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The role of precepts and imagery in vocal instruction

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THE ROLE OF PRECEPTS
AND IMAGERY IN VOCAL INSTRUCTION
A Thesis
Presented to
the Faculty of the 'School of Music
University of Southern California
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master Of Music
by
George E. Thompson Jr.
August 1940
UMI Number: EP61766
All rights reserved
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a note will indicate the deletion.
Dissertation BtM shing
UMI EP61766
Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author.
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This thesis, w ritten by
G E g M E : . . E , . „ l H p j ^ S M .............
u n d e r the d i r e c t io n o f h. if! F a c u l t y C o m m it te e ,
a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l its m e m b e r s , has been
presented to a n d accepted by the C o u n c i l on
G ra d u a t e S t u d y a n d Research in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l ­
m e n t o f the r e q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f
/
Secretary
D a te
A u g u s t
,...1
9 .4 0 .
F a c u lty Com m ittee
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TABLE OP CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I.
PACE
THE P R O B L E M .....................................
imagery.............
1
.............................
1
The nature of precepts and
Definition of terms
1
The purpose of the s t u d y ...................
Justification of study
Scope of study
........................
Review of
previous related studies
Method of
procedure
THE USES OP
Origin of
2
. . . . . ...................
4
............
4
............................
4
Organization of the remainder of the thesis
II.
2
. •
PRECEPTS IN VOCAL P E D A G O G Y .........
6
.....................
6
vocal precepts
The function of vocal precepts
. . . . . . . .
7
Precepts concerning
breath control
Precepts concerning
registers
Precepts concerning
the open throat
........
22
Precepts concerning
placing the tone
........
29
Scientific bases for vocal
...........
.................
precepts
8
17
...........
35
Advantages of the use of p r e c e p t s .............
37
Misleading terminology and
39
instruction
• • • •
Chapter summary ...........
III.
4
THE USES OP AUDITORY IMAGERY IN
Auditory imagery
44
VOICE TRAINING.
...............................
.
45
45
iii
CHAPTER
PAGE
The part the ear plays in vocal instruction with
regard to teacher and. student activity . . .
Building up auditory imagery
• . .
46
.........
Preventing the atrophy of auditory imagery
51
• •
Tests for auditory i m a g e r y .................
55
54
S u m m a r y ..........................
IV.
56
KINESTHETIC IMAGERY IN VOCAL TRAINING ...........
57
..................
57
Kinesthetic or motor imagery
Relation to sensations
........................
58
Vocal-motor imagery .............................
60
Motor imagery and m e m o r y ...................
The function of will in guiding motor imagery
Formation of correct vocal habit
Emotion and interpretation
V.
61
•
62
. . . . . . .
65
....................
66
Self p r o j e c t i o n ..............................
72
Tests for motor i m a g e r y .....................
75
S u m m a r y .......................................
76
VISUAL IMAGERY IN VOCAL INSTRUCTION .............
Visual Imagery
.................................
Visual Imagery in voice management
77
77
...........
78
Memorizing and visual imagery ..................
80
Mimicry and visual imagery
....................
80
Cultivating visual imagery
....................
82
CHAPTER
PAGE
Test for visual i m a g e r y ..........................
85
Summary • • • • .................................
84
GENERAL SUMMARY AND C O N C L U S I O N S ...................
85
B I B L I O G R A P H Y ............................................
88
VI.
CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM
The nature of precepts and Imagery*
Vocal training
has to do with the control of a mechanism which, for the most
part cannot be seen by either the teacher or the student.
Therefore the required setting of the vocal organs must be
secured through roundabout and subtle ways until a measure of
control is gained.
Thus in the teaching of voice from the
seventeenth century to the present, frequent use has been made
of precepts and imagery in the effort to manage the vocal
instrument•
.Definition of terms.
The teachers of the old Italian
school made their approach largely through the use of precepts,
or rules.
Certain of these precepts have been handed down
and, as was to be expected, have in some cases, in their tran­
sition lost their original meaning.
Imagery may be defined as the pictures or representations
which we form in our minds.
Seashore-*- points out that the
physical adjustments of the vocal mechanisms may be greatly
influenced by the type of imagery used.
York:
Imagery to be dealt
■*- Seashore, C. E., Psychology of Musical Talent
Silver, Burdett, and Co., 1919), p. 211.
(Hew
2
with in this thesis is of three types, namely, auditory,
visual, and kinesthetic.
The purpose of the study.
The present thesis is a
critical study of precepts and imagery used in the field of
voice culture, with an attempt to determine,
if possible,
their physical or psychological bases. ' The investigation
will aim specifically to 'find but
1.
Use of precepts.
a.
What precepts were used by writers in past
centuries.
b.
What precepts are used by writers of the
present century.
c.
What scientific bases,
if any,
can be found
for the uses of such precepts.
2.
Types of imagery.
a.
What types of imagery have been used by
writers on vocal pedagogy in past centuries.
b.
What types are in current usage in voice
training.
c.
What scientific bases,
if any,
can be found
for the uses of such imagery.
Jus tification of study.
Educators would doubtless
agree that if the teaching of singing is to be placed on a
scientific basis a careful analysis and definition of its
3
terminology is necessary.
Hinman,^ for example, makes the
statement that no one is in a more unhappy condition than the
singer or teacher who knows not his own terminology, while
'Z
French0 claims that if one is to have a complete understanding
of his subject, his information must be based on scientific
knowledge.
He explains that one may know what the terms mean,
but may not understand them sufficiently to apply them to
certain areas.
Starch^ points out that all learning is char­
acterized by the existence of plateaus.
He maintains that
the instructor could remove the conditions which bring about
the occurrence of plateaus, by providing stimuli at points
where they occur, so as to continue the upward swing in the
course of learning.
If the instructor does not understand
the principles underlying the subject with which he is working,
he will not be able to provide these stimuli.
Myer
5
declares
that all true art is based on science, and none more than the
F.
L. Hinman, Slogans for Singers
Schirmer and Co., 1934), p. 59.
(New York: G.
Will French, "Functions of Secondary Education:
Function I." National Education Association, Department of
Secondary School Principals, Bulletin 64.
(Berwyn, Illinois:
National Education Association, Department of Secondary
School Principals, 1937), p. 24.
4
Daniel Starch, Educational Psychology (New York: The
Macmillan Co., 1928), p.. 166.
5
Edmund J. Myer, Renaissance of the Vocal Art (Boston:
Boston Music Co., 1902), p. 14.
4
art of singing.
The attempt, therefore, in this study to
seek scientific bases for precepts and imagery us8d in voice
pedagogy seems justified*
Scope of study*
This investigation involved a study
of seventy published books and articles on voice, from the
writings of the so-called 'Old Italian masters to scientific
books dealing with problems in speech and voice, published
within the present decade.
Review of previous related studies,
Probably the most
recent work considering the general scope of imagery in vocal
instruction is that by Bartholomew,
cle is "Imagery in Voice Pedagogy."^
The subject of his arti­
Although the article
does not pretend to cover the different types of imagery and
their various uses, it is valuable in that it gives, as a
result of anatomical study, the general uses of imagery in
vocal training.
Method of procedure,
The library research method was
necessarily followed, using materials available at the library
of the University of Southern California, the Public Library
of the city of Los Angeles, and books and articles borrowed
® Wilmer T. Bartholomew, "Imagery in Voice Pe dagogy.»
Peabody Bulletin (Baltimore, Maryland: The Peabody Conservatory of Music, December, 1934), pp. 2.0-29*
from private libraries.
Organization of the remainder of the thesis.
The re­
mainder of the thesis will be an attempt to present in logical
sequence an analysis of precepts and different types of imagery
used in the field of vocal instruction.
The second chapter presents an evaluation of precepts
and their uses in voice training; the third deals with audi­
tory imagery, and the part it plays in teacher and student
activities during vocal training; the fourth takes up kines­
thetic imagery in vocal management; the fifth discusses visual
imagery in vocal instruction.
The final chapter is devoted
to a summary of the results of the investigations, with con­
clusions based on findings.
CHAPTER II
THE USE OF PRECEPTS IN VOCAL PEDAGOGY
Origin of the vocal precepts.
Music historians agree
that a high standard of vocal perfection was reached by singers
and teachers of the seventeenth century.
In support of this
statement Tosi,'*' who in 1723 wrote the first book descriptive
of the old Italian method, says that the voices of his day
2
did not compare with those heard in times past.
Mancini,
whose book was first published in 1776, tells about several
schools which were flourishing in the century preceding the
writing of his book.
In view of the fact that Italy was the
center of instruction, the system followed by the eminent
teachers of the time came to be known as the.Italian method.
Both Tosi and Mancini cover practically every phase
of vocal instruction in their works--from the management of
the voice itself to the acquiring of stage presence.
They
did not endeavor to make the pupil manage the muscles of the
throat and diaphragm directly.
The method of instruction was
P. F. Tosi, Observations on the F l o r i d ~Song (London:
Printed for J. Wilcox, at V i r g i l !s Head in the Strand, 1723.
Reprinted from the Second Edition by William Reeves, Bookseller,
Ltd., 83 Charing Cross Road, London, W. C. 2, Great Britain,' ■
1926),- p. ,15.
p
^ G. Mancini, Practical Reflections on the Figurat ive
Art of Singing (Boston: The Gorham Press, 1912), p . 26.
7
empirical but not mechanical*
Rather than compel the phenom-*
enon of voice, they permitted it to occur.
Mancini
says,
“Follow the natural instincts, but do not force nature.”
They
did not attempt to control the voice by giving direct attention
to the management of the muscles involved, but
on the con~
trary, allowed it to act in response to the guidance of the
will, directed along the line of the effects desired.
The re-
sult was aimed at directly, and control of the vocal apparatus
was gained through the instructions given.
4
Tosi
says that the purpose of rules or precepts is to
p revent the singer from falling into errors.
These rules
when combined with practice can set the singer right.
From
the success of these instructions he proceeds to formulate new
discoveries into rules and put them into print to further the
success of his profession.
Mancini, throughout his book,
speaks of the rules and precepts of singing.
The function of voeial precepts.
The fundamental prin­
ciple of the old Italian school was the “effect” in vocal ut­
terance
er.
which was the constant guide for both singer and teach­
Skill of physical adjustment was obtained as a consequence
of mental conception of effects desired. Webster defines precept-
3 Ibid ., p. 60.
^ Ibid., p. 11.
8
as ffa prescribed rule of conduct or action;
direction regarding a given course.11
instruction or
As Taylor
points out,
precepts summarize the results of empirical observation. ' The
old precepts direct the will towards idealized sound rather
than towards'governing the physical process.
Tosi
For example,
claims that the singer should be an individual who,
among other things, does not have the fault of singing through
the nose or in a constricted throat. ■ The instructor knows
whether the p u p i l 1s voice is being correctly or incorrectly
produced by the impression that it makes on him from the
standpoint of hearing.
Tosi
7
says that it is his design to
point out the defects and abuses of singers, in order that
they may be corrected.
He maintains that study is most impor­
tant, but it is also necessary to know in what manner we must
pursue our studies.
In short, the precepts were intended to describe ac­
curately the most striking points between good and bad singing.
Probably the best way to arrive at the real meaning of the pre­
cepts is to examine certain examples.
Precepts concerning breath control.
In searching out
5
Taylor, The Psychology of Singing (New York: The Mac­
millan Co.,.1917), p. 76.
.
6 P. F. Tosi, Op. Cit., p. 11.
Ibid., p. 158.
9
the various precepts on breath control it is found that there
are two schools of thought, one embracing unconscious breath­
ing, which is subordinate to and the result of voice production,
and the other stressing conscious breath control.
earliest eighteenth century writer,
in the middle of a word.”
that the master
says,
Tosip the
ffDo not take a breath
He explains this precept by s a y i n g ’
can remedy the fault if it be present, by.show­
ing the pupil where
to takehis breath so that he will always
have more air' than he has need of in case of emergency.
Mancini,^ a later eighteenth century writer, presents
explicit instructions or precepts for breath control.
He ad­
monishes the student to "keep the breath with perfect economy,,f
and to instruct
the bellows of the voice to support the breath,
to graduate it,
and to take it over again; for upon practicing,
this breathing becomes automatic and effortless.
The first departure from the old Italian method of teach­
ing unconscious breathing was made by Manuel Garcia, ^
cribes the diaphragm,
who des­
the most important muscle of breathing,
as forming the base of the ,fcageff (i.e.
chest cavity); it is
convex and holds the act of respiration under its control.
®
I b i d ., p. 60.
9
G. Mancini, .Practical Reflections on the Figurative
Art of Singing, p. 112.
M. Garcia, Hints on Singing (New York: Schuberth and
Co., 1894), p. 5.
10
He advocates thoracic or intercostal breathing, in which the
lungs have free action from side to side, from front to back,
and from top to bottom.
He claims that this is the only type
of breathing that is complete, and presents the following pre-'
cepts for attaining perfection in thoracic breathing: .
1. Draw a breath slowly through a very minute opening
of the lips, then exhale freely.
2.
Breathe freely and exhale slowly through the same
small opening.
3.
Breathe freely and retain the breath for ten sec­
onds or m o r e . H
He points out that the glottis is under the direct in­
fluence of the lungs, and any jerkiness or other irregularity
in the action of these organs affects the sound and impairs
the continuous flow of air.
statement that Garcia
12
ing the act of singing:
It is evident from the following
meant breath control to continue dur­
"After taking a breath the pupil should
start the phrase with a small amount of pressure, increasing
it gradually as the supply of air diminishes."
He says that
"the even flow of a long phrase, a long passage of agility,
_ the stability of a long note, all require a continuous and
well managed pressure of the diaphragm."
The greatest faults
as Garcia sees them are hurried and noisy breathing,
ing of the shoulders during inspiration.
11
* P* 8 *
Ib id., p. 13.
and rais­
He believes that
11
when the air is inhaled gradually and not by jerks,
it has
no tendency to rebound and does not fatigue the lungs.
Several'other nineteenth century writers agree with
Garcia on the subject of breath control.
