Thursday, March 20, 2008

Section IV: Negative Structure --

1. The following Figures are available to the public. We include them not to finger-point, but to help us make sense of the Art of Singing. We have all suffered under the hands of incompetence, no matter how well-meaning that incompetence may have been. One doesn’t have to be a voice teacher or a master-singer to know something is wrong, here. Whatever a singer gives voice to, good or bad, that voice is always reflected in the singer’s face, and to the exact degree of the good or the bad.

2. In the following singers, all most all are working hard to keep the head down, especially when approaching, or are on a top note. This is what they have been taught, but Nature is working against them; that is, they are working against Nature. The body wants to sing, but a great deal of energy is working to defeat that. Some of the pitches for some of the singers are high enough that they lose the battle; they cannot keep the head down, but they are working at it, nonetheless—thus, the strain. The questions upon viewing: (1) What vowel are they singing and on what pitch? And (2) is this how the vowel "looks" when they vocalize it in scale work on the pitch they are vocalising it here, in performance?

Fig. 7

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig. 10

Fig. 11

Fig. 12

3. The corrective for any vocal discomfort begins with stance: the structure depicted by our models of vocal perfection. Structure is not an instant cure-all, just the beginning.

4. Once the voice is developed, however, a singer doesn’t have to sing with his head up all the time. He and his voice will be instinctively appropriate to the situation: sitting, on one knee, or lying on the floor. But when it comes to developing the voice, developing a sense of touch (not available with the head down), not to mention taking the top notes, or simply singing one's heart out, structure is imperative. Remember: Every voice/vowel that is beautifully produced has a corresponding structure from which it flows; every voice/vowel that is not beautiful produced, also has a corresponding structure from which it flows--if one can call it flowing. And the difference between the two is in the singer's face. That is a clue and it can work as a guide to a beautiful voice--[a] vowel.