Training Soprano Voices [Richard Miller] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Training Soprano Voices provides a complete and reliable. Training Soprano Voices provides a complete and reliable system for training each type of soprano voice. Designed as a practical program for singers, teachers. Training Soprano Voices This page intentionally left blank Training Soprano Voices Richard Miller OXFORD UNIVERSI Author: Richard Miller.

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Training Soprano Voices provides a complete and reliable system for training each type of soprano voice. Designed as a practical program for. Richard Miller Training Soprano Voices. Soprano Voice - Download as PDF File .pdf) or read online. (Available in Italian, German) The Soprano Voice * A training manual similar to Richard Miller.

The upper middle he describes as a mixture of predominantly head voice with a small amount of chest voice. Men have 3 registers separated by 2 passaggi. Men have 2 passaggi for open vowels and one passaggio for closed vowels. Baritones are the next lowest voice after tenors, and they are followed by bass-baritones , and then basses. As a result of their lower voices, the ranges for these parts will be lower than that of the ranges listed for tenor above.

Richard Miller does not provide a break down of registers for the three lower voice parts in his book Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices or in his book The Structure of Singing: System and Art in Vocal Technique, nor does he give any indication of their overall ranges capabilities.

Baritones are capable of reaching notes higher than F-sharp4 and lower than A2. There are some areas where the registers appear to overlap. The notes in these areas can be sung in either the chest voice or the middle voice, depending on the singer. This requires training and control. It is better to sing these notes with a mixture of chest voice and head voice.

Bringing the chest voice up too far can be very damaging to the female voice. Voice types and passaggi[ edit ] The transitions between the registers are known as the passaggi in classical singing. There are several other common names for the passaggio. In register-separation systems, the singer strives to develop the "heavy mechanism" greater vocalis muscle dependence , purposely disconnecting it from the "light mechanism" vocal ligament focus by carrying the heavier timbre as far as possible into the upper range.

According to this premise, the two "mechanisms" will then be reunited at some future moment. However, register unification that produces an even scale is physiologically not achievable through register violation.

The pedagogic aim should be to unite the registers, not to separate them. Despite the fact that register separation techniques are potentially damaging to healthy functioning of the voice, register violation is considered acceptable, even desirable, in some popular and ethnic singing styles. The appointment calendar of today's laryngologist who deals with the singing voice is heavily weighted with pop singers the "untrained professional voice" who carry chest voice well into upper range.

Classical singers who have been taught to separate the vocal registers also develop segmented ranges and an inability to achieve a graduated musical scale. Laryngeal damage caused by register-separation maneuvers makes future register unification difficult; one set of muscle responses has won a permanent victory over the other. Attempting to maintain the mass of the vocal folds while stretching their length during pitch elevation invites imbalances among internal and external laryngeal musculatures, causing hyperfunction excessive activity in one muscle group and hypofunction insufficient activity in another.

In traditional voice pedagogy, this kind of heavy timbre is pejoratively described as "carrying up chest voice. They are dependent on the graduated adjust- Registration Events in Female Voices 27 ments of the laryngeal muscles and on resonator responses to those actions. Understanding their mechanical source helps the soprano to avoid unhealthy registration practices.

These four female timbres can best be described in the traditional terms of voice pedagogy: 1. The deeper, interior portion of the vocal fold, the vocalis muscle, relaxes with the shortening of the vocal folds. See figs. When a female chooses some form of chest-head mixture, inasmuch as the vocalis muscle is relaxed, greater longitudinal tension can take place in the vocal ligament itself, thereby raising the fundamental pitch.

The vocal folds elongate as the cricothyroids contract. Mixed voice is a constantly flexible dance between these functions. In head voice, as vocal-fold elongation takes place, vibration is concentrated to a greater extent on the vocal ligament. Laryngeal action and resonator shaping contribute to the registration of the singing voice. Registers are experienced by the performer as vibratory sensations located in the chest or head.

However, trying to place the voice in the chest or head is counterproductive to dynamic as opposed to static laryngeal action. Airflow turned into tone by the vibrating larynx cannot be directed to some particular part of the resonator system.

