February 9, 2018

Polychrome Lessons in Voice Culture

A book I've had on my shelf for some time has now been uploaded into Google's Cloud—where all human endeavors will end up eventually. I jest perhaps, but the presence of Frederic Woodman Root's curious text in the Cloud reminds this pedagogue of his age—which is closing in on 60. No, I don't feel old. But I am quite aware of the passage of time—if that makes any sense. 

I've written about Root before, which you can easily find via his label at the bottom of this post (those receiving this in email form will need to log on—sorry!). He studied with Bassini in New York City—the very same Bassini who started out as a string player; made his living as a voice teacher; separated the registers; and left their joining to chance. Is that why Root found his way to Florence and the studio of Luigi Vannuccini? That's hard to say, but you do see my bias showing. 

Root traveled quite a bit in Europe making the rounds of various voice studios, interviewed Manuel García (voice scientists have made much of that), and later had something of a droll attitude towards those who claimed to teach the old Italian school. Be that as it may, Root's Polychrome Lessons in Voice Culture piqued the interest of this pedagogue if only because it contains a vocal technique taught by Anna E. Schoen-René—a student of Manuel García and his sister Pauline Viardot-García—which Schoen-René's student Lucie Manén recorded as "imposto."

In its simplest form, "imposto" is understood as starting the tone from behind the bridge of the nose. 

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