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Skelton Settle the Score 61 From deconstruction to reconstruction

Iion deconsliuclion lo ieconsliuclion
Once one has a cIeai undeislanding of hov a piece is consliucled, vhich lhe exeicises alove
have ained lo denonsliale, lhe nexl slep is lo leach lhe liain and lody hov lo ieaIize lhe
nusic in sound: lhe liain lo have a knovIedge of vhal needs lo le done, lhe lody lo have lhe
neans lo do il. The foIIoving exeicises have one ain: lo inleinaIize lhe scoies lechnicaI and
nusicaI denands. On one hand lhis is lo liain and slienglhen vocaI execulion of lhe nusic, on
lhe olhei, lo insliI a IoyaIly lo lhe nusicaI expiessivily inheienl in lhe scoie. In shoil, aflei one
deconsliucls a piece, il is lhen necessaiy lo pul il lack logelhei again in peifoinance.
I shaII divide exeicises inlo foui piincipaI calegoiies: liealh, voveIs, consonanls, and
iesonance. WhiIe lhe fiisl ain of a specific exeicise nay focus on lhe ieIevanl calegoiy, il
shouId le ienenleied lhal olhei issues nay aIso le addiessed sinuIlaneousIy. eIov eveiy
exeicise lilIe is a code vhich Iisls, in oidei of ieIevance, lhe vaiious eIenenls il is inlended lo
slienglhen (fiisl lechnicaI and lhen nusicaI). AIso, in lhe appendix is a Iisl of lhe eIenenls
lhenseIves vhich cioss-iefeience (again in oidei of ieIevance) lhe exeicises lhal nay lesl
addiess lhal issue.
The exeicises as piesenled heie lecone successiveIy Iess eIaloiale, vilh lhe idea lhal a singei
is giaduaIIy noving fion Ieaining a piece in lils and pieces lo peifoinance of lhe vhoIe
voik. WhiIe nany of lhe issues deaIl vilh eaiIy on viII le ieaddiessed in a sulsequenl
exeicise, il is inpeialive lhal a singei successfuIIy appIy an exeicise in his oi hei piepaialion of
a piece oi passage lefoie Ielling il go conpIeleIy. This is nol lo say lhal one cannol do olhei
exeicises aIong lhe vay, lul ialhei lhal an exeicise lhal gives difficuIly shouId le ievisiled
unliI lhe lechnicaI oi nusicaI piolIens lhal il ieveaIs have leen fixed. Thal leing said, no
singei shouId feeI olIiged lo do lhe foIIoving exeicises in lhe oidei in vhich I piesenl lhen
heie. Indeed, one shouId nevei aIIov loo nuch fiuslialion lo aiise in Ieaining a piece of
nusic, lheiefoie aIvays find a good laIance lelveen lhal vhich is chaIIenging and lhal vhich
cones easiIy.
I shaII liy lo avoid ideas of nusicaI slyIe, as lhese vouId inevilalIy le liased lo ny peisonaI
lasle. Sense of slyIe and lasle can onIy le deveIoped lhiough expeiience in Iislening and
doing. This is lhe case even in slyIes lhal aie ieseaiched in lhe discipIine of hisloiicaI
peifoinance piaclices. Thal leing said, issues of slyIe aie oflen inheienl in vhal I addiess, lul
I hope lhese can le accepled as aInosl univeisaI iuIes of singing.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 62 From deconstruction to reconstruction
A pieIininaiy connenl on nenoiizalion
Though nenoiizalion of a specific piece nay nol le a iequiienenl, I vouId aigue lhal you
cannol cIain lo have fuIIy inleinaIized a piece eilhei lechnicaIIy oi nusicaIIy unliI lhe piece is
nenoiized. This is a ialhei iionic slalenenl foi a look vhose veiy lilIe pIaces lhe scoie as
cenliaI, hovevei, uIlinale nusicaI expiession aIvays denands a sepaialion fion lhe physicaI
scoie ilseIf. Il is nol lhal lhe scoie is alsenl, lul ialhei lhal lhe delaiIs of lhal scoie have leen
liansIaled inlo a physicaI and enolionaI ieaIily. I shaII suggesl sone exeicises foi
nenoiizalion al lhe end of lhis seclion, lul you can giealIy assisl vilh lhis piocess ly
leginning lo nenoiize duiing lhe couise of each exeicise. Il is ny inlenlion lhal aII of lhese
exeicises le done vhiIsl olseiving youiseIf in a niiioi. Such voik nol onIy aIIovs you lo see
lhal you aie execuling lhe exeicise coiieclIy, lul, ly keeping youi eyes on youiseIf ialhei lhan
on lhe nusic, innedialeIy slinuIales youi nenoiy. If you connil lo nasleiing aII of lhese
exeicises, and spend noie line Iooking al youiseIf in lhe niiioi lhan al lhe scoie duiing lhis
piocess, you viII nosl IikeIy find lhal you uIlinaleIy have lhe piece nenoiized vilhoul lhe
need foi fuilhei voik.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 63 Breath
Masleiing liealhing and liealh-suppoil in singing can oflen le one of lhe giealesl chaIIenges
foi a singei. This cIeaiIy is nol lecause lhe acl of liealhing ilseIf is a conpIicaled piocess, lul
ialhei lecause lhe nuscuIai co-oidinalion iequiied in lhe liealhing-singing conneclion is so
diffeienl fion lhe piocess ve enpIoy in speech. We aie laughl in singing lo nainlain lhe
posilion of inhaIalion vhen ve legin lo phonale, and lo nainlain lhis expanded sensalion foi
lhe duialion of lhe phiase, hovevei, lhe facl ienains lhal lhe aiea lhal has expanded vilh aii
viII necessaiiIy conliacl as soon as aii Ieaves lhe lody. Thus, in liaining efficienl liealh-
suppoil ve aie conslanlIy faced vilh lhe paiadox lhal vhal ve shouId lhink and feeI is
conliaiy lo lhe physioIogicaI ieaIily of lhe liealh cycIe.
1. iealh-ienevaI
liealh, voveI, consonanl, Iegalo, onsel, inlonalion, iesonance
puIse, ihylhn, diclion, pilch
One usefuI vay lo liain liealh-suppoil foi a conpIele phiase is lo aIIov lhe lody lo
expeiience lhe singing of eveiy nole vilh fuII liealh-suppoil, and lhal can lesl le achieved
vilh lhe liealh-ienevaI exeicise. In lhe liealh-ienevaI exeicise you deaI vilh one nusicaI
phiase al a line, oi vilh one nusicaI Iine lhal you vouId uIlinaleIy Iike lo peifoin in one
liealh. A giaphic expIanalion can oflen le noie insliuclive in Ieaining lhis exeicise, so I
inleispeise seveiaI exanpIes vilh connenlaiy lo iIIusliale vhal I inlend. To execule lhe
liealh-ienevaI exeicise, legin ly choosing a suldivision of lhe leal, usuaIIy leginning vilh
lhe snaIIesl suldivision enpIoyed in lhe phiase ilseIf.
efoie leginning lhe phiase le ceilain lo lake a fuII liealh, and lhen le ceilain on eveiy
liealh-ienevaI lo lake in onIy enough aii lo iegain lhe iniliaI anounl. LspeciaIIy in a high
suldivision, il is veiy easy lo oveiciovd lhe Iungs ly inhaIing noie lhan you have expiied in
singing. Mosl inpoilanlIy, vhiIe lhe aldoninaI aiea viII le inciedilIy aclive duiing lhe
execulion of lhe suldivided phiase, you nusl le ceilain lhal lhe aldoninaI nuscIes aie
neilhei hypei- noi hypoaclive, and lhal lhe piopei posluies of lhe lody, head, and Iaiynx aie
nainlained. e pailicuIaiIy caiefuI lo keep lhe jav and longue sliII and ieIaxed on eveiy
nole's onsel, duialion, ieIease, liealh-ienevaI, and sulsequenl onsel.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 64 Breath
LxanpIe 31 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa, nn. 1-1O CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
iealh-ienevaI eighlh-nole suldivision
In lhis phiase I have viillen oul lhe appIicalion of lhe liealh-ienevaI exeicise leginning vilh
eighlh-noles. In execuling lhe exeicise, one shouId ienev lhe liealh (lake a snaII liealh) aflei
eveiy nole naiked slaccalo. No liealh shouId le laken lelveen noles naiked vilh a sIui.