They are of the-opin­
ion that exercises should be taken independently of the voice
to develop the breathing muscles,
and that the breath should
be controlled consciously.
Following are some typical examples of the precepts of
this school.
Browne and B e h n k e ^ maintain that if the singer
takes care of the lungs and learns to control the breath, the
voice will take care of itself.
Kofler-1-4 states that in nat­
ural breathing the lungs are relaxed during expiration, but in
singing the relaxation of the lungs must be retarded.
Howard-*-^
says that voice is made by pushing breath out between the vocal
chords when they have been brought close together.
He claims
that force is necessary to send the breath through and make
the chords vibrate or sway up and down to cause voice.
He
formulates this belief into a precept when he instructs the
student to,
"Get a strong sending of breath through the nearly
13
Lennox Browne and Emil Behnke, Vo ice, Song, and
(New York: G. P. P u t n a m fs Sons, 1883), pp. 101-138.
■14
Leo Ko'fler, The Art of Breathing as the Basis of
Tone-Production
(New York: Edgar Werner, 1902), p . 66.
Speech
15
Francis E. Howard, The Child-Voice in Singing
York: H. W. Gray Co., 1895), p. 66.
(New
12
closed vocal chords.1'
the breathing muscles.
This is to be accomplished by training
Mills'^ presents very definite pre­
cepts for the purpose of learning breath control:
1. (a) Inspire slowly with counting.
(b) Hold.
(c) Expire slowly with counting.
2. The same, but hold longer.
3. The same, with shorter inspiration end longer ex­
piration.Gradually learn to take shorter inspirations,
while at the same time lengthening the expirations.
Mackenzie
17
believes that correct breathing should be
taught, but when the art of breathing has been thoroughly ac­
quired,
i t •ought to become entirely automatic.
He believes
that the singer should breathe normally without the protruding
abdomen.
to,
He forms this into precept by instructing the pupil
"Breathe with a flat or concave abdomen."
He maintains
that with this type of. breathing there is much more control
over expiration.
He asserts that the singer should exercise
in a general way by swinging dumb-bells, working with the medi­
cine ball, and taking long walks.
He says that after taking
a brisk walk, his own chest expanded a full two inches.
Among the twentieth century authors one still finds
16
Wesley Mills, Voice Production in Singing and Speak­
ing
(Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1906),
pp. 67^73.
gans
Sir Morell Mackenzie, The .Hygiene of the Vocal Or­
(New York: E. S. Werner and Co., 1928), pp. 106-121.
13
disagreement on the subject of breath control.
Following
are some typical precepts taken from the writings of those
who believe in direct or conscious breath control.
and Beyer
18
Fucito
suggest that the singer "master breath control
by learning control of -the diaphragm."
S h a k e s p e a r e ^ believes
that in order to prepare the breath for tone production the
singer must "take a full breath so-that great expansion is
felt at the soft place beneath the breast bone."
Lickey
20
Dodds and
point out that the singer must-gain confidence by
"controlling the breath and the muscles of expiration."
Lehmann
21
states that to control the breath the student must
"learn to control the activity of the diaphragm.”
Fillebrowne^
maintains that "firmness of tone depends upon steadiness of
breath pressure.
the breath."
Steadiness of tone depends upon control of
Buzzi-Peccia*^ says to "hold and control expi­
ration of air with the diaphragm."
Fucito and Beyer, Caruso and the Art of Singing (New
York: Frederick Stokes Co., 1922), pp. 115, 116.
William Shakespeare, The Art of Singing (Boston:
The Oliver Ditson Co., 1921), p. 54.
2 ® George Dodds and James Lickey, Control of the Breath
(London: Oxford University Press, 1925), p. 29.
21 Lilli Lehmann, How to Sing (New York: The Macmillan
C o ., 1910), p . 39.
??
Thomas Fillebrowne, Resonance in Singing and 'Speak­
ing ' (Boston: Oliver Ditson CoT^ 1911), p. 26.
23
Buzzi-Peccia, How to Succeed in Singing (Phila­
delphia: Theodore Presser Co., 1925), p. 30.
14
Of the authors who believe in indirect management of
the breath, some
sp e a k
positively against conscious control.
24
Shaw,
for example, declares that involuntary breath control
is one of N a t u r e ’s inviolable lav/s as applied to speech snd
song, and those who defy that law will be violently dealt with.
He asks the question,
and answers,
"What causes so-called breath control?”
”The spontaneous action of the air-current mech­
anism in response to a desired tone.”
He maintains that the
term breath control should never be used to indicate something
which must be done Dy the student.
Shaw
25
presents precepts
to bring about the desired effect.
1.
Sustain phrases evenly at any degree of power within
the natural range.
2.
Go from crescendo to diminuendo and back.
3.
Color the tones at will.
4.
Stand erect while singing.
This is all to be done without attempting to govern the
muscles involved.
Henderson states that chest labor has no part in singing.
He says to ”let the demands of the voice govern breathing.”26
He emphasizes
24
delphia:
tion
the fact that "there should be no holding,' no
"
/
Wm. Warren Shaw, Authentic Voice Production (Phila­
J. B. Lipp.incott Co., 19307, pp» 126-7.
26 Wm. Warren Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and Its Restora­
(Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott '"Ob., 191477 P* 99.
26 Wm. J. Henderson, The Early History of Singing (New
York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1921), pp. 36,42.
15
tightness anywhere.” Witherspoon
27
maintains that "as the
breathing of the singer is purely natural and the same as the
breathing used, by man for any unusual physical exertion,
can be easily and naturally induced;
it
and as it is a part of a
coordination, it should not be introduced too locally, but
should be spontaneously excited, through practice, to fit the
result desired vocally.”
Stanley very emphatically states that,
”the student must
never be given any direction pertaining to a narrow group of
muscles, provided that such a group is used in the act of phonation.”
Therefore, all directions given must be rather broad
and general unless they refer to muscles which are not used
in the act of phonation.
If directions are given which indi­
cate control over a narrow group of muscles, Stanley maintains
that there will be a false tensing and Improper coordinating
28
of the group.
Seashore
writes that thought should precede
automatism, and that after a thing is learned correctly it
oq
should become automatic.
Stanley
claims that this is exactly
what will happen when the singer is taught breath control.
He says that the student must be taught to Inspire properly
27
. Herbert Witherspoon,
Inc., 1925), p. 59.
.
(New York:
po
-i
Singing (New York: G. Schirmer
'
.
Carl E. Seashore, The Psychology of Musical Talent
^ilver, Burdett and CoT, 1919), pp. 59
Douglas Stanley, The Science of Voice
Carl Fischer, 1929), pp. 38, 39, 104.
(New York:
16
and then forget all about the breath.
He directs the student
to "stand erect," and, when singing energetically, to "brace
the bo dy. "
After having thoroughly examined both methods of
breathing, Russell
30
gives the following precepts of Dr.
Vorhees which were presented to the Hew York State Music
Te ach ers1 Association convention, June 1915, by the Committee
on Standards:
perfect control of breath means:
(a) Ability to fill the lungs to their capacity either
quickly or slowly:
(b) Ability to breathe out quickly or slowly as oc­
casion demands:
*
(c) Ability to suspend inspiration. . . and to resume
the process at will without having lost any of the already
inspired breath;
(d) Ability to exhale under the same restrictions;
(e) Ability to sing and sustain the voice on an ordinary
breath;
(f) Ability to breathe quietly as often as text and
phrase permit;
(g) Ability to breathe so that the fullest inspiration
brings no fatigue;
(h) Ability so to economize the breath that the reserve
is never exhausted;
(i) Ability to breathe so naturally, so unobtrusively,
that neither breath nor lack of breath is suggested to the
listener;
^ G. Oscar Russell, Speech and Voice
Macmillan Co., 1931), p. 197.
(New York: The
17
(j) Ability so to breathe as not to interfere with the
muscular processes Involved in artistic phonation, but oh
the contrary, so as to aid these processes where possible.
Russell leaves the decision of the method to be used to
the reader.
He explains that known facts have been cited in
order to aid students in reaching an Intelligent decision,
without being forced to accept blindly someone e l s e ’s theory.
Christensen,
31
upon classifying the twentieth century,
authors as to their advocacy of the teaching of indirect or
direct breath control, found that out of forty-eight who ex­
pressed themselves on the subject, twenty-nine were in favor
of indirect or unconscious breathing,
and nineteen authors
hold that the breath must be directly or consciously controlled.
Little can be said about the types of breathing which
should be advocated.
This is not because one is better than
32
the other; but, as Russell
states, there are no scientific
facts to offer by way of contribution to settle the issue.
The question is a moot one which is still debated as it has
been for generations.
Precepts concerning registers.
Since the beginning
of voice teaching there has been a controversy about the.-
A. H. Christensen, Certain Trends in Vocal Music
Teaching Methods
(unpublished master's thesis--University
o f ■Southern California, 1937), p. 16.'
^
G. 0. Russell, Speech and Voice, p. 195.
18
registers of the voice.
Tosi,®® of the eighteenth century*
speaks of three registers, namely, di petto , di testa, and
falsetto.
The voice di petto is the full voice and comes from
the breast.
Di testa comes more from the throat and is capa­
ble of more volubility..
He says that falsetto is almost en­
tirely formed in the throat, has more volubility than any, but
no substance.
He points out that the teacher should leave no
means untried to blend these different voices so that they
all sound the same.
-r 4
Mancini,
two registers:
of the same century, declares that there are
the chest and the head.
If the student has
strong chest tones and weak head tones, he should develop the
head tones until they equal those of the chest.
If his chest
tones are weak and head tones strong, the process should be
reversed.
Mancini says that when the two registers become
even in strength, they will be blended.
35
Garcia,,
an early nineteenth century writer, agrees
w ith Tosi when he states that there are three registers, namely
the chest, medium, and the head.
He explains that a register
is a set of homogeneous sounds produced by one mechanism,
that each register has its own mechanism.
and
The chest register
®® P. P. T osi, Observations on the Florid Son g, p. 22.
G.= Mancini, Practical Reflections on the Figurative
Art of Singing, p. 109.
M. Garcia, Hints on Singing, pp. 7, 8.
19
is obtained when the whole length and breadth of the artenoid
cartilage combined with the vocal cords are engaged in vibration.
As the sounds of this register rise, the vibrating surface of
the artenoid cartilage decreases.
The medium register is the;
result of the artenoid cartilage vibrating only at the edges,
combined with vibration.of the vocal cords.
The head register
is obtained by the vibration'.of the vocal cords alone.
The
vibrating length of the artenoid cartilage is shortened by
adding tension.
Three registers are common to all voices, the
women having the longer range of tones in the head register,
and the men the longer range of. tones in the chest register.
Garcia,
36
in presenting an exercise for blending the registers,
says pupils should pass repeatedly from one register to the
other.
Some notes, he says, are common to both registers and
should be preserved to facilitate easy transit, being sung
slowly at first and being speeded up in accordance with the
p u p i l !s advancement.
The nineteenth century writers recognize from one to
five registers, but, discarding Lamperti’s theory that there
is only one register, they all agree that the primary object­
ive is the blending and the equalizing of the registers until
there is no recognizable break between them.
Kofler
37
may be
36 .Ibid. , p* 2 1 .
37
Leo Kofler, The Art of Breathing as the Basis of
Tone-Production, pp. 184^5.
20
quoted as typical of the nineteenth century school when he
directs the student to develop the upper register, bringing
it down as far as a good tone can be obtained, then to go
into the lovirer register.
The break in t h e .voice between the
registers is to be smoothed out by equalizing the two regis­
ters until they both have as near the same quality as it is
possible to obtain.
Kof’
ler forms this into precept by in­
structing the pupil to sing in the upper register, from a
pitch which is higher than the pitch where the change takes
place,
down to the pitch where the change takes place, and
back to the original pitch.
In other words, practice the
upper register separately, going as low as possible, but keep­
ing a pure tone.
procedure,
In the low register,
the pupil reverses the
singing from a low pitch, up to the pitch where
the change occurs, keeping a pure tone.-
As a consequence,
says Kofler, the pupil will find that the registers will
overlap each other by three or four tones, and as they be­
come equalized,
the change from one to the other will become
easy for the singer, and unnoticeable to the listener.
Browne
and B e h n k e ^ point out that voices differ as much as faces
and that the break in the voice between the registers will
occur on different pitches in different voices.
Consequently
the successful teacher must study each voice individually.
38
Browne and Behnke, Voice, Song, and Speech, p. 185.
21
There has been disagreement among the teachers of
voice in the past centuries, and there^ is still disagreement
among the modern theorists as to the number of registers
'ZQ
present in the voice.
Christensen
found the greater major­
ity favor the idea of two or three registers, being about
evenly divided.
They are, however, with few exceptions uni­
formly agreed as to the development and treatment of the reg­
isters.
Following are some typical examples of precepts, taken
from the works of the twentieth century authors.
Taylor‘S
says each register of the voice is to be trained separately;
when the correct vocal action has been established in each
register, then unite the registers, and correct the "break,"
if there is one.
M u r p h y ^ l
cautions the student always to
keep the tone pure; avoiding a mixture of lower and upperregister tone quality.
H e n d e r s o n ^ points out that the chief
object to be kept in mind is to make the transition without
introducing any feeling of constriction In the throat;
through the throat and not with the throat.
singing
Stanley"^ maintains
-ZQ
A.
ing Methods, p. 33.
^
Christensen,
Certain Trends in Vocal Music Tea
Taylor, The Psychology of Singing, p. 38.
41
G.A. Murphy, The Voice and Singing (Grand Rapids,
M ich ig an :.A.P. Johnson Co., 129), p. 47.
4?
W. J. Henderson, The Art of the Singer (Few York:
Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920), p. 99.
43
Douglas Stanley, The Science of Voice, pp. 12, 15, 48*,
22
that the main point underlying this idea is that a pure reg­
ister must he used vigorously so that the muscles governing
it will become fully developed.
He says that exercise in the
development of one register assists in the correct production
of the other.
