Paths to the Same Heaven

The Garcia, Bassini, Lablache, Streeter, and other names attached to the word, simply indicate different applications of law, but generally tending to the same result. They are like the names attached to different denominations of Christians, indicating different routes to the same heaven. The term “Italian method” may be thus explained. Very many years ago the art of singing was more successfully taught in Italy than elsewhere ; for which reason, as the greatest singers emanated from that school, the Italian method, or manner of teaching, was held in the highest esteem. Certain it is, that wonderful results were obtained. But, within the past fifty years, the purity and goodness of the old method has been largely sacrificed, owing to a growing impatience on the part of students, who now wish to accomplish in a few months what in former times required years. It is a great pity;  for, as public performers are educators, the mass of singers go down with them. It is a singular fact too, that, in imitating others, the average listener will imitate the faults rather than the excellences. We have had many glorious singers in times past, but those usually imitated were the poorest.

Daniell, William Henry. The Voice and how to Use it. JR Osgood, 1873.

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