how singers make choices about how they use their voices depending on the style of music. So how does this affect their training? How do we bridge these diverse techniques and can they be compatible in voice building? Most music educators will agree that we want our students to sing well, no matter what the style. Breath management is an essential part of voice building and good singing. However, because classical singers sing without a mic and have to maintain a fuller resonance they are unable to play with the subtle vocal nuances that the jazz singers enjoy. The microphone assists the jazz singer in singing with a breathy tone, growling, and singing very lightly if they wish. Still, all of those choices need breath management. Articulation is an important ingredient for both types of singing. The jazz singer can be more speech-like and casual in their approach. Ex. My = ma-i. They can play with diphthongs according to their will. Classical singers are more formal in their use of language most often stay longer on the first half vowel of a diphthong. Ex. My=mah-i. It might seem that clarity of text and understandability should have priority but both classical and jazz singers may sacrifice this for a certain type of vocal sound. Classical singers spend years learning to blend the natural occurring register breaks in the voice. Although somewhat important in the jazz singer, it is minimal. The mic can assist the jazz singer with this so that they are able to play with subtle qualities and ranges that wouldn't be heard if a classical singer tried it. Today when students enter my private studio, I ask them about their musical goals. As they are exposed to voice building techniques their goals may change but the important thing for us is to help them find their way efficiently. I've experienced having younger students wanting to be country singers develop into prize winning classical singers. I've also encountered classical trained singers who were relieved to find that there are other techniques that would help them sing musical theatre or jazz. If they are interested in both aspects of singing, the lesson time needs to be subtly managed to address different musical goals. They will need to educate their ear about pitch, vibrato, and the volume of sound and resonance of the voice. A classical singer needs to hear their voice in a natural acoustical environment without artificial support. Jazz singers needs to become accustomed to hearing themselves through amplification. As pointed out in the chart, the use of vibrato, dynamics, pitch onset, voice coloring, rhythm, and many other aspects of these two diverse styles are for the most part at odds with one another. When these considerations are pointed out to the students, they have a better chance of making appropriate choices without confusion and with an appreciation of the differences. Our studio has developed publications that present voice building exercises encompassing various musical styles.* In the example presented below, the purpose of the exercise is rich and deep: ear training, pitch accuracy, flexibility, and singing in contrasting styles. In my opinion, you get the best of both worlds here - a classical warm-up, learning to sing in a major and then a minor key (great ear training), and then scat improv in both major and minor keys. With this exercise, you have an opportunity to show off your classical voice and quickly switch to jazz. These contrasting styles require different ways of using your voice. The classical style requires a more fully resonant sound including vibrato, whereas in jazz vocals, a more speech like quality is appreciated. In conclusion, clear and meaningful communication as to the differences in vocal usage and styles can make all the difference in your students’ abilities to enjoy and perform different styles of music. I have found that presenting them with practical models for bridging the gap can do wonders for their understanding and enjoyment of music making.
  6. Hey everyone So I’m currently trying to find out how one could make the journey of aspiring singers a lot easier... Which is why I have two simple questions: 1. As a beginner, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with? 2. Regarding your singing voice, what would you wish for more than anything else? Thanks so much in advance - looking forward to reading your answers!
  7. It always floors me when a Voice Therapy Client or Singing Student comes in with something unusual. I've dealt with Vocal Nodule Rehab cases to Chronic Laryngitis cases to Vocal Fold Paralysis cases over my 28 years of practice. So when one of my students went haywire during a vocal practice session when hiccups ailed him, I found it interesting. They wouldn't go away and there he was getting agitated, progressively nervous and he basically got so flustered that the hiccups would not go away. I instantly blurted out the "Old Wives Tales" cures one after another that we all know, but really it all came down to relaxing the abdominal muscles and doing a lot of deep breaths, yoga breaths, meditation, self hypnosis to get those abdominal muscles to stop the spasms. Drinking water obviously helps along with deep relaxed breaths and sometimes even holding your breath. If you combine all of the above and literally weed out all of the potential things that might agitate the symptoms and simply relax, you're out of the woods. Ironically, I looked in my various Vocal Pedagogy Textbooks and Bibles and found nothing on hiccups. Nerves can trigger them, but it's horrible when you're on stage performing and they hit. One preventative measure I think that you can take is to watch your diet and don't eat too close to a performance. I always have Brioschi, a lemon flavored Sodium Bicarbonate that is always handy to have. But one thing I think that everyone should be also aware of is Acid Reflux cases(GERD). Acid Reflux must be treated or patients suffering with GERD can do severe damage to their voice, esophogus and upper respiratory tract and can even cause throat cancer when the acid comes up into Upper Respiratory Tract chronically. A tell tale issue is chronic sinus infections that are also caused by stomach acid coming up. 50% of the adult population in the United States has Acid Reflux. A Startling Statistic!!! So get a GERD test from a good specialist. Many of these specialists can also do a Colonoscopy as well. If you have Colon Cancer as I have in my family history, you need to get those done when you're over 40. If you've read this article, I would love some feedback about your methods of curing hiccups. I am going to webmd.com now to do further research on this case for my Voice Student.
