Use and Training of the Human Voice: A Bio-Dynamic Approach to Vocal Life Paperback – 29 Jan 1997
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now everyone can understand logically how to improve their speaking and singing voice, and perhaps operatic voices will be better understood as not being something elitist or unnatural. Using the power of your instrument to produce quality sound is amazingly natural - it ain't magic. The "magic" is being given the vocal chords of an angel, inspiration from God, the constitution of a horse, the luck of (all) the Irish, and the intelligence of an Einstein to develop that voice into a Pavarotti, a Sutherland, etc.
Lessac uses orchestral instruments as analogies to teach better articulation of each English consonant, e.g. the "N-violin" and the "T-snare drum drumbeat". Though impressionistic in approach, it does helps the student have an optimal quality in mind to aim for, and to pay closer attention to each internal physical event and the effect it produces.
Lessac has a fondness for coining his own jargon, like "NRG" ('energy'), "esthetic" (not "aesthetic"; 'anything that promotes sensitivity and induces awareness of sensation and perception in the body'), "kinesensic" ('intrinsic "self-to-self" sensation'), and of course the famous "Y-Buzz". The new terms are however well justified, since each figures importantly in the framework he teaches. The glossary in the back of the book can help keep everything straight. I also flipped to the index several times when trying to sort out the differences between terms like "tonal NRG" and "structural NRG" in the context of the book.
This is a solid course book, not casual reading, so take the chapters one at a time, mindfully, to reap maximum benefit from the book.
This edition is attractive and carefully edited; I found not a single typo in the whole book. My one criticism is the price. The outstanding content makes it definitely worth the cover price, but I don't see why a paperback needs to be so expensive. Like with Peter Ladefoged's A Course in Phonetics (with CD-ROM), I guess it is because it is a popular university textbook that commands a captive audience. About a third of the cover price would bring it more in line with similar editions. But that's not the author's fault, I assume, and doesn't merit taking off a star. And speaking of Ladefoged's book, it would be helpful to readers if this book included a CD-ROM as well.