Above Cg or C'6, another timbre, called flageolet, is identifiable. A further extension of head voice, flageolet is a quality somewhat distinguishable from the rest of head voice. Many sopranos can produce flageolet in extreme regions of the scale, not infrequently as high as G7, A''-,, or even a semitone or two beyond. In rare cases, flageolet is operative up to C8 and increasingly rarely slightly beyond.

It is mostly laryngeal size and structure that determine the limitations of this upper-range extension: the smaller the instrument, the greater the probability of demonstrating extreme flageolet function.

Training Soprano Voices by Richard Miller (Hardback, 2000)

Mezzo-soprano and contralto registration pivotal events occur at lower points in the scale, so flageolet technique is a lesser option, especially for the contralto [see fig. Because of the nature of professional performance literature for the soprano, she often must sing in an extended portion of her upper range.

In the early phase of vocal training she may encounter difficulty in this region, because the graduated tensing thinning and elongation of the vocal folds noticeably increases with ascending 28 Training Soprano Voices pitch, requiring greater skill and additional breath energy.

At a certain point in the mounting scale, as fundamental pitch rises and breath energy increases, cricothyroid muscle activity reaches its structural limit. After the lengthening process for pitch determination has reached its physical boundaries, additional semitones may be accomplished through increasing vocalfold tension.

However, this latter maneuver is to be avoided, because the inner elastic tissues of the vocal folds are not constructed to sustain stressful action over long periods of time without damage. Damping also termed dampening , which produces the flageolet voice, assists in avoiding excessive vocal-fold stress as the head voice of the soprano is extended upward to its fullest vocal-fold extension.

Damping effects a decrease in the scope of vocal-fold movement: only the fold's anterior is set into rapid vibration. See chapter 10 for a series of practical exercises. In summary, it is the relationship of vocalis-muscle tension to passive tension in the vocal ligament that produces the subtle changes involved in transitions among chest, mixed, head and flageolet timbres. Ability to use the colors of registration stems from habituated tonal concepts originating in the musicianly mind, not from conscious attempts at direct mechanical control.

As an acoustic filtering device, the vocal tract from the glottis to the lips reacts to the altering laryngeal source with corresponding resonance responses see chapters 6,7, and 8.

Vocal registration, then, is neither solely laryngeal nor purely supraglottic, but both. It is also dependent on subglottic pressure and airflow ratios, subjects to be discussed later.

Training Tenor Voices

The classification of voices and the literature to be selected for them in performance are largely dependent on the size of the vocal instrument and on the points in the musical scale at which registration events for that particular voice category occur. Registration undergirds vocal instruction in all of its dimensions. Knowledge of the basic physiology of vocal registration must guide the pedagogue throughout both early and advanced instruction.

It should be reiterated that wise pedagogy does not introduce the specifics of registration to the student at an early stage. The question as to when voice study should begin must now be disposed of before turning to practical measures for achieving a solid vocal technique. As SOON there is an interest in singing. The larynx undergoes changes at puberty.

It might seem logical to delay singing instruction until after that event. However, if a child wishes to sing, that child will sing. At any age, no matter how young, she can be helped to better voice production if breath management is efficient, vowels are clearly defined, and laryngeal tensions are eliminated. The problem in teaching a child to sing is not that the prepubescent larynx is fragile but that the demands put on it may be inadvertently excessive.

Children should not be expected to sing in the same ranges, with the same intensity, or for the same periods of time as adults.

If a child is taught according to sensible physiologic and acoustic principles, her early years of training will contribute to a favorable instructional continuum, and she will move quickly forward as a young adult singer. A number of highly successful performers have sung extensively during early childhood. But the nature of instruction given a child is crucial. Many adult singers suffer from malfunctional habits ingrained by inexpert voice instruction they received during childhood.

Some persons who as children participated in popular children's choirs later have had difficulty in managing the adult singing voice. It is not improbable that success or failure for a number of singers can be attributed, at least in part, to the way they were asked to produce vocal sound as children.

As with the male larynx, the larynx of the female continues to undergo mutation after puberty, but far less radically. It is logical for females to begin private voice study around age fourteen. By then, as well as exhibiting better vocal stability than most adolescent males, many female adolescents show a greater level of general maturity.

