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The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop. Stephen F. Austin, M.M., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Voice College of Music University of North Texas. Session II Voice Building: The Voce Chiusa. Stephen F. Austin, M.M., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Voice University of North Texas.

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The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop


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the vocal pedagogy workshop

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop

Stephen F. Austin, M.M., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Voice

College of Music

University of North Texas

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

session ii voice building the voce chiusa

Session IIVoice Building: The Voce Chiusa

Stephen F. Austin, M.M., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Voice

University of North Texas

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

slide4

The Voce Chiusa – Out of the Darkness, Into the Bright Historical and scientific support for the ‘open throat’

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

the open throat
The ‘open throat’
  • Historically important concept
  • Practiced throughout the 19th C and in many contemporary sources

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

the open throat6
The ‘open throat’
  • Often ignored in the 20th C in favor of various ‘placement’ and ‘support’ techniques
    • Fueled by the ‘no – effort’ school promoted by many teachers in reaction to the ‘local effort’ school of Garcia at end of 19th C
  • Recent reports describe the rational for teaching the ‘open throat’

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

carlo bassini 1812 1870 bassini s art of singing 1856
Carlo Bassini (1812-1870)Bassini’s Art of Singing, 1856

“…for, if a singer should present himself at the opera in Paris and fail to give the renowned chest C in the “Huguenots” or “William Tell,” though singing never so well otherwise he would gain but few admirers and be quite certain of producing but little effect.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

genesis the closed timbre
Genesis: The Closed Timbre
  • In 1837 Duprez ‘shattered the peace with a cannon shot across the stage.’ The singing world has never been the same.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

henry chorley music and manners in france and germany 1844
Henry Chorley, Music and Manners in France and Germany, 1844.
  • The French vocal style was nasal:

“That they sang through their noses, is as certain as that the Parisian opera songstresses terrified Dr. Burney and Horace Walpole, by their energetic screaming.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

henry chorley music and manners in france and germany 184410
Henry Chorley, Music and Manners in France and Germany, 1844.
  • The French vocal style was characterized by liberal use of falsetto in the high voice:

“Many of them, too, were afflicted with that diseased tendency towards a falsetto, which, in our own country, has run the inordinate length of pushing innocent, portly, middle-aged gentlemen into warbling (more oddly to the eye than agreeably to the ear) the sublimest songs of Handel’s “Messiah”.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

french traditions
French Traditions
  • Adolphe Nourrit (1802-39)
    • Many premiers by Rossini and Meyerbeer
    • Rossini’s favorite – the original Arnold in William Tell
    • Student of the elder Garcia

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

french traditions12
French traditions
  • Adolphe Nourrit (1802-39)
    • Vocalism represented and earlier taste
    • Fine actor, refined taste
    • Falsetto dominated high voice
    • A member of the elite social circles

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

changing traditions
Changing Traditions
  • Gilbert-Louis Duprez (1806-96)
    • 1837 – Paris
    • Replaced Nourrit as Arnold in Rossini’s Guilliame Tell
    • Do di petto
    • Learned the technique in Italy

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

new expectations
New expectations
  • Adolphe Nourrit (1802-39)
    • Threatened by Duprez’s success
    • Left Paris for Italy
    • Studied the new technique in Italy with some success

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

henry chorley music and manners in france and germany 184416
Henry Chorley, Music and Manners in France and Germany, 1844.

“Possibly in his less gloomy moments, he (Nourrit) believed that his day was not yet over; that he had still energy to recompose himself anew; that he would, in short, have a chest voice in place of his own nasal and brilliant falsetto di testa and learn that honeyed and long-drawn cantabile which his countrymen were beginning to praise as an indispensable treasure.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

new expectations17
New expectations
  • Adolphe Nourrit (1802-39)

Nourrit committed suicide in 1839 by throwing himself off of his balcony in Naples.

Suicide could have been related to long-term illness: hepatitis or alcoholism.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

james stark bel canto a history of vocal pedagogy 1998
James Stark: Bel Canto: A History of Vocal Pedagogy, 1998.

