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Sextus  

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Singing  

Owen Jander, Ellen T. Harris, David Fallows and John Potter

Singing is a fundamental mode of musical expression. It is especially suited to the expression of specific ideas, since it is almost always linked to a text; even without words, the voice is capable of personal and identifiale utterances. It is arguably the most subtle and flexible of musical instruments, and therein lies much of the fascination of the art of singing.

Because it imparts to words a heightened expression that they do not have when merely spoken, or even declaimed in a dramatic manner without musical pitch, singing (or incantation) played a vital role in many early forms of religious ritual, and in the early theatre. Even outside religion, singing has long been held to have moral and cultural value. Aristotle quoted the bard Musaeus, ‘Song is man's sweetest joy’, and went on to warn against using musical instruments, such as the aulos, which interfere with or prevent the act of singing. Athenaeus (...

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The list that follows contains a variety of materials on singing technique, voice production, ornamentation, registers, national and historical styles, interpretation, diction and pronunciation. The great majority of the items listed are concerned with the kind of singing associated with opera, but a number of more general works have been included for their relevance to vocal art; among these are several texts from the first half of the 17th century and a few works on accompaniment and the interpretation of song. Excluded for the purposes of this bibliography are vocalise, solfeggio, sight-singing and ear-training manuals, as well as publications relating primarily to choral and sacred music and music in schools. Dates of first and last editions are given where known, and important title changes are noted. Facsimiles, reprints and modern editions are given for early works, and the translations cited are all to English unless otherwise stated. Journals relating specifically to opera are listed in Periodicals; some of these, such as the ...

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Lana Paćuka

(b Banja Luka, Bosnia, July 25, 1940). Bosnian soprano, opera soloist, and music pedagogue. She completed her elementary and secondary music education in her native town. She began her studies in opera singing at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana (Slovenia), with Julije Beteto. After the second year, she continued her music education in Sarajevo, with Bruna Špiler. The distinctiveness of her talent was recognized early on, and she graduated at the top of her class. She took the master’s degree from the Department of Voice in 1967.

Upon completing her studies, with a Sarajevo Opera scholarship, she made her début in Jenufa (L. Janáček) in 1965. From that moment on, she was engaged as a soloist at the Sarajevo Opera and, from 1965 to 1968, sang the roles of Abigaille (Nabucco, G. Verdi), Katerina Ismailova (Katerina Ismailova, D. Shostakovich), and Floramye (Little Floramye, I. Tijardović). In ...

Article

Sonovox  

Hugh Davies

revised by Anne Beetem Acker

Sound-effects device developed by the fiction writer and radio operator Gilbert M. Wright in Los Angeles in 1939 and manufactured by Wright-Sonovox, which was affiliated with the radio station representatives Free & Peters in Chicago. A sound is transmitted to the larynx of a trained ‘articulator’ through two earphone-sized loudspeakers that are placed against the throat; the sound is modified by movements of the tongue and lips to produce speech-like articulations. The Sonovox was much used for radio drama and films, including Walt Disney’s The Reluctant Dragon (1941) and Leith Stevens’s score for the film Destination Moon (1950). The voice of Casey the Train in Walt Disney’s Dumbo (1941) was created using the Sonovox. It was very popular for radio station identifications and advertising jingles. The rock band The Who used the Sonovox on their song ‘Radio London’ (1967), in which guitar chords seem to speak the days of the week. Later it was replaced by the more versatile vocoder....

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Angelina Petrova

(b Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Aug 16, 1962). Bulgarian soprano. She is a graduate of the High School of Music in Ruse in violin (1981). She went on to study at the Institute of Music in Plovdiv and obtained degrees in violin and voice (1988). In 1995 she won recognition as an opera soloist in the Sofia National Opera House covering a wide range of roles, such as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Susanna (Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro), Cecilia (Antonio Carlo Gomes’s Il Guarany), Delia (Antonio Carlo Gomes’s I Fosca), Rachel (Fromental Halévi’s La Juive), and Vitellia (Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito). She made her debut at Wiener Staatsoper in 1998 where, among others, she performed the roles of the Contessa (Le Nozze Di Figaro), Micaela (Bizet’s Carmen), Antonia (Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann), Liu (Puccini’s Turandot...