He enlarges upon this when he directs students
to sing in loud tones so that the muscles governing the pro­
duction will become better developed.
The register- which is
the weaker should be worked with more than the register which
is strong,
Stanley points out that' the chief factors in co­
ordinating the registers are the resonance conditions, which
should not vary during the change.
He emphasizes the fact
that the registers should be coordinated, not blended, Stanley
declares that the ultimate aim is reached when the registers
become so perfectly developed and coordinated that the entire
voice becomes one continuous whole.
Precepts concerning the open throat.
Desirable tone
production has long been associated with the open throat, and
undesirable tone production has likewise been associated with
closed throat.
In this latter case "the sin ger 1s throat seems
to be tightened and narrowed so that the sound has not suffi­
cient opening to come out properly,
choked in the throat.
and seems to be caught or
On the other hand the perfectly pro­
duced voice comes out freely without hindrance or interference
at any point in the s in ge r1s throat.
23
Among eighteenth century writers, Tosi44 merely cautions
the singer against singing in the throat.
Throaty singing,
45
according to Mancini, •is caused when the singer does not draw
and sustain the voice by natural strength of the chest, but
tries to obtain satisfactory results by tightening the fauces
■'(lower part of the throat).
This causes the voice to seem
heavy and ponderous, and 'it sounds as if it were smothered and
choked in the throat.
Mancini endeavors to secure an open
throat by using the precept
nopen the m o u t h . "
He emphasizes
the fact that the throat must unfold the voice with a light
movement,
clarifying each vowel; not only enunciating it, but
preparing it for the next passage.
According to G a r c i a , ^ of the nineteenth century,
one
must be able to change the size of the throat opening to change
the timbre or the color of the tones.
His precepts concerning
the open throat instruct the pupil to "relax the muscles of
the throat," and when ascending the scale, the higher the tone
the more the bottom of the throat must be open.
Browne and B e h n k e , ^ also nineteenth century authors,
^
P.P. Tosi,
Observations on the Plorid S o n g , p. 11.
45
G.
Mancini, Practical Reflect ions on the Pigurat i
Art of Singing, p. 153, 154.
^
M. Garcia, Hints on Singing, pp. 11, 12.
^
Browne and Behnke, Voi ce, Song and Speech, pp. 161,2.
24
maintain that throaty singing is caused by the tongue not
being kept under control,
thereby closing the vocal passage
and causing rigidity of the surrounding parts.
They present
precepts in the form of exercises for the purpose of securing
the open throat through the medium of controlling the tongue
and soft palate.
1. Open mouth widely.
Put tongue out as far as possible.
Draw It back smartly and try to let it lie flat and low,
but touching the lower teeth all around.
Repeat several
times.
2. Put the tip of the tongue against the lower front
teeth and roll it forward as far as possible, drawing back
smartly.
Repeat several times.
3. Keep the root of the tongue as flat as possible,
raise the tip and. push it perpendicularly and quite slowly
towards the roof of the mouth.
Then lower it gradually to
Its original position.
Repeat several times.
4. Raise the tongue as in exercise three, and move it
gradually from one side to the other describing a semi­
circle.
Repeat several times.
H o w a r d ,
48 another nineteenth century writer who believes
in controlling the muscles,
agrees with Browne and Behnke on
this point when he advises learning control of the tongue, and
presents similar precepts.
The following may be quoted as typical of the nineteenth
century authors who do not believe in the practice of muscular
control in securing an open throat.
48
Kofler
49
says .that the
Howard, The ChiId-Voice in Si ngin g, pp.
56,7.
^ Kofler, The Art of Breathing as the Basis of Tone
Production, pp. 45; 46.
25
throat and neck,
and all parts surrounding the resonance
cavities of the mouth and pharynx should he kept perfectly
elastic without the least strain*
He instructs the student
to "direct the will-power action out of the throat altogether*"
Myer
claims that direct effort in ascending must never go
with the tone, but always go away from it.
precept,
"sing up and think down."
He presents the
In support of this state­
ment he says that in singing up, one is not to follow the
tone with the thought or effort and thus compel local throateffort, but think the effort or action down on the body, and
bring the body Into "position and action" In support of the
tone.
Thus,
in placing all support upon the body, one frees
the tone and opens the throat.
He emphasizes the point of
singing through the throat and not with the throat, and says
that if the mouth is opened well the throat will be open.
The twentieth century authors who mention.the throat
agree that it should be open, although they outline different
ways and means of accomplishing this feat.
The following
statements are taken from twentieth century authors.
radical viewpoint is taken by Dodds.
51
A rather
He recognizes the yawn
as a symbol of complete relaxation and maintains that if the
50
Edmund J. Myer, Pos ition and Act ion in Singing
(Boston: The Boston Music Co., 1897), p p . 73, 92.
51
Dodds and Lickey, Control of the Breath (London:
H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1925), p. 42.
26
singer can simulate a yawn before starting a tone and later
practice witli the idea of the yawn in mind,
the sensation of
"open throat” tone production will have been experienced, and
from the knowledge•gained further improvement without the
yawn can be achieved.
He directs the student to "experience
the.same feeling of easy throat expansion in the expiratory
act of tone production which is felt in the inspiratory act
of yawning.”
S h a w ^ directs the student to "choose an open
vowel such as aw.
Pronounce naw."
There will result the
natural opening due to correct pronunciation.
He says the
other vowels should be pronounced keeping the aw formation in
mind.
Taylor
P)rzi
observes that a throaty tone seems to be
caught or choked in the throat.
He merely instructs the stu­
dent to "open the throat.”
Shakespeare
54
presents an exercise to help the student
to compare the different sensations involved in singing with
an open throat and a closed throat.
Whisper the sounds caw, caw, caw.
This should be done
in two ways: first, quietly, with the throat open, and
then in a rigid manner so that the throat is felt to be
distorted.
Repeat in a similar manner, og, og, og.
In
the first way one perceives the natural action of the k
and g sensations as in good singing; in the second the
*
W.W. Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and Its Restoration,
p. 105.
^
B.C. Taylor, The Psychology of Singing, p. 191.
54 Wm. Shakespeare, The Art of Singing;,p. 22.
27
throaty contraction.
Again whisper in two ways er, er, er, (as in kernel);
when quietly done the throat feels open; in a rigid way
a clicking sound is perceived and the throat assumes a
rigidity as in retching.
On whispering quietly ang, ang,
ang, the throat and soft palate remain unconscious, hut
with the least rigidity of the throat the soft palate is
influenced and the disagreeable nasal quality is produced.
Lastly whisper quietly at, at, at, first with a loose
throat; then on repeating this and stiffening the throat
and tongue, a white or colorless tone is produced.
Bartholomew0^ says a certain setting of the throat re­
gion tends to produce and permit all the attributes of good
voice quality.
This setting, explains .Bartholomew,
consists
of the relaxation of the tongue and jaw, and the enlargement
of the pharynx, either through lowering the larynx, or widen­
ing the sides of the throat, or both.
This setting inhibits
one of the most powerful, automatic, and constantly used re­
flexes,
that of the swallowing muscles, which are normally
in a state of tension in most individuals.
more efficient reinforcement of the tone.
This form permits
It gives free
egress to the mouth, eliminating some types of breathiness.
Bartholomew notes that almost all of the devices used by
teachers further to improve voice quality are directly or in­
directly schemes for enlarging the throat.
This author pays
particular attention to the following precepts: notably, one
W. T. Bartholomew, ffImagery In Voice Pedagogy.flr
Peabody Bulletin, (Baltimore, Maryland: The Peabody Conserva­
tory of Music, December, 1954), pp. 34, 85, 86, 90, 91.
28
should imagine the stream of air passing through the nasal
resonance cavities,
as this will relax the muscles involved
and lead.to the enlargement of the throat;
grooving the tongue
strengthens an important member of the throat enlarging set
of muscles,
although t h e ■attempt must not be made to keep
the tongue grooved while singing.
Russell
and closed,
says that when the throat is too relaxed
the high partials of the tone are mellowed,
and
the resonant qualities of the tone are deadened by the flabby
walls of the-throat.
He claims the student should ’'strive for
a tense open throat” so that the high partials of the. tone
will be accentuated,
bright,
and the sound issuing forth will be
clear, resonant,
Stanley^
and ringing.
claims that the laryngeal pharynx is by far
the most important of resonance cavities,
and that the mouth
should be eliminated as an important resonance cavity.
He
maintains that in correct tone production the throat should
be kept open by holding the extensor or opening muscles firm,
thus inhibiting the action of the antagonistic constrictor
muscles.
A firm throat allows the neck muscles to remain re­
laxed, while tension of the neck or constrictor muscles
results in relaxation of the extensor muscles and closing of
G. 0. Russell, Speech and Voi ce, .p. 158.
5,7 D. Stanley, The Science of V oice, pp. 22, 62,§3,68.
the throat.
This author directs the student to sing loud
high tones to get the correct throat feeling.
He points
out that the high tones must be resonated in the throat only,
since they cannot be prod.uced at all if the resonance con­
ditions are not approximately correct.
The high, bright tone
resonated with a short widely opened throat column,
is easier
to produce properly than a low tone which requires a longer
resonance cavity.
Stanley declares that it is useless to
tell the student to open the throat,
since such localized
control is physiologically impossible.
He says such pre­
cepts as the following will, with constant repetition, have
quite a definite psychological effect:
11Go for the throat 1”
"Balance the work done in the production of the tone with the
firmness of the throat '!"
"Hold the throat f i r m!”
"Form the vowel further back!"
"Work with the throat!"
"Start the
tone with the throat!"
"Don Tt let the throat collapse as
you ascend the scale!"
"Tense the throat at the moment of
attacking the tone!"
Precepts concerning placing the t o n e .
Placing is a
term that is used very loosely and unscientifically.
It has
not been clearly defined and has come to have various‘m e a n i n g s •
It was used by some early writers to mean placing the voices
on the various parts.
Others attempted to aim the voice at
various spots on the roof of the mouth.
The more modern idea
so
is to shape the resonators.
This statement is horne out by
a review of the following precepts.
Tosi^S refers to placing the tone .when he instructs
the vocal student to "learn to hold notes out and thereby fix
the voice so that it will not be subject to fluttering.1*
Mancini
59
asserts that the student must **produce the voice
with moderation and graduate each tone with a light breath,"
in order to place the tone.
He suggests that the vocalist
practice this exercise on sustained tones rendered with repose
and taken one by one with due graduation.
After learning to
place the tone in this way,' the reinforcement of the voice
must follow in proportion to the age and strength of the pupil.
Many voice theorists, when testing the singer for tone
placement and breath control, hold a lighted candle before
Garcia, 60 who is one of these, mentions
the s i ngerTs mouth.
veiled and ringing tones and their connection with voice
placement.
He instructs the student to "start the tone and
then close the glottis immediately.”
This causes the tone
to impinge sharply on the tympanic membrane and the sound is­
sues forth bright,
clear, and ringing.
On the other hand,
if the glottis is imperfectly closed, and there is a slight
58
P.F. Tosi,
Observations on the Florid Song, p. 27.
RO
G.
Mancini, Practical Heflections on the Figurativ
Art of Singing, p. 105.
M. Garcia, Hints on Singing, p. 7.
31
escape of air, the impressions upon the tympanum are blunted,
and the sound issuing forth is veiled.
The influence of the
use of the laryngoscope, which Garcia invented in 1855,
can
be seen here.
Following.are typical examples of precepts taken from
other nineteenth century writers.
placing is due to correct thought.
Myer
61
says that correct
He directs the student
to "think of the roof of the mouth as a hollow arch concave
in form, and think of the tone as coming from the body,
through the throat against the forward part of this form."
He also emphasizes "low resonance."
To get this high forward
placement he instructs the student to sing ee which has the
highest resonance and most forward placement.
Then sing oo
which has the lowest resonance and most natural backward place­
ment.
The other vowels, a y e , a h , and oh, fall naturally bet-
ween e^e and ,oo.
Then again sing ee_ keeping the forward place­
ment, but adding to it the low resonance of oo.
oo,
Then practice
adding in the same manner the forward placement of e e .
Practice the other vowels 'in like manner.
Howard
PQ
instructs
the student to let the lower jaw hang by its own weight, thus
relaxing the muscles of the throat.
The tongue should be
placed with tip on the lower front teeth and its sides upon
E. J. Myer, Position and Action in Singing, pp. 99,
100.
62 F. E. Howard, The Child-Voice in Singing, pp. 92-3.
32
the molars.
With these soft parts offering no obstruction,
the tone may be placed well forward in the mouth.
Browne' '
and B e h n k e ^ give practically the same exercise as M y e r !s
for forward placement of the tone.
They caution the
student
against stiffening of the root of the tongue and throat
m usc l e s .
The following precepts concerning placement of the
voice are taken from twentieth century authors.
Lamperti
64
instructs the student to tTdirect the voice to the hard palate
behind the upper front teeth."
Henderson
65
also says to
"direct the tone to the hard palate," but adds that "one c a n ft
actually place
the tone there; one thinks i t !s there.” M i l l e r ^
agrees with these statements
and says that "the student who
has a voice, brilliant to the point of hardness,
can mellow
it by a middle or backward production.”'
Fillebrowne?? gives an exercise for forward placement.
He says that the sound hung will place the voice properly.
Sing hung and hold the ng sound for at least four counts.
To
66 Browne and Behnke, Voice, Song, and Speech, p. 162.
64 Lamperti, Vocal Wisdom,
(Hew York: Wm. E. Brown, 1931)
p. 73.
;
66
w.J.
Henderson, The Art of the Singer, p. 84.
66 p.E. Miller, The V o i c e ; Its Production, Care, and
Preservation, pp. 101, 102.
T. Fillebrowne, Resonance in Singing and Speaking, p.85
33
insure the proper course of the vowel sounds, follow hung
with the vowel ee,
any other;
as this vowel is more easily placed than
then sing the exercises using the vowels.
Begin
the-tone quietly on an easy pitch and continue it softly to
the end.
