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Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices [Hardcover]

Richard Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Mar 2008
Perhaps the most renowned writer in the field of vocal pedagogy, Richard Miller has delivered a new and outstanding contribution to the study of vocal technique in Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices. The first thorough and comprehensive treatment of low male voices, this book draws on techniques and practical advice from Miller's years of professional experience as a performer and pedagogue.

With a unique focus on "securing" the technical stability of the male voice, the book offers practical advice to students, their teachers, and professional performers, through numerous practical exercises and repertoire suggestions appropriate to various stages of development. Miller synthesizes historic vocal pedagogy with the latest research on the singing voice, always emphasizing the special nature of the male voice and the proper physiological functioning for vocal proficiency. An indispensable guide to male low voices, this book is an essential text for performers, aspiring performers, and instructors alike.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (20 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195322657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195322651
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 423,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"What a masterpiece! A world of information about our art, presented clearly and charmingly. It should be read and studied, not just by bass clef singers, but by all singing teachers and every one really interested in singing." --Dale Moore, Past President, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Professor of Music (Voice) Indiana University"Richard Miller's Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices is unsurpassed in its clarity and logic in defining the lower male singing voices. His method based on Italianate School vocal development, and supported by scientific voice research, Miller leads you step by step through the vocal process of development, to the point of applying it to the creative process of interpreting vocal literature. He leaves no page unturned. Clearly, this is a singer's manual like no other and a must for emerging and performing artists-bravo!" ---Donald Bell-international baritone-Professor, the University of Calgary"As with his other books, this is an essential text for serious students and teachers of the art of singing. Concentrating on the low male voice, it is thoroughly researched, clearly presented and accurate in its descriptions of efficient and beautiful voice production. It is the only significant text with this focus I have ever seen and it will be on my desk-for use by my students and myself-for the rest of my career." --David Small, Baritone, Associate Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of Texas, School of Music

About the Author

Richard Miller is Professor Emeritus of Singing at Oberlin Conservatory. A visionary force in the uniting of tradition and the acoustics of the singing voice, he is the author of many books on voice pedagogy, literature, and performance, including The Art of Singing (1996), Training Soprano Voices (2000), Singing Schumann (1999), and Solutions for Singers (2004).

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough. 23 Oct 2010
Format:Hardcover
This is the most detailed book on Baritones you'll find. Contained within, explanations on the regions ("registers") of the voice, how to sing in them with tone that is not uneven and unbalanced, to move through your range with a continuous rich tone, and to use different colourings (Rich, silky etc). Or "Covering" the tone.

I found it fascinating to discover that different vowel sounds are used to counteract changes in tone to create evenness.

Changes in tone with different vowels on the same note can be seen on a frequency spectrometer (something you can find online to use with your mic). Lacking depth to your tone? Switch vowels to one with more depth (there is a handy diagram to show which ones have more low fundamentals) Lacking highs? Switch vowels to one with more overtones.

Contained within - how to avoid straining as you move up the scale of notes you possess using vowel modification to keep the tone beautiful and even as you soar upwards, and using different vowels to extend vocal range by reducing the power needed to hit those higher notes.

You can even use the information to modify the vowel sound on a lyric and compare your spectrometer results to an acapella version of the professional track - to get the strongest match to the original vocalists sound (should you have access to the acapella). I learnt how to do this from reading this book and my own intent to learn.

I recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By sdt
Format:Hardcover
A lot of good information and advice. But found it a bit heavy going in places and not sure it would pass a Plain English test!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed and detailed 15 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Miller's unsurpassed writing on vocal technique and pedagogical issues applied here with specific consideration of the medium and lower male voices. A must for teachers and serious performers alike.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly work 17 Oct 2008
By C. W. Lawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great work by a great vocal scholar. I studied this book in detail, and found it to be most helpful in my vocal studies. Although I am just a novice singer, I found Professor Miller to be very readable. I did, however, have to spend extra time studying the physiology terms, with which I was unfamiliar.

I found it useful to outline the key points in each chapter. I am including these as they may prove useful to other readers. Additionally, I found it helpful to prepare my own glossary of terms. There is also an excellent glossary toward the end of the book.

As one example of the benefit I received from this book, I followed Prof Miller's suggestion to watch some of the great baritone performances of past days. I found Leonard Warren's Largo al factotum absolutely enchanting. In addition, I especially appreciated the chapters on the "passaggios."

In sum, truly a great book. I'm delighted I purchased this book. Not too hard a read, and very rewarding--even to a novice singer.

CHAPTER THEMES:

1 Overview of bass/baritone classifications

2 Onset must be precise

3 Strive for silent, smooth breath renewal

4 Poor chiaroscuro balance due to maladjusted lips, tongue, jaw, or pharynx
Tongue misplacement is common error
Using hum helps sense resonance balance

5 'Strive to achive a stable, even scale. This requires:
(1) Increased vocal energy (not volume)
(2) Vowel modification, or cover (It."copertura")
Vowel modification is gradual mouth opening beginning at primo passagio, with
more at the secundo passagio.

