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On the Art of Singing$
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Richard Miller

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195098259.001.0001

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The Choral Conductor as Teacher of Vocal Technique

The Choral Conductor as Teacher of Vocal Technique

Chapter:
19 The Choral Conductor as Teacher of Vocal Technique
Source:
On the Art of Singing
Author(s):

Richard Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195098259.003.0019

This chapter considers how the choral conductor should teach vocal technique. Choral music is vocal music. The most efficient vocalism, whether from the solo singer or from the chorister, produces the most aesthetically pleasing vocal timbre. There is a history of conflict in American academic circles between the training of the solo voice and what is expected of a singer in the choral ensemble. Such conflict need not exist. Instead of making solo singers emulate the technical level of amateur voices, the choral conductor must work for a more efficient production from the less proficient singers. There cannot be one vocal timbre that encompasses the entire group, unless the choristers are imitating a single vocal model, thereby falsifying their own voices. It is not necessary for the choir director to be a performing singer, but he or she should be able to lead choristers to improved vocal proficiency. Dealing solely in musical matters will not accomplish that goal.

Keywords:   choral conductor, vocal technique, choral music, vocal music, solo singer, chorister, vocal timbre, solo voice, choral ensemble, vocal proficiency

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