New Series: The Practical Reflections of Mancini

I will be dedicating several upcoming blogs to the wisdom of Giambattista Mancini's book Practical Reflections on the Art of Singing, (Riflessioni Pratiche Sopra il Canto Figurato, published in 1774. This book, along with Pierfrancesco Tosi's Opinoni de' cantori antichi e moderni, are the two cornerstones of our understanding of the singing of the Italian [...]

Tone in Our Words, and Words in Our Tone

The title of this blog post comes from an admonition of Herbert Witherspoon, writing in his book 36 Lessons in Singing for Teacher and Student (1930): The vowel is the tone, the tone is the vowel. We put words in our tones and tone in our words.Herbert Witherspoon Witherspoon's wisdom is reflected in this moving [...]

Manuel Garcia II and Cornelius Reid on Control

A topic of conversation that often arises in my work is the issue of 'control' of the voice and establishing said control in the effort to gain 'technique.' Students wish to be told what maneuvers they should engage in to effect an improvement in their vocal technique. This reduction of singing to "button pushing" is [...]