When these exercises have been mastered on one
pitch, use other pitches within easy compass of the voice.
Bartholomew®® notes that the universal plea of the
voice teachers is to get the tone
"up" or "forward.”
He
claims that these instructions help to secure the- ideal throat
setting.
In a negative manner,
the direction to "sing the
tone forward" tends to relax the powerful, upward-pulling
muscles of the swallowing group which are so often reflexly
controlled, by directing attention away from them; he claims
it is better to direct the attention above the swallowing
group rather than below them where an undesirable tension of
the breathing muscles might result.
He maintains that the
tone cannot help being in a*forward position if the throat
is open and relaxed, and the tongue is in the proper place
with the tip against the lower teeth.
R u s s e l l ® ^
says the throat should be tensed, not tight­
ened, with the velar opening closed,
glottis sloping well forward.
®® W.T. Bartholomew,
and the tip of the epi­
He claims that the tone will
Imagery in Voice Pedagogy, p. 85.
®^ G-.O. Russell, Speech and Voice, pp. 213, 214.
34
be flung forcibly against the hard palate without being en­
meshed in the deadening soft back surfaces.
In this way the
high partials of the tone will be accentuated,
and the quality
of the tone will be brilliant.
Stanley,who
claims scientific grounds for his state­
ment, says that the voice is not something which can be "placed1'
or "focused."
He maintains that if the resonators are cor­
rectly tuned (i.e. the tongue, soft palate,
the tone will be correctly produced.
and the larynx)
This setting is a psycho­
logical process which acts reflexly in response to the singer's
concept of pitch, quality,
and intensity.
He warns the student
against trying to learn direct control of these members.
Redfield*^ points out that the chief element in deter­
mining the tone quality of the human voice is the shape of
the resonating air cavities above the vocal chords, and that
any slightest change in the position of the mobile walls of
those air cavities produces a corresponding change in the
quality of the tone p r o d u c e d . . According to this author, the
shaping of the upper air passages is referred to as "voice
placement," and the business of the teacher is to train the
*7? D. Stanley, The V o i c e , Its Production and Reproduction
pp. 133, 183.
^ J. Redfield, Music, A Science and an A r t ,(New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., *19287, p. 268.
35
student so to shape the upper air passages for each note
within his compass that the best possible quality of tone shall
be produced for each of those notes.
When this shaping becomes
automatic and can be secured by the pupil without conscious
thought or effort,
then the p u p i l ’s voice is properly ’’pl ace d.”
Scientific bases for vocal prec epts .
The old masters
did not explain the various faults of voice production from a
physiological or scientific standpoint, but they did explain
7p
them from experience in hearing and feeling.
Shaw
shows
that psychology is really the science on which the old Italian
school was based and on which any successful school of voice
culture must stand.
Shaw^^ states in another book that the
old masters knew from experience the things of fundamental
importance to singers which have since become proven facts of
science.
The value of the old school lay in doing the kind
of teaching that brought about the correct adjustment of the
parts involved.
Scientific investigation has since made clear
the why and wherefore of many of the rules used by the old
74
masters.
Lunn
voices this when'he says that every advance
which science has made, which in one way or another relates
W.W. Shaw, The host Vocal Art and Its Hestoration,
pp. 7, 52.
*73 w.W. Shaw, Authentic Voice Product ion, p. 86.
*74 chas . Lunn, The Philosophy of Vo ice, (London:
Brilliere Co., 1906), p. 204.
36
to the use of the vocal organs, has only shown and proved
the truth of the precepts of the old maestri.
Analysis shows
that the precepts of the .old masters resulted in bringing '
■
about the almost instinctive realization of correct physical
conditions in the vocal organs.
Consciously or unconsciously,
according to Taylor,
75
the teaching of the old masters was based upon sound physio­
logical and psychological principles.
The old system of
teaching relied on the initiative and Instinctive processes
for imparting the correct vocal action.
effort school,
The newer, local
seeks to accomplish the same result through
mechanical management of the vocal organs.
Undoubtedly the voice teacher should have an understand­
ing of both the physiological a n d ’empirical principles In
order to teach singing Intelligently.
Bartholomew
76
outlines
an idealized plan of procedure for the purpose of establishing
the old precepts on a scientific basis.
There is, fortunately, enough agreement among musicians
as to what constitutes good vocal quality to enable us to
speak of a typical good quality.
If we can find signif­
icant differences between carefully secured sound-wave
records of good voices and poor ones, and can avoid the
pitfalls of drawing wrong conclusions concerning something
so transitory and subtle as the voice, we can perhaps
B.C. Taylor, Psychology of Sin ging, p. 307, 318.
#
W.T. Bartholomew,
Imagery in Voice Pedagogy, p. 80.
37
work backward and deduce the physiological structure
responsible for various qualities.
Those results would
then be checked by anatomical study.
With that basis,
we could suggest methods of proceeding most intelli­
gently in the psychological process of voice control
established by the old masters.
Advantages of
method
the use of pre cep ts.
The old Italian
is a flexible method, training the voice but keeping
its individuality.
Shaw
77
points out that each voice was
exercised with particular reference to its natural charac­
teristic, known as its rfgenre.11
The method was adapted to
the voice instead of
the voice being molded to the method.
The greatness
of the old school lies in the simpli­
city of its means and the naturalness of its concepts.
Its
teachings have endured because of the directness and soundness
17 O
of its precepts.
Buzzi-Peccia'
claims that the old masters
in using the precepts aimed at results;
sequence rather than direct cause.
they dwelt upon con­
L u n n , ^ an ardent advo­
cate of the method handed down by the old Italian school,
testifies,
”1 had considerable injury done to my voice at
one time by a teacher with a modern method, and subsequently
had it restored by a disciple of the old school.”
A fine description of perfect singing was found to be
^
W.W. Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and Its Restoration,
p. 134.
A. Buzzi-Peccia, How to Succeed in Singing, p. 12.
cha s. Lunn, The Philosophy of Voice, p. 205.
38
embodied in the traditional precepts.
Such a description of
correctly produced tone is of great value In training the
on
ear.
Taylor
confirms this statement when he says:
The student derives a double advantage from listening
to artistic singing when he knows what to listen for.
Telling the student that In perfect singing, the throat
seems to be open makes him keenly attentive in observing
this characteristic sound of correctly produced tone.
This seems to be the most effective manner of utilizing
the traditional precepts.
In pointing out to the student
his own faults of production the judicious use of pre­
cepts might also be of considerable value.
It is claimed that the old masters knew their object­
ive, and never lost sight of it in seeking out methods to
obtain it nor in working out theories to capture it.
believes that,
more
Murphy®
"They 'kept their eye on the ball* and were
concerned v/ith the what than the why of the matter."
The problem, says Murphy,
throat,
tongue,
is hot how must I manipulate my
lips, etc.,
in order to produce this tone,
but, how was that done; under what conditions was that cor­
rect tone made.
Let us recall that good singing is a matter
of analysis, not of synthesis.
Bartholomew
82
maintains that
the precepts should be used' to suggest indirectly,
their psychological effects,
through
a certain muscular setting,
which may be awkward for the beginner.
D.'C. Taylor, The Psychology of Singing;, pp. 318-9.
81
Murphy, The Voice and Singing, p. 4, 48.
op
W.T. Bartholomew, Imagery In Voice Pedagogy, pp. 79,
80.
39
Misleading terminology ana Instruction.
A very great
need of the voice teaching profession today is the standard­
ization of terms.
If every term has a specific meaning, the
moment a term-is heard the same idea or meaning will occur
to the minds of both speaker and listener.
If voice termin­
ology is standardized one will' be able to discriminate between
the competent voice teacher and. the charlatan.
opinion
It is Stanley!s
that when a method of vocal instruction has no surer
basis .than the fanciful imaginings of an individual,
the re­
sults are bound to be dangerous.
Witherspoon
84
lists several fads and fancies
in the
teaching^of singing, which represent precepts of doubtful
value:
1. Trumpet lips, no matter what the vowel,
or word, ruinous to correct pronunciation.
consonant,
2. Ab dom in al.breathing, which inhibits rib breathing
and ruins correct coordination.
3. Take a deep breath; perceive that the larynx rises;
sing without letting the larynx fall.
This gives the cor­
rect "pinch11 of the glottis.
4. Approximate the vocal chords two or three times,
then sing, (an impossibility)
5. Distend the nostrils as much as possible.
6 . Peel tired so as to get relaxation.
Stanley and Maxfield, The Voice, Its Production and
Reproduction, p. 180.
84
H. Witherspoon,
Si nging, pp.
51, 52.
40
7.
Open the mouth as wide as possihle--the larger
the mouth opening the larger the resonance and volume
of tone.
8 . The fancy to sing very loudly before singing
softly, because it takes more breath to sing softly.
9.
The grinning smile--this tightens the throat, •
whitens the voice, and makes "color11- impossible.
10. The collapsing of the chest so as to free the throat'
from tension.
The idea of controlling the breath directly is erroneous.
Shaw
o5
says one should control t h e .character, quality, and
intensity of the tone, and let this govern the breath.
If you
try to do the reverse, you will get the cart before the horse.
This is one of the
Another fallacy
common blunders of many singing methods.
of certain methods,
according
toShaw,
is
the attempt to open and close the throat to produce certain
vowel effects.
good;
He says,
"If the vowel is closed, well and
if it is open, equally well and good, but let the throat
alone."
The direct attempt to control the registers is still
another major fallacy of some vocal methods, asserts Shaw.®^
To compel the'phenomena is to interfere with..the workings of
nature.
He says,
"Operation of the registers depends upon
pitch and character of expression."
He emphasizes that "The
registers should respond to the character of the idea to be
® 5 W.vV. Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and Its Restoration,
p. 104.
86 I b i d .
p. 105.
87 Ibid.
p. 107.
41
expressed."
This is doubtless true.in cases where the
registers are properly coordinated.
Voice has-been defined as "vocalized breath"
breath," etc.
"vibrated
Muckey®® explains that voice is air-waves,
which, like those of any other sound, travel at the rate of
1,100 feet per second or about 750 miles per hour.
Breath
is an air current, and air currents traveling at 750 miles
per hour would destroy everything in their path.
In studying certain methods one finds that the student
is instructed to do all his practicing in full voice,
on the
ground that one cannot develop his voice without using it.
OQ
Later on, the student may sing softly.
Murphy
points out
that many good voices have been ruined in carrying out this
instruction.
ation."
He condemns the instruction for "perfect relax­
He says that he has not heard that athletes condition
themselves by relaxing.
The athlete works no harder than the
singer who is concentrating on what he is doing.
The principle of "forward emission" is erroneous when,
not used properly.
interpret
T a y l o r ^ points out that some teachers
"forward emission" to mean that the tone, on issuing
from, the vocal chords,
Is directed in a curved path around the
Ployd Muckey, The Natural Method of Voice Product i o n ,
p. 111.
G.A. Murphy, The Voice and Singing, pp. 16, 34.
D.C. Taylor, The Psycholog:/ of Singing, p. 125.
back of the tongue, where the tone is straightened out and
made to impinge on the roof of the mouth git a precisely de­
fined point.
forward,
Prom this point the tone is supposedly reflected
out of the mouth, necessarily taking a curved path
to avoid striking the front teeth.
Other teachers,
says Shaw,
assume that the voice can be. directed as one would direct a
stream of water.
T a y l o r ^ also condemns the chest resonance theory.
He
points out that in an acoustic sense the thorax is no cavity
at all.
The thorax,
says Taylor, is filled with the spongy
tissue of the lungs, not to mention the heart.
Fletcher,
Stanley and others, however, have found that the trachea and
bronchi act as resonators for the lowest tones and account
thus for the probable origin of the term "chest resonance."
The teacher who starts instruction in the middle of the
range on a soft tone and endeavors to train the voice up and
down from the middle,
instructing the pupil to "spin" the
tones out, will eventually ruin the voice.
S t a n l e y ^ shows
that . if this instruction is carried out the throatiness of
the improperly produced soft tone will characterize every tone
of the voice at every intensity.
This method (if it can be
called a method) is typical of radio technic,
according to him.
91 Ibi d., p. 127.
9?
D. Stanley, The Voice, Its Production and Reproduc­
tion, p. 185.
43
O'*
Stanley"0 quotes Charles Santley as saying that
"Immed lately below the vocal chords there exists a. valve;
the
breath should -be raised -to this valve, ready before the sound
.is required.”
It is hardly necessary to point out that no
such valvular system exists, says Stanley.
Furthermore,
the
statement that the breath should be raised is a fallacy.
The following statements by Lehmann
94
are criticized
by Stanley as being unscientific:
The whirling currents of tone, circling around their
focal point (the attack), find a cup shaped resonating
cavity, when they reach the front of the mouth and the
lips, ’which, through their extremely potent auxiliary
movements, infuse life and color into the tone and the
word.
OR
Stanley"0 points out that the tone does not consist
of "whirling currents,” and it does not circle around a focal
point.
He condemns all of these statements because they have
no scientific basis.
96
Stanley'"' also quote's Proschowski as saying:
represents the body of the violin,
and the breath the b o w . ”
a resonator.
”The skull
the vocal chords the string
Proschowski says the skull acts as
Stanley points out.the obvious truth that the
93 Ibid., p. 190.
94
L. Lehmann, How to Sing, Chapter III.
93 P. Stanley, The Voice, Its Production and Reproduction,
p. 111.
96 I bi d., p. XS3.
44
skull contains
the brains, and even if it were hollow it is
n o t .open to receive vibrations initiated at the larynx.
Chapter summary.
The objective of this chapter was to
follow vocal precepts from their origin to the present day,
showing their original meanings and different meanings which
they have 'acquired,
their uses and misuses and what precepts
of present-day vocal instruction sprang from them.
It was found that if the point of view of the old masters
is kept in mind, each precept expresses some characteristic
of perfectly produced vocal tone.
The precepts of the old
masters were based on common sense and psychology,
rather than
on knowledge of acoustics, physiology or anatomy.
