November 25, 2013

Hermann Klein's Studio



The three photos you see here were taken at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center while I was conducting research for my book. Technology has changed how we do things, hasn't it? For Manuel García, it was the invention of the laryngoscope, which he saw as confirming his theories about the voice. For Herman Klein, it was the invention of the gramophone, which lead him to write down his master's teachings. For me, it has been the internet (and in this case the smartphone) which has enabled me to bring their teachings to a new generation.  




Klein's studio and library on West 77th Street was where he wrote The Hermann Klein Phono-Vocal Method Based Upon The Famous School Of Manuel Garcia in 1908-09, which is only six blocks north of where I am writing this post. I've walked by Klein's house innumerable times, and wrote about it here. A lady who lives in the building told me that the room you see in the first photo on this page still has its original moldings. Fancy that. All is not lost in the city that never sleeps, and prides itself on continual reinvention. Speaking of which: the more I read Klein's manual (which you can find here), the more I am convinced that he codified timeless teachings. Does that mean there is nothing new to discover? Of course not. The pace of scientific investigation hasn't stopped since García set about placing his father's teaching into physiological terms, and then finding a way to see the vocal folds in action. Current researchers are simply building on work father and son began two hundred years ago.




Oh.. see the portrait on Klein's Steinway that is hard to make out? That's the same one that appears on the cover of my book.

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