The lexl has leen liansciiled in IIA. This cIaiifies lhe conlinuily of lhe voveI in addilion lo
lhe pIacenenl of lhe consonanls. In lhis specific exanpIe (and lhose foIIoving) I have
liansciiled a liadilionaI inleipielalion of voveI disliilulion in songs vilh IlaIian lexls: lhal
lvo voveIs on one viillen nole aie divided ovei a division lelveen lhal nole ('nia in n. 2,
and 'nio in n. 4).
LxanpIe 32 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa, nn. 1-1O CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
iealh-ienevaI quailei-nole suldivision
K. Skelton Settle the Score 65 Breath
In exanpIe 32 ve iepeal lhe liealh-ienevaI exeicise piogiessing one ihylhnic unil Iaigei (in
lhis case fion an eighlh-nole lo a quailei-nole suldivision). The lasic piincipIe of nolalion is
lhe sane, lul lhose pails of lhe phiase lhal aie lhe sane as oi snaIIei lhan lhe suldivided unil
appeai in lheii oiiginaI foin. Nole lhal lhe exeicise as viillen onils liealhs vheie you viII
IikeIy choose lo lake one in lhe end (lhis viII le addiessed Ialei).
In lhe nexl slep ve nake lhe suldivision one unil Iaigei. Al lhis slage ve cIeaiIy nove fion
veiy shoil phiases lo veiy Iong ones.
LxanpIe 33 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa, nn. 1-1O CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
iealh-ienevaI haIf-nole suldivision
Again ve have nol yel incIuded IogicaI nonenls of liealh, hovevei, ly piogiessing lo lhe
finaI unil of suldivision (vhoIe nole - vhich in lhis exanpIe vouId have lhe sane iesuIl as
lhe pieceding exanpIe) ve viII nov incIude lhen.
LxanpIe 34 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa, nn. 1-1O CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
iealh-ienevaI vhoIe-nole suldivision vilh finaI liealh decisions
K. Skelton Settle the Score 66 Breath
LxanpIe 35 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa, nn. 1-1O CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
OiiginaI nolalion vilh phiasing vaiialion (vocaI Iine onIy)
I offei lvo suggeslions foi phiasing alove as lhese aie highIy suljeclive decisions, and lolh
appioaches aie equaIIy vaIualIe inleipielalions lhal connecl veII vilh lhe naluiaI nusicaI
fIov of lhe vocaI Iine as veII as vilh lhe lexluaI sliucluie (punclualion and neaning).
UIlinaleIy lhese phiase Ienglhs aie vaiialIe - lul keep in nind an undeiIying sense of puIse
suilalIe lo lhe line signaluie oi lenpo indicalion of lhe conposei, and ienenlei lhal Iongei
oi shoilei phiase Ienglhs do nol necessaiiIy enlaiI a faslei oi sIovei lenpo.
This exeicise iequiies a gieal deaI of concenlialion lo execule coiieclIy and heaIlhfuIIy,
especiaIIy al lhe leginning. The lasic pienise of doing il is lo expeiience lhe fuII liealh and
associaled expanded posilion foi eveiy nole of lhe phiase. y giaduaIIy dininishing lhe
suldivision vhiIe conlinuing lo ienev lhe liealh, you aie liaining lhe lody lo nainlain lhe
posilion foIIoving inhaIalion duiing phonalion. The liaining of lhis sensalion giaduaIIy
nakes il noie faniIiai lhan lhe naluiaI incIinalion foi lhe nuscIes of inhaIalion lo conliacl.
As a iesuIl, il Ieads lo lellei liealh-suppoil vhen you sing lhe phiase in one liealh even
lhough lheie is Iess aii in youi lody.
ThankfuIIy, as lhe Ienglh of line and concenlialion lhal lhis exeicise iequiies is significanl, lhe
lenefils of lhis exeicise exlend fai leyond lhe liaining of lhe liealhing and liealh-suppoil
syslens. Since lhe exeicise is designed lo aIvays connecl changes of pilch and syIIalIe, il is
veiy usefuI in lhe deveIopnenl of Iegalo Iines and inleivaIIic accuiacy. Moieovei, as lhe
liealh-ienevaI occuis vilhin specific syIIalIes, lhe exeicise aIso lenefils lhe cIaiily of voveIs
and lhe pIacenenl of diphlhongs.
In Ieaining lhe sliucluie of lhe piece, lhis exeicise is invaIualIe in ensuiing ihylhnic piecision.
Lven if one nay evenluaIIy piefei lo lieal lhe ihylhns noie fieeIy (as in iecilalive), lhis
exeicise viII oflen poinl oul sone of lhe ieIalive ihylhnic nuance lhal lhe conposei
envisioned. The sequence of suldivisions can aIso le veiy insliuclive vhen lheie aie
conpIicaled ihylhnic gioupings. In such cases, one can isoIale lhe exeicise lo one oi lvo
leals, pailicuIaiIy if lhese leals invoIve iiieguIai ihylhnic suldivisions of five oi noie.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 67 Breath
To sunnaiize lhe liealh-ienevaI ieconsliuclion piocess:
Slep 1:
Choose an iniliaI suldivision foi lhe phiase, noinaIIy lhe shoilesl (oi second shoilesl)
nole vaIue.
Slep 2:
Reconpose lhe phiase nenlaIIy so lhal any nole Iongei lhan lhe chosen suldivision is
divided inlo a succession of lhe suldivided nole vaIues. The phiase lhen lecones a
conlinuous succession of lhe suldivided nole vaIue vilh lhe occasionaI nev syIIalIe.
Slep 3:
Sing lhe nev phiase al a confoilalIe (sIovei) lenpo, ieneving lhe liealh lelveen aII
of lhe noles lhal you have added in lhe suldividing piocess. elveen any change of
pilch oi syIIalIe sing Iegalo (vilhoul liealhing).
Slep 4:
Repeal sleps 2-3 vilh lhe nexl Iongei suldivision (e.g. sixleenlh-nole - eighlh-nole,
eighlh-nole - quailei-nole, elc.). Al lhis poinl sone noles viII nol le alIe lo le
suldivided equaIIy, so aIso ienev lhe liealh lefoie eveiy suldivision vilhin lhe lai if
il does nol coincide vilh a change of pilch oi syIIalIe (lhal is, if a nole is lied ovei a leal
oi lai Iine).
Slep 5:
Conlinue lo iepeal slep 4 (and al successiveIy faslei lenpi) unliI lheie aie no fuilhei
suldivisions avaiIalIe (geneiaIIy lhis neans youi suldivision is al lhe IeveI of a fuII
IenuIlinale slep:
Repeal aII pieceding sleps foi each phiase in lhe piece.
IinaI slep:
Decide vheie you viII liealhe vilhin oi lelveen phiases if lhis is nol aIieady cIeaiIy
naiked vilh a iesl. Sing lhe piece lhiough conpIeleIy al youi ideaI peifoinance
lenpo. Tiy lo nainlain lhe feeIing of singing vilh a fuII liealh undei each nole, and
pay allenlion lo vocaIic accuiacy, consonanl-pIacenenl, and coiiecl ihylhn.
eIov I have viillen oul lhe liealh-ienevaI piocess foi sone phiases of 'Die Nachl.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 68 Breath
LxanpIe 36 Die Nachl, nn. 2-8 Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
iealh-ienevaI sixleenlh-nole suldivision
LxanpIe 37 Die Nachl, nn. 2-8 Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
iealh-ienevaI eighlh-nole suldivision
LxanpIe 38 Die Nachl, nn. 2-8 Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
iealh-ienevaI quailei-nole suldivision
K. Skelton Settle the Score 69 Breath
2. Onsel-ieIease
onsel, liealh, consonanls, Iegalo, iesonance
diclion, ihylhn
Onsel and ieIease aie geneiaIIy lhe leins used vhen iefeiiing lo lhe lechnicaIily of phiase
leginnings and endings. As inpoilanl as lhese nonenls aie lolh nusicaIIy and lechnicaIIy, il
is aIso liue lhal eveiy nole in lhe niddIe of a phiase has a leginning and ending of ils ovn,
pailicuIaiIy vheie consonanls aie invoIved. WhiIe lhe aiiivaI al and depailuie fion noles
vilhin a phiase do nol iequiie lhe sane co-oidinalion of inhaIalion oi liealh-ienevaI as fiisl
and Iasl noles, lhey do sliII iequiie fuII suppoil and lechnicaI accuiacy.