  8. Hi, I thought you might be interested in this new guide for singers of all abilities. It can be used as you own guide to become a professional singer or even as a teaching aid for others. If you want to sing and/or make it in the music business then you cannot afford to miss out! The book is 'How to be a Pop Sensation' by internationally recognised voice coach Pete Moody and the website for more information is http://www.makemeapopstar.com Visit the links below (or why not carry out your own search on the internet) to find out what other people are saying about this book. Teachers & Organisations please email ultimateguide@makemeapopstar.com for details on bulk sales or recommendation based commission. Warm Regards Sensation Web Team 'HOW TO BE A POP SENSATION - The Ultimate Guide For Vocalists' by Pete Moody Published in the UK by Gibson Publishing ISBN 9780956710116 Recommended by www.xfactorliveusa.com Read Reviews on Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0956710115/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 Internationally Recognised Voice Coach
  9. The life and unexpected death of the legendary comedian, Joan Rivers. Would she be alive today if she did not submit herself for a vocal operation? What a beautiful article written about the legendary Joan Rivers! When I came to Canada almost 35 years ago I was trying to watch as much TV as I could to learn the language. Although I didn't fully understand her humour at the time, I was impressed by comedian Joan Rivers. Joan had beautiful energy and a very animated personality, and she spoke very loudly with huge command and conviction in her voice. However, being a voice specialist, I immediately noted that she was using her voice incorrectly, as her voice was obviously coming out from the back of her neck and the very bottom of her throat. In all honesty, I am amazed that her voice lasted as long as it did! That said, it is evident that, genetically, she was a very strong woman with a very strong personality. In a general sense, no human voice could withstand such pressure applied onto the vocal box for a prolonged period of time. However, you could clearly hear in her performances in recent years that her voice was getting raspier and quite often she simply sounded hoarse. When that happens to a human being, especially one whose livelihood depends on his or her voice, that individual, quite often, emotionally disagrees with the situation. However, most of the time, that person intellectually understands that something has to be done about it, as there is no change without a change, so to speak. While disagreeing, however, they are trying to continuously push that voice out on the surface when, by that time, the voice has usually already been drowned deep inside in their throat. So by pushing it vigorously, they are, unfortunately, accomplishing the opposite result, as by drowning and straining that voice exponentially could bring it to the stage of no return. However, like you are stating in your article, people with voice challenges should notice the change sooner rather than later and first try to conquer it non-surgically by finding a qualified voice specialist who knows how to conduct the voice repair in a holistic manner. We live in a very fast-paced world and to accomplish something we have to move pretty fast. So the thoughts of people like John Rivers and even just of ordinary people are Let's do it now, and let's do it fast. She was probably thinking about her next upcoming performance and, nevertheless, wanted to sound nice, clean, and crisp. However, she did not realize that surgery is not necessarily the solution. The instrument might be tuned and fixed, but the player is still applying the wrong technique, trying to extract the sound from said instrument. If the greatest pianist of all time, Liberace, had been hammering his beautiful pink Grand Piano he would have broken it to pieces and would have no instrument to show his best piano skills. It takes two the instrument and the player. The instrument has to be sound and the player has to be adequate. The player also must be able to extract the maximum capacity of that given instrument. So in the case of the voice, the speaker or singer has to be able also to extract the maximum capacity of their voice and with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy. I always say, work smart, not hard, and with minimum effort accomplish the maximum result. Also, work upon the design and do not play it by ear. That said, be professional on every level.
  10. Vocal Health Care with Eucalyptus Oil Using essential oils to care for the voice can be extremely helpful for any voice professional. Essential oils work with the body to help heal whatever issue the body is dealing with. There are oils for almost any ailment a voice professional deals with. One difficult and pressing issue that happens to almost everyone, including voice professionals, is the issue of clogged sinuses. We may go to sleep feeling fine and the next morning wake up with a completely clogged sinus passage. If you have a performance, rehearsal or presentation that day, you need to open your sinuses quickly and safely using a clearing agent that will not affect your voice adversely as prescription medications and over the counter drugs can do. Eucalyptus oil is an excellent way to do this. Vocal Health Care Tool If you wake up in the morning with a clogged sinus passage and need a very powerful agent to clear out your sinuses, here is a way to immediately clear out your sinuses and stay clear for your presentation or performance. This is what you will need before you begin: 1) 1 bottle of quality Eucalyptus oil. 2) 2 Q-tips 3) A warm shower Turn on your shower to a heat you can handle without it being to hot on your skin. Put a number of towels at the bottom of the door so the steam from the shower does not escape under the door. Just steaming alone is excellent and essential for proper vocal health care and when your vocal apparatus is under siege; however, this procedure will speed healing even more. Before you get into the shower, take each Q-tip and dip it in the Eucalyptus oil making sure it is covered completely and soaked. Put the Eucalyptus oil and Q-tips on a clean towel or tissue on the counter next to the shower or somewhere close so you can reach them from the shower. Before you get into the shower, spill a few drops of Eucalyptus oil on the floor of the shower. Be careful how much you use; if you use too much, the oil may burn your feet, so just a few drops. Get into the shower and breathe deeply and slowly allowing the mixture to fill your lungs. Take a few minutes to let the steam and mix of Eucalyptus oil begin opening up your sinus passages. After you have begun to allow the steam open you up, take one oil-soaked Q-tip and insert it into one nostril. Very gently and slowly, slide the Q-tip up into your sinus passage, making sure it goes all the way up into your sinus passage as far as it can go. Next, slowly and even more gently twist and turn the Q-tip so it coats your entire sinus passage. Now slowly pull the Q-tip out as you feel the openness in your sinus cavity and the energy of the oil working. Take the other oil soaked Q-tip and do the same thing to your other sinus passage. Within 30 seconds (or sooner) you will probably begin to sneeze longer and stronger than you ever have before! This is the clearing power of the oil and your sinus passages expelling all the mucus and bacteria that has been clogging you up. In addition, the oil will slide down into the back of your throat opening, cleaning, and clearing out any mucus or bacteria. If you are a voice professional, someone who uses their voice to make a living, this clearing is something I recommend you do every couple of weeks. It is another tool in the tool box of your own personal vocal health care regimen.