“After Duprez, the ut de poitrine became a requirement for the Romantic tenor high C, then or now, for the success or failure of tenors.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

manuel garcia ii 1805 1906
Manuel Garcia II (1805-1906)
  • 1832 appointed to Paris Conservatory, 1858 to The Royal Academy of Music in London
  • Central figure in 19th C pedagogy
  • Famous pupils:
    • Battaille
    • Stockhausen
    • Malibran
    • Marchesi
    • Lind

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

manuel garcia ii 1805 190620
Manuel Garcia II (1805-1906)
  • …the human voice is, in the largest sense, composed of the different registers:

Chest Falsetto-head

And two timbres:

Clear timbre

Sombre timbre

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

manuel garcia ii 1805 190621
Manuel Garcia II (1805-1906)
  • “When the larynx produces a tone, the pharynx takes possession of it as soon as it is emitted and modifies it. Mémoire sur la voix humaine, 1840
    • Sombre timbre
      • Gives the voice roundness
      • Penetration
      • Modifies the falsetto into the ‘head’ register
      • The ‘operatic quality’ some earlier theater styles

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

manuel garcia ii 1805 190622
Manuel Garcia II (1805-1906)

Sombre timbre unifies the registers into a whole

    • AKA: voce chiusa, voix sombrée ou couverte, ‘closed timbre’
  • Timbres result of the shape of the pharynx
    • If the larynx rises – clear timbre
    • If the larynx remains low – sombre timbre

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

manuel garcia ii 1805 190623
Manuel Garcia II (1805-1906)
  • Definition of registers
  • Use of laryngeal mirror in singing
  • Separated for the first time the concept of register quality vs. timbre quality
    • ‘closed’ or somber
    • ‘open’ or clear

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

voix sombr e
Voix Sombrée!
  • June, 1840 – Diday and Pétrequin reported to the Académie des Sciences on the subject of timbre and laryngeal position as related to Duprez’s do di petto.
    • Voix sombrée ou couverte (dark and covered)
  • November, 1840 – Garcia presented his theories to the academy
    • Garcia claimed to have been teaching the lowered laryngeal posture and ‘covered tone’ since 1832.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

voix sombr e25
Voix Sombrée!
  • Significant agreement upon ‘quality’, not terminology or method
    • Falsetto no longer acceptable
    • ‘white’ or ‘open’ (voix blanche or voce aperta) quality no longer acceptable
  • A review of the pedagogical literature of the 19th C suggests that the lowered laryngeal posture was a common pedagogical goal.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

julius stockhausen 1826 1906 gesangsmethode 1884
Julius Stockhausen (1826-1906). Gesangsmethode, 1884.
  • German baritone, conductor and teacher
  • Known as interpreter of the songs of Schubert and Schumann
  • Brahms wrote his Magalone Lieder, and the baritone part in his Requiem for him
  • Also known as a fine operatic baritone

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

julius stockhausen 1826 1906 gesangsmethode 188427
Julius Stockhausen (1826-1906). Gesangsmethode, 1884.

“The dangerous tendency of the larynx to rise to the position it takes in speaking must be carefully avoided.”

“…it is only with a fixed position of the larynx, and with the right use of the two chief qualities of sound, that a beautiful, well-molded whole can be produced.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

enrico delle sedie 1822 1907 esthetics of the art of singing 1885
Enrico Delle Sedie (1822-1907). Esthetics of the Art of Singing, 1885.
  • Italian born baritone
  • Sang Germont, Renato, Figaro at Covent Garden, La Scala
  • Taught at Paris Conservatory 1867-71

“The soft palate rises in a direction opposite to that of the larynx, following the same regular order of gradations; viz: it rises with the height of sound, whilst the larynx, for giving to the voice a homogenous and easy tone should descend in the same order.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

enrico delle sedie 1822 1907 esthetics of the art of singing 188529
Enrico Delle Sedie (1822-1907). Esthetics of the Art of Singing, 1885.

“Having noticed the defects which result from the ascending of the larynx with respect to the high sounds, it is useless to insist any longer on this subject.”

“Therefore, the ascension of the larynx in high notes cannot be favorable for this emission of the vocal sound. I will not extend myself too much on a subject so often disputed, but will limit myself to expose the practical use of my theory.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

enrico delle sedie 1822 1907 esthetics of the art of singing 188530
Enrico Delle Sedie (1822-1907). Esthetics of the Art of Singing, 1885.

“When the larynx is so raised we may emit high sounds, but thin and shrill. It is true, that we are disposed to raise the larynx when we want to emit high sounds, but if we would closely observe the timbre, we would recognize that they are thin, contracted and shrill.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

charles amable bataille 1822 1872 nouvelles recherches sur la phonation 1861
Charles Amable Bataille (1822-1872). Nouvelles recherches sur la phonation, 1861.
  • French basso profundo
  • Student of Garcia II
  • Taught at the Paris Conservatory
  • Conducted extensive research on phonation using the laryngeal mirror

“Moderate lowering of the larynx has the certain result of giving the voice suppleness and power, thereby encouraging the enlargement of its natural limits.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

charles amable bataille 1822 1872 nouvelles recherches sur la phonation 186132
Charles Amable Bataille (1822-1872). Nouvelles recherches sur la phonation, 1861.

