The Italian singing technique Bel Canto instructs, "He who knows how to breathe and how to pronounce, knows how to sing." Singing: The First Art incorporates the techniques of Bel Canto along with those of masters like Berton Coffin and Manuel Garcia to promote and facilitate vocal excellence. Many concepts are described, from correct posture and alignment to improving and maintaining proper breathing, from good pronunciation and diction to producing an even, pure tone, and from vocal ranges to singing within and smoothly shifting between vocal registers. Mannes Vocal Faculty member Dan H. Marek effectively breaks down these complicated concepts with clear exercises, helping the vocal student to achieve freedom and complete control over his or her instrument. A primary section on the history of singing stresses the importance of understanding vocal history while inspiring and motivating the student through the experiences of opera stars such as Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, and Jussi Bjoerling. The second section explains vocal techniques, including the use and proper pronunciation of the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), and provides 64 specific exercises with clearly defined goals designed to overcome faults and to develop vocal virtuosity. Complete instructions for transposing the exercises for both male and female voices are included, as well as drawings of the exercises, musical examples from vocal literature, excellent anatomical illustrations by Frank Netter, MD, and copious photographs of opera stars. Singing: The First Art is an invaluable text for students, professionals, singers, conductors, composers, and vocal medical professionals, or anyone interested in understanding and appreciating the vocal art.
Dan H. Marek is a distinguished international singer, teacher, and writer who has appeared as a principal tenor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and the Salzburg Opera. He is a teacher of voice at Mannes College of Music in New York City.
Part 1 List of Exercises Part 2 List of Musical Examples Part 3 List of Illustrations Part 4 Acknowledgments Part 5 Practical Advice Part 6 Introduction Part 7 PART I: THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE ART OF SINGING Chapter 8 1 The Art of Singing in the Ancient World Chapter 9 2 The Age of Bel Canto Chapter 10 3 The Age of Grand Opera Chapter 11 4 Wagner, Verdi, Virgins, and Verismo Chapter 12 5 Modern Times Chapter 13 6 The Age of the Machine Part 14 PART II: VOCAL TECHNIQUE Chapter 15 7 Appoggio: The Historical Bel Canto Method of Breathing Chapter 16 8 The Primary Vibration Chapter 17 9 The Mechanical Registers Chapter 18 10 The Acoustical Registers Chapter 19 11 Applications Part 20 Glossary Part 21 Bibliography Part 22 Name Index Part 23 Subject Index Part 24 About the Author