Om Solutions for Singers

If a youngster adheres to several basic principles, there is no reason for her not to sing during pubertal change unless she experiences discomfort. Those principles are that i. Evidence regarding later effects of early vocal training on both adult female and male students is hard to establish, because regardless of when they began to sing, some singers exhibit inherent vocal talent and stamina, while others do not.

The young person will benefit if good vocal production is induced and if general musicianship is developed. One reason for encouraging voice lessons as soon as age fourteen is that the performance urge is often present at that age, and because opportunities abound for unmonitored vocal activities that are patently injurious to young female voices.

Some of these take place in popular ensembles and "show choirs," some in self-generated teenage troupes modeled on lucrative but vocally destructive pop-music styles. It is well known that young persons—and some not so young—with limited or no vocal training can overnight become stars in the entertainment world.

Their success may not be based on inherent vocal beauty, skill, or unusual musical talent, but on popmusic market criteria. Teen-age women often get involved in contemporary gospel or emotive religious choruses, activities that often rely on heavy vocalis-muscle participation. Even if a sturdy larynx has been able to minimize the effects of early vocal abuse, time lost in correcting ingrained malfunction is a serious impediment to later development.

Those who deal with the classically trained singing voice are sometimes accused of elitism.

But it is not just the desire to accomplish a technique surpassing the normal ability of nonprofessional voice users that drives historic voice pedagogy. Classic voice technique is based on a centuries-old artistic canon of the Western world stemming from ancient Greece: beauty, strength, and health. These criteria are absent from many pop and ethnic styles of singing.

By reducing the incidence of detrimental vocal-fold activity, harmful practices found in many pop-vocal idioms can be diminished. Teachers of nonclassical styles often teach performers who are aware that they have voice problems but who do not want to turn out sounding like opera singers.

The voice instructor's task is not to denigrate the worth of a popular idiom, nor even to attempt to change the student's repertory, but to find ways to minimize injurious practices.

Pop singers may never arrive at timbres considered appropriate to classical singing styles nor is that their aim , but by improving breath management, laryngeal response, and resonance balance, they can approach safer vocal production. Because professional voice training is largely directed to the art song, the Lied, the melodic, the oratorio, and the opera, this book deals mainly with those literatures.

Particularly on the North American continent, young singers who want to have professional careers generally enroll at age eighteen in a university school of music or a conservatory of music. This happens less frequently in Europe, where serious voice study often commences a few years later, at the completion of university study.

Making a Beginning 31 But the beginning soprano is not always an early teen-ager or young adult. In both Europe and North America, the noninstitutional teacher has students who discover a midlife or even later interest in voice study.

How does one approach their differing chronological circumstances? Physical aging varies immensely, particularly with regard to the vocal instrument and to what it has undergone by way of healthy activity, misuse, or abuse. A woman of thirty-five will have certain advantages over her studio mate of eighteen. But if she has previously sung only for pleasure, she will probably have to contend with layers of acquired bad vocal habits.

She may also find it difficult to be a beginner among younger beginners. Regardless of age, everyone has the right to sing. But the mature singer will require as much time to learn to sing as does the younger woman.

For a thirty-five-year-old soprano to begin voice study in the hope of singing professionally is impractical; a professional performance goal is unrealistic for the older beginner. What of the aging voice? A number of teachers find rewarding work in instructing the elderly. Skillful singing at a professional level is seldom accomplished by anyone within the period of a few years. Just as it is difficult to cite a concert pianist who began the study of piano at age thirty-five or a violinist of note who started late in adulthood, so is it with the singer.

Indeed, by their mid-twenties, most professional singers have already begun their careers at some level—in preprofessional training programs or engagements. Avocational as opposed to vocational goals ought to be clear to both teacher and student. The private voice teacher must be prepared to deal with the entire gamut of age and to sort out the students' intentions.

The task of the teacher of singing is to diagnose what is amiss and to prescribe corrective measures in precise language. Without specificity of language, only hit-or-miss information can be delivered to the student.

