A Sparkling Diamond

The main object of voice-building is to train the vocal machinery to correct action, and the attention of the pupil should at first be wholly directed toward acquiring full control of the mechanism of his voice. This he must possess before his voice will evince the essential characteristics of a perfect musical instrument. During the process of this part of vocal studies, the pupil should not be troubled with notes, and all vocal exercises, should be very simple and readily caught by the musical ear.

There are many shades of tone, it is true, more or less approximating to the perfectly scientific tone, capable of acoustic analysis before described, yet seldom or never, do we hear a voice, even in this country distinguished for beautiful voices, which exhibits throughout its whole compass that even fullness and clearness which we look for in a perfect musical instrument; a fullness which is to be preserved in the diminuendo of any single note of the voice.

Now if we justly look for beauty and finish of tone in a manufactured instrument, how much more justly may we expect to discover those characteristics in the human voice, the king of all instruments ? These qualities of tone would be more common among singers, than they are, if it were not for the prevalent neglect of scientific and correct vocal culture. This neglect indeed is easily explained, by the inadequate conceptions, which are entertained by teachers as well as learners, respecting the measure of improvement of which the human voice is susceptible under proper culture.

The untutored voice is an unpolished diamond. It hides a beauty, which, if only a skilful hand be applied to it, will shine forth in sparkling song.

Pattou, Ange Albert. The Voice as an Instrument. E. Schuberth, 1878.

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