  11. Foods to sleep by for Vocal Health Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things a voice professional needs. When we get the proper amount of sleep, at least 7 hours, our body is refreshed, strong and full of energy. The strength, power, clarity and focus of our voice is very dependent on our body. If we feel weak and depleted then our voice will more than likely sound the same way. A good nights sleep is crucial for quality vocal health. While exercise and mental clarity are definitely important for a good nights sleep, diet is equally important. Vocal Health and Eating before sleeping The body needs to rest while sleeping. If we eat up to three hours before sleeping, then our digestive system is working very hard digesting our meal, taking energy that should be storing up as we sleep. This energy is also needed to restore and heal whatever our body and voice is going through even if it is just basic repair from the days normal activities. In addition to, and even more important is the effect of eating before sleeping on the voice. Eating before sleeping is one of the most common reasons voice professionals have GERD, also known as acid reflux. Many times because of eating before sleeping and lying down while digesting, food is not able to digest properly and excess acid from the stomach can move up into the throat and sit on the vocal cords causing a myriad of problems ranging from waking up with mucus on the cords to inflammation and even vocal cord deterioration. Eating the wrong foods before sleeping can also lead to a difficult nights sleep due to the effects on the brain. Sugars, white flour, processed foods, dyes, fried foods, glutens and carbohydrates all effect the brain negatively not allowing it to slow down and rest while sleeping. Tryptophan for Vocal Health It is important for voice professionals to know what to eat before they sleep to get a good nights sleep. One amino acid that is very useful in helping the body to slow down and rest peacefully is tryptophan. Tryptophan helps to combat depression, stabilize moods, and insomnia. It also helps to alleviate stress, is good for migraine headaches, and aids in weight control by reducing appetite. If you must eat within three hours of going to sleep, try eating smaller amounts of food and eating foods with high levels of tryptophan. Some excellent sources of foods containing tryptophan and have a low potential to create mucus include: Alaskan salmon Asparagus Baked potatoes with their skin Beans Brown rice Chicken breast Cod Eggs Halibut Hazelnuts Hummus Kelp Lentils Meats Nuts ( sprouted not roasted ) Quinoa Seaweed Sesame seeds Shrimp Snapper Soy protien Spinach Spirulina Tuna Turkey Winter Squash Certainly this list is not all inclusive and there may be some foods that do not digest well in one person and are okay for another. Each person needs to know what works for them and their vocal regimen. As a voice professional your vocal health must be one of the top priorities in your life. Get the right amount of sleep and eat properly to insure your voice delivers for you when you need it to. As always, I wish you the best on your quest for Superior Vocal Health David Aaron Katz
  12. The answer is: Dealing with something serious like that cannot be self-served. Nevertheless, one of the commercials on weight loss for men says: “If you could do it alone, you would’ve done it already.” - Harvey Brooker Indeed, but some people still think that if they knew the diagnosis and somewhat (in theory) how it could be treated, they would have attempted fixing their vocal issues by themselves… The fact is that any voice problem, by definition, is already an internal problem; and thus, has to be treated very seriously and by a qualified voice specialist. The work with a damaged voice is usually very detailed and very intense, which applies to both sides: The injured client and the voice repair specialist. Without the guidance of a highly qualified professional, it is virtually impossible for the sufferer to lift their voice and re-channel it into the different set of muscles altogether; and on top of that, put those muscles (facial and abdominals) to work in full conjunction and coordination with each other. The above formula would allow the person to release their vocal anatomy from the pressure of the sound; and thus, allow the bruised throat and the vocal cords to heal. Moreover, the person has to adapt a new way of speaking, as well as singing (where applicable). It could be very much so equivalent to the modification of a whole “blueprint” of the person in question. Let’s say that a “dancer” was dancing for quite a few years with the feet inwards instead of outwards. Nevertheless, the dancer had gotten used to it and even felt quite comfortable with it until such time that his/her ankles and knees started to give out. So now, we have to restructure the feet position in order to save the dancer’s joints; and, as a side effect, finally teach him/her how to dance complying with professional standards and how not to damage the structural components of their body. In this case, (and as well as in any other case), we will, first of all, be teaching the brain to think differently and translate that thinking into the physical body (first in the slow-motion and then on an “automatic pilot”, so to speak). This methodology has similarities with what’s called Neural linguistic Programing. The above discipline advocates that, via special skill application, it could change and “replace” the certain modality of the certain behavior in one’s brain. As you see, my reader, it sounds pretty complex. Therefore, it never ceases to amaze me when after just an introductory session, my potential client is revealing to me that he is ready to practice by himself and quite prepared to work really hard on his own…? I’m sorry to say, but I find that a little ridiculous (to put it mildly). It would be the same as if the person would meet with a brain surgeon, who (granted) would explain in reasonable details what exactly the surgical procedure would entail; and then the patient (who is in need of a brain surgery) would decide that he, somehow, would be able to perform it himself, on his own, and at home…? Sounds funny, doesn’t it? It does indeed. But I do hear it quite often and I hope that people are thinking that way only because of the financial strain and not out of complete ignorance. On top of it, some of them are going to regular vocal coaches to seek help with their injured voice. I consider the regular vocal coaches, at best, equivalent to a regular physician who knows something about (let’s say) brain surgery, but never got specialized in it. If in real sense, (God forbid) you would need brain surgery, would you want your family physician to perform it, or you would rather hire a highly qualified brain surgeon to perform it? The above is your quiz for today. Enjoy your food for thought!
  13. Smart VL2 software on PC/Windows extends features of TC-HELICON Voicelive 2 allowing wireless remote control from any microphone; Playing WAV and MIDI files related to presets and steps that can automate effects changes and/or control harmony while playing. Not to mention the full-screen visual control. The software now already available for Voicelive2 will also be released soon for others devices of Voicelive series. Website: http://www.smartvl.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smartvl
  14. Step 1. · Identify the vocal problem itself in order to get your voice back. Perhaps, you have noticed that your voice (Speaking and/or singing) is not working in the same capacity as it once was. Obviously you are puzzled and concerned. At this point, you have to come to terms that something is not the same and begin to accept that fact. Step 2. · Identify the cause of such occurrence. Please try to analyze what could have caused your voice problem in the first place. Please try to “rewind” all the possible facts, which could have lead to such an ordeal. You might think of any medical/surgical procedures you might have undergone in the not very distant past. You might think of a ball game you might have attended with your kids, or a concert of your Idol singing. In this instance, you would possibly be able to recall how excited you were then, during the events, & how loud you were cheering for the performers in the field. Also, it probably would not hurt to look at your personal relationship with your spouse and your children. Have you been shouting a lot lately? Have you, perhaps, been under a lot of stress at work and/or at home? All of the above factors (and many others) could easily aid to a voice problem. When you are in the moment, you are not paying attention how loud you speak or scream. The consequences will haunt you later. Step 3. · Do not ‘sugarcoat’ your feelings; rather, embrace it with a grain of sault. That alone will help you immensely to get your voice back in a fast and efficient manner. When you start experiencing some changes in your voice, please DO NOT pretend that nothing happened and do not convince yourself that it is just temporary and you will feel better tomorrow. Unfortunately, you might not feel better tomorrow, as the damage has already been done and it will not go away on its own. It might require some further investigation and medical (or alternative) assistance. Step 4. · Outline your goal for the best possible recovery of your vocal problem and enjoy getting there. Once you are able to face the fact that you do have a vocal problem, please embrace this fact and outline the goal to get your voice back. It might, not necessarily, be an easy road, but please try to enjoy the process towards achieving your main goal – getting your voice back.
