December 10, 2009

Starting Line

Start where you are going! 

That's what the indomitable Margaret Harshaw would tell her students. A Zen-like utterance, it calls to mind many of the aphorisms in Vocal Wisdom: Maxims of Giovanni Battista Lamperti—a book on singing which Ms. Harshaw (if she could be cajoled into recommending any book at all) would say was the only one worth reading. Of course, she added the proviso that, in order to understand what Lamperti wrote, you had to know something. And by that, she meant something more than stacks of facts: you had to have experiential knowledge as a result of incessant training.

This blog can't give that kind of training, but it does aim to help the canny reader understand the context, both historical and practical, in which statements like the one above are made.


Margaret Harshaw as Ortrud


What was Ms. Harshaw talking about? For one thing, she was referring to voice placement, L'impostanzione della voce in Italian, a term that is considered obsolete by many, and one that will be explored in greater depth in subsequent posts.

This blog is about the Voice. If you are interested in knowing more about it, especially from a historical perspective, you've found the right place.

2 comments:

  1. And you would be the one to give the most sage information!!! Sounds intriguing, and what a great venture for you; best of luck and love honey!!!! Vanessa

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  2. Vanessa! A much belated but heartfelt thank you for being the first person to leave a comment. You are so dear. Wishing you all good things in the New Year!

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