6 Singer must develop ear towards uniformity. There isn't any one rule for vowel modification.
Middle voice (about A>D) is critical passage. Need gradual balance of timbre
Typically, vowel adjusted to be more rounded to reduce shrillness. Exception: u.

7 Agility depends on brief onset.
Best achieved by practicing short stacatto passages.

8 Not helpful to use imaginary ideas of resonance; instead, study actual physiology of voice.

9 Strive for stable larynx position, somewhat low.

10 Falsetto practice improves larynx flexibility.

11 Vibratto is normal effect and should as a rule be employed.
Vibratto suffers if pitch not precise at onset.

12 Technical security cures anxiety.
This confidence due to applying common tonal physiology + personal distinctives.
"Wisdom of the body" a composite of:
a) Feel: Natural grace, not methodology, should prevail.
b) Sound: We should listen both internally and externally.
c) Visual: Be aware of your facial expressions.

13 Over time, build your own tonal concept. This forms basis for all singing.
Important to listen to elite singers as examples

14 Gradual energization should be your goal.
Strive for consistent timbre at all dynamic levels.

15 Men need greater vowel modifiction and breath control when navigating passagio area

16 Strive for serene air, with just minor body shifts.
Helpful exercise: Farinelli breath exercise.
Don't inject nasality into singing.
Avoid strohbass (special larynx lowering.)
Avoid open voice--voce aperta. This may happen if vowel not modified at passagio.

17 Dedicated study, not raw talent is #1 factor in singing success.
Technical security cures anxiety.
Publicly perform only pieces completely mastered, thus building positive track record.
Text and music must be totally ingrained before performing.
Focus on artistic communication, away from self.
Traversing zona di passagio is challenging because energy level increases,
resistance to breath exit increases, and glottis closed-cycle increases over open cycle.
Use entire-body warm-up (about 20 min)
Success requires creating a "tonal ideal" that matches one's instrument.
This involves daily effort to achieve stable technique.
Artistic creativity CAN be nurtured.
Precisely know the meaning of the words in the text--not just vague familiarity.
Visualize the scenario as sharply as possible.
Strive to accurately portray the song's emotion.
During performance, occasionally look at different sections; make eye contact.
Daily regiment should include (after physical warm-up) technical points in this book.

18 Suggested material

19 For audition, use best piece first.
Realistically, young singers should seek small roles first.
Arias should be fully mastered, but actual performance should have "spark of immediacy."
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome addition to my library 26 Feb 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Richard Miller has added yet another tome to his expanding library on the classically trained singing voice with "Securing Baritone, Bass-Baritone, and Bass Voices". This edition will have pride of prominence next to his other books on the singing instrument.
What makes this book unique is its focus on the lower male voice. The text offers exercises and repertoire for vocalization. The unique quality of this book stands in its writing. Miller has shed much of his elaborate writing style to create a book that is direct, easy-to-read, and completely accessible to both performers and teachers of singing. The layout follows his other books in the chapters on onset, breath management, resonance, agility, and messa di voce. He offers an additional chapter entitled, "Pedagogic Uses of the Falsetto" which entails exercises intended to release aggression in the passaggio and above. The musical examples are gleaned from the art song, oratorio, and operatic literatures and provide daily vocalization material for all levels of singers. One feature of this book is that it does not overwhelm the reader with copious amounts of exercises, but provides the basic starting point from which to grow. For example, there are not pages and pages of agility exercises, but just enough coupled with the rep suggestions to make a practical agility session.
Special emphasis on issues in the baritone voice such as covering take prominence, as well as breath management (explained quite beautifully for Miller).
In all, this is a highly recommended volume for singers and their teachers and will happily stand next to "Training Soprano Voices" and "Training Tenor Voices" as an important voice traning guide. Would it be too much to hope for a "Training Mezzo Voices" in the next several years?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very helpful 5 April 2008
By dorbarn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a performer and voice teacher/coach, I find anything by Richard Miller to be helpful. Although by necessity there is always a good deal in his books that I already know, it is always put in such a catching way that it revives the memory and makes it easier to communicate to students. And then there are those details that I dont know... invaluable.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Pedagogy! 22 May 2008
By Barbara Burdick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Richard Miller, a master of vocal technique, has produced a volume for every baritone/bass and voice teacher's library. This is a balanced work: practical exercises and physiological and scientific data.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect summary of all I was taught about singing, and have found to work in practise. Very readable. 6 April 2014
By Duncan H. Brunings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Perfect summary of all I was taught about singing, and have found to work in practise. Very readable, very instructive, very enjoyable.
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