  15. HERE IS AN EMAIL THAT WAS DISCOVERED WHERE ROBERT LUNTE, FOUNDER OF THE VOCALIST STUDIO, ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT KTVA VS TVS TECHNIQUES. HERE IS AN EMAIL THAT WAS DISCOVERED WHERE ROBERT LUNTE, FOUNDER OF THE VOCALIST STUDIO, ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT KTVA VS TVS TECHNIQUES. Hey Rob, So I noticed that there is a difference in definitions between TVS and Ken Tamplin's program. Ken Tamplin refers to head voice as a mode; basically a strong reinforced falsetto. WELL, ... IN REGARDS TO THE TRUE DEFINITION OF VOCAL MODES, THAT IS NOT A DEFINITION THAT IS AS ACCURATE AS IT NEEDS TO BE. IF WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT MODES, IT IS BEST TO REFER TO THE ORIGINATORS OF PHYSICAL MODES, THE ESTILLIANS… WHICH IS MORE OR LESS WHAT THE TVS PHYSICAL MODES ARE INSPIRED BY. FALSETTO IS A PHYSICAL MODE, HEAD VOICE IS NOTHING MORE THEN A METAPHOR FOR THE UPPER REGISTER… HEAD VOICE ACTUALLY DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING, IF YOU WANT TO BE STRICT ABOUT IT. IT IS A “PICTURE WORD” TO REFER TO THE UPPER VOICE SENSATION WE ALL HAVE… TO CALL IT A VOCAL MODE, IS TO CLAIM THAT IT IS A PHYSICAL AND TANGIBLE THING, WHICH IT ISN’T. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘REINFORCED FALSETTO’. THERE IS ONLY A PHYSICAL MODE CALLED FALSETTO AND IT IS CHARACTERIZED BY A WINDY, OPEN GLOTTIS THAT ESCAPES RESPIRATION. IF THE PHONATION DOES NOT HAVE WIND, IT IS NOT FALSETTO. IF YOU “REINFORCE” A PHONATION ON A HIGH NOTE ABOVE THE BRIDGE, IT IS MORE ACCURATELY GOING TO BE VOCAL TWANG… WHICH IS ANOTHER PHYSICAL MODE. In TVS falsetto is a mode, but the head voice is just what you call notes that resonate from the head, in whatever mode you are singing. WELL DONE, THAT IS MORE OR LESS CORRECT. HOWEVER, NOTE THAT THIS DEFINITION OF MODES IS NOT JUST THE WAY TVS SEES IT. IT IS ALSO THE WAY ESTILLIANS AND CVI SEES IT. ESTILL ARE THE ORIGINATORS OF VOCAL MODES, SO PEOPLE THAT CARE TO BE ACCURATE ABOUT VOCAL MODES, TEND TO FOLLOW THEIR ORIGINAL FOUNDATION ON THE TOPIC, WHICH TVS PHYSICAL MODES DO. I prefer the TVS definition. However, I think that makes the whole bridging late vs bridging early debate between the two systems inconsistent. IS THERE A DEBATE? ... OH YA, KTVA WOULD LIKE CONSUMERS TO BELIEVE THERE IS… THERE IS NO DEBATE. TVS HAS BOTH BOTTOM UP AND TOP DOWN TECHNIQUES. THIS IS A TIRED, OLD IDEA THAT STARTED ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO THAT HAS BEEN PROPAGATED TO CREATE CONFUSION IN THE MARKET ABOUT WHAT TVS STANDS FOR... KTVA HAS GOT A LOT OF MILEAGE OUT OF PROPAGATING THIS MISINFORMATION. IT IS COMPLETELY STUPID AND I HAVE CREATED NO LESS THEN FOUR VIDEOS TO COMBAT THE CONFUSION. Ken's criticism of what he calls late bridging seems more apt to describing some classical voice teachers who teach bridging to a falsetto mode instead of a twang mode, or metal screamers who rely on a distorted reinforced falsetto. His criticism being that early bridging over time breaks down the "mid voice," of which he doesn't define. HE TALKS A GOOD GAME AND CERTAINLY SINGS A GOOD GAME… BUT WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, IN MY OPINION AND FROM FEEDBACK FROM HIS CUSTOMERS, HE DOESN’T ALWAYS DEFINE OR EXPLAIN A GOOD GAME. IN REGARDS TO EARLY BRIDGING AND VOCAL ATROPHY… ON THIS POINT, I AGREE WITH KEN. THE LACK OF BOTTOM UP TRAINING WILL RESULT IN WEAK TA MUSCLE STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE. BOTTOM TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL TO BELTING, BUT ALSO JUST TO BASIC VOCAL HEALTH. THIS IS WHY THE NEW 4PILLARS SYSTEM HAS AN EXTENSIVE BOTTOM-UP AND BELT TRAINING EXPLANATIONS AND ROUTINES. With the TVS definition, I'd say I mostly bridge early. But it's not such a big difference it seems. I can still bring a bigger boomier sound up higher, but from learning early bridging techniques, I'm not stuck to an overly heavy phonation with constriction. It's dynamic and free. PRECISELY!!!!!!!!!!! YOU NEED BOTH APPROACHES! DIFFERENT PEOPLE NEED DIFFERENT APPROACHES BASED ON THEIR NEEDS. YOU DESCRIBED THOSE NEEDS NICELY. I TOTALLY AGREE. KNOW THIS… THE REASON ANY COACH WOULD BE LIGHT ON TOP-DOWN TRAINING TECHNIQUES IS SIMPLY BECAUSE TOP-DOWN TRAINING TECHNIQUES ARE MORE COMPLICATED TO UNDERSTAND AND TEACH. IT IS A LOT EASIER TO TEACH BOTTOM-UP TECHNIQUES. TOP-DOWN TECHNIQUES REQUIRE MORE PRECISION AND MORE UNDERSTANDING OF THE MUSCULATURE AND OTHER DETAILS. "PUSH FROM THE BOTTOM UP ON AN AH VOWEL"... IS A FAR EASIER STORY TO TELL, THEN BUILDING FROM INSIDE THE HEAD VOICE. I think part of the confusion also stems from the SLS / singing success terms, where the mixed voice is their term for twang, and head voice is defined as a strong falsetto. WHICH IS AN AWFUL DEFINITION OF TWANG… AND PAINFULLY INCORRECT. AGAIN, IF ANY OF THESE PEOPLE, WOULD BOTHER TO STUDY VOCAL MODES AS I HAVE, THEY WOULD NOT BE TALKING INACCURACIES TO CONSUMERS. SLS AND SS SEEM LIKE THE LEAST INFORMED TEACHERS SOMETIMES. TO BE SURE, THEY ARE NOT TRAINED IN VOCAL MODES AND ARE WAY OF COURSE WHEN IT COMES TO BELTING. VERY FEW PEOPLE WILL EVER BUILD A STRONG TOP REGISTER BELT WITH "SING LIKE YOU SPEAK" TYPE METHODS. It's kind of silly considering the actually mixed resonance we feel is only from around c4 to E4. Mixed voice is just a bad term. YEP… THAT IS WHY I KILLED IT IN MY “MIXED VOICE IS DEAD!” VIDEO… IT IS A TERM THAT SOME TEACHERS USE TO KEEP THEIR STUDENTS CONFUSED. THE MORE YOU CAN KEEP YOUR STUDENTS CONFUSED, THE LESS YOU HAVE TO REALLY UNDERSTAND YOUR SUBJECT MATTER AND BE ABLE TO REALLY EXPLAIN THINGS AS A TEACHER. Am I understanding this right? TOM, I THINK YOU HAVE A LOT OF THIS PRETTY SQUARED AWAY. IT SEEMS THE TVS CONTENT IS HELPING YOU TO SORT THIS ALL OUT, WHICH IS GREAT. Tom
