The First Art
by Dan H. Marek
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The Italian singing technique Bel Canto instructs, "He who knows how to breathe and how to pronounce, knows how to sing." Singing: The First Art incorporates the techniques of Bel Canto along with those of masters like Berton Coffin and Manuel Garcia to promote and facilitate vocal excellence. Many concepts are described, from correct posture and alignment to improving and maintaining proper breathing, from good pronunciation and diction to producing an even, pure tone, and from vocal ranges to singing within and smoothly shifting between vocal registers. Mannes Vocal Faculty member Dan H. Marek effectively breaks down these complicated concepts with clear exercises, helping the vocal student to achieve freedom and complete control over his or her instrument.
A primary section on the history of singing stresses the importance of understanding vocal history while inspiring and motivating the student through the experiences of opera stars such as Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, and Jussi Björling. The second section explains vocal techniques, including the use and proper pronunciation of the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), and provides 64 specific exercises with clearly defined goals designed to overcome faults and to develop vocal virtuosity. Complete instructions for transposing the exercises for both male and female voices are included, as well as drawings of the exercises, musical examples from vocal literature, excellent anatomical illustrations by Frank Netter, MD, and copious photographs of opera stars. Singing: The First Art is an invaluable text for students, professionals, singers, conductors, composers, and vocal medical professionals, or anyone interested in understanding and appreciating the vocal art.
- Scarecrow Press, December 2006
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