The onsel-ieIease exeicise is inlended lo focus ones allenlion on lhe cIaiily of syIIalIe
divisions in geneiaI, vilh speciaI allenlion leing paid lo voiced consonanls. As ve Ieained
eaiIiei in 'VocaI anaIysis, voiced consonanls shouId le pilched on lhe sane nole as lheii
ieIalive voveI. Aside fion ils inpoilance fion a nusicaI poinl of viev (scooping is iaieIy
piaised in cIassicaI singing), piecision in lhe pioduclion and pilch of consonanls usuaIIy Ieads
lo inpioved iesonance and a veII-suppoiled Iegalo Iine.
The exeicise ilseIf is veiy siniIai lo lhe liealh-ienevaI exeicise, hovevei, heie one shouId
focus noie on lhe consonanl(s) of eveiy syIIalIe change ialhei lhan lhe voveI vilhin a
syIIalIe. In shoil, lhe focus heie is lhe leginnings and endings ialhei lhan lhe niddIe. The
lechnicaI piincipIe is lhe sane: lo aIIov lhe lody lo expeiience eveiy consonanl vilh fuII
suppoil. The execulion is sonevhal diffeienl, hovevei, and does nol iequiie lhe sane
conpIex ieconposing as lefoie.
The exeicise onIy needs lo le enpIoyed vheie a consonanl exisls, and lhe nunlei of
iepelilions is highIy vaiialIe depending on lhe difficuIly of lhe consonanl(s) encounleied. The
lasic piincipIe is lo sing lhe piece in lenpo, lul lhe onsel of eveiy nev syIIalIe shouId le
iepealed 2-4 lines, vilh inleinillenl liealh-ienevaIs lefoie conlinuing. Wheie a change of
syIIalIe invoIves onIy a change of voveI oi an unvoiced consonanl, one nay decide lo iepeal
lhe change onIy once oi nol al aII. When lhe consonanls aie al lhe end of a syIIalIe, one can
aIso nake peisonaI decisions aloul lhe nunlei of lines il is necessaiy lo iepeal il, oi vhelhei
il shouId le liealed in conlinalion vilh lhe foIIoving syIIalIe.
Duiing lhis piocess one can gain a lellei appiecialion of lhe delaiIs of lexl-selling. Al lhis
poinl, one shouId lake nole of delaiIs such as vheie gIollaI slops aie iequiied and vheie
doulIe consonanls exisl (eilhei slopped oi conlinuanls), and decide hov lhese shouId le
execuled (in pailicuIai on vhich pilches lhey shouId sound if voiced, and vheie eIision of
consonanls is necessaiy). This exeicise viII aIso poinl oul vheie lheie is a lendency lo cIip a
voveI vhich is foIIoved ly a nasaI consonanl. The inpoilanl poinl is lhal lhe consonanls le
pioduced accuialeIy and heaIlhfuIIy, sound on lhe coiiecl pilch vheie necessaiy, and cieale a
snoolh liansilion lelveen lhe adjacenl voveIs.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 70 Breath
In lhe exanpIes leIov I enpIoy lhe sane syslen of nolalion as in lhe liealh-ienevaI exeicise
alove (lexl in IIA, slaccalo naiks indicale a sulsequenl liealh ienevaI, sIui naiks indicale
no liealh). The Ienglh of noles naiked slaccalo need nol le as sliicl in lining as in lhe liealh-
ienevaI exeicise, lul liy lo le piecise vilh lhe 'noinaI noles. In olhei voids, lhe added noles
(aflei vhich one ienevs lhe liealh) nay le oul of line, lul lhe 'ieaI noles (vaIues equaI lo
vhal is in lhe scoie) shouId le in ieaI line, lhe iesuIl viII le inciedilIy iiieguIai neasuie
Ienglhs duiing lhe couise of lhe exeicise.
LxanpIe 39 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa, nn. 11-25 CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
K. Skelton Settle the Score 71 Breath
LxanpIe 4O Die Nachl, nn. 18-32 Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
K. Skelton Settle the Score 72 Breath
3. InhaIalion
liealh, inlonalion, iesonance
This exeicise deaIs vilh lhe liadilionaI nonenls of 'onsel and 'ieIease, lul vilh a focus on
lhe suppoil of finaI noles and lhe Ienglh of line iequiied lo liealhe foi a sulsequenl phiase.
The Ienglh of line avaiIalIe lo liealhe lelveen phiases is highIy vaiialIe. Al lhe leginning of
a piece oi aflei seveiaI lais of iesl one can cIeaiIy nake a choice of hov Iong and fasl ones
inhaIalion viII le. In such ciicunslances one shouId aIvays do vhal voiks lesl individuaIIy
lo lesl expiess lhe pailicuIai affecl of lhe nusic. Wilhin a piece, lhe iange of line aIIoved foi
inhaIalion is aIvays changing. When ve aie Iucky lhe conposei has viillen iesls, vhen ve
aie Iess Iucky lhe poinls foi inhaIalion aie onIy inpIied and ve nusl nake decisions lo
shoilen ceilain noles lo aIIov line lo liealhe. In aII ciicunslances ve nusl gauge lhe Ienglh
of line ve aie peinilled lo liealhe, and lhen pace lhe inlake of aii accoidingIy.
As in lhe lvo pieceding exeicises, lhe focus viII le on lhe iepelilion of noles, lul heie ve onIy
iepeal lhe finaI nole. The diffeience is lhal lhe iepelilion heie viII aIso enconpass lhe
sulsequenl 'ieaI liealh iequiied in lhe conlexl of lhe piece. Like lhe liealh-ienevaI exeicise,
lhe inhaIalion exeicise oflen iequiies sone conpIex nenlaI ieconposilion, as lhe conlinalion
of finaI nole and sulsequenl liealh can oflen le highIy iiieguIai ihylhnicaIIy.
The lasic piincipIe of execuling lhis exeicise is veiy sinpIe. Sing lhe piece lhiough noinaIIy,
lul al eveiy phiase-ending iepeal lhe finaI nole 2-4 lines. efoie each iepelilion of lhe finaI
nole inhaIe in lhe Ienglh of line aIIoved lefoie lhe sulsequenl phiase.
The lasic puipose of lhis exeicise is lo leach lhe lody lhe feeIing of a veII-suppoiled finaI nole
and an easy and heaIlhy liealh foi each phiase-leginning. LspeciaIIy aflei Iong phiases one
nay find lhal lhe fiisl liealh aflei lhe Iasl nole is noie difficuIl. CeilainIy, lhe anounl of aii
iequiied aflei a Iong phiase viII le giealei lhan aflei lhe finaI nole in isoIalion, hovevei, lhe
focus heie is on lhe feeIing of suppoil on lhe Iasl nole ilseIf and lhe caInness in lhe lody
duiing lhe inhaIalion foi lhe sulsequenl phiase. If and vhen lhe lody viII uIlinaleIy iequiie
a giealei inlake of aii in lhe conlexl of lhe piece as a vhoIe, lhis viII cone nuch noie easiIy
and naluiaIIy vilh lhe inhaIalion liaining.
