With a Foreword by Malcolm Martineau. What is it in singing that makes for high quality, deeply moving performances? Quality and depth, vocal stability, and stamina all depend on firm foundations being laid at the outset of a singer's development. The key to truly effective procedures of serious voice training and the best model of singers' education is the recognition and understanding of the unique nature of the singing instrument. Compared with other musicians, a singer begins serious study relatively late. Even at institutions of higher education a singer begins work with only a partially formed instrument, his or her voice. It is development of this most personal and sensitive of instruments and how this affects performance that forms the focus of Peter T. Harrison's new book. To date no science or methodology has been able to prevent a growing existential crisis regarding what the author perceives to be declining standards and values in both the training and performance of singers.
Acknowledging that the primary responsibility for setting standards and effective curricula lies with the musical institutions, the author argues that what constitutes excellence in singing, and what is required to achieve it, are in urgent need of clarification. He proposes a progressive training model that arises logically from holistic principles. Developing his themes from The Human Nature of the Singing Voice, in which the author explored a holistic basis for teaching and learning, Singing is a challenging, practical and timely book, written for all those who have responsibility for singers' voices, not least singers themselves. In so doing Peter T. Harrison addresses substantial ethical issues.
Peter T Harrison developed an early interest in vocal pedagogy and has taught for the Royal Academy, the London Opera Centre and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Peter was also an advisor to the British Voice Association when it began as the Voice Research Society in 1986. For some 40 years he has conducted workshops around the world for singers and, more recently, for their teachers. As a writer and freelance teacher, Peter T. Harrison now divides his time between studios in Amsterdam and the Iberian Peninsula.
Note to the Reader. Preface. Introduction.PART I The Singing Voice. 1: Defining and Identifying the Singing Voice; 2. The Holistic (or Whole) Perspective; 3. Physical Structure (Anatomy and Physiology); 4. Beautiful Singing (Bel Canto); 5. Individual Identity; 6. Communication; 7. False Perspectives and Misperceptions.PART II - The Work. 8. Introduction; 9. The Voice; 10. Music (Singing); 11. Physical Expression (Acting); 12. Language (Text); 13. Performance; 14. Supporting Cast.PART III - Conditions. 15. Instrumental Differences; 16. Environment and Attitude; 17. Ethos; 18. Process; 19. Systems and Organisation;PART IV - The Enshrining of Values. 20. Education; 21. Pupils; 22. Co-operation; 23. Excellence; 24. Measures of Progress; 25. Consensus; 26. Leading the Way; 27. Ethical Matters. Appendices. Endnotes. Bibliography.