  16. Hi, TMV-ers! I thought it would be useful today to write a bit about how I approach and talk about vocal technique, in the hope that by putting these ideas out there, you can pick and choose some of them that make sense to you, and that you will hopefully find useful. As a starting point for this, I am inspired to recall an idea I read in Cornelius Reid's book, 'Voice - Psyche and Soma'. I cannot remember the exact quote, but the gist of it is that the mind and the body are acting together to produce the singing voice. I think this means for vocal technique that singing is simultaneously psychological and physical. A survey of books written on singing over the last 200 years shows that every teacher has a different approach to working with singers, a different mix of the psychological and physical. Some favor emphasis of the physical aspects, and talk about doing things with body parts, muscle groups, tendons, nasal cavities, lower jaw, the tongue, etc. Others emphasize the sensations of the singer, i.e., 'sing so that you feel such and such a sensation in such and such location in your body'. Still others rely on metaphors and imagery, i.e., 'sing out the top of your head', or 'imagine that you are projecting the tone toward a target on the wall', or 'think of a happy memory'. I don't do any of these alone. Perhaps better stated, I do them all, cherry-picking ideas and approaches from these authors that have these characteristics: 1) are based on anatomical fact, acoustical principles, and physiologically healthy bodily action. 2) are easily expressed and understood using in common language 3) can be practiced beneficially by the student without the teacher's constant supervision 4) help the singer build their ability to sing what they desire to sing - whatever genre or style that is. When it comes to teaching, I am also an optimist. :-) I believe that most people, with very few exceptions, can learn to sing for their own & others' enjoyment if they approach it with patience. In my next posts, I will be writing about the basics of how the voice works - 'what happens where' in the mind and body to produce healthy vocal tone. Along the way, I will address some common misconceptions I've encountered, and clarify some terms that are often used by singers and teachers, but not well understood. I have no illusions that the way I approach this is the only way, or even the best way. I am very interested to hear other ways of doing it as well, as that is how I learn myself. If you have a particular area you'd like to discuss, send me an e-mail or comment to my blog, and I will pull that text forward in a response. Best Regards, Steve
  17. Grooming Your Voice For Success By Julie Lyonn Lieberman It's easy to build vocal habits when you sing a song over and over again. These habits can be useful to free us to focus on performance values; but all too often, we lock in tightness and inferior function, thereby creating a struggle during performance or even hoarseness, a sore throat, and the like. No matter how good you sound, how music business savvy you are, and how hard you've worked on your material and its presentation, if you don't cultivate a ritual around how you care for your voice, you stand to compromise your future and potentially your level of success. Pro-athletes work with their muscles intelligently. They understand that if they don't warm up, respect the properties of muscle and joint function, and warm down, they may be beleaguered with aches and pains or injuries that thwart the level of success they are able to achieve. Taking responsibility represents potential longevity as well as quality of experience. Most singers already know that warm-ups are important, but they may not understand why it's essential to vocalize regularly before singing their actual material. Let's use our postural muscles as a metaphor. Let's say you spend 10 hours a day hunched over. The muscles will gradually adapt and freeze you into that posture if you don't stretch and strengthen your body to counterbalance repetitive motion. Your sound is influenced by a combination of genetics; family and geographic influences on pronunciation/articulation; and the influence of your emotional/psychological gestalt on the use of your vocal anatomy. All of these factors culminate to create habitual muscular response. This, in turn, can embed and strengthen patterns that mobilize the tongue, lips, breath, and what I call the cathedral the interior musculature of the mouth and throat. Vocal exercises aerobicize, stretch and strengthen these muscle groups so that they remain balanced. Through this process, you can refine and detail mind-to-body response so that each sound you hear, each emotion you experience, and every thought you intend to communicate to your audience is received by this flexible work station and translated into a palette of color and texture. Here is the ironic twist: we are least conscious of how we sing each time we learn a new song because our attention is focused almost entirely on learning the melody and words. Yet, this is when we tend to sing the song the most in order to learn it. If it's an original piece, this is also when we are also the most emotional because the lyrics are intimately connected to and motivated by current life experiences. Some singers, when they are imbued with feeling, tighten the throat or body to express emotion as it wells up. Muscularly speaking, the brain can't differentiate between the activity, singing that specific song, and how we are carrying out the activity. The brain takes all of that information, and locks it together into a sensory engram (which I like to call a barcode.) From that moment forward, we tend to perform the song exactly as we rehearsed it. Here are some simple procedures you can institute to improve your practice habits: 1) Warm up before singing lyrics: Assess your voice each day and choose exercises that stimulate desired response from breath support, lip action, tongue behavior, and the tone you produce. This is detailed on my DVD, Vocal Aerobics: Essentials for Today Singer (see JulieLyonn.com > Vocalist's Corner for details). 2) When learning a new song, sing the melody on the vowel that's most comfortable for you first; then use the actual vowels of the words but without the consonants. 