In lhe exanpIes leIov each iesl indicales nol onIy a Ienglh of line lelveen noles, lul aIso lhe
Ienglh of lhe liealh iequiied foi lhe foIIoving phiase. Ain lo inhaIe duiing lhe fuII duialion
of each iesl, and iepeal lhe finaI nole-inhaIalion paii as nany lines as il lakes lo feeI a veII-
suppoiled finaI nole and a caIn and quiel inhaIalion.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 73 Breath
LxanpIe 41 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa, nn. 1-27 CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
K. Skelton Settle the Score 74 Breath
LxanpIe 42 Die Nachl, nn. 2-24 Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
K. Skelton Settle the Score 75 Jowels
Singings veiy naluie is chaiacleiized ly lhe eIongalion of voveIs on defined pilches. As ve
have seen, nany consonanls aie singalIe, hovevei, in cIassicaI singing il is iaie foi consonanls
lo le eIongaled nuch noie lhan in noinaI speech. VoveI-piecision is nol onIy inpeialive foi
lhe connunicalion of lexl, lul aIso in ciealing and suslaining a cIean Iegalo Iine. Indeed
inpioving cIaiily of voveIs and Iegalo singing aie lhe lvo puiposes in execuling lhe voveIs-
onIy exeicise. This exeicise viII aIso assisl in Ieaining lhe coiiecl foinalion of lhose voveIs
lhal aie nol foined ly lhe longue aIone. Such 'voveI-conlinalions incIude aII of lhe iounded
voveIs, and aII of lhe nasaI voveIs. An undeislanding of IIA is essenliaI heie, as lhe synloIs
oflen give cIeai cues as lo lhe acluaIily of voveI-foinalion.
LxanpIe 43 Chail of InleinalionaI Ihonelic AIphalel voveI synloIs
pioduced ly lhe InleinalionaI Ihonelic Associalion
In addilion lo lhe voveIs in lhe chail alove, lheie aie aIso lhe Iiench nasaI voveIs, indicaled
as foIIovs:
: c o
K. Skelton Settle the Score 76 Jowels
V1. VoveIs onIy
voveIs, Iegalo, iesonance
As is lhe case vilh eaiIiei lasks seen alove, lhe voveIs-onIy exeicise iequiies lhal lhe singei
nenlaIIy ieconpose each nusicaI phiase. One nay feeI confidenl enough in his oi hei voveI-
pioduclion lo sinpIy sing a phiase onilling lhe consonanls and focus on nainlaining veII-
laIanced iesonance and nusicaI fIuidily lhioughoul a phiase. My expeiience, hovevei, is lhal
ceilain voveIs inpede lhe uIlinale goaIs iequiied in Iegalo singing ly lhe veiy naluie of lheii
pioduclion and acouslicaI piincipIes.
The fiisl slep in lhe voveIs-onIy exeicise is lo sing lhe phiase onIy on non-iounded and non-
nasaI voveIs. Wheie a iounded voveI exisls (foi oui puiposes focus on lhe fionl and lack
iounded voveIs in lhe chail alove) lhe singei shouId iepIace il ly ils non-iounded equivaIenl.
This is faiiIy sliaighlfoivaid in lhe case of lhe fionl voveIs, as lolh lhe non-iounded and
iounded voveIs aie connonIy used in Weslein Ianguages. Ioi lhe lack voveIs (specificaIIy
|uj, |!j and |oj) lhe non-iounded pailnei nay pose difficuIlies lo lhe singei. Ioi lhis ieason I
vouId ieconnend iepIacing lhese vilh lhe neuliaI voveI |"j, vilh lhe undeislanding lhal
vhal is essenliaI in lhis piocess is lhal lhe longue ienain ieIaxed and lhal il viII naluiaIIy
change posilion vhen lhe Iips nove. Wheie non-iounded nasaI voveIs exisl, sing lhe non-
nasaI equivaIenl (e.g. |j lecones |aj). Wheie a iounded nasaI voveI exisls, you nusl lake
lvo sleps lack, fiisl lo lhe non-nasaIized counleipail, and lhen lo lhe non-iounded
counleipail (e.g. |j lecones |oj vhich lecones |"j).
Repeal lhis slage unliI il is possilIe lo sing lhe phiase al lhe coiiecl lenpo vilh aII of lhe
appiopiiale voveI changes.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 77 Jowels
LxanpIe 44 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
VoveIs onIy - vilhoul iounding Iips
K. Skelton Settle the Score 78 Jowels
LxanpIe 45 Die Nachl Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
VoveIs onIy - vilhoul iounding Iips
K. Skelton Settle the Score 79 Jowels
LxanpIe 46 Dans un lois soIilaiie, nn. 1-29
W. A. Mozail (1756-1791)
VoveIs onIy - vilhoul iounding Iips and vilhoul nasaIily
The nexl slep is lo sIovIy foin lhe iounded voveIs vheievei lhey shouId le. Thus, iepeal lhe
exeicise as alove, lul on eveiy voveI lhal you have aIleied fion ils oiiginaI foin pIace a
feinala and sIovIy iound lhe Iips lo lhe necessaiy posilion. This foining piocess viII
noinaIIy lake a fev seconds, so aflei you have lhe coiiecl iounded voveI, lake a liealh
(nainlaining lhe voveI posilion of lhe noulh), iepeal lhal pilch, and conlinue vilh lhe phiase.
* oinanenlaI appoggialuias have leen viillen oul
K. Skelton Settle the Score 80 Jowels
LxanpIe 47 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
VoveIs onIy - iounding Iips
K. Skelton Settle the Score 81 Jowels
LxanpIe 48 Die Nachl Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
VoveIs onIy - iounding Iips
K. Skelton Settle the Score 82 Jowels
LxanpIe 49 Dans un lois soIilaiie, nn. 1-29
W. A. Mozail (1756-1791)
VoveIs onIy - iounding Iips (vilhoul nasaIily)
* oinanenlaI appoggialuias have leen viillen oul
K. Skelton Settle the Score 83 Jowels
The nexl slage is onIy necessaiy vheie nasaI voveIs exisl. Repeal lhe pieceding exeicise lo
cieale lhe iounded voveIs lul lhen add nasaIily as lhe finaI slep. Again, aflei aiiiving al lhe
coiiecl voveI, lake a liealh (in lhe sane voveI shape), iepeal lhe finaI voveI, and conlinue
vilh lhe phiase. One nay choose lo conline lhe pievious lvo sleps inlo one, in vhich case
you shouId change sIovIy fion lhe aIleied voveI lo lhe iounded voveI (vhen necessaiy) and
lhen add nasaIily, oi fiisl add nasaIily lo lhe non-iounded voveI and lhen iound lhe Iips.
LxanpIe 5O Dans un lois soIilaiie, nn. 1-29
W. A. Mozail (1756-1791)
VoveIs onIy - iounding Iips and adding nasaIily
* oinanenlaI appoggialuias have leen viillen oul
K. Skelton Settle the Score 84 Jowels
Having lecone lellei avaie of lhe cIaiily and foinalion of aII lhe voveIs in a phiase, one
shouId lhen sing lhiough lhe phiase in lenpo on aII of lhe uIlinale voveIs. If lhe singei is
alIe lo accuialeIy pioduce lhe iounded and nasaI voveIs innedialeIy and pieciseIy, lhen il
shouId nol pose difficuIlies lo nainlain good iesonance lhioughoul lhe vhoIe phiase and a
suppIe shifl lelveen voveI sounds.
LxanpIe 51 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
VoveIs onIy - vilh iounded Iips
K. Skelton Settle the Score 85 Jowels
LxanpIe 52 Die Nachl Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
VoveIs onIy - vilh iounded Iips
K. Skelton Settle the Score 86 Jowels
LxanpIe 53 Dans un lois soIilaiie, nn. 1-29
W. A. Mozail (1756-1791)
VoveIs onIy - vilh iounded Iips and nasaI voveIs
IinaIIy, sing lhiough lhe piece adding in lhe consonanls, lul allenpl lo keep lhe consonanls
ciisp and quick so you aie alIe lo nainlain lhe Iegalo feeIing.
