March 1, 2014

A Unified Field Theory of Singing

Oh, I've read lots of old books on singing. One, the title of which I can't seem to remember, was perhaps the most wacko I've encountered. Written by a fellow New Yorker in the 1920's, it was full of graphs of cones and spirals; fanatical stuff, the kind of thing modern vocal pedagogues have a field day with, which is not my approach at all. 

Here's the thing. I gobble up information: lots of it, and the more the merry, because—as I see it: that's the only way to learn anything. Yes, it's true my interests are weighted towards historical vocal pedagogy, but even so:  I'm savvy enough to include Titze and Sundberg on my bookshelf along with García and Lamperti. Nothing gets left out in my pedagogical world. Why? It's like compost: even a discarded idea counts for something! 

And now for a couple radical thoughts of my own: questions really, which, as you might expect, have something to do with the connection between the ear and the voice. 

What happens if Alfred A. Tomatis was actually onto something when he posited that the two tiny muscles of the ear integrate with the muscles of the body; specifically, the tensor tympanum with the muscles of flexion, and the stapedius with the muscles of extension?

To go further—what happens in the world of vocal pedagogy if the action of the stapedius is found to integrate with the action of the cricothyroid, and the action of the tensor tympanum is found to integrate with the action of the thyroarytenoid?

If it's true, the words "support" and "alignment" will take on a whole new meaning. 

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