The studies
of modern scientific writers,
and Bartholomew,
such as Russell,
Stanley, Fletcher,
show that the precepts of the old masters in
many cases have a sounder scientific basis than do the writings
of certain psuedo-scientists of the nineteenth century.
The following chapter will take up the role of auditory
imagery "in vocal instruction.
CHAPTER III
THE USES OF AUDITORY IMAGERY IN VOICE TRAINING.
In putting precepts
into practice, the ear plays one
of the most important roles.
In singing one has to be able -
to hear correctly in order to do correctly.
If the singer
cannot hear a tone, he will not be able to match it, and if
he cannot hear his own tone while singing, he will not be able
to sing true to pitch or with good quality.
Auditory imagery.
If one possesses good auditory imagery
he has the ability to relive, recall, and rearrange,
is/tic imagination,
auditory experiences.
that music is subjective,
in real-
Seashore'*' explains
and if it were merely hearing and
performing, we should fail to carry its aesthetic value with
us;
it would be a momentary affair.
But,
continues Seashore,
musical minds live in a world of musical tones in which there
is creation, rehearsing,
storing,
and enjoyment of music quite
apart from the- presence of actual sounds.
Some of us, when
we have heard a tune, have the powrer to hear it over again; it
comes back to us; it may even haunt us.
It is heard in imag-
ination--more than imagination ih fact, for it is the actual
hearing in the absence of outward sound.
This is called
**■ Carl E. Seashore, The Psychology of Musical Talent ,
pp. 211, 212. (New York: Silver, Burdett and Co., 1919J1
'46
auditory imagery.
In this auditory imagery,
Seashore
lies one of the most precious gifts of mu slc-“the
live in a world of mental tones.
claims,
ability, t.o
He finds also that In this
capacity nature has bestowed her gifts unevenly.
One reason
the radical difference among individuals is not -well known,
Is
that those 'who are not blessed with this gift do not know7 what
they lack or miss.
Seashore asserts, "Regard, the ability to
image music as an essential mark of musical capacity and of.,
progress In the appreciation of music."
The part the ear plays in vocal instruction with regard
to teacher and student act ivi ty.
If. the muscular operations
of singing are subject to the general laws of psychological
control,
the vocal organs must be. furnished guidance by the
sense which notes the results of the movements Involved.
This
controlling factor is the sense of hearing.
In outlining a vocal method, Mancini^ mentions the fact
that the teacher must be able to reproduce the faults
student’.
of the
The teacher ’
w ould give the student the evidence of
his error by reproducing his error and allowing him to hear
how the defect sounds.
Mancini explains
that the teacher,
being able to reproduce
the defects of the student,
in
could be
sure of the fault, because he would have to image In his own
p
G. Mancini, Practical Ref lections on the Pigurat ive
Art of Singing, (Boston: The Gorham Press, 1912), p. 97.
47
mind the imagery used by the student in producing the faulty
tone.
Mancini3 calls attention to a practice of the masters
Fedi, the. most famous school in Italy at the end of the seven­
teenth century.
Those valiant, singers used to take their pupils very
often for a stroll where there was the famous echo in the
Valley of St. Paul.
There they exercised their pupils to
sing in a loud voice--the echo being nothing else than the
repetition of the voice, which exposed every defect of
the voice of the one singing, thus the students, convinced
by such evidence of their faults, could correct them more
easily.
It is a somewhat debated question whether or not the
singer hears his own voice to the best advantage, having in
4
view the correction of his own faults.
Lunn
claims that the
singer trained in hearing his own voice hears it better than
anyone else, for he hears it both'subjectively and objectively;
the listener only hears it objectively.
The student beautifies
his tone in exact proportion to the degree and way in which
he hears himself.
It has been pointed out that the teacher should have
a knowledge of the physiological workings of the vocal organs
so that he will better be able to use imagery.
Miller 0 asserts
3 Ibid ., p . 27.
^ C. Lunn, The Philosophy of Voice , (London: Brilliere
Co., 1906), p. 207.
g
F.E. Miller, The Voi ce, Its Production, Care and
Preservation (New York: G. Schirmer and Co., 1S31), p . 71.
48
that if the ear is not properly trained,
it will not be able
to demand the correct physiological, setup, and the tone will
be poor.'
He avers that teaching with the use of correct
imagery merges all the complex separate acts of tone formation
into one single act.
If the teacher does not have an under­
standing of anatomy and physiology, he has nothing which his
imagery can be related to, and therefore nothing tangible to
give to the student.
The responsibilities of the voice teacher are grave
because he has such an influence upon the careers of his pupils.
Shaw
maintains that the teacher must be a singer of experience.
The teacher's ear must be educated to the sound of perfect and
Imperfect tones in the voices of others, and he must possess
the knowledge of means and devices to correct the faults of
others.
The teacher must know from the sound of the voice
the specific cause of the peculiar defects encountered'.
Attentively listening to one's own voice, declares
Shaw,
promotes the development of the correct muscles for
the production of the sounds which agree with the mental con­
ception of what is correct in effect.
In forming this judg­
ment, the singer is. in a large degree dependent upon the
W .h . Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and Its Restoration,
(.Philadelphia: J.P. Lippincott Co., 1914), p. 176.
7 Ibid., pp. 67, 197.
49
musical judgment of some other person or persons, the reason
being that the sing er’s voice does not sound to him as it
does to others.
Shaw asserts that the individual cannot at
first be the sole judge of the comparative beauty, quality,
or intensity of his own tones.
However, after the s i n g e r ’s
ear becomes acquainted with good tones, he will be able to
hear and judge his own voice-.
mechanism," warns Shaw,
f,Do not try to manage the vocal
!’Learn to manage the voice with the
e a r ."
Just as the eye guides the hand in writing, so the ear
o
guides the voice in singing, declares Taylor.
Muscular sense
may under certain conditions supplement the sense of hearing,
but under no circumstances can it take full command.
Taylor
emphasizes the fact that knowledge of the precise workings
of the vocal organs does not directly help the singer to make
them act properly, although Garcia
9
claims that knowledge of
the physiological processes would be beneficial to the student,
and very helpful to the teacher in diagnosing the various
.
faults.
'Bryant-^ says,
"To hearing is bound its sister vocal
8 David C. Taylor, The Psychology of Singing (New York:
The Macmillan Co., 1928), p. 144.
C Manuel Garcia, Hints on Singing (New York:
and Co., 1894), preface.
Schuberth
H.G. Bryant, The Voice Instrument (Hamilton, N . Y . :
Pub. by the Hamilton Republican, 1913), p*I 12.
50
sound.n
Taylor
agrees that in a practical vocal method
the ear and the voice are trained together.
progress,
voice.
In the s t u d e n t s
the ear always keeps slightly in advance of the
The voice needs practice in order to meet the demands
of the ever progressive ear; as this practice goes on the ear
becomes keener and more exacting in its demands on the voice.
Taylor emphasizes the fact that the student must hear and
recognize his own faults or there is no possibility of his
correcting them.
Rogers-*-^ agrees with Taylor when she says:
If your ear fails to acquaint you with those subtle
differences in tone-quality on which the development and
the perfection of your voice depends, must you give up
hope?
No, train your ear to perceive those different
qualities of tone by listening with conscious intent to
detect those differences.
Acquire the habit of listening
to voices instead of simply hearing them.
If you would
succeed in any branch of art, you must develop your powers
of observation until they become keen and true.
Some teachers have the student imitate their quality
as well as their method of tone production.
According to
Witherspoon'*-3 the student may imitate the method of the teacher
but not the quality.
A voice may sing with the various tonal
colors characteristic of the different emotions, but these
colors will always be of necessity superimposed upon the
David C. Taylor, _0p. C i t . , p. 357.
12 C.K. Rogers, Your Voice and You
Ditson Co., 1925), p. 12.
-*-3 H. Witherspoon,
1925), p. 36.
(Boston:
Singing (New York:
Oliver
Schirmer Inc.,
natural quality of the.voice that is singing, which quality
will always remain the permanent characteristic of the voice.
It has been pointed out that the singing teacher should,
have a knowledge of physiology as well as a perfectly trained
ear.
B a r t h o l o m e w ^ maintains that the teacher should have
both of these qualities so that he will be able to recognize
the difference in the t y p e 'of tones produced,
and from the
conclusions reached regarding the formation of these tones,
perhaps work backward and deduce the physiological or struc­
tural set-up responsible for the various qualities.
Building up auditory imagery.
It is a generally ac­
cepted fact that a thing which is repeated time after time
becomes easier with each repetition.
Seashore-^
points out
that developing imagery does not necessarily result in stronger,
imagery but rather that "The things imaged are more familiar,
of richer variety,
and of far keener differentiation than
befo r e •”
No special exercises can be given for training the ear.
The sense of hearing is developed only by attentive listening.
3-4 W. T* Bartholomew, "Imagery in Voice Pedagogy."
Peabody Bulletin (Baltimore, Maryland: The Peabody Conserva­
tory of Music, December, 1934), p. 80.
3-5 carl E. Seashore, The Psychology of Musical T ale n t ,
p. 221.
52
Taylor
16
explains that every vocal student should form the
habit of listening to the tones of all voices and Instruments.
He declares that "Attention to this is extremely valuable In.
the training of the ear."
He emphasizes the fact that the
student must, learn to listen to himself.
Musical taste must
always guide the vocal student, for the voice thrives on
beautiful sounds.
He remarks, "This training of the ear is
developed by exercise in t h e ' e a r ’s natural f u n c t i o n - l i s t e n i n g
to sounds."
According to Rogers,
17
the student can acquire auditory
faculties which he has no idea of ever possessing,
if he will
set about forming the habit of listening, wit h concentrated
purpose, to note the peculiar differences between one kind
of tone and another.
She asserts that, not only will the
student improve his voice, but he will measurably enrich his
enjoyment of music in all its forms.
Correct instruction supplemented by assidous practice
merges all the separate acts of producing a tone into one.
Miller
18
explains that the singer produces the
what he terms a "sounding v i sio n” of it in his
tone, forms
mind, and
straightway the vocal tract adapts and coordinates all its
D.C. Taylor, The Psychology of V o ice, pp. 551, 2, 5.
^
C'.K. Rogers,
18 p.E. Miller,
Preservation, p. 7.
Your Voice and Y o u , pp.
12, 13.
The V o i c e ,Its Production, Care and
53
parts to the artistic emission of that tone,
Shaw
19
finds that by constant attention to the advice
of the master, the' s i n g e r ’s ear is educated to both good and
bad effects, and by careful study and separation he can as­
similate, save, and develop the correct ones.
A blind person is a good example of an Individual, who
as a result of his visual inhibition, has developed his audi­
tory facilities to the point of super-sensitiveness.
Preventing the atrophy of auditory imagery.
When one
is learning anything new, the rate of forgetting is rapid at
first.
It is therefore advisable to do considerable reviewing
in the early stages of learning.
S e a s h o r e ^ observes that on
the whole, we do not develop any new capacity for the vivid­
ness of imagery, but we do develop the ability to put the
native capacity to a far greater and diversified use; and to
the extent that this is done, we have forestalled the other­
wise inevitable suppression and atrophy of this capacity.
Miller
o
*i
says that,
’’This ability is auto-suggestion
and becomes habit through practice.”
-jo
_
W.W.
Murphy
22
agrees with
...
Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and-Its Restoration,
p. 151.
C.E. Seashore, The Psychology of Musical Talent,
p. 222.
23- P.E. Miller, The V o i c e , Its Production, Care, and
Preservation, p. 71
^
G-.A. Murphy, The Voice and Singing, p. 42.
54
this, idea in the statement,
"Right actions are largely matters
of habit."
It is an axiom in psychology that, If a person be r e - .
quired to perceive a thing new to him which he has not hither­
to perceived, all distracting elements must be removed, and
the point of perception exaggerated.
p *z
Lunn00 states:
For example, if a pupil cannot reproduce a tone in
pitch identical to the note sounded on the keyboard, if
the tone be flat, unite with the struck note all similar
notes above.
If it be G-, multiply by associating all the
G ’s above.
If the tone be sharp, reverse the process,
and strengthen by all the similar notes below.
Never in­
troduce harmony, as it distracts attention from the point
of perception.
As reproduction of pitch from, recurrent
action becomes easier, eliminate the extreme notes until
the single note can be reproduced by the le ar ner’s voice.
Shift the principle, about in three or four notes, and
the sense of hearing is fixed.
Tests for auditory imagery.
Seashore*^ finds that im­
agery is no mark of intelligence because some very intelligent
people have little imagery,
very marked imagery.
and some very stupid people have
He also calls attention to the fact that
images do not always come with the same clearness;
therefore
auditory imagery is not conducive to objective tests.
Seashore
has worked out the following tests for auditory imagery.
After practicing on hearing the patter of rain, the
voice of the teacher in speaking a p u p i l ’s name, or the
bark of a dog, the following specific test may be made.
^
9A
p. 219.
C. Lunn, The Philosophy of Voic e, pp. 207, 208.
G.E. Seashore, The Psychology of Musical T a l e n t ,
55
• I The broken m e l o d y .
Play the first two phrases of "America11 so that all may
know what it is; then announce that you will play a few
notes but,may stop any place and that the listener is
to image the next note.
After the note has been imaged
the actual note is played and the listener is to grade
himself by the scale of 0 to 6 on the imaged note as
compared with the actual note.
This is repeated ten .
times, the imaged note being always a sustained tone.
II Imitating two n o tes.
The experimenter plays two notes three times and asks
the listener to play them as images in the same way.
This is repeated ten times 'with different notes.
III Free imaging.
The listener is asked to image the first phrase of "America"
as played in the first experience.
This is repeated ten
t i m e s .25
For the next test, of introspective nature, Seashore
gives the following directions.
Fix clearly in mind and use as consistently as pos­
sible the following scale of degrees of vividness.
0.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
No image at all.
Very faint.
Faint.
Fairly vivid.
Vivid.
Very vivid.
As vivid as perception.
Answer the following questions by 'writing after the
number of the question the number which denotes the degree
of vividness characteristic of your image.