3) To prevent any habitual muscular associations, speak the lyrics to learn them, but use varying accents from around the world or country; become an actor or actress and delivery the lyrics using different personalities, pitch settings, and emotional contexts to avoid inadvertently embedding negative muscular habits. Examples: become a British school teacher become a sea nymph speak wistfully, then angrily, then lovingly use your low range and then your high range vary volume as you speak vary pitch as you speak 4) Join the lyrics and melody together, singing softly without emotion; then try singing the song in various keys as well as with variations in volume. You can apply the personalities you've rehearsed to the sung version as well. 5) Now sing emotionally. Notice what happens to you physically when you become more expressive. If you discover tension mounting in areas of your body, try varying how you express emotion by using imagery: I will pour my anger out the bottom of my feet like a pitcher with a leak. I will inhale and exhale on between each sentence as if I'm filling the sails of a sailboat with my breath and emulate that image when I sing each sentence of the song. I will sing the song with the opposite emotion the lyrics require (emotion is energy and when we pour anger into a love song, it doesn't necessarily read as anger it can read as heightened passion!) There is a popular quote, sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein, and other times to Benjamin Franklin or Rita Mae Brown, that goes something like, Insanity is doing the same thing the same way over and over again and expecting different results. The above practice procedures will give you an opportunity to step out of old practice habits and thereby gain new results. Vocal Aerobics: Essentials for Today's Singers with Julie Lyonn Lieberman 60-minute instructional DVD distributed by Hal Leonard World-renowned music educator, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, has created an instructional DVD for singers. Her practice system focuses on cognitive illumination and muscular facility. This system can help develop a vibrating palette that communicates spirit, emotion, and viewpoint all riding effortlessly on the breath. It is supported by science yet connected to individuality. By first guiding the exercises in silence, her intent is to prevent the tension and misuse that often occur when the main impetus for the creation of musical sound is fueled by a brew of yearning and fear mixed with a fixation on the end product. Topics covered include: Section I Introduction, Creating a Cathedral, Breath Anatomy Section II Aerobicizing the Tongue, Mobilizing the Lips Section III Balancing the non-dominant side of the mouth, Posture, The Power of Imagery, Warming Up and Warming Down, Vocal Health Ms. Lieberman trusts the innate intelligence of the client by making sure that they understand how and why each region of their vocal anatomy works the way it does. Through extensive experience teaching, she has developed ergonomically based exercises that are fulcrum triggers: they get the job done more efficiently and faster. Lieberman has discovered that when the lights are turned on and the equipment is illuminated, epiphanies abound and can continue to be generated by the singer, long after the teacher leaves the room. Her in-depth studies while creating her critically acclaimed book You Are Your Instrument, followed by her three spin-off DVDs (The Vocalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, The Instrumentalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, and The Violin in Motion) place a unique spin on this body of work. Most voice teachers use exercises that are effective in the long run or they would be put out of business, but the older model for mentorship entailed a do as I do and do as I say approach. It was a faith-based relationship; the student was expected to blindly follow the teacher’s directions without specifics, context, or adequate rapport with the musculature required to do the job smoothly and consciously. The belief behind that style of work was that if you repeated each exercise enough times (often while inadvertently thinking about something else), that it would help you sing better. This is the long, slow train to success. Julie believes that it's time to replace unconscious repetition with less activity, more awareness, and targeted control. She will help you convert the butcher's knife into a laser beam! About the author Julie Lyonn Lieberman has specialized in working with creative vocalists in her NYC music studio over the last 3 decades. Her students have included artists such as Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, Grammy-nominated Putnam Murdock, Indie music award winner Kara Suzanne (best new folk-singer/songwriter album of the year), and critically acclaimed lyricist Julie Flanders, to name a few. Ms. Lieberman is an improvising violinist/singer, composer, recording artist, journalist, educator, and the author of nine books and six instructional DVDs. A dynamic, participatory workshop leader, her ability to stimulate participants to think and grow in new ways has earned respect for her work throughout the world. In addition to currently teaching improvisation at Juilliard, she has presented for organizations like Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, the Juilliard MAP Program, Carnegie/Weill Hall/Juilliard's The Academy,National Young Audiences, and the Carnegie Hall LinkUp. Lieberman is a J. D'Addario Elite Clinician. Alfred Publishing publishes her scores. To Order: This DVD is distributed by Hal Leonard through your local music, book store, and amazon.com for $23.95 or SPECIAL PRICE FOR MEMBERS OF THE MODERN VOCALIST Purchase through Paypal at The Vocalist's Corner on julielyonn.com or Send a check to Julie Lyonn Music, P.O. Box 268, Worthington, MA 01098 $21.95 + $5.00 shipping in the U.S.Add $5 outside the U.S.