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Karel Steinmetz

(b Vsetín, Moravia, 27 June 1929; d Vsetín, 11 Feb 2017). Czech folk singer. Trained in dressmaking, she worked between 1945 and 1949 as a furrier’s seamstress. From 1950 until her retirement in 1985, she was the manager of a shop selling gramophone records in her native town. Her musical talent, inherited from her parents, was evident from her youth, when she began to appear as a singer in local choirs and folk ensembles. From 1952 she was a soloist with the Brněnský rozhlasový orchestr lidových nástrojů (BROLN, ‘Brno Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments’), with whom she performed hundreds of times in the then Czechoslovakia and also abroad (in Vietnam, China, Mongolia, the USSR, Korea, Cuba, Belgium, the UK, Senegal, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, the USA, Canada, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark). She also performed with various folk ensembles (Vsacan, Jasénka, Kyčera, and the dulcimer ensemble Technik, whose leader, Jan Rokyta, decisively influenced her later development as a singer), and between ...

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Mikaela Minga

(b Shkodra, April 4, 1926; d Tirana, May 24, 2004). Albanian tenor . He started singing at an early age. In the year 1945 he entered the Ansambli i Ushtrisë (‘Army Ensemble’) as a soloist. From 1952 to 1957 he was in Moscow to study singing at the P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Once back, he started work as a soloist at the National Opera Theater and at the Ansambli Shtetëror i Këngëve dhe Valleve Popullore (‘State Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances’). He interpreted several main roles in the operas Cavalleria Rusticana, Madame Butterfly, and Rigoletto, and also in the Albanian operas Lulja e kujtimit (‘The Flower of Memory’) by Kristo Kono, Mrika by Prenk Jakova, Zgjimi (‘The Awakening’) by Tonin Harapi, and Borana, by Avni Mula. Tukiçi was renowned also for his performances of Albanian songs (këngë popullore), sung in a characteristic leggero tenor style. These pieces became very popular among Albanian audiences. He toured with the State Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances and achieved several different state prizes during his career....

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Sally Sanford

[megolokwanekaklakuyuyuololugeologymusitaltakulavaiulu-uliuruli]

Vocal technique of high-pitched sustained wailing or howling with a trilling aspect involving rapid movement of the tongue and uvula. Ululation is practised usually by women in many Arab, African, and Asian cultures. It is associated with celebrations such as weddings, and with grieving. It is used in worship in Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox churches. Ululation is also part of audience participation in music of the Shona in Zimbabwe. Western singers such as Joan La Barbera have incorporated ululation into their extended vocal techniques. See ...

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Ian Mikyska

(b Boskovice, 19 Jan 1984).Czech composer and performer (voice, accordion, and tap dance). She studied the accordion (2004–10) and composition (2007–8) at the Brno Conservatory, and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (with martin smolka and Peter Graham[1]). She also studied as an exchange student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the California Institute of the Arts (with michael pisaro), the Universität der Künste Berlin (with Marc Sabat), and Columbia University (with george e. lewis).

While she often works with elements outside of music, there is almost always an intense engagement with direct listening, often arrived at through intense focus on very limited material. Sources for her work include Morse code, maps of garments which she turns into scores (Shirt for Harp, Oboe, and Accordion; Jacket for Ensemble), field recordings which she notates descriptively and then asks musicians to interpret the notation (...

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Owen Jander

(Fr.)