1. Can you image the sound of-(a) The report of a gun?
(b) The clinking of glasses?
(c) The ringing of church bells?
(d) The hum of bees?
p
a
Ibid. , p. 220.
56
2. Can you image the tone-quality of-(a) A violin?
(b) A cello?
(c) A flute? ■ (c) A
cornet?
3. Can you repeat in auditory imagery the air of-(a) Yankee Doodle?
(b) America?
4. Can you form auditory images of the intensity of a
violin tone-(a) Very,strong? .(b) Strong?
(c) Weak?
(d) Very
weak?
5. Can you form auditory imagery of the rhythm of-(a) The snare drum?
(b) The bass drum?
(c) "Dixie”
or other air heard played?
(d) ”Tell me not in
mournful numbers” spoken by yourself?26
Su mmary.
This chapter has presented auditory imagery
in relation to vocal instruction.
In order to sing correctly
one has to be able to hear correctly.
If the Instructor can­
not recognize a good tone he will not be able to direct the
student in the correct procedure.
If the student cannot hear
his own voice he will never achieve vocal perfection.
It was found, that if one has good auditory imagery,
he has the power to recall to his mind,
things which he has
•perceived with the ear.
The following chapter .will take up kinesthetic imagery.
26 I b i d . , p. 216.
CHAPTER IV
KINESTHETIC IMAGERY IN VOCAL TRAINING.
How the vocal organs
’’f e e l ” in a particular setting,
and the art of being able to recall that precise
’’fe eling” or
setting is an ever important objective in singing and vocal
education.
There are definite muscular sensations In the lar­
ynx, pharynx,
tongue, and throat region In general, with every
tone produced.
There are definite muscular sensations con­
nected with articulation and breathing,
ing.
in connection with sing
Other muscular sensations which come into play in the
interpretation are aroused by the text of the song.
Another
person feels himself producing music sympathetically when merel
listening to it.
One who possesses good kinesthetic imagery,
but poor auditory imagery, probably recalls many of his past
experiences and training in terms of muscular sensations and
movem e n t s .
Kinesthetic or mot or imagery.
Many individuals may be
found whose imagery consists largely In images of movement.
Breese^ say S that these people habitually recall past exper­
iences,
or imagine future events,
in terms of movements
^ B.B. Breese, Psychology (New York:
1917), p. 268.
C. Scrib n e r ’s Sons,
58
contained in them.
He explains that in recalling w o r d s ,
they image the movements of articulation;
they think of ob­
jects in terms of the eye-movements required in perceiving
them.
Some people have this form of imagery developed in un­
usual strength.
James^ cites for example:
Professor Strieker of Vienna gave a careful analysis
of his own case.
His recollections, both of his own mov e­
ments and of those of others, are accompanied invariably
by distinct muscular feelings in those parts of his body
which would be used in effecting or following the movement.
In thinking of a soldier marching, for example, it is as
if he were helping the image march by marching himself in
the rear.
If he suppresses this sympathetic feeling in
his own legs and concentrates all his attention on the
imagined soldier, the -latter becomes, as it were, paralyzed*
Relation to sensations.
On the other hand, some auth­
orities believe that it is problematical whether true Images
of our movements ever occur.
imagery is a misnomer.
Cole^ maintains that motor
It Is his opinion that motor imagery
consists of either muscle-sense images, memories
of how the
gesture would feel in limbs and body if It were executed,
or
else it consists of incipient movements which suggest the com'
plete movements.
He suggests that motor imagery- should be
called nmotor attitudes,” o r ’motor sensations."
Angell^
^ W. James, Psychology (New York: Henry Holt and Co.,
1907), p. 307.
L. Cole, Factors of Human Psychology (University of
Colorado Press, 1926), p7 408.
A
Angell, Psychology (New York: Henry Holt and Co.,
1908), p. 190.
59
agrees on this point when he says that there are no general
motor or kinesthetic images, because every attempt to think
of movement results in actually making movements in a rudi­
mentary way.
Boring? in agreement on this point,- says that
when we remember a previous movement there is' a tendency to
move the muscles slightly.
As a consequence, kinesthetic
memories are believed to be true perceptions of actual mov e­
ments rather than imaginal reproductions of previous perceptions.
Boring states for example,
that it is possible to observe,
introspeetively, strains and other sensations arising from the
muscles of the body when one recalls former movements.
"Strictly speaking, then," says Boring?
"memories of movement
are images which occur in the presence,
rather than in the
absence of the stimuli and are perceivable
body."
in movements of the
He points out that memories of movement have usually
been called motor or kinesthetic images,
and although this
terminology is not exact, it may be followed since motor m e m ­
ories are similar in function to true images and are evoked
by the same conditions.
Auditory imagery is almost inextricably tied up with
motor imagery.
Seashore explains that motor or kinesthetic
5
Boring, Langfeld, and Weld, Psychology (New York
John Wiley and Sons, 1935), p. 347.
6 Ibid., p. 348.
60
imagery is the mental picture of movements and tendencies
to movements in terms of feelings of effort and sensations
of movement.
He supports this viewpoint^ -by saying that in
music, motor imagery is the reliving of sensations of strain
in movement which are experienced in the a c t u a l ■sensations of
hearing or would naturally accompany an imagined hearing.
Vocal-motor imag e r y .
Memories involving language are
frequently expressed in movement of the vocal muscles in the
throat and mouth.
Boring® points out that the movements are
weak and usually no sound is made so that they pass unobserved
unless attention is directed to them.
He says that, "These
movements may be termed vocal-motor images."
He supports his
view by stating that, "One remembers not only the words spoken
by o n e ’s self, but also the words of others,
motor imagery."
in terms of vocal
He explains that vocal music may also be re ­
called in this manner.
Many individuals who have this power
well developed will find, when reading, that the printed words
are spoken sub-vocally.
In other words,
the sight of the
printed words gives rise to vocal-motor imagery.
It has been observed that many persons do not realize
7
C.E. Seashore, The Psychology of Musical Talent
(New York: Silver, Burdett and Co., 1919), p. 228.
® Boring, Langfeld,
and Weld, Psychology, p. 348.
61
what a predominating influence motor images have on the organs
of articulation,
the point.
until their attention is expressly drawn to
A good way of bringing this phenomenon *to conscious­
ness is proposed by
James
Partly open your mouth and then imagine any word with
labials or .dentals in it, such as fb u b b l e , f or C o d d l e . 1
Is your image under these conditions distinct?
J a m e s ^ states further that ”To most people the image
is
Tt h i c k , f as it would be if they tried to promounce it with
the lips p a r t e d . ”
Vocal-motor
realized
that,
imagery will be best understood if it
is
all movements tend to become habits and all
habits tend to become unconscious.
Our habits of speech are
more subject t,o becoming unconscious than most other habits
because they are mechanized very early in life.
ColeH
explains
that vocal performances tend to leave a disposition or tendency
to be repeated rather than an image to be recalled.
Motor imagery and m e m o r y .
Memories are often character­
ized by a vague feeling of familiarity, which gives the know­
ledge of actual previous ’experiences.
Eoring
12
^
It is pointed out by
that this feeling springs from associated motor images
W. James, Psychology, p. 307.
10 I b i d ., p. 308.
L. Cole, Factors of Human Psychology, pp.
12
T
402,
Boring, fangfeld, and Weld, Psychology, p. 364.
a.
62
of the movements made in response
Cole
13
to the situation remembered.
explains that when one memorizes, he always feels
movement in his throat.
He claims that one of his students
resorts to the method of repeating a piece of poetry until
he remembers it mechanically.
This method of applying motor
imagery to memorizing poetry often functions in memorizing a
song;
even more so perhaps than in learning poetry, due to
the fact
that the song has both words and music.
The function of will
in guiding motor imagery.
Betts-^
claims that it is perhaps safe to say that when one wills to
do something,
the mental element consists of elements of cog­
nition and feeling plus a distinct sense of effort.
He believes
that the secret of the w i l l Ts power of control lies in atten­
tion.
"Will is the line of action that one holds the mind
upon with an attitude of intending to perform it that one fin­
ally follows.”
In other words,
it is the thing one keeps
thinking about that one finally does.
On the other hand, one
can hold,the mind away from some attractive,
but unsuitable,
line of action, directing'his thoughts'to some opposite course.
Betts explains that in this way the individual effectually
blocks the wrong response.
1^
He maintains
that, "To control our
L. Cole, Factors of Human Psy chology, pp. 402-3-5.
G. Betts, The Mind and It s -Education (New York:
D. Appleton and Co., 1916), pp. 323, 324.
65
acts is therefore to control our thoughts, and strength of
will can be measured by o n e ’s ability to direct his attention.”
Bartholomew
15
makes this theory applicable to vocal instruction
when he points out that the old precepts, and modern variatinns
of the old precepts,
control the vocal organs in a negative
manner by directing attention away from the organs themselves.
Will is used to restrain or locate the energies. Lunn^s
explains that knowledge is the result of accumulation and con­
centration of energies.
He supports this viewpoint by saying
that ’’Right teaching directs the mind to the end, and thus
causes the physical parts unconsciously to obey natural laws.”
Physical development of the vocal apparatus is very
largely coincident with, and the natural consequence of, vocal
17
training. Shaw^
states that certain physiological conditions
are necessary, but such conditions are purely resultant; the
chief consideration should be to bear in mind that in order
to produce the best results, it is necessary for the singer to
be in a healthy condition, so that the functional processes
W.T* Bartholomew, ’’Imagery in Voice Pedagogy.”
Peabody Bulletin (Baltimore, Maryland: The Peabody Conserva­
tory of Music, December, 1934), p. 89.
C.
Lunn, The Philosophy of Voice
Company, 1906), p. 18.
(London: Brillier
W. W.> Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and Its Restoration,
(Philadelphia: J*B„ Lippincott Co., 1§14), pp. 61, 62, 63.
64
will act normally under the exacting guidance
the proper direction of the will power.
of the ear and
He explains that,
analytically, vocal sounds are produced by the
correct action
of the vocal instrument commanded by the insensible influence
of* the will.
ShaY/ asserts that, nThe supremacy of mind over
matter is a well-established scientific truth .”
We think our muscles.
Boring-*-^ points out that:
In one investigation a number of subjects were trained
in a highly elaborate method of physical relaxation.
It
Is claimed that by practice, not only can the postural
muscles be relaxed to a degree previously unattained, but
also the Internal and external muscles of the eyes, the
muscles of the larynx, tongue, and throat, and those con­
nected with the activity of breathing.
Wrhen these trained
subjects were In a state of complete relaxation, they
reported that thought did not take place.
The preceding paragraphs make the claims of the voice
theorists both reasonable and possible.
Bor Instance, Stanley-^
points out that the sense of strain in the singer Is due to
the constriction of the throat muscles and the rigidity of
the neck muscles.
and flexible,
He explains that the throat should be firm
causing the throat to stay open, while the neck
muscles remain relaxed.
In view of the fact that Bartholomew
20
claims this setting of the throat region tends to produce and
Boring, Langfeld, and Weld, Psychology, pp. 481-2.
19
Fischer,
D.
Stanley, The Science of Voice
1929), p. 82.
(New York:
20 W. Bartholomew, Imagery in Voice Pedagogy, p. 85.
Carl
permit all the attributes of good voice quality,
point well worth considering.
that,
M i l l e r ^ l
it is a
is quoted as saying
”The breathing muscles should be' relaxed after inspiration
the singer should concentrate on the result or effect.”
The
same formula, would be applicable, in this situation.
W a g n e r ^ S
presents a practical formula for the purpose
of obtaining ”open throat” and hence,
directs the singer to
good voice quality.
He
open the mouth in acquiescence with
the pitch and type of tone desired,
keeping the lower teeth
covered and allowing the upper teeth to show slightly; place
the tongue forward for vowel'sounds,
of the lower front teeth;
with the tip at the base-
relax the lower jaw; keep relaxed
the constrictor muscles of the neck;
sing on the bright vowels
e e , a, and ehe, until the feeling of open throat is established.
Formation of correct vocal h a b i t .
Every act in the
process of learning to sing has a very definite purpose. . Ac­
cording to Betts^® these purposed or volitional acts, as a
result of conscientious repetition, become automatic and hab it­
ual.
”For this reason,” says James,24 ”we must make automatic
21
F. Miller, The Voice, Its Production, Care and Pre­
servation (New York: G. Schirmer Co., 1931), p. 50.
22 A.H. Wagner, V o i c e . Unpublished lecture at the Uni­
versity of Southern California, 1957 .’
G. Betts, The Mind and Its Education, p. 326.
24
W. James, Psychology, p. 144.
66
a n d .habitual,
as we can."
as early as possible, as many useful actions
;
Murphy^® applies this maxim to voice pedagogy
when he says, '"Correct vocal" action is largely a matter of
habit."
There are many cases of singing pupils learning wrong
vocal actions as a result of studying w i t h a poor teacher or
charlatan.
In most cases these wrongly placed actions can be
corrected by a good teacher.
James^^ points out that "one
should learn the action correctly the first time, because an
action^once become habit,
learning a new action,"
is more difficult to change than
He also believes that the more details
of an operation we can hand over to the effortless custody of
automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set
free for their own proper work.
Emotion and interpretation.
The relation of motor
imagery and sensation has already been established,
and re­
lation of motor imagery, sensation, and emotion will be estab­
lished before proceeding.
The emotions which are aroused by
a fixed stimulus differ in each individual and incident ally
cause different sensations and motor imagery.
emotional reactions to the same stimulus
of each individual’s make-up.
Mich.:
These different
are characteristic
If each indiv idua l’s reaction
25 q . Murphy, The Voice and Singing (Grand. Rapids,
A. P. Johnson Co., 1929), p. 42,.'' *
^
James,
Op. C i t ., p. 145.
67
were the same there would be no differences in the inter­
pretation of a given composition.
op
Batts6 ' writ e s , ,"Emotion
resembles sensation in that both are effective phases of consciousness--both have the power to move,
behavior .”
He supports
compel, and modify
this statement.by saying that to an
observer, emotion appears as various forms of expression,
or behavior, of the individual.