The functions of the tripartite vocal instrument motor, vibrator, and resonator are interdependent and cannot be isolated from each other. Yet all discernible interruptions of good voice function fit into one of these areas, and each must be separately addressed. Numerous exercises that make up a long-range comprehensive technical system are proposed for the alleviation of specific problems.

It is not intended that all of the exercises of one area be accomplished before turning to the next. To allow for assimilation by mind and body, a few patterns from each segment, including those based on passages from the literature, should be practiced equally. While alternating one technical area with another, the whole system is eventually to be covered.

Breath management is the essential foundation for all skillful vocalism. The traditional term "support" is avoided here because it can have many meanings, depending on the pedagogic system. Breath management for singing is best achieved by preserving a "noble" position that permits interplay among the muscles of the upper chest, the ribcage area, and the anterolateral abdominal wall.

Voice pedagogy of the historic Italian school which largely formed the basis of professional vocalism in the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries, and which continues to flourish among most premier singers today and modern scientific investigation both lend support to the notion that breath is the power source for the singing voice. The internationally recognized appoggio from appoggiare, to lean against, to be in contact with is a form of breath-management coordination that must be learned if the singer is to unite energy and freedom for successfully meeting the tasks of professional vocalism.

The term breath energy refers to the results of appoggio coordination. The appoggio is based on substantiated physical fact. We live under atmospheric pressure. An outline drawing showing the change in thoracic shape resulting from downward contraction of the diaphragm. Romanes, ed. But diaphragmatic action is often misunderstood. It should be kept in mind that the central tendon of the diaphragm is attached to the pericardium, in which the heart is housed, and that diaphragmatic descent is far less drastic than many singers have been given to believe see fig.

Nor is the diaphragm locally controllable. It becomes basically passive during expiration and phonation. A schematic representation based on X-ray studies of the positions of the sternum, ribcage, and diaphragm during several phases of the breath cycle. Pernkopf, Atlas der topographischen und angewandten Anatomic des Menschen, ed. Munich: Urban e Schwarzenberg, At inspiration, as air freely enters the respiratory tract, the pressure below the glottis subglottic pressure becomes lower than the atmospheric pressure.

As we exhale, speak, cry, laugh, call, or sing all encompassed in the term phonation], pressures within the lung the intrapleural and intrapulmonary pressures begin to rise, reaching a point of equilibrium with atmospheric pressure. Then, as phonation is extended or as expiration occurs , subglottic pressure continues to rise until it reaches a point well beyond the level of atmospheric pressure, at which moment the diaphragm is in its most elevated position.

One again inhales in order to renew the oxygen supply and to recommence the cycle. Three diaphragmatic positions are indicated in figure 4. When the sternum is in a relatively high position, the ribcage has its greatest expansion, and the diaphragm Breath Energy in Singing 35 its lowest.

As subglottic pressure rises, it equalizes with atmospheric pressure; the sternum begins to lower, and the diaphragm arrives at a medium position. When the sternum falls, the cage collapses, and the diaphragm ascends to its highest location. These phenomena are common to the breath cycle during spoken phonation but should be modified for singing.

Appoggio singing technique avoids the rapid collapse experienced in customary breathing or in normal speech by retaining the inspiratory posture of the sternum and the ribcage for longer durations, thereby retarding diaphragmatic ascent. Excessive subglottic pressure in singing is undesirable. Typical mounting subglottic pressure is best minimized by avoiding any overload of airflow, both at inspiration and during phonation.

The vocal folds ought to offer neither more nor less resistance to subglottic pressure than is appropriate to the phonatory task at hand. Management of the breath for singing must be adroitly controlled by dynamic intensity and by the natural phonetic action of the vocal tract, which, lying above the vocal folds, acts as a filter for the laryngeally generated sound. Proctor succinctly describes this process:1 "Subglottic pressure combined with effective use of the supraglottic resonators is the primary factor determining vocal intensity.

The capacity of the lung, measured through forced expiration sudden rapid breath expulsion following full inspiration, is termed vital capacity. Tidal breath consists of air that can be inhaled and exhaled in quiet breathing. Complemented breath is air that may be taken in addition to tidal breath but requires additional inspiratory activity. What remains in the lung after full expiration is termed residual air. The lung can never be completely emptied. When in a state of repose, breathing in and out, we make use only of tidal breath.