  18. 'Vocal Strength and Power' by Dena Murray Interview Steve: Hi, Dena! I understand that your new book on singing has just been published. Would you tell us a little bit about it? Dena: This is a book that has been 15 years in the making. From the time I started teaching (over 20 years ago,) I knew there was a problem with the prevailing concepts of diaphragmatic support. Singers were injuring themselves from too much pressure and misperceiving instructions. Steve: Do yo mean that the usual "singing teacher's lingo" was not helpful in leading the student in what they should do? Dena: Yes, exactly. They also were not getting what they'd hoped to get from taking lessons i.e., freedom when singing/performing. So after many years of study, I finally uncovered that the problem boiled down to correct intake of air (the inhale) and created exercises to correct it. Steve: You've published two other books on singing. How does this latest one fit in with them? Dena: Well, I never set out to do a three-part series but that was the end result of all my work. Vocal Technique: Finding Your Real Voice is a beginners book and focuses on the vocal mechanism. I did two things deliberately for the beginner: 1) I skipped the discussion of how to use the diaphragm for support, and instead created exercises to builid up the muscles and cartilages which control/support the vocal folds, and, 2) I separated the chest voice from the head voice because in my experience if there are problems in either register, those problems will show up when trying to bridge and combine them for that one-register sound.This book is the first step in how to gain support. Steve: Ok, I am with you so far. How was your approach received by your readers? Dena: Very well, I think. My European readers were especially open with their positive feed-back, and I still receive comments to day on that book's usefulness. Steve: Ok! What was your second book like? Dena: The second one, Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement & Styles (co-authored by Tita Hutchison,) focuses on a step-by-step process of how to bridge the voice for the one register sound, vowel formation, and correct placement for any given style. Steve: So, that would make it the 'next steps' after clarifying the Chest and Head voices, and some discussion of the different vocal productions. Dena: Yes, that's right. There are 13 exercises in this book with every feeling and sensation one should (and shouldn't) have, literally spelled out for the singer. Again, we purposely stayed away from too much focus on the diaphragm. This book is the second step with regard to support. Steve: All right. How does this third book extend the approach of the other two? Dena: In this third and last book of the series, Vocal Strength and Power, the focus is solely on how to employ correct use of the diaphragmatic region for its support of the entire mechanism. Steve: How is your approach different from other's you've heard? Dena: Simply stated, I've uncovered a problem inherent with other approaches to 'support' instruction, and created exercises to correct the problem. Steve: Ok, I'll bite. What is the problem? Dena: The problem is the correct intake of air before singing. Steve: Who can benefit from your approach and exercises? Dena: Anyone should be able to add these exercises (if they should so choose) to already working methods of techniques when they notice they are struggling for not just the freedom, but also their inherent great sound. Steve: Dena, what else does the book contain? Dena: In addition to the CD of exercises, this book also includes a glossary of dictionary-definition.
  19. Vocal Aerobics: Essentials for Today's Singers with Julie Lyonn Lieberman Running Time and Format: 60-minute instructional DVD Distributed by: Hal Leonard Corporation (7777 W. Bluemound Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53213, 800-637-2852, http://www.halleonard.com /) to bookstores, music stores and schools through the world) Release Date: September 30, 2008 Description: World-renowned music educator, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, has created an instructional DVD for singers. Her practice system focuses on cognitive illumination and muscular facility. This system can help develop a vibrating palette that communicates spirit, emotion, and viewpoint all riding effortlessly on the breath. It is supported by science yet connected to individuality. By first guiding the exercises in silence, her intent is to prevent the tension and misuse that often occur when the main impetus for the creation of musical sound is fueled by a brew of yearning and fear mixed with a fixation on the end product. Topics covered include: Section I Introduction, Creating a Cathedral, Breath Anatomy Section II Aerobicizing the Tongue, Mobilizing the Lips Section III Balancing the non-dominant side of the mouth, Posture, The Power of Imagery, Warming Up and Warming Down, Vocal Health Ms. Lieberman trusts the innate intelligence of the client by making sure that they understand how and why each region of their vocal anatomy works the way it does. Through extensive experience teaching, she has developed ergonomically based exercises that are fulcrum triggers: they get the job done more efficiently and faster. Lieberman has discovered that when the lights are turned on and the equipment is illuminated, epiphanies abound and can continue to be generated by the singer, long after the teacher leaves the room. In-depth studies while writing her critically acclaimed book. You Are Your Instrument, followed by her three spin-off DVDs (The Vocalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, The Instrumentalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, and The Violin in Motion) place a unique spin on this body of work. Most voice teachers use exercises that are effective in the long run or they would be put out of business, but the older model for mentorship entailed I do and do as I say approach. It was a faith-based relationship; the student was expected to blindly follow the teacher's directions without specifics, context, or adequate rapport with the musculature required to do the job smoothly and consciously. The belief behind that style of work was that if you repeated each exercise enough times (often while inadvertently thinking about something else), that it would help you sing better. This is the long, slow train to success. Julie believes that it's time to replace unconscious repetition with less activity, more awareness, and targeted control. She will help you convert the butcher's knife into a laser beam! To Order: see JulieLyonn.com and click on Vocalist's Corner About the author Julie Lyonn Lieberman (JulieLyonn.com) has specialized in working with creative vocalists in her NYC music studio over the last 3 decades. Her students have included artists such as Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, Grammy-nominated Putnam Murdock, Indie music award winner Kara Suzanne (best new folk-singer/songwriter album of the year), and critically acclaimed lyricist Julie Flanders, to name a few. Ms. Lieberman is an improvising violinist/singer, composer, recording artist, journalist, educator, and the author of nine books and six instructional DVDs. A dynamic, participatory workshop leader, her ability to stimulate participants to think and grow in new ways has earned respect for her work throughout the world. In addition to currently teaching improvisation at Juilliard, she has presented for organizations like Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, the Juilliard MAP Program, Carnegie/Weill Hall/Juilliard's The Academy, National Young Audiences, and the Carnegie Hall LinkUp. Lieberman is a J. D'Addario Elite Clinician. Alfred Publishing publishes her scores.
