Comparative study of vocal technique through historical recordings

William Carey and Donald Miller

A century of singers' recordings presents a still largely neglected opportunity to examine historical developments in voice production by means of acoustic analysis. This study looks closely at the recordings of Rosa Ponselle (1897-1981), focussing particularly on her use of registers. Her distinct treatment of three registers -- chest, middle, and upper -- is seen as typical of of the earlier twentieth century and is compared with the more recent trend of minimizing the differences between the registers. Recorded examples are presented, together with acoustic analysis. Implications for vocal pedagogy are considered.

Author's address:
William Carey
6 Woodcrest Drive
Hudson, NH 03051
603 577 9863
603 889 6580 (studio)

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