By contrast, professional singing may call upon most of the vital capacity of the lung. The rate of breath emission relies on the synergistic work among the larynx, elastic lung forces, and the muscles of the torso.

Titze describes the process: If phonation occurs during the expiratory process, the flow of air is relatively small because the respiratory tract is constricted by the nearly closed glottis. Lung pressure can vary greatly over the [respiratory] cycle. By varying the glottis continuously more closure for higher pressures and less closure for lower pressures the pulmonary system can regulate the flow of air to be more constant.

This regulation, which is accomplished autonomically by the nervous system, applies to both inspiration and expiration.

There are reflexes that tie them together into a functional unit. Volume in the lung is controlled partly by intra-abdominal pressures below the diaphragm which separates the respiratory system from the digestive system and partly by what happens above the diaphragm; interacting forces of the lungs and of the chest wall determine changes in lung volume and in subglottic pressure.

This 36 Training Soprano Voices action is further described by Proctor as "the balance between a lung elastic force in an expiratory direction, and a chest elastic force in an inspiratory direction. However, beginning singers of all ages tend to use energy levels befitting folklike phonation. The normal breath cycle appropriate to speech is not identical to that required for singing. With regard to airflow, vocal-fold response, and resonation, the tasks of skillful singing require higher rates of breath energy than those of speech.

Yet the high levels of subglottic pressure that tend to occur in range extension must be kept in check. In meeting the demands of artistic singing, air emission should be paced over longer periods of time and at different intensity levels than in speech.

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Elongation of the breath cycle for singing is dependent on a learned technique appoggio that results from the concerted action on diaphragmatic movement by the muscles of the thorax and the abdominal wall, the latter comprising the transverse abdominis transversus abdominis , the internal oblique obliquus internus abdominis , the external oblique obliquus externus abdominis and the rectus abdominis see figs.

The musculature of the thoracic cage, together with the abdominal musculature, can be coordinated so as to retard or accelerate reflex expiratory action. Then the duration of the breath cycle is not solely dependent on reflexive diaphragmatic or intercostal activity, as is normally the case in the nonphonatory breath cycle or in spoken phonation.

The diaphragm is activated during inspiration, then becomes largely passive during phonation. Limited recent research suggests that the passivity of the diaphragm in extended expiration may be less marked than earlier research indicated.

In any event, the basic function of the diaphragm remains involuntary, with contraction occurring on inhalation and passivity at expiration. However, control over the muscles of the abdominal wall can be learned. Much of the technique of breath management in singing is directed toward retarding the expiratory phase of the breath cycle. During the normal breath cycle, the intercostal muscle groups extrinsic and intrinsic assist in altering subglottic pressure: the external intercostal muscles elevate the ribs, operating in an inspiratory gesture; the internal intercostals subsequently draw the ribs inward in an expiratory gesture.

Their behavior is coordinated with diaphragmatic and ribcage movements and is not locally controllable. Subglottic pressure is additionally regulated by the response of the vocal folds to air emission. The vocal folds are parted for inspiration, then approximated—moved toward each other—for the closure phase that produces phonation.

In a sighing maneuver the breath exits quickly, whereas in grunting the result of pressed phonation the larynx dams up the breath through its valvular powers of resistance, holding back the flow of air.

Letting go of this breath damming yields the audible grunt. Some techniques of singing are built on the sigh high air flow , even advising that sung phonation should take place following consciously induced depletion of the air supply.

An opposing technique is based on excessive glottal closure breath damming. The intercostals, lower ribs, and muscles of the abdomen, showing the common direction of the fibers of the external intercostal and external oblique muscles and the continuity of the internal intercostal with the internal oblique muscles at the anterior ends of the 9th, loth, and nth intercostal spaces.

Redrawn from J. To be skillful, a voice user must learn to maintain equilibrium between the mechanics of airflow regulation and vocal-fold resistance to the air in order to accomplish precise coordination between the two.