Thioughoul lhe execulion of lhese exeicises il is inpoilanl lo focus on seveiaI aspecls of youi
vocaI pioduclion. The jav shouId ienain ieIaxed, and onIy cIose sIighlIy vhen a iounded
voveI denands il (pay pailicuIai allenlion lhal lhe jav ienain Ioose on |ij, |Ij, |ej, and |!j).
As lhe voveIs aie foined chiefIy vilh lhe longue, cIeaiIy lhe longue viII nove, hovevei, le
ceilain lhal lheie is no excess lension. The longue shouId nevei exhilil a pionounced concave
shape, and shouId ienain sliII vhen changes of pilch (lul nol voveI) occui. Tiy lo aIso
nainlain lhe ieIaxed posilion of lhe jav and sliIIness of lhe longue vhen liealhing al lhe
leginning of lhe phiase oi lelveen phiases, and gel inlo lhe halil of liealhing in lhe posilion
of lhe fiisl voveI (even vhen you viII uIlinaleIy piecede lhe voveI vilh a consonanl). One
can aIso nolice vheie and hov diphlhongs and gIollaI slops viII occui.
* oinanenlaI appoggialuias have leen viillen oul
K. Skelton Settle the Score 87 Consonants
WhiIe piecision vilh voveIs is paianounl lo lhe liansnission of lexl in singing, such piecision
is fuliIe if il is nol ailicuIaled ly equaIIy piecise consonanls. WhiIe pooi pioduclion of
consonanls nay sinpIy nake a lexl uninleIIigilIe, il nay aIso spoiI an olheivise nusicaI and
expiessive neIodic Iine ly olscuiing pilch (lhe giealesl piolIen leing lhe pIacenenl and
pioduclion of voiced consonanls discussed alove).
Many singeis Iack conviclion in lheii ailicuIalion lecause lhey feeI lhal lhe consonanls disiupl
lhe Iegalo Iine exenpIified in lhe voveIs-onIy exeicise alove. Il is liue lhal ceilain consonanls
ly lheii veiy naluie inleiiupl a conlinuous fIov of aii and/oi pilch, lul a Iegalo Iine in
singing is as nuch a concepluaI ieaIily as a lechnicaI one. Many vouId le fai noie disluiled
(oi even offended) ly lhe lexl nol leing cIeai lhan lhey vouId ly lhe iequisile nechanics of
pioducing consonanls vhich aie inheienl lo lhe nusic anyvay. Moieovei, coiiecl and piecise
pioduclion of consonanls has nuneious lenefils in allaining and nainlaining a laIanced
iesonance lecause of lhe sensalions lhey pioduce and lhe facl lhal lhey keep lhe nuscIes of
lhe noulh suppIe and fiee of excess lension.
When ve deaIl vilh lhe specific pioduclion of individuaI consonanls in 'VocaI anaIysis, ve
IikeIy eIongaled and/oi Ialouied ovei nany of lhen lo ensuie lhal ve couId idenlify lheii
ihylhnic pIacenenl in lhe consliuclion of lhe piece. Hovevei, in lhe acluaI singing of a
phiase, lhe Ienglh of lhe consonanls shouId onIy le as Iong as lheii pioduclion iequiies, vhich
is exlieneIy liief in nosl ciicunslances. Such pioduclion of consonanls denands an
inciedilIy agiIe funclioning of lhe longue and jav so lhal consonanls neieIy puncluale a
Iegalo Iine of voveIs.
Iinding lhe laIance lelveen consonanl suppIeness and cIaiily oflen lakes a gieal deaI of line
lo allain. The concepl, hovevei, is sinpIe: do lhe nininun anounl of effoil in lhe shoilesl
Ienglh of line. }usl as one shouId onIy foin lhe voveIs vilh vhal is iequiied (i.e. vilh lhe
longue unIess lhe Iips aIso need lo le iounded), consonanl cIaiily and piecision can onIy le
allained in singing vhen excesses of effoil (i.e. unnecessaiy novenenls of lhe jav) aie
K. Skelton Settle the Score 88 Consonants
C1. The VenliiIoquisl
consonanls, iesonance, voveIs
One nusl fiisl gain an avaieness of lhe ieaIily of consonanl-pioduclion, and lhal can le
achieved lhiough lhe venliiIoquisl exeicise. IsoIale a phiase of a piece, and speak lhe lexl vilh
lhe noulh in lhe sane posilion as vhen one is al iesl vilh onIy enough opening lo aIIov
sound lo escape. Il is essenliaI lhal lhe jav, aIlhough cIosed, nol lecone iigid. Nolice hov
ninule lhe physicaI aclions iequiied ly consonanls aie (iounded voveIs nay pose sone
difficuIlies in lhis exeicise - you nay choose lo uliIize lhe non-iounded equivaIenl inslead).
Repeal lhe exeicise, lul nov speak lhe lexl sIovIy. Wilh lhis eIongalion of voveIs you viII
sliII nolice lhe nininaI physicaI aclions iequiied lo pioduce lhe consonanls, lul aIso hov
shoil a line lheii pioduclion lakes in ieIalion lo lhe Ienglh of lhe voveIs. This is a sinpIe vay
of Ieaining lhe piincipIe of consonanls as punclualions of lhe Iegalo vocaIic Iine. Lven vhen
you execule a conlinuanl, vhich in lheoiy can le suslained Iike a voveI, nolice lhe speed and
piecision vilh vhich lhe consonanl legins and ends.
Nexl, vilh lhe sane cIosed-noulh posilion, sing lhe Iine. You nay feeI unalIe lo sing ceilain
pails vilh lhe noulh cIosed, hovevei, if you ensuie lhal youi jav ienains ieIaxed, you viII
discovei lhal (in addilion lo lhe ninule novenenls of lhe longue and jav foi lhe consonanls)
lhe ioof of lhe noulh viII aIlei ils posilion depending on lhe pilch IeveI. Such novenenls aie
a iesonance phenonenon, and invaIualIe in lhe uIlinale execulion of lhe phiase. Whal is
inpoilanl lo nole is lhal, vhen lhe jav and longue aie ieIaxed and lhe liealh-suppoil is
sound, lhe noulh viII find lhe appiopiiale iesonance space on ils ovn. The poinl heie is lo
peinil lhe changes in lhe noulh lo occui, ialhei lhan lo acliveIy nake lhen happen.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 89 Consonants
C2. }av posilion and consonanl-pioduclion
posluie, consonanls, iesonance, voveIs, Iegalo
This exeicise is a naluiaI conlinualion of lhe venliiIoquisl. One shouId nov liy lo iecieale lhe
alove-nenlioned sensalions lul vilh lhe noulh in a posilion lhal viII uIlinaleIy le used foi
singing. This posilion is highIy suljeclive, and nay aIso le vaiialIe depending on lhe singei.
The lesl indicalois foi an appiopiiale size of noulh opening aie fiislIy lhal lhe jav ienains
ieIaxed, and secondIy lhal il aIIovs lhe easy execulion of consonanls vilhoul noie novenenl
lhan is lechnicaIIy iequiied.
The nexl slep is lo iepeal lhe venliiIoquisl exeicise fion lhe leginning vilh lhe noulh open.
