Harrison on “Style”

The priority given to accuracy and authenticity has, I believe, skewed our perspective on singing, making us forget two fundamental facts: music that touches us is based on our feelings, and the singing voice is not a ‘period instrument’, but has always been with us in the human body. The singing voice and transmission of feelings are interdependent. If we insist on singing music in a certain way, with a certain sound, we may be defeating the purpose of conveying feelings or even of creating a ‘meaningful’ sound. So long as we see singing in terms of ‘styles’ we run the risk of never allowing the voice to be what it is by nature. We will continue turning out stereotyped voices in all so-called voice categories.

Harrison, Peter T. The Human Nature of the Singing Voice: Exploring a sound basis for Teaching and Learning. Dunedin Academic Press Ltd. 2006.


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