The task is to develop dynamic, as opposed to static, equilibrium over this aerodynamic-myoelastic instrument airflow and muscle response to the airflow. Muscles of the thorax and abdomen: a transversus abdominis; b obliquus internus abdominis; c obliquus externus abdominis; d rectus abdominis. From Daniel P. Quiring and John H. It should be emphasized that there is no way in which a singer can consciously exercise direct mechanical control over the diaphragm.

The lungs supply the larynx with breath. The column of exiting air does not originate in the pelvic or abdominal areas, to be directed upward by the lower abdomen in order to feed the larynx—air is already present in the trachea, ready for immediate use.

It does not occupy spaces below the lungs; "belly breathing" is an unachievable Breath Energy in Singing 39 aim. The goal of efficient breath-management technique is not to try to sing on a column of breath that starts in the region of the navel, but to allow the exiting tracheal air to be turned into tone through appropriate degrees of natural phonatory resistance offered by the vibrating vocal folds. The entire process is stabilized by the appoggio, which indeed does have its source in the antagonist musculature of the abdominal wall the transverse abdominis, internal oblique, external oblique, and rectus abdominis muscles; see figs.

Motor activity of the breath mechanism for singing goes beyond that required for speech. The appoggio method of breath management maintains for longer periods of time the natural inspiratory antagonism among the muscles of the abdominal wall.

In singing during which the motor activity of the breath mechanism is greater than in spoken phonation , the initial antagonism of the major muscles of the abdominal wall—which occurs more fully in deep than in shallow inspiration—is maintained far longer than in speaking.

The appoggio method of breath management relies on the natural antagonism among these muscles at the inspiratory moment of the breath cycle. These abdominal muscles are layered one over the other. The transversus abdominis so called because of the direction of its fibers and its lateral location across the abdomen is the innermost muscle of the abdominal wall. It has its origins in the pelvic and iliac hip regions; its lower fibers, with insertions in the lowest six ribs, curve downward and laterally.

The internal oblique muscle lodges over the transversus abdominis and immediately under the external oblique. The posterior fibers of the internal oblique run upward and laterally and insert into the lower borders of the bottom three or four ribs and the internal intercostals. Together with the transverse abdominis, some of the fibers of the internal oblique insert into the pubic crest; the other fibers of the two muscles fuse together.

Some of their fibers unite in an abdominal sheath, blending with the external oblique muscle.

The upper parts of this sheath attach to the seventh, eighth, and ninth ribs. The external oblique is the largest and the most superficial closest to the external surface of the torso of these important flat abdominal muscles. It arises from the external surfaces and bottom borders of the lowest eight ribs. It should be kept in mind that the fifth rib is at the level of the nipple; although the female mammary gland may not rest at the fifth rib, it originates there.

Soprano Voice

Attached to the cartilages of corresponding ribs, the external oblique muscle runs downward and backward. However, it is somewhat loosely connected to the transverse and internal oblique sheath. The low dorsal region of the thoracic cage eleventh and twelfth ribs is as important in managing the breath as are the front ten ribs.

The transversus abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique are the three chief players in the appoggio technique. A fourth muscle, the rectus abdominis, a long, flat muscle that runs the entire length of the front of the abdomen, courses from the pubic region to the xiphoid process lowest point of the sternum and inserts into the fifth, sixth, and seventh ribs.

The rectus abdominis is a member of the abdominal sheath that includes the internal oblique, the external oblique, and the transverse 4O Training Soprano Voices abdominis, but its role in breath management during singing is not as important as those played by the other three large abdominal muscles. Systems of breath management for singing that are based on localized control over the rectus abdominis especially at the epigastric level overlook the deeper center of control on which the appoggio is based.

For the tasks of singing it is necessary to retain the inspiratory gesture as long as possible and to reduce the increase of subglottic pressure that normally occurs during the expiratory gesture. Reduction of excessive air flow and of accumulating subglottic pressure is achieved by remaining as long as possible in the inspiratory position.

Especially during singing, the muscles of the torso must be routined to delay customary expiratory movement, thereby retarding the recoil action of the lungs.

Such coordination avoids displacement of the sternum, collapse of the ribcage, and rapid diaphragmatic mounting. Another factor remains to be further considered: the position of the torso itself. The sternum must be in a comfortably elevated posture prior to inspiration to allow full rib expansion and to retain the axial posture that avoids high-chest breathing. High-chest breathing takes place when the sternum is low, not when the sternum is elevated. If the sternum falls, the ribs move rapidly inward, and the diaphragm rises more quickly.