When speaking lhe lexl noie sIovIy, lhe quick and piecise foinalion of consonanls nay
lecone noie difficuIl. This is lecause lhe dislance lhe longue and jav have lo nove is
giealei, hovevei, il is inpeialive lhal lhey le pioduced al lhe sane speed. Moie inpoilanlIy,
lhey nusl le pioduced in lhe sane nannei, uliIizing onIy vhal is iequiied. Thus, if a
consonanl onIy iequiies lhe novenenl of lhe longue lhen lhe jav shouId ienain ieIeased and
Anolhei poinl voilhy of allenlion is lhe facl lhal nany consonanls (pailicuIaiIy lhose foined
vilh lhe longue aIone) can le foined vilhin vaiious voveI posilions. To assisl vilh a Iegalo
Iine, one shouId avoid changing voveI shape lo pioduce a consonanl. SiniIaiIy, consonanls
lhal legin a phiase shouId aIso le foined vilhin lhe sulsequenl voveI vheievei possilIe,
and lhis is nuch easiei vhen inhaIalion occuis on lhal voveI aIieady.
efoie singing in lenpo, sing lhe phiase al a sIovei speed lo heighlen lhe sensalion of
sviflness in lhe consonanl pioduclion. AIso, vhen singing (lolh sIovIy and in lenpo), seaich
foi lhe ideaI noulh posilion lhal aIIovs piecise pioduclion of consonanls, lul aIso peinils
naluiaI shifls in lhe iesonance space. If lhe noulh is loo cIosed, lhe sound nay nol piojecl
piopeiIy and accuiale foinalion of voveIs nay lecone olscuied, if lhe noulh is loo open, lhe
pioduclion of consonanls nay le conpionised and lhe naluiaI iesonance in lhe ioof of lhe
noulh nay le hindeied.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 90 Consonants
C3. Consonanl-paiiing
consonanls, iesonance
As vas nenlioned in lhe vocaI anaIysis seclion (pp. 43-44), voiced consonanls aie geneiaIIy
noie difficuIl foi singeis lo pioduce, pailicuIaiIy lhe voiced fiicalives. }usl as ve used voveI-
paiiings lo assisl vilh lhe coiiecl foinalion of iounded voveIs, so loo nay ve use consonanl-
paiiings lo assisl vilh inpioving voiced consonanls. These paiiings voik even lellei vilh
consonanls, as lhe noulh foinalion of lhe consonanls in each paii is idenlicaI.
LxanpIe 54 Chail of InleinalionaI Ihonelic AIphalel consonanl synloIs
pioduced ly lhe InleinalionaI Ihonelic Associalion
Iion a specific phiase, isoIale specific voids oi conlinalions of voids vhich enpIoy voiced
consonanls. Iiisl speak lhe void(s) iepIacing voiced consonanls vilh lheii unvoiced
equivaIenls, lhen add voice lo lhe consonanls vheie iequiied. If necessaiy isoIale lhe specific
consonanl and aIleinale lelveen lhe unvoiced and voiced sounds, ensuiing lhal lhe onIy
diffeience lelveen lhe lvo is lhe engagenenl of lhe vocaI foIds.
LxanpIe 55 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa
SeIecl voids vilh unvoiced and voiced consonanls
Woid Unvoiced in IIA Voiced in IIA
bella pcl:la bcl:la
dolce toltJe doltJe
desio tesio dezio
vedrai Ietrai vedrai
K. Skelton Settle the Score 91 Consonants
LxanpIe 56 Die Nachl
SeIecl voids vilh unvoiced and voiced consonanls
Woid Unvoiced in IIA Voiced in IIA
Walde Ialte valde
dieser Welt tiser Iclt dizer vclt
Garben weg karpen Ick garben vck
das Silber weg tas silper Ick das zilber vck
weg das Gold Ick tas k:lt vck das g:lt
Ausgeplndert auskeplvntert ausgeplvndert
bangt, sie pankt, si bat, zi
dich ti di
Nexl sing lhe specific void(s) oul of line on lhe iequiied pilches, again iepIacing lhe voiced
consonanls vilh lheii unvoiced counleipails. Co lhiough lhe sane piocess of adding voice
vheie necessaiy as in lhe speaking exanpIe alove. Al lhis slage, vhen isoIalion of specific
consonanls is necessaiy, le ceilain lhal lhe pilch you use is lhal iequiied ly lhe nusic.
LxanpIe 57 AnaiiIIi, nia leIIa CiuIio Caccini (ca. 1545-1618)
SeIecl voids oul of line on viillen pilches - unvoiced lo voiced consonanls
K. Skelton Settle the Score 92 Consonants
LxanpIe 58 Die Nachl Richaid Sliauss (1864-1949)
SeIecl voids on viillen pilches - vilh unvoiced and voiced consonanls
K. Skelton Settle the Score 93 Resonance
Resonance in cIassicaI singing is oflen a difficuIl issue. Though leacheis and singeis aIike aie
avaie of ils inpoilance, ils insliuclion is oflen conpIicaled lecause il ieIies so heaviIy on
suljeclive synpalhelic vilialions. Al opposile exlienes aie nasaI and lhioal iesonance. The
Iallei is geneiaIIy ciealed vilh a depiessed Iaiynx, vhich sulsequenlIy daikens lhe lone
quaIily. Such iesonance, lhough favouied in ceilain schooIs of singing, is noie chaiacleiislic
of lhe leginning oi analeui singei and oughl lo le avoided unIess enpIoyed foi sone specific
expiessive puipose. NasaI iesonance is defined ly aII oi pail of lhe sound enanaling fion lhe
nose. The sensalion of nasaI iesonance is ieIaliveIy easy lo leach vilh lhe use of nasaI
consonanls and nasaI voveIs. Though nasaI iesonance is geneiaIIy Iooked dovn upon as a
lasis foi cIassicaI singing, cIeaiIy ils occasionaI use is a necessily, and il is oflen heIpfuI in
leaching a foivaid pIacenenl in lhe eaiIy slages of insliuclion.
In addilion lo lhioal and nasaI iesonance ve have head iesonance, vhich conpiises
eveiylhing in lelveen. Depending on lhe singei, his oi hei insliuclion, and his oi hei
physioIogy, lhe chaiacleiislics of head iesonance aie videIy vaiied and videIy accepled.
Indeed, as Iong as lhe lype of iesonance enpIoyed is nol deIeleiious lo lhe voice, lheie is
lheoielicaIIy no ieason vhy il shouId nol lecone pail of a singeis expiessive paIelle. In facl,
lhe aliIily of a singei lo sullIy change his oi hei iesonance space and in luin vaiy lhe coIouis
of lhe voice is liuIy lhe naik of a gieal ailisl.
One of lhe fev usefuI inages I have cone acioss in lhe leaching of singing lechnique has lo do
vilh lhe ieIalionship lelveen liealh, lexl, and iesonance. Il desciiles singing on lvo pIanes:
hoiizonlaI and veilicaI.
LxanpIe 59 Tvo pIanes of singing
K. Skelton Settle the Score 94 Resonance
On lhe hoiizonlaI pIane is phonalion in lhe Iaiynx (nol physicaIIy feIl) and pionuncialion of
lhe lexl in lhe noulh. As desciiled in delaiI alove, lhe pionuncialion of lexl shouId occui
vilh a suppIeness of lhe jav and longue, and essenliaIIy shouId ienain cIeai and conslanl
iegaidIess of lhe lessiluia. On lhe veilicaI pIane aie lhe physicaI ieaIily of liealh nanagenenl
(in lhe Iovei loiso), lhe acouslic ieaIily of iesonance (in lhe vocaI liacl), and lhe physicaI
sensalions lhese piocesses cieale. As I discussed in lhe venliiIoquisl exeicise, vhen lhe jav
and longue aie ieIaxed and lhe liealh-suppoil is sound, lhe noulh viII find lhe appiopiiale
iesonance space on ils ovn, vhich viII in luin piovide nuneious synpalhelic vilialions in
lhe head and chesl. Thus, a naluiaI iesonance in singing is lesl Iefl lo ils ovn devices. In
olhei voids, ensuie lhal aII of lhe fundanenlaIs of good singing (posluie and liealh-suppoil)
aie in pIace, pionounce lhe lexl coiieclIy and pieciseIy, and lhe vocaI liacl viII pioduce lhe
lesl iesonance space lo caiiy lhe sound oul of lhe lody.
R1. Monolone lexl-iecilalion
iesonance, liealh
Thioughoul lhe couise of Ieaining a piece, il is quile naluiaI lo speak lhe lexl fion line lo
line. Nol onIy does such an acl give us a giealei appiecialion foi lhe Iileiaiy iools of a lexl,
lul il aIso heighlens oui avaieness of lexluaI nuances lhal ve nay le alIe lo incoipoiale inlo
oui inleipielalion of a song. When ve speak a lexl, jusl as ve speak in day-lo-day Iife, lhe
pilch al vhich ve speak is conlinuaIIy aIleinaling. To assisl us in discoveiing lhe 'hoiizonlaI
naluie of lexl-pionuncialion foi singing, ve shouId ieduce lexl-iecilalion lo a lechnicaI acl on
one spoken pilch. The acluaI iesuIl viII le a soil of chanling on a Iov pilch. The pilch ilseIf is
iiieIevanl, as youi concein is vhoIIy vilh lhe even (aInosl iololic) pionuncialion of voids.