According to James^S theory
of emotions the f,stirred-up state of m i n d ” which we call emotion
is but the mental effect of the
”stirred-up state of b ody.”
He observes that particular perceptions certainly do produce
wide-spread bodily effects by a sort of immediate physical
influence,
idea.
antecedent to the arousal of an emotion or emotional
For example, he cites the case of the individual who
in listening to poetry, drama, music,
or heroic narrative ex­
periences a cutaneous shiver and heart swelling wh ich suddenly
flow over him like a wave.
According to Webster, emotion is an act or a state of
excited feeling.
the
Betts^
claims that,
fstirred-up feeling of the b o d y . ’
"Emotion is not only
It is the way the body
feels when it is prepared for a certain line of ac tio n.”
supports this opinion by saying that "Emotional states not
P7
2R
*^
G. Betts, The Mind and Its Education, p. 290.
W. James, Psycholo gy, pp. 27 5-6.
G. Betts, _0p. G i t ., pp. 293-6.
He
68
only have their rise in organic reactions, but they also
tend to result in acts."
He finds that a state of emotional
tension may be relieved by the form of physical expression
on which it is founded. . C o l e ^ O
states that this accounts for
the use of gesture when interpreting a piece of poetry or a
song.
He says the gesture is the motor image suggested by
the words in poetry,
and by both words
and music in song.
The power of imagination determines the ability to
interpret literature of all kinds.
B e t t s ^ l
asserts that the
interpretation of literature is nothing more than the recon­
struction on our part of the pictures with their meanings
which were in the mind of the writer as he penned the words,
and the experiencing of the emotions which moved him as he
wrote.
rzn
Lehmann*^
writes that she interprets all her songs
from mental pictures.
She warns that, not until the singer
has made a clear picture of the whole,
the details, through which, however,
should he elaborate
the impression of the
whole should never be allowed to suffer.
that a word is an idea;
She points out
and not only the idea, but how that
idea in color and connection is related to the whole, must
•210
L. Cole, Factors of Human Psycho log y, p. 408.
31 G. Betts, The Mind and Its Ed ucation, p. 133.
32 p. Lehmann, How to Sing (New York: The Macmillan
Co., 1910), p. 263.
69
be expressed.
.She explains that the singer must mingle the
feelings set before him for portrayal with his own in his
interpretation, and theirs,
and so to speak,
lay bare his very
soul.
The singer forms his
conceptions of how a song should
be performed by studying the text of the song, wherein he
perceives the ideas, which awaken in him emotional response.
This emotional response, according to Kirkland,33 j_s influenced
by what he perceives in three distinct ways:
quality,
in its strength or quantity,
"These,” remarks Kirkland,
emotion,
in its nature or
and in its activity.
"are the characteristics of every
and are manifested through a particular means of
expression."
The treatment of the atmosphere of a song depends upon
the mood of the singer.
'Z A
Greene^
explains that the mood De­
longs to the singer and atmosphere belongs to the song;
connecting link between the two is imagination.
the
He says that
if the s i n g e r fs imagination can show him the atmosphere, the
mood follows.
He maintains that the details of the composition
of a song contributes to the atmosphere of the song as a whole.
Guilbert points out that one cannot sing the song of a cowboy
33 H. Kirkland, Expression in Singing (Boston: R.G.
Badger, The Gorham Press, 1916), p. 34.
3^ H. Greene, Interpretation in S ong(New~ York: The
Macmillan Co., 1921), p. 15.
70
with the same attitude as one would sing a s o l d i e r ’s s o n g . ^
Again,
one cannot express words of comedy with a feeling of
tragedy, nor can one interpret a love song in terms of violence.
For purposes of illustration,
of painting to that of singing.
one can compare the art
Kirkland
shows that the
painter has some conception of what he is going to paint before
he begins his pictures, and it is that
his brush and influences his colors.
conception which guides
The painter will not
produce a landscape if his idea is that
of a portrait.
Like­
wise, the singer plans the part that he is to represent before
he begins to sing upon the stage; being young or old, proud or
humble,
hero or villain,
Imagine,
etc.; and his plan governs his voice.
says Kirkland, the absurdity of a p a i n t e r ’s beginning
a picture without knowing what it is going to be, or a s i n g e r ’s
commencing to sing with no idea of the part he is to play.
declares that the singer,
definite ideals,
He
like any other artist, should have
and through use of right means, should be
able to express them thoroughly.
’’Granting that emotion,
imagery,
and expression are
part of the complex act of interpretation,” says Cole,*^
’’the
•35 yvette Guilbert, How to Sing a S ong; The Art of
Dramatic and Lyric Interpretation (New York: The Macmillan
Co., 1918T7~p.
36 Henry Kirkland,
Expression in Sin ging, pp.
46-7.
rZX1
Lawrence
Cole, Factors of Human Psy cho log y, p. 422.
71
singer must have experienced much in order to bring the hearer
under the spell of his tones and w o r d s . ”
that the singer must be a spectator,
Guilbert3 ® maintains
a- critic and a judge of
humanity, and by such observations keep adding to the catalog
in his mind the best traits of humanity.
f,With the aid of
imagination one is able to characterize all the types that he
has observed.”
Imagination is highly susceptible to cultivation.
should take care to secure
One
a large and usable stock of images
from all fields of perception.
In the opinion of Betts,3 ® one
type of imagery is not enough, for many times one will be con­
fronted by situations demanding all types.
He claims that one's
imagination is limited by his stock of images; due to this fact
one must have a first hand contact w i t h just as large an environ­
ment as possible--large in the world of Nature with all her
varied forms suited to appeal to every avenue of sense;
in one's contact with people
in one's contact with books.
large
in all phases of experience;
large
He maintains that not only must
one put himself in the way of acquiring new experiences, but
he must, by recall and reconstruction, keep his imagery fresh.
Some authorities distinguish between two types of imag­
ination:
reproductive and creative.
38 Yvette Guilbert,
G.
Reproductive imagination,
Op. Cit., p. 99.
Betts, The Mind and. Its Educat ion , pp. 143-4.
72
according to Betts,40 is the type used when the subject re­
produces in his own mind the pictures described by others,
as in singing, writing,
or in the form of memory.
These images
must be definitely recognized as coming from o n e !s own exper­
ience.
But, we must have leaders and originators, else we
should imitate each other and the world would be at a stand­
still.
Everyone should be in a degree capable of initiative
and originality.
This ability* depends in no small measure on
the power to use creative imagination.
It is explained by one
author that creative imagination takes the images from o n e fs
own past experiences or those gleaned from the work of the
others and puts them together in new and original forms and
t h a t , "Creative imagination is always found at the van of
prog r ess."
Self proj ection.
A person who has good motor imagery
lives in a world of emotional responses; when such a person
listens
to the subject of music he feels himself producing it
sympathetically.
Seashore41 observes that the Individual
finds himself responding emotionally often in a false and fig­
urative way as in feelings of enlargement,
strength.
He states that,
expansion,
and
"Where the musician .’p r o j e c t s 1
40 I b i d ., p. 142.
44 C. Seashore, Psychology of Musical T a l e n t , p. 229.
73
himself into the music,
or
’lives i t , ’ he couches himself
essentially in motor imagery.”
The mind,
in response to verbal suggestion,
creates
images which it presents in a motor framework, which may be
localized in the person of the reader o r ’singer> or projected
AO
into the object itself.
Downey ° points out that it is not
enough to feel the motions described;
garmented in them.
one may see oneself
She says that three types of. response
should be recognized which are recognized under actual exper­
imentation:
that of the ecstatic,
the participator and the
spe ctator•
’’Often, for the ecstatic, with loss of self, both time
and space orientation lapses,” says the author.
”Hq passes
into the trance of the mystic and may lose consciousness even
of the art-stimulus.”
static enjoyment
music.
D o w n e y 4 3
avers that perhaps such ec­
is most commonly experienced in listening to
She upholds this statement by saying that there is such
an identification with the objects perceived that the ”1 ” seems
utterly lost;
one becomes what he is enjoying.
She presents
as an example the report of one of her students:
I am the tall white lilies and feel tall with a
slender swaying feeling that goes to my head, and makes
me feel a trifle dizzy.
I am rolling masses of music;
4^ J. Downey, Creative Imagination
Brace and Co., 19,29), p. 185.
43 Ibid., p. 180.
(New York:
Harcourt
74
or I dance with notes with flying feet until my heart
beats rapidly.
I enjoy particularly nature work that personifies as
Sh elley’s ’C l o u d ’ because I more easily translate myself
into such works.
"There is secondly the participator," according to
D o w n e y , ^ "who takes upon himself another self, who can sink
himself in another personality, play many roles."
One of the
subjects of the experiment writes:
When I am reading or listening to a performance, I
readily become quite deaf and insensible to ordinary inter­
ruptions.
I am living a great number of different lives.
I laugh and cry w it h all the characters and imagine myself
carrying out their every action.
Downey
says that "Thirdly there is the attitude of
the spectator who retains his own personality— in the enjoy*?-•*
ment of the arts he is spectator,
or the onlooker."'
She ex«
plains that such an attitude may be found very notably in the
critic whose enjoyment never swamps his capacity to estimate
the value of the work in terms of his own criteria; but it
may also occur in the most artistic of spectators who maintains
a godlike detachment in the face of conflicting emotions.
of the au th o r ’s reagents reports thus:
In all projections I am there as a spectator.
I see
the surroundings.
I stand to the left or in front.
I
am hidden.
Another writes:
4 4 I b i d «> P -
181.
45 Ibid., pp. 182-190
One
75
Faint visual sense of two figures at a window.
see the scenes mentioned from their standpoint and
into them I project the emotions which I feel.
I
The study of self projection can be approached from the stand­
point of either the performer or the listener.
Test for motor imagery.. S e a s h o r e ^ presents a test
for the measurement of kinesthetic imagery.
He directs the
individual to fix clearly in mind and use as consistently as
possible the following scale of degrees of vividness:
0.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
No image at all.
Very faint.
Faint.
Fairly vivid.
Vivid.
Very vivid.
As vivid as perception.
Answer the following questions by writing after the
number of the question the number which denotes the degree
of vividness of your image.
1. Can you image, in motor terms, yourself-(a) Rocking in a chair?
(b) Walking down a stairway?
(c) Biting a lump of sugar?
(d) Clenching your fist?
2. Does motor imagery arise in your mind when you
reeall--(a) A waterfall?
(b) A facial expression of fear?
(c) The bleating of sheep?
(d) Two boys on a teeter
board?
3. Aside from the actual inceptive movements, do you
get motor imagery when recalling--(a ) -A very high tone?
(b) A very low tone?
(c) Words like "Paderewski," "bubble,"
"tete-a-tete," "Hurrah!"?
4. Can you form motor images of--(a) The weight of a
46 C. Seashore, The Psychology of Musical T a l e n t , p. 215.
76
pound of butter?
(b) Your speed in running a race?
(c) The speed of an arrow?
*
S um ma ry .
imagery.
This chapter deals with kinesthetic or motor
It was found that motor imagery consists largely
in images of past movements.
The singer sings a perfect tone
and in repeating that tone, tries to recall the exact setting
or feelings of his vocal organs as used in its production.
Kinesthetic Imagery thus plays an important role In the for­
mation of correct vocal habits.
Many people memorize by re­
peating a passage until the muscles move all but automatically.
Many individuals may be found who, when listening to music,
produce it sympathetically in incipient movements.
will become the music itself.
who play several roles.
Others
Others will be participators
Still others will be merely passive
listeners.
The following chapter will take up visual imagery in
voice pedagogy.
CHAPTER V
VISUAL IMAGERY IN VOCAL INSTRUCTION
The ability to see, coupled with the power to retain
and recall what has been seen, plays an important part in vocal
instruction.
From close observation of other singers, the
student is able to acquire
rfstage presence" and the proper
technique for appearing before the public.
In studying ex­
pression he observes the proper gestures.
illustrate the mistakes
The instructor can.
of the student and show him how to
correct them by making a caricature of himself.
words,
hear,
In other
the student singer is in a position to see, as well as
correct singing and song technique.
Visual imagery.
There are people who perceive and imagine
visual sensations very readily.
Myerl claims that they give
attention to the shape and color of things rather than to any
other sensible qualities, and they imagine visual shape or
color very vividly so that the right and left, the above and
below, of their imagery Is clearly In their minds.
Breese^
states that past experiences and creations of Imagination
Max Meyer, Psychology (New York:
1908), p. 98.
P
_
B.B. Breese, Psychology
Sons, 1917), p. 267.
D.C. Heath and Co.,
(New York:
C h a s . Scribner's
78
curve back to the "visualizer" In visual sensory material.
He explains
that one whose
Imagery Is prevailingly visual sees
the past and constructs the future in the
speak.
"mind’s eye" so to
Gole^ presents an example of this type of imagery.
He reports one subject who no sooner thought of persons or
things, than features, forms and colors arose w i th the same
clearness,
before him.
sharpness,
and accuracy as if the object stood
He explains that at school the subject recited
from a mentally seen page which he read off line by line.
supports this statement by saying that the subject
He
could never
think of a passage in a play without the entire scene,
stage,
actors and audience appearing before him.
Visual imagery in voice managem en t.
The teacher should
not only tell and explain the precise rules to the student,
but he should Illustrate their meaning by making himself an
example;
assuming both right and wrong positions,
that the student may see as well as hear the
in order
corresponding
tone which comes from the corresponding position.
Mancini^
maintains that the pupil will be enlightened by seeing the
teacher making an exact caricature of his faulty positions,
^ Lawrence Cole, Factors of Human Psychology
of Colorado Press, 1926), p. 406.
(University
^ C. Mancini, Practical Reflections on the Figurative
Art of Singing (Boston: The Gorham Press, 1912), pp. 93, 97.
79
as well as reproductions of the correct position.
in taking a lesson,
carries away with him visual
The student,
images which
are beneficial if practised in front of a mi rr o r . 5
por ex­
ample, Mancini6 claims that the student should open his mouth
for singing,
just as he shapes it when he smiles, with the
upper teeth showing a little,
the lower ones.
