Register blending from 1893

If a singer tries to reach higher notes with his vocal organ than he is able to do with his chest mechanism, we not only find a certain change in the mechanism of the tone, but also a noticeable change of the timbre; we feel that not all that was set into vibration by the chest-tones is vibrating now, and the tones produced do not make the impression of the full, the natural, the marked, the strong, upon us, but remind us rather of something abnormally weak or feminine. In women this register, which does not here deserve the name of falsetto, but should be called middle register, is altogether different. The falsetto or middle register is the chief one of women ; it sounds better, fuller and nicer than a man’s falsetto, and it is more consistent with the feminine disposition and character than her chest register, which sounds better in a man. While a man usually sings, speaks and declaims in the chest register, most women, single as well as married, use their middle register.

The falsetto register does not commence only at the end of the chest-register ; it can even commence in the middle, and in women still lower; and for this reason a certain number of tones can be sung in both registers.

The entire number of tones which can be produced in a larynx, therefore, consists of three divisions, viz.:
1 . Tones which can be produced by the chest-voice only.
2. Tones which are possible in the falsetto voice only ; and
3. Tones which can be produced by both the chest and falsetto voice.

The tones under (1) are the lowest, those under (2) the highest, and those under (3) embrace a middle register depending for its larger or smaller size upon the individual to whom it belongs.

The cultivation of those tones which can be produced by both chest and falsetto voices, requires great study, and in their correct use (i. e., already to take the falsetto tone where the chest-tone might still be taken, and vice versa still to remain two or three tones in falsetto, where the chest-tone might already be taken) frequently lies the wonderful sympathy, the irresistible attraction of the speech and song of so many speakers and singers.

Guttmann, Oskar. Gymnastics of the Voice for Song and Speech: Also a Method for the Cure of Stuttering and Stammering. Edgar S. Werner, 1893.

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