InnedialeIy aflei speaking lhe lexl nonolonousIy, sing lhe phiase ieciealing lhe evenness of
lexl-pionuncialion. Tiy lo ienain passive and aIIov lhe inside of lhe noulh lo do vhal cones
naluiaIIy depending on lhe pilch. If you nolice significanl changes in lhe eIevalion of lhe
Iaiynx ilseIf, le ceilain lhal you aie nainlaining piopei posluie, and lhal youi liealh-suppoil
is aclive and sound.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 95 Resonance
R2. Speaking inlo a phiase
iesonance, liealh
Il is oflen lhe case in singing lhal ve aie ieIianl on lhe leginning of a phiase if ve hope lo
nainlain a soIid lechnique lo ils concIusion. This is ceilainIy lhe case foi oui liealh-suppoil,
and as a consequence aIso foi oui iesonance.
An exlension of lhe nonolone-lexl-iecilalion exeicise is speaking inlo a phiase. Ioi lhis
exeicise, inslead of leginning lhe phiase on lhe viillen pilch, you innedialeIy piecede lhe
sung nole ly speaking lhe void (noinaIIy lhis is a Iovei pilch). Iion lhis spoken posilion
you sIide lo lhe sung nole, lul nainlain lhe posilion of lhe noulh and Iaiynx used vhen
speaking. Conlinue vilh lhe iesl of lhe phiase as noinaI and iepeal lhe exeicise aflei lhe
sulsequenl liealh.
R3. Sing vilh nose cIosed
iesonance, consonanls
One of lhe aichelypaI looIs in singing insliuclion lo guaid againsl nasaIily is lo pinch lhe nose
vilh lhe fingeis. ecause nasaI iesonance invoIves sound pailIy liaveIIing lhiough lhe nose,
pIugging lhe nose viII aIlei lhe quaIily of sound innedialeIy if nasaIily is piesenl. If you aie
conceined lhal you aie pioducing a sound vilh unvanled nasaIily, sinpIy slop on a pilch,
cIose and open lhe nose one oi lvo lines vilh youi fingeis and see if lheie is any change in
sound oi sensalion.
CIosing lhe nose aIso has olhei uses in eslalIishing a veII-laIanced iesonance in singing. Tvo
fauIls vhich oflen gel in lhe vay of good iesonance aie ovei-ailicuIaling consonanls and
allenpling lo 'pIace lhe sound loo fai foivaid (lhe lexl deviales fion lhe hoiizonlaI pIane). If
ve lhink of iesonance as on a conlinuun lelveen lhe lack of lhe lhioal and lhe nose/fionl of
lhe face, ve nay ieaIize lhal oui iesonaling lendencies nay Iean lo one exliene oi lhe olhei.
This is nol necessaiiIy a lad lhing, and indeed ceilain iepeiloiies and ciicunslances nay
iequiie il. Hovevei, if ve do nol ienain laIanced in oui iesonance ve nay find lhal ceilain
passages lecone unnecessaiiIy difficuIl, oi aeslhelicaIIy Iess lhan ideaI.
Singing an enliie phiase vilh lhe nose cIosed (pinched al lhe end) sinuIlaneousIy pievenls
singing vilh a nasaI lone, ienoves unnecessaiy piessuie oi effoil in lhe enuncialion of
consonanls, and assisls vilh lhe pIacenenl of lhe voice in a laIanced iesonance in lhe niddIe
of lhe head. The onIy piolIen vilh lhis exeicise is lhal nasaI consonanls aie inpossilIe, and
K. Skelton Settle the Score 96 Resonance
lhus lheie viII le lhe occasionaI slopping of aii fIov (and noie oflen lhan nol a sIighlIy iunny
nose if you do lhe exeicise foi any Ienglh of line). This diIenna, hovevei, can easiIy le used
lo youi advanlage, as il oflen poinls oul vheie one has lhe lendency lo unnecessaiiIy (and
deliinenlaIIy) eIongale nasaI consonanls.
R4. Make iesonance choices
Mosl of lhe exeicises alove veie designed lo assisl lhe singei in finding a laIanced iesonance
in lhe singing voice. As aIieady nenlioned, lhe vaiious coIouis possilIe in a voice aie due in
Iaige pail lo lhe iesonance spaces enpIoyed. Though il is inpoilanl lhal lhe coie of lhe voice
and lechnique enpIoy a veII-laIanced head iesonance, il is aIso inpoilanl lhal lhe singei
aIIov hin- oi heiseIf lo cieale a vaiiely of coIouis lhiough iesonance if nusicaI expiession viII
le inpioved ly doing so. One shouId nol nake such iesonance choices loo lechnicaI (excepl
in exliene cases vheie you aie seeking a pailicuIaiIy conic oi neIodianalic effecl). Ralhei,
one shouId enliace undeiIying lhoughls and enolions vhiIsl singing. Doing lhis viII
naluiaIIy aIlei faciaI expiessions and lody posluies, and, as a consequence, sullIy change lhe
quaIily of lhe sound vilhoul conpionising lhe foundalions of heaIlhy vocaI pioduclion.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 97 Final touches
IinaI louches
If one has execuled aII oi lhe najoiily of lhe pieceding exeicises, he oi she shouId have a cIeai
undeislanding of hov a piece is pul logelhei and hov lo peifoin il vilh nusicaI accuiacy and
a sound lechnique. In lhe finaI slages of peifoinance-piepaialion il is aIvays a good idea lo
iecoid oneseIf and nake noles of snaII delaiIs lhal sliII iequiie fuilhei allenlion. When one
heais hin- oi heiseIf, vhal needs lo le fixed is oflen seIf-evidenl. NoinaIIy il viII suffice lo
isoIale lhe piolIen spol and iepeal one of lhe eaiIiei exeicises designed lo addiess lhe
ieIevanl piolIen.
In lhe finaI slages of piepaialion, hovevei, il is aIso heIpfuI and insliuclive lo aIIov oneseIf lo
sing lhiough fuII phiases oi lhe fuII piece vilh a nev idea oi nev lechnicaI aid. The foIIoving
exeicises aie veiy sinpIe concepluaIIy, and geneiaIIy designed lo inpiove ones lechnicaI and
nusicaI execulion of a piece as a vhoIe. I shaII divide lhe exeicises inlo lechnicaI and nusicaI
calegoiies, lhough I vouId ieconnend aIleinaling lelveen lhe lvo in piaclice so lhal ones
finaI peifoinance has a good laIance lelveen lechnicaI execulion and nusicaI expiession.
Though il is oflen lhiough sound lechnique lhal one is alIe lo ieach his oi hei fuII expiessive
capaliIilies, il shouId le noled lhal lhis is nol aIvays lhe case. UIlinaleIy, an audience has
IillIe inleiesl in an inexpiessive peifoinance, so le ceilain lhal lechnique is nevei lhe le-aII
and end-aII of youi singing goaIs.
Whal I offei heie aie nol peifoinance skiIIs (vhich have leen lhoioughIy and lhoughlfuIIy
deaIl vilh in Iovei Ieifoinance foi Singeis, see Appendix 4), lul lhe IogicaI exlension of lhe
piesenl syslen of deconsliuclion/ieconsliuclion, vhich can le enpIoyed in lhe days oi houis
Ieading up lo a peifoinance.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 98 Technical exercises
TechnicaI exeicises
TechnicaI exeicises inlended foi lhe finaI slages of peifoinance-piepaialion aie geneiaIIy lo
ienind lhe singei lo insisl on lhe fundanenlaIs of good singing.
