Fads and Fancies in the Teaching of Singing

How many of these "Fads" are still being promulgated in modern-day pedagogy in the year 2016? Witherspoon's book was written in 1925. Read 'em and weep. Or laugh. These fads and fancies were gathered by the author either directly from his own experience in various studios, or from books, or from others who have seen [...]

Foreman’s Historical Perspectives: 20th Century Pedagogy – Part I

At no time in history has the diversity of ways in which vocal sound can be manipulated been more apparent. Nor has there ever been less agreement on how to achieve those diverse sounds, or what constitutes “good singing.”1 On the other hand, contemporary teachers proceed to disagree with much less public acrimony than in the 19th century—for [...]

Garaudé Blasts the Voix Sombrée

The voix sombrée (or singing with an actively lowered laryngeal position) came into public awareness through the singing of Gilbert Louis Duprez in 1837 in Rossini's opera Guillaume Tell, as well as the paper published by Diday and Pétrequin in 1840. Surprisingly, I've seen many teachers continue to teach a willfully lowered larynx to achieve the voix sombrée, while demonstrating [...]

What Teachers Knew, or Less Information, More Knowledge?

From Edward Foreman's massive must-read text, "Authentic Singing: The history of singing" published by Pro Musica Press in 2001. There is NO text that brings together such a wide-ranging view of the history of the vocal art and craft.    Bear in mind that nothing accurate was known about the physio-mechanical function of the vocal [...]

From Two Registers to Three…(Registrational Mitosis?)

We now come to 1840—a year made noteworthy in the life of Garcia by another important advance in his career. Since his appointment to a professorship at the Paris Conservatoire, his reputation had continued to be steadily consolidated, and his clientèle included, besides those who were being trained for the musical profession, a great number [...]