“This procedure, familiar to the great Italian school, has been given the term somber voice, and it has been associated with vocal emission. Duprez ‘naturalized’ this term in France during his operatic debuts, but the expression had already been in use in Italy for some time.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

edmund myers 1846 1934 the renaissance of vocal art 1902
Edmund Myers (1846-1934). The Renaissance of Vocal Art, 1902.
  • Teacher, author of several books on singing

“For artistic tone, the soft palate must be high, the larynx must be low, and the throat and mouth allowed to form, not made or compelled. . . The larynx must be low in adjustment for the production of beautiful tone, but it must never be locally adjusted.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

d a clippinger the head voice and other problems 1922
D. A. Clippinger “The Head Voice and Other Problems”, 1922.
  • Decried the ‘lowered larynx’ as an abomination!
  • First exercises were ascending scales on [o] and [u]

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

g b lamperti 1830 1910
G. B. Lamperti (1830-1910)

Opposed to many Garcia techniques

  • As recorded by William Earl Brown in Vocal Wisdom:

‘Covered tone’ is a misleading term. ‘Closed tone’ should take its place.’

‘In their inception all tones are dark to be opened or closed at will.’

‘All tones are closed until opened.’

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

g b lamperti 1830 191036
G. B. Lamperti (1830-1910)

‘Although you may acquire a wide range of voice, you cannot modulate the sounds until the resonance of your tones becomes round and rich, chiaroscuro.’

‘When a tone ‘opens’ the ‘focus’ of vibration does not change.’

‘Return to ‘closed’ quality is impossible if the tone becomes too ‘white’.’

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

oren brown 1909 2004 discover your voice 1996
Oren Brown (1909-2004). Discover Your Voice, 1996.
  • Well-known teacher, author and pioneer in voice therapy
  • Julliard School 1972-1991

“It is impossible to develop the operatic or classical tone if the larynx is raised. A low larynx position can be induced by the feeling of a beginning yawn – no pulling down! The position can also be gained with the sensation of a raised soft palate.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

william vennard 1909 1971 singing the mechanism and the technique 1967
William Vennard (1909-1971). Singing: The Mechanism and the Technique, 1967.
  • Well-known voice teacher, researcher
  • Famous collaborators include Janwillen van den Berg – Voice production: the Vibrating larynx

“When the larynx is moderately low, the intrinsic musculature is free from extrinsic tensions. The ‘yawn-sigh’ tends to lower the voice box; indeed the yawn is the most usable of the reflex methods of lowering it.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

ida franca manual of bel canto 1956
Ida Franca, Manual of Bel Canto, 1956.
  • Soprano and teacher in New York

“To lead the vocal student toward the maximum development of his or her talent, one should start with the study of the voce chiusa (shut voice) as soon as possible, and take the utmost care that the beginner does not shut the mouth and hum.”

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

richard miller the structure of singing 1986 chiaroscuro
Richard Miller, The Structure of Singing, 1986 Chiaroscuro!

There can be little doubt that in desirable “closed voice” (voce chiusa), a timbre that should prevail throughout the singing voice regardless of range, as opposed to “open voice” (voce aperta), there is a stabilized laryngeal position – relatively low – and a somewhat widened pharynx. These conditions together with proper vowel modification (aggiustamento) produce the so-called “covered sound” of the upper range.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

the comfortably low larynx
The ‘comfortably low larynx’
  • Insert Ingo’s presentation here:
    • Increases the inertive reactance of the vocal tract :
    • Increases MFDR
    • Increased energy in upper partials
  • Importance is more than timbre:
    • Keeps the intrinsics ‘free’
    • Julius Stockhausen to Oren Brown agree that the open throat is the only environment where the registers will coordinate.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

if you ignore it
If you ignore it:
  • Can lead to misclassification: a true baritone with a ‘tenory’ timbre due to the shortened vocal tract.
  • Can limit a career to compramario roles when there is potential for a broader range of repertory.
  • It can prevent the voice from ever developing its professional potential.

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

methods
Methods
  • Keeping the ‘open throat’ in the high range goes against nature! The larynx will rise along with pitch unless trained to do otherwise.
  • Indirect control
    • Yawning, deep inhalation, ‘feeling hollow’
    • Vowel choice [ o ], [ u ]
    • Vowel modification (migration)
    • Careful monitoring of timbre

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007

methods44
Methods
  • Direct Control
    • Observation: mirror, palpation
    • Physical manipulation

Whatever it takes!

The Vocal Pedagogy Workshop - 2007