There should be no or at least minimal chest displacement during inhalation, phonation, and breath renewal. The two focal points, then, for arriving at the noble posture essential to the maintenance of the appoggio are the sternum and the pelvic-hip region.

The body assumes the linear alignment of head and neck offering external frame support for the larynx , torso, hips, and legs. Although it is not the actual positioning of the feet and the legs that controls axial balance, the weight of the body should be directed to the balls of the feet, not to the heels.

Weight can either shift from one leg and buttock to the other or be equally balanced on both legs. Any static postural setting is to be avoided; the possibility of shifting the weight of the body must be constantly present, even when the singer remains in stationary posture. Dynamic bearing, in contrast to static positioning among the head, neck, chest, and pelvis, permits freedom in both the axial and the appendicular body—arms and hands, legs and feet.

Groups of muscles not directly associated with respiration provide a structural support for the breath mechanism. They consist of the trapezius, the sternocleidomastoids, the serratus, and the latissimus dorsi muscles. When the head is properly a part of this axis, the larynx itself, being neither elevated nor thrust forward, is well supported by the external muscular frame structure of the neck, comprising the sternocleidomastoid, scalenus, and capitis and the upper portion of the trapezius.

Developing the ability to increase the duration of the breath cycle necessary for masterful singing is the most important discipline in technical study.

The process can be accelerated by systematically building appoggio coordination with methodical training of the inspiratory muscles through repeated brief onset patterns, renewing Breath Energy in Singing 41 immediately at the moment of release the small amount of breath used for the production of each onset. Short onset exercises drill the capacity to remain in a stable position during the cycle of phonation and breath renewal.

As the musculatures of the abdominal, pectoral, and nuchal—back of the neck—regions develop through use and as coordination between the larynx and the breath motor increases, the duration of the phonatory periods can be extended. Following proper onset, the release-inhalation maneuver silently reestablishes the original low level of subglottic pressure.

Almost no displacement of the musculature of the abdominal wall occurs. In the properly executed onset of the classically trained singer, the exact amount of air neither too much nor too little passes over the vocal folds; both breathy and pressed phonations are thereby avoided. With silent breath renewal, subglottic pressure returns to the level registered at the initial inspiratory gesture. Precision in the onset technique is scientifically verifiable through studies of airflow and subglottic pressure.

It is present in voice-training treatises of the nineteenth century and in most major manuals of the twentieth century. Because the expression "attack the sound" may produce too aggressive glottal activity, many modern-day teachers of singing substitute other language: the onset of the sound, le commencement du son, and der Einsatz. These terms are psychologically more favorable than I'attacco. Breath management is not improved by attempting to hold the breath for long periods of time, by sustaining isolated long notes and phrases, nor through quick, noisy breath expulsion, but through repetition and extension of the onset-releasebreath-renewal maneuver.

Nor should the soprano or any other singer be advised to expel all the air from her lungs at the close of each phrase: it is not physically possible, and such advice inhibits the instantaneous incorporation of breath renewal into the release. As mentioned previously, the musculature of the anterolateral abdomen, assisted by muscles of the pectoral region, to a great extent controls the activity of the muscles of the chest wall.

The singer remains close to the original inspiratory posture for the execution of each brief onset exercise. By maintaining the position of inspiration, the transverse abdominis, the internal oblique, the external oblique, and, to a lesser extent, the rectus abdominis accomplish the appoggio; tonic, dynamic muscle contact permits immediate renewal of the inspiratory gesture.

In extended ranges of the singing voice, because of the stretching, thinning process that produces higher pitches described in chapter 2 , vocal-fold closure during the vibratory cycle is of greater duration than it is in speaking, offering greater resistance to airflow.

For that reason, during singing, the inward movement of the epigastric-umbilical region, which is so characteristic of brief bursts of speech, must be delayed, not encouraged. Balancing the aerodynamic-myoelastic activity of sung phonation is historically known as la lotta vocale or la lutte vocale [the vocal contest] and was described by 42 Training Soprano Voices Francesco Lamperti around i Normally, as air passes over the vocal folds in nonphonatory breath cycles, or even in speech, lung volume decreases rapidly and subglottic pressure quickly rises.

