November 4, 2014

The Old Italian School & Bone Conduction 2

Franceso Lamperti (1811-1892) 

The note emitted from the larynx impinges on the whole of the palate and vibrates toward the back of the head. Such use of the voice never fatigues, never causes huskiness, and allows the complete control and manipulation of the organ that it is a delight to the hearer; that "spinning of the note" to an impalpable thread that is yet audible in the farthest corner of Albert Hall; that lyric sweetness that is a characteristic of Italian Singing.  
 — From "A Great Singing Master" by "Erica," The Musical Courier,  July 6, 1892.

Written by a student of Franceso Lamperti in the last year of his life, the snippet above illustrates another example of the Old Italian School's conception of voice placement, which I regard as the audition and activity of bone conduction. Open Vocal Wisdom and you will encounter this same phenomenon, which modern voice science does not seem to have much interest in studying. Right now, the party line is that the singer's perception of voice placement is an individual and arbitrary matter; and like religion and sex, should not be discussed in polite company. It should be abundantly clear to those reading VoiceTalk that the Lamperti School thought otherwise.



  1. Dear Daniel
    I don't intend to clutter your comment section with unrelated questions and divert your time and attention to them but I have scoured every corner of the internet searching for answers to these two and have come up dry. They're fairly simple enough: how does weight loss or weight gain affect the voice and can chronic stomach acid in the throat be remedied or manageable as a singer. I have heard so many myths and horror stories about singers and weight. Recently I've started eating healthy and losing weight and these have me terrified not least because I have also developed a chronic burning in the throat which is probably related to stomach acid, I will see a specialist for this as soon as possible. I am only a beginner and have just started my research into vocal pedagogy, I've recently read Lilli Lehmann's book and it was brilliant (thank you for the recommendation, Garcia is next). I am grateful for any knowledge you could impart.

    1. Ive—Thank you for your comment. Acid reflux is a very serious concern as far as singing is concerned. Seeing a knowledgeable doctor is paramount. Finding and dealing with the cause is key. Yes- please see a medical professional straight away. Horror stories may abound, but I have known very good singers who are singing quite well after having lost a great deal of weight. They did it sanely, rather than suddenly, and kept their strength through yoga, swimming and other exercise. Moderation in all things. Wishing you all good things- Daniel


I welcome your comments.