… The possession of a fine “natural voice” is not an anatomical phenomenon but a technical one, inasmuch as any healthy voice can, theoretically, become a great “natural” voice if it is really well produced – i.e. properly trained. Again, since the correct use of the voice depends upon the proper development and coordination of all the muscles which should be used in the act of phonation, and non-interference by the muscles which should not be so used and, since such coordination depends upon mental concepts, a great “natural voice” is, in the final analysis, primarily a psychological and physiological phenomenon.
Stanley, Douglas, Joseph Pease Maxfield, and Alma Stanley. The voice, its production and reproduction. Pitman Publishing Corporation, 1933.
4 thoughts on “Born Singer?”
Interesting excerpt, and encouraging words for anyone on the journey to becoming a good singer. However, how much do we want to trust Douglas Stanley (et al.), whose pedagogic abilities are judged rather harshly by his student Cornelius Reid (see pages 4 and 5 in this biographical article, downloadable at https://corneliusreid.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/60-years-on-the-bench.pdf)
No doubt Stanley was a highly controversial figure – he still remains so to this day. However, one cannot throw out a baby with the bathwater owing to personality, or that some concepts might not ‘gel’ with a more ‘indirect’ functional approach. Stanley’s contributions are valuable from the standpoint of learning about Reid’s influences. Stanley’s writing offers another take on registrational pedagogy, even if one disagrees with some of his methods. We can still get valuable information from him regardless of our own biases and current understanding or even pedagogical preferences. There’s actually much to agree with in Stanley’s work, despite his rather bombastic, war-like writing style. You don’t have to agree with him 100% to take something of value from his work.
Thanks – looking forward to reading some of that “bombastic” Stanley myself. I only knew about him second hand through Reid. I’ll have to check if any Stanley is already public domain available online.
He takes no prisoners. At this point in my life, I find it all amusing. Best of luck! 🙂