To combat this expiratory action in order to meet the extended duties of singing, the ribcage must stay well expanded so that the diaphragm will remain as low as possible for as long as possible retarded diaphragmatic ascent; see fig. Telling a performer to sing from the diaphragm, to hold the diaphragm down, to push it up, or to control it directly invites confusion.

When some established singers speak of "singing from the diaphragm," they can only mean exercising a learned command over the musculature surrounding it, because the diaphragm itself registers no sensation; the singer knows what the diaphragm is doing only from an awareness of abdominal-wall muscle contact, from the observable external movement of that region of the body, and from the diminishing and replenishing of breath reserves.

In summary, what is needed for efficient breath management in singing is a system that ensures an exact amount of airflow commensurate with vocal-fold resistance, a coordinated function determined by tessitura and intensity levels, and by the requirements of phonetic articulation.

Tonal concept and the musicianly ear must be trained to recognize the physical maneuvers that produce the desired vocal sound. Accompanying sensations must be repeated until they become second nature. However, it is only by establishing a well-defined mental concept of tone that the singer can consistently call upon the activities described above. That tonal concept is acquired by methodically adhering to what becomes the most crucial aspect of the art of singing: elimination of falsification of vocal timbre by means of acoustic and physiologic freedom.

When physical impediments intrude, free vocal timbre cannot be readily conceptualized, regardless of a meritorious tonal intent.

For this reason, functional efficiency must be established through technical discipline, as provided by the onset-release-breath-renewal exercises. The appoggio approach to breath management stands in opposition to techniques of "breath support" that control breath exit through induced abdominal-wall movement inward abdominal thrusting, known as the "in-and-up method" , or, conversely, through outward pushing on the abdominal wall the "down-and-out method," also termed "belly breathing".

The muscle fibers of the abdominal wall have their origins in the pelvic region and insertions in the ribcage, including the lowest back ribs eleven and twelve , so that muscular expansion is tactually discernible. The anatomical region for breath management control is best located superficially by placing the fingers at the sides of the torso just under the ribcage and immediately above the hipbone below the tenth rib, with the fingers in light contact with the anterior, lateral, and dorsal regions of the abdominal wall.

During complete inhalation, with the thumbs placed at the twelfth rib the costal that defines the base of the ribcage Breath Energy in Singing 43 dorsally and the fingers placed laterally below the frontal tenth rib bottom of the thoracic cage anteriorly , the singer becomes aware of outward movement of the lowest ribs—both dorsal and anterior—but, more important, of expansion in the lateral abdominal and low dorsal walls of the torso.

The systematic onset-release-renewal cycle increases the expansion possibility of these musculatures, which will grow progressively as the exercises are routined. Having established proper external-frame support of the larynx through the noble posture, the singer takes a complete but silent breath, without any sensation of expansion in the upper chest wall the pectorals are already in a comfortably elevated position.

Inspiration can be accomplished slowly or quickly, through either the nose or the mouth. Tactile awareness of the retention of this contact among muscle groups during a breath cycle is possible even in the absence of phonation.Reduction of excessive air flow and of accumulating subglottic pressure is achieved by remaining as long as possible in the inspiratory position. However, he cites not published literature regarding this theory, and most written sources discuss only one passaggio in male voices The dramatic mezzo-soprano often sings as high as and no lower than the dramatic soprano, but her timbre displays depth and the darker colors associated with tragedy, intrigue, jealousy, revenge, or outright evil intention.

The long soprano middle range exhibits a dynamic muscle equilibrium between chest and head functions. According to this premise, the two "mechanisms" will then be reunited at some future moment. The high-lying ridges that run from the epiglottis to the arytenoids are the aryepiglottic folds. In singing during which the motor activity of the breath mechanism is greater than in spoken phonation , the initial antagonism of the major muscles of the abdominal wall—which occurs more fully in deep than in shallow inspiration—is maintained far longer than in speaking.

JONATHON from Lacey
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