He points
and slightly separated from
out that the pupil should stand
straight and natural, with head raised;
on the chest, nor tip it back.
do not lean the head
He also cautions the student
against going through body or facial contortions,
such as
standing on the toes when reaching for a high tone,
contortions
of the neck, wrinkling the forehead, and twisting the eyes.
Most authorities agree with James? when she says that the tongue
should be kept down, with the tip against the lower teeth.
She also claims that the mouth should be opened, and the lower
jaw brought forward, more and more, when ascending the scale.
In teaching,
the instructor should show the student how to put
these rules into practice.
front of the mirror,
The student could then practice in
keeping before himself at all times the
image of how the various acts should be performed.
Stanley
5
W.VV. Shaw, The Lost Vocal Art and Its Restoration
(Philadelphia: J.P. Lippineott Co., 1914), p. 188.
G. Mancini, _0p. C i t ., pp. 93, 94.
? Mary James, Scientific Tone Production (Boston:
Boston Music Co., 1931), p. 387
80
advocates use of the mirror,
although warning against its
excessive use, since it is quite liable to lead to selfconsciousness •®
Memorizing and visual imagery.
There are many individuals
who visualize the written words, and in regard to music,
notes, when memorizing compositions.
the
One good visualizer,
according to James9 could look down the mentally seen page
and see the words that commence all the lines, and from any
one of the words could continue the line.
For example:
T o u s ........
Ade s ....... .
Que f i t ....
Ave c ........
Cole^*9 states that many music teachers require their
students to commit music to memory, by seating themselves
away from their instruments with instructions to memorize the
sheet or sheets of music until they could read the pages from
memory, having a visual image of every note,
or note and word
in mind.
Mimicry and visual imagery.
8
Mimicry is the expression
Douglas Stanley, The Science of Voice
Carl Fischer, 1929), p. 144.
9
(New York:
William James, Psychology (New York: Henry Holt and
Co., 1907), p. 504.
10
L. Cole, Factors of Human Psychology, p. 404.
81
of thought and the emotions by gesture and facial movements.
W r o n s k i ^ asserts that the language of mimicry is universal,
for no matter how diverse may be the tongues of the nations,
their peoples meet upon the common ground of gesture and the
interpreting play of' the features.
He points out that mimicry
is very important in every-day life and often takes the place
of words; for example,
take the case of deaf mutes;
the stage, the eloquence of pantomime.
and on
He says that in order
to determine the essential characteristics of stage mimicry,
the study of poses,
is vital.
of "facial acting," and of general attitude
Ifronski^ maintains that the gesture' on the singing
stage is fundamentally the same as that on the speaking stage.
He explains that the gesture or pose is some times longer or
shorter on the singing stage, for it is dependent upon the
music and melody.
Mancini^-^ says that the actor must live the personages
he represents and exemplify them with action and proper feeling.
He points out, for illustration, how ridiculous it would be
if Caesar were portrayed as meek and. cowardly, Mercury assumed
the actions of an old man,
or Neptune were represented as
I *j
Thadde.us Wronski, The Singer and His Art
B. Appleton and Co., 1921), p. 116.
(New York:
_Ibid., p. 118.
^ G. Mancini, Practical Reflections on the Figurative
Art of Singing, p. 167.
82
vivacious-.
Whe n the
singer appears
on the stage to p e r f o r m in an
opera or to sing a simple song,
there must he an ab so lu te
h ar m o n y b e t w e e n the ex pr ess ion of his art and, his body.
Guilbert^
states that
the sin ger must be a sculpt or who
gives to his bo dy the attitude w h i c h the thought
requires.
She
ostentatious;
cautions
of his
song
the artist against being po mpous
declari ng that his
attitude
should be
or
one of
nobl e and gracious simplicity.
Cu ltivatin g visual i m a g e r y .
Visual
imagery can be a c ­
quired b y o bs erving and liste nin g to actors
and singers.
Ma ncin i
claims that the singer is nec es saril y a traveler,
attentive
to the predominan t
its ma n n e r of dress
that
one acquires
virtue a n d passion of ea ch nation,
and wa y of speaking.
Gui lbertl^ says
this abi l i t y by educa ti on of the eyes;
co nt em platio n of sculptures
and paintings,
by
not by m e r e l y
looking at them.
M u c h mater ia l for the cu ltivation of visual
lies
in the eve ry -day life all about us.
ima ger y
Huma n-l ife an d the
1^ Y vette Cuilbert, H o w to Sing a. S o n g ; The Art of
Dramat ic and Lyric In t e r p r e t a t i o n (Hew York; The M a c m i l l a n
C o . , 1 9 1 8 7 7 ”P* 77.
15 Q-. Mancini,
Op.
C i t ., p.
169.
16 Y. Guilbert, Op. Cit., p. 77.
83
movement of human affairs,
says B e t t s , ^
constantly appeal
to the visual side of our nature, if we understand at all
what life and action mean.
Test for visual imagery.
visual imagery.
S e a s h o r e l S
gives a test for
He directs the subject to:
Fix clearly in mind and use as consistently as possible
the following scale of degrees of vividness:
0.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
No image at all.
Very f a i n t .
Paint.
Fairly vivid.
Vivid.
Very vivid.
As vivid as perception.
Answer the following questions by writing after the
number of the question the number which denotes the degree
of vividness characteristic of your image.
(a)
(d)
1. Can you image the color of-A red rose?
(b) A green leaf?
(c)
A blue sky?
(a)
(d)
2. Can you image the brightness of-A white teacup?
(b) A black crow? (c)
The blade of a knife?
Ayellow ribbon?
A gray
3. Can you image the form of-(a) The rose?
(b) The leaf?
(c) The teacup?
knife? *
stone?
(d) The
4. Can you form a visual image of-(a) A moving express train?
(b) Your sharpening of your
pencil?
(c) An up and down movement of your tongue?
17
George Betts, The Mind and Its Education (New York:
D. Appleton and Co., 1916), p. 299.
1
York:
Carl Seashore, The Psychology of Musical Talent
Silver, Burdett and Co.~^ 1919), p. 216.
(New
84
5. Can you image sim ultane ous ly-(a) A g ro up of colors in a group of sweet peas?
(b)
Colors, forms, brightness, and movement s in a landscape
view?
6. Can you compare in a visual image-(a) The color of cream and the color of milk?
(b) The
tint of one of you r fingernails w i t h that of the pa l m of
your hand?
7. Can you hold fa irl y constant for ten seconds-(a) The color of the rose?
(b) The f o r m of the rose?
Chapter summary.
This chapter presents a discussion
of visual imagery in relation to vocal instruction.
found that the student sees as well as hears
It was
correct singing.
The student sees the correct vocal procedure and later, with
the aid of visual imagery, recalls these correct positions
to mind.
Visual imagery,
it was found,
is also valuable in
recalling gestures.
The following and last chapter will present a general
summary and conclusion of the thesis.
CHAPTER VI
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The old masters did not aim to manage the vocal organs
directly.
The fundamental principle In the teachings of the
old Italian masters was that f1e ffectfr in:vo.cal utterance is
the constant guide for both singer and teacher.
Skill in
physical adjustment is obtained as a consequence of the
desired.
r,effectfl
The vocal precepts were meant to contain a perfect
description of correctly produced voice.
In short,
the p r e ­
cepts were intended to point out the difference between good
and bad singing.
The old masters
aimed to explain the various faults
of voice production from experience in hearing and feeling,
and not from a scientific viewpoint.
Investigators have since
offered proof that the science of psychology is the real science
on which the old Italian school stood.
The old masters taught
from a knowledge of things of basic Importance to singers
which have since become proved facts of science.
The old
Italian school relied on the instinctive and initiative p r o ­
cesses for imparting correct vocal action, whereas the newer,
or local effort school, sought to accomplish the same result
through mechanical management of .the vocal organs.
The great­
ness of the old Italian school lies in the simplicity of its
means and the naturalness
of its concepts.
86
Imagery was found to be the very essence of the teach­
ings of the old Italian masters.
The quality and success of
the teaching depended, and still depends upon the ability of
the teacher and student to employ imagery of the various types
for the improvement of tone quality.
The old Italian masters .
and their pupils depended upon their ability to hear correctly
and incorrectly produced tones,
to feel correct and incorrect
muscular sensations, and to see correct and incorrect vocal
p ro cedure•
Many voice teachers do not understand the terms with
which they are working,
and there are many current vocal terms
which are utterly worthless, if not harmful.
vocal i n s t r u c t o r s
It is every
obligation to familiarize himself with the
correct and accepted vocal terms and practices,
so that he
has a working knowledge of them.
Imagery,
as previously stated, should not be condemned
in vocal instruction.
Quite the contrary.
But it must be
known as imagery, valuable and varied though it is.
imagery,
Being
it should be used merely to suggest indirectly through
its psychological effects,
a certain muscular setting which
is difficult for the beginner.
When using it, the teacher
should keep the true facts in mind at all times, for when
imagery becomes
so vivid that it is transferred into the phy­
sical field and used to explain physiologic and acoustic
phenomena,
it becomes unreliable, false, and harmful.
It is
87
this misuse which causes so much dissension amongst vocal
theorists.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Angell, James R., Psychology.
pany, 1908.
Mew York: Henry Holt and Com­
Bartholomew, Wilmer T., Imagery in Voice Peda go gy , Peabody
Bulletin, Baltimore, Maryland: The Peabody Conservatory
of Music, December, 1934. pp. 20-29.
An article discussing the scientific uses of imagery in
vocal instruction.
Behnke, K. E . , S i n g e r Ts Difficulties; How to Overcome T h e m .
New York: Stokes Company, 1908.
A book presenting the various problems
and methods of overcoming them.
of the singer
Betts, George H., The Mind and Its Education.
Appleton and Company, 1916.
Mew York: D.
A book on general psychology.
Bills, Gilbert, General Experimental Psychology.
Longmans, Green and Company, 1934.
Boring, Langfeld, and Weld, Psychology.
and Sons, 1935.
Breese, B.B., Psychology.
1917.
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New York:
New York:
John Wiley
Charles Scribner!s Sons,
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Stokes Company, 1920.
New York: Frederick
A book dealing in ways and means of bringing the vocal
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A book for singers and speakers compiled by surgeon and
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Bryant, H.C., The Voice Instrument. Hamilton, New York:
published by the Hamilton Republican, 1913.
90
Buzzi-Peecia, A., How to Succeed
T h e o ? Presser Company, 1925*
in Si ng in g .Philadelphia*:
A good book for singers contemplating entering the profession of singing.
Christensen, A.H., Certain Trends in Vocal Music Teaching
Methods. An unpublished master's thesis, University of
Southern California, 1957.
Cole, Lawrence, Factors of Human Psychology.
Colorado Press, 1926.
Davies, David T., Singing of the Futu re .
J. Lane Company^ 1907 .
Good for general information
University of
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Dodds, George, and James Lickey, Control of the B r ea t h.
London: Oxford University Press, 1925.
A book emphasizing breath control; of more or less elementary character.
Downey, J., Creative Imagination.
and Company, 1929.
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A treatise on the imagination as used in interpreting
songs and poetry.
Drew, W. S., Voice Tra in in g; the Relation of Theory and Prac­
tice . London:. H. Milford, Oxford. University Press, 1924.
A book on voice training,
p ract ic e•
and how best to put theory into
Evetts, Edgar, and Robert Worthington, The Mechanics of S in ging.
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This book dwells on the mechanical methods of obtaining
results in vocal instruction.
Fernald, M.. R., The Diagnosis of Mental I m a g e r y . Princeton:
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This work goes into the analysis of imagery.
91
Fillebrowne, Thomas, Resonance in Singing and Speaking* Boston:;
Oliver Ditson Company, 1911*
A book which stresses vocal resonance*
Fletcher, Harvey, Speech and H e a r i ng *
Nostrand Company, Inc., 1929.
Hew York: D. Van
French, Will, "Functions of Secondary Education: Function I."
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Company, 1894.
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along with
Schuberth and
One of the earliest books on scientific tone production*
Greene, Harry P., Interpretation in S o n g .
Maicmillan Company, 1921.
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A book emphasizing interpretation in song.
Guilbert, Yvette, How to Sing a S o n g : the Art of Dramatic and
Lyric Interpretation.
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1918.
This book goes into every phase of vocal technique.
Hast, Harry, The Sin ge r’s Art.
1935*.
London: Methuen and Company,
A book which stresses tone production.
Henderson, William J., The Art of the Singer.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920
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Suggestions for singers from the standpoint of a critic.
92
Henderson, William J., The Early History of S i n g in g*
York: Longmans, Green and Company, 1921.
New
This book contains the beliefs of the early writers.
Herman, R. L * , An Open Door for Singers.
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The Boston
A book of general information for singers.
Hinman, Mrs. Florence L., Slogans for Si ngers.
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A very compact book, giving information in condensed form.
Howard, Francis E . , The Child-Voice in Singi ng .
H. W. Gray Company, 1895.
Nev/ Yorkr
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groups•
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not paged.) 1920.
(No publisher given, and
A book of general information concerning voice.
James, Mary I., Scientific Tone Production.
Music Company^ 1 § 3 1 •
Boston:
Boston
Deals with the science of voice; written in the question
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James, W., Psychology.
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93
Lehmann, Lilli, How to Sing.
1910.
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interpreting the theories
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the' Vocal O r g a n s .
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New
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First
edition published in Vienna in 1774.
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A book on general instruction.
Marafiotti, P. M., C a r u s o !s M e t h o d .
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E. S. Werner Company, 1893.
D.
New ^ork:
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New
94
This book deals with the science of voice and its ap­
plication.
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New
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Boston: The Boston
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This is a study of tone and breath control.
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Joseph
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95
Redfield, John, Music, a Science and an Art.
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96
Shaw, William Warren, Authentic Voice Production.
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Philadel­
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Carl
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The
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1925.
Singing.
97
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D.
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