A textless vocal exercise or concert piece to be sung to one or more vowels. The vocalise derives from two traditions. One dates from the early 19th century, when it became customary to perform and publish solfeggi and essercizi with piano accompaniment (e.g. Domenico Corri, The Singer's Preceptor, 1810; Manuel García, Traité complet de l’art du chant, 1840–47/R); by the middle of the century there were numerous publications of this kind. The singing instructor Heinrich Panofka, for example, published during his years in Paris five volumes of vocalises. The idea was that with a piano accompaniment even the most mechanical exercises would be performed in a more artistic manner. The other tradition was that of using existing compositions as vocal exercises without words. In 1755 Jean-Antoine Bérard provided, as a supplement to his L’art du chant, 20 compositions by Lully, Rameau and others, selected for the technical problems they offered (‘pour les sons tendres, légers, maniérés, majestueux’ etc.), and he added specific instructions as to how these problems were to be solved. In the 19th century most instruction manuals for the voice included original compositions specially composed for the same purpose: ‘melodies without words, offering the pupil a union of all the difficulties of song’ (García). Unlike the accompanied ...

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(It.: ‘chest voice’; Fr. voix de poitrine)

One of the two primary registers of the singing voice. The voice resonating from the chest is lower in pitch and bigger and darker in sound than that resonating from the head (see Voce di testa). Beginning in the 18th century, singing tutors discussed these registers at length, taking various positions on how to unite the break (...

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Irina Boga

(b Brăila, Romania, Nov 1, 1960). Romanian tenor. After graduating from the George Enescu University of Arts in Iaşi, where he studied with Visarion Huţu, he débuted as Rodolfo in La Boheme at the Iaşi lyric theatre. He has received awards in national and international competitions (Iaşi, 1976; Sofia, 1978; Francisco Viñas, 1979; Ostende, 1980) and was granted a scholarship at the Academy Santa Cecilia, Rome, where he studied with Gino Becchi. He was a soloist at the Iaşi Opera (1976–82), then first soloist of the National Opera in Bucharest (1982–97). He has toured in Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Holland, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Korea, and Japan. His repertory includes works by Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Mascagni, Bellini, Mozart, Delibes, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Offenbach, Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Enescu, Constantin Nottara, Marţian Negrea, Porumbescu, Anatol Vieru, Mihail Jora, Doru Popovici, Cornel Trăilescu, and Nicolae Bretan...

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Karel Steinmetz

[Plekancová-Vondráčková, Lucie]

(b Prague, 8 March 1980). Czech pop singer and actress. Her family was one of musicians (her father, Jiří Vondráček, is an actor and singer, her mother, Hana Sorrosová-Vondráčková, writes lyrics, and her aunt, Helena Vondráčková, is also a singer). Lucie was trained in music and drama at the Prague Conservatory and later obtained the doctorate in the Arts Faculty at Prague University (2006). From early childhood she appeared in films and TV serials for children; in 1992 she became a presenter of children’s programmes on TV, and in 1993 she issued her first record album. There have been more than 10 of these, and all have been enthusiastically received by her public in sales; she regularly features as one of the most popular Czech singers. As an actress, she often plays major roles in Czech films, stage plays, and musicals.

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Elizabeth Forbes

Member of Wagner family

(b Seelze, nr Hanover, Oct 13, 1826; dWürzburg, Oct 16, 1894). Soprano, adopted daughter of (1) Richard Wagner’s elder brother, Albert. Through the influence of her uncle, she made her début at Dresden in 1844 as Agathe. She created the role of Elisabeth in Tannhäuser (19 October 1845) and also sang in Auber’s Le maçon. After studying in Paris with the younger Manuel García (1846–8), she sang in Hamburg (1849) and was then engaged at the Hofoper, Berlin (1850–61), where she took over the part of Fidès in Le prophète from Pauline Viardot. In 1852 she was announced to sing at Covent Garden, but a lawsuit brought by Benjamin Lumley, manager of the rival opera company at Her Majesty’s Theatre, prevented her from appearing. She eventually made her London début in 1856 at Her Majesty’s as Rossini’s Tancred, Donizetti’s Lucretia Borgia and as Romeo in Bellini’s ...