I recently started collecting quotes from all the Old Masters and writers specifically on the word ‘nature.’ The list has become SO long, that I decided to break these quotes up and share them as an ongoing series of blog posts.
Hopefully, they will serve as stimulation to return to principles of health in singing, as well as working in accordance with the natural capacities of the singing instrument.
To begin this series, I’m quoting Myer in his wonderful book, The Renaissance of the Vocal Art:
So far the world has produced but two great teachers. The first of these is Nature; the second is Common Sense. Nature lays down the fundamental principles of voice; Common Sense formulates the devices for development according to these principles. Therefore we say, Go to Nature and learn of her, and use Common Sense in studying and developing her principles. The nearer the approach to Nature, the higher the art; hence the new school must be founded upon artistic laws which are Nature’s laws, and not upon artificiality.
The first principle of artistic singing is the removal of all restraint. This is a fundamental law of Nature and cannot be changed. Under the influence of direct local muscular effort, the removal of all restraint is impossible. Hence the coming school must be based upon free flexible action. In this respect it will be much like the old Italian school, except that it will be as far in advance of the old school in the science of voice as the twentieth century is in advance of the eighteenth. It must also be far in advance of the old school in the devices used to develop the fundamental principles of voice.
All artistic tone is the result of certain conditions, conditions demanded by Nature and not man’s ideas or fancies.