12 Études op. 25 by Frédéric Chopin, ed. Alfred Cortot

By Frédéric Chopin, ed. Alfred Cortot

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Despite a dedication to the concept of an unconstricted valve, they are in practice still teaching the use of a constricted valve mechanism. Unfortunately, throat constriction always leads to stress in the rest of the body as well as in the singer’s emotional state. The irony is that this stress encourages more constriction. Many singers find this vicious cycle impossible to break. The basic method of producing tone is faulty and not free. Unconstricted Singing; Unconstricted Breathing—HEAD VOICE Every function of the body that controls our lives should operate without unnecessary tension.

Eileen Farrell was the first “crossover” vocalist; she could sing pops and jazz, as well as opera. Her operatic voice, though, did not last long after this, but her pops voice was still wonderful. She adjusted her technique and texture to accommodate the many styles she performed. For opera, though, the head voice is truly the most successful and desirable sound. ” What has changed? Is it the public’s ear or the singer’s voice? Today we would laugh if we heard Renata Tebaldi, Renata Scotto, or Maria Callas sing “I Could Have Danced All Night” as a serious performance piece with their classically trained voices.

Great singing involves freedom from constriction, freedom from added tension. Freedom from constriction means little or no overt, consciously- controlled muscularity. This muscularity can be felt and is easily identified, and for the voice student it comes with a satisfying thought that he or she is doing something. Ironically, though, to “feel something” isn’t correct singing. Freedom from constriction is a wonderful state in which a singer is aware of the absence of excessive tension, the absence of feeling.

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