  20. Hi, Everybody.....It's nice to see this new forum even in its early stages having such response as well as the enthusiasm that's being generated. Already I am seeing posts on Breath Support. Listen up everybody. If you are not all over your kids(students) like I am about Breath Support, it's only going to lead to their downfalls and short-comings in many aspects. In the past 6 months, I have seen people lose gigs, blow auditions and turn out really sub-par recordings because of lack of breath support. Mainly, bad intonation that was caused by lack of Breath Support was largely the problem. Now I'm not going to sit here and write a long article on my philosophies because I know that ALL of you have your own way of teaching and monitoring your kids' breath support. I'll be sending numerous articles on this topic soon on this site and other forums that I contribute to. Ironically Breath Support can be abbreviated to BS. But this a not a BULL*#@T story!!! So let's cut the BS and make sure the word gets out on Breath Support. Breath Support is No BS!!! I can't even begin to tell you how many times a day that I have to yell "SUPPORT!!!!" over the loud music in my voice studio while my kids are singing over their tracks because people don't keep Breath Support consistent from the beginning of each phrase to the END of each phrase. The end of the phrase is when Breath Support is the most crucial for airstream as well as keeping the Voice relaxed. So now I'm going to tell my kids this "If you want to be a BS singer or BS performer then don't cut the Breath Support." That's total BS. But then again, look at the person who authored this Blog who more than likely has been called a B*#@SH---TER his entire life.(Even when he was a liitle sh-thead).
  21. Starting Off This will be a short post, with much more to come later. I am happy to be a part of this group. I will likely be posting quite a bit in the areas of vocal technique and concepts for the younger or beginning singer of whatever age. I like to help folks improve and enjoy their singing more. Feel free to post technique questions to me, and I will do my best to respond in a respectful, thorough and clear way. Steve
  22. I was just saying to a student yesterday (I'm a voice teacher)... I have this friend who is in awe of all these great writers, and is fond of saying things like, "I'll never write like Herman Hesse, or Sylvia Plath. They were so great." And I say, "Yes, they are in your eyes now. But when they were sitting down, writing, they weren't trying to be 'great', or trying to be a 'genius'. They were simply doing what they were driven to do. And I'll bet you they thought what they were doing was crap, and they struggled with doubts just as much as we do." History is full of a legion of writers and artists, etc., who were unappreciated in the time they lived, but were revered afterwards. In our own lifetime, we have amazing writers whose novels were turned down countless times before finally being published and then topping the bestsellers list. I'm a firm disbeliever in the old adage that you 'have to be born with it.' My challenge to anyone who says that is... how do you know if you are born with it, if you don't do the work to find out? And you do that work because it lights you up inside to do that thing. Your passion becomes your motivation to work, and to practice, and to become. Not so you can be seen by the external world to be 'great' or a 'genius', but because you can't imagine your life without that thing you do that makes you feel alive. And you want to get good at it, and through that process of growth & healing you become more than you ever thought possible for you. As you walk your path, struggling with your own doubts and trying to learn what you need to know... you become compassionate about the people who are around you, in front of you, behind you, on the same path... because you realize there is no difference between you and them. Yet each of us is special and unique, and has the potential to achieve almost anything we dream of doing. As we are mentored by our more experienced friends, we pass along our knowledge to those less experienced, and it becomes a chain of support & understanding from our extended family of creative souls. No one is an island. As long as we are born & remain relatively healthy, and have the capacity to listen and learn, then anything is possible. If we are willing to do the work. I see this in my own studio all the time. I work with singers who cannot sing. They are 'tonedeaf'. They cannot sing on key. Even if you offered them a million bucks, they couldn't do it. You'd say, very adamantly, they are not born with it at all, that they should give up and go do something else. Come back a year or two later. And you'd say... 'this can't be the same person.' You'd be amazed at the stunning voice coming from that supposedly tonedeaf person who couldn't sing on key to save their life. As long as you are born with the capacity to learn and perservere, have compassion for yourself & others, and grow your conscious awareness so you can balance strength with humility, you have "it".
  23. Vocal Injury: The pain could be inevitable, but the suffering should be optional. Like many of my other clients, Karen lived with her voice disorder for almost two decades. She had seen many medical professionals, alternative doctors, and nevertheless, speech therapists. To all of them, she had been complaining about the pain in her throat, her neck and her shoulder, evidently associated with that. Practically all of them told her that it is all in her head. Only one of the specialists was able to diagnose her with muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), but like everybody else, he was not able to administrate any kind of treatment which would help Karen to get rid of her nagging pain while speaking. Needless to say, she was devastated and practically was ready to give up on life. She is a very vibrant and boisterous person who loves to talk a lot. Some of the so-called medical professionals ordered her to keep silent for six months!! Needless to say, I had quite a few cases like Karen's in the past. In brings out the memory of my former client, George L., a real estate agent from Los Angeles, California, who went through the similar ordeal. Nobody could tell him also what was wrong with him and every treatment George took around the world would make his sufferings with his voice worse than before. And he needed to speak for a living! Twenty minutes into my first session, George had tears in his eyes and said to me, I'm honored to be in the same room with such a specialist like you.Four days later, George left very happy with his voice completely recovered. The fact is, that from the medical doctor and the alternative practitioners point of view, there is nothing wrong with such patients like my two clients described above. Why, you, my reader, may ask? Because the problem, one more time again, is mechanical. None of the doctors know how to fix the mechanics of voice, i.e. recover it from the neck and chest muscles; structure it and place it in the sinus (facial) cavities; and how to create the support of the sound from the lower and upper abdominal muscles; and how to integrate and synchronize those muscles to work simultaneously with each other. The description of the Vocal Science Method is such that it requires the synchronicity and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and vocal components. If that doesn't happen, the voice repair will never be accomplished. If that wholesome mechanism which allows the voice to work in its fullest capacity possible with no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy is not established, the voice, speaking or singing, will never have a healthy sound and always will be prone to some kind of injury. With that mechanism in place, the speaker or singer will also be able to comply with standards of professional speaking or singing, and nevertheless, preserve their recovered voices for their lifetime.
  24. David Hilderman reveals what matters most when you’re choosing PA speakers for a small or medium sized venue. There’s a lot of advertizing hype about speakers – especially in relation to “watts” – but what are the specs that really matter? David Hilderman, Chief Operating Officer at TC-Helicon, explains what may work best for singers & musicians in small and mid-sized venues. David Hilderman is the Chief Operating Officer of TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies in Victoria, BC Canada where he lives with his wife and two teenage children. He is engaged in hardware design, strategic planning and product development.Visit TC-Helicon
  25. Read more > (over on our sister site: MusicMakerApps.com)
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