T1. iealh lounce
liealh, iesonance
To insisl on a soIid lul al lhe sane line fIexilIe liealh-suppoil, speak lhe lexl lul exlend
eveiy sliessed syIIalIe vilh 2-4 'lounces of lhe liealh-suppoil nechanisn. The lounce ilseIf
shouId physicaIIy oiiginale in lhe aiea leIov lhe iil-cage, and iesuIl in snaII dynanic
osciIIalions in lhe suslained pilch. One nay aIso acconpany lhe dynanic osciIIalions vilh
snaII pilch-fIuclualions vheiely lhe suslained pilch faIIs and lhen sIides lack lo lhe
appiopiiale pilch al lhe heighl of lhe dynanic vaiialion.
This exeicise can lhen le exlended lo lhe singing of conpIele phiases, ly pausing liiefIy on
any suslained pilches and execuling lhe sane louncing aclion. This exeicise is designed lo
pievenl any deliinenlaI lighlening of lhe liealh-suppoil nechanisn lhioughoul lhe couise of
a phiase, and viII aIso pionole a veII-laIanced iesonance. e ceilain lhal lhe louncing aclion
is Iiniled lo lhe loiso, as any invoIvenenl of lhe Iaiynx oi jav viII negale lhe exeicise's
T2. Lxpanded liealh
liealh, iesonance, Iegalo
One veiy usefuI looI in lhe sludy of lechnique is lo ninic lhe aclions of singing vilh exleinaI
visuaI cues, pailicuIaiIy vhen lhey invoIve novenenls of olhei pails of lhe lody. Duiing lhe
couise of singing, niiioiing lhe expansion of lhe Iovei loiso vilh novenenls of lhe hands
can heIp as a visuaI ienindei lhal lhe liealh-suppoil shouId ienain engaged. Of couise, lhe
Iovei loiso does conliacl as aii Ieaves lhe lody, and one shouId nol allenpl lo insisl on an
acluaI expanded posilion vhen il onIy invoIves aldoninaI nuscIe lension (lhe fionl
aldoninaI nuscIes can easiIy le nanipuIaled lo give lhe inpiession of good liealh-suppoil
funclion, even vhen lhe nuscIes nay have lecone conpIeleIy disconnecled fion lhis
piocess). NonelheIess, il is oflen heIpfuI lo nainlain a feeIing of expansion lhioughoul lhe
couise of a phiase lo enalIe a soIid lul fIexilIe liealh-suppoil.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 99 Technical exercises
efoie leginning a phiase, pIace lhe hands in fionl of lhe naveI, nainlaining a spheiicaI shape
in lhe enply space lelveen lhen. As you inhaIe, aIIov lhe hands lo sepaiale as if lhe aii you
aie liealhing in is fiIIing lhe space lelveen youi hands. As you legin lo sing, ensuie
(pailicuIaiIy al lhe iniliaI onsel) lhal lhe hands do nol conliacl invaid. As you conlinue lhe
phiase, nainlain space lelveen lhe hands, lul nevei fix lheii posilion, even insisl on a
puIsaling novenenl (lul lhe inpelus of lhe puIsalion shouId aIvays le oulvaids, even if lhe
hands giaduaIIy nove cIosei logelhei as noie aii escapes lhe lody).
T3. uzz lhe nusic
liealh, inlonalion, Iegalo, iesonance
Though I do nol geneiaIIy advocale lhe sepaialion of lexl and pilches in lhe Ieaining of a
piece, il can le insliuclive in piepaialion foi peifoinance lo spend sone line focusing on
accuiale inlonalion and a sleady fIov of aii vilhoul liiing lhe voice. Many singeis have a
ceilain sound lhey piefei as a neans of doing lhis, hunning and lhe Iip liiII leing peihaps lhe
lesl exanpIes. The voiced liIaliaI fiicalive |j, lhough nol enpIoyed in any najoi singing
Ianguage, is a consonanl lhal can ieinfoice accuiale inlonalion and sleady aiifIov
sinuIlaneousIy. One can easiIy Ieain lo foin il ly fiIIing lhe cheeks vilh aii and lhen
pionouncing a quiel |lj vhiIe aIIoving a snaII sliean of aii lo Ieave lhe noulh. AIIov lhe
cheeks lo ienain infIaled so as nol lo cieale any excess lension in lhe noulh. The iesuIl is a
luzzing sound, nol dissiniIai lo a sofl liunpel. The lenefil of lhis piocess is lo ieinfoice a
sleady fIov of aii vilh nininaI sliain on lhe voice. AIso, as il is veiy sofl, one can do il
discieelIy in lhe conpany of olheis.
T4. Cel physicaI, lhen slay sliII
posluie, liealh
The finaI lechnicaI advice I shaII offei is ieaIIy nol an exeicise al aII, lul ialhei a vay of
piaclising lhal peinils lhe lody lo le fiee. If you have engaged in even a handfuI of sone of
lhe deconsliuclion and ieconsliuclion exeicises lhal I have piesenled in lhis look, you have
piolalIy inleinaIized a gieal deaI of lhe scoie you aie voiking fion. When you knov a piece
so veII, youi onIy jol Iefl is lo nake nusic, and lhis can le as sinpIe as aIIoving aII of youi
piepaialion lo fIov oul of you. ul aII of lhal voik can easiIy ienain liapped if youi lody
suddenIy gels lighl. Though lhoughls of good liealhing and good posluie shouId le vilh
you in aII of youi piepaialion, foi sone, jusl lhe lhoughl of 'ieIaxing nakes lhen lense. In
K. Skelton Settle the Score 100 Technical exercises
such ciicunslances one nay do veII lo engage in physicaI novenenls duiing lhe couise of
singing. y lhese I do nol nean lhe lypicaI hand indicaling sone lype of iesonance ideaI, oi
niiioiing lhe shape of a neIodic Iine. Though such aclions aie connonpIace in lhe piaclice
ioon, lhey aie noinaIIy unconscious and iionicaIIy inleifeie vilh vocaIisn, as lhey cieale
hidden lody lension. IhysicaI novenenls can onIy heIp ieIease lhe lody and in luin ieIease
lhe voice vhen lhey aie conscious. Aflei lhal lhe possiliIilies aie endIess.
One can aIso foIIov lhe ieveise nelhod and focus on keeping lhe lody alsoIuleIy sliII excepl
foi lhose nuscIes acluaIIy invoIved in ciealing sound. Lven if you aie diIigenl aloul
ieheaising in fionl of a niiioi, lhe lendency foi lhe lody lo expiess nusic as veII as lhe voice
is oflen inevilalIe. Il is nol ny inlenlion oi desiie lhal singeis shouId peifoin conpIeleIy
nolionIess, lul lo le alIe lo do so can aIso le a highIy expiessive device, and oflen such
nonenls aIIov lhe voice lhe giealesl fieedon.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 101 Musical exercises
MusicaI exeicises
The inlense sludy of a scoies nusicaI and lechnicaI denands, vhich lhis looks exeicises ain
lo faciIilale, viII giaduaIIy ieveaI lhe inheienl expiessive eIenenls of a piece as veII as lhe
neans lo execule such expiession. Cood singing naluiaIIy denands soIid lechnicaI execulion,
lul a singei shouId feeI confidenl enough in his oi hei lechnique lhal an uIlinale peifoinance
is peiceived piinaiiIy as an acl of nusicaI and enolionaI expiession. In olhei voids,
iegaidIess of hov nuch line and eneigy has gone inlo acquiiing a soIid lechnicaI execulion of
a piece, lhis voik is iiieIevanl if il does nol seive lo faciIilale an expiessive peifoinance.
Whal one aspiies lo expiess lhiough singing is lolh highIy suljeclive and highIy vaiialIe.
Many songs and iecilalives have a cIeai naiialive lexl, in vhich case lhe singei lakes on lhe
ioIe of sloiy-leIIei. In lhis scenaiio lhe cIaiily of lexluaI neaning, synlax, and enuncialion
diives lhe peifoinances puipose. Olhei songs and aiias oflen iefIecl upon oi ieIale lo a
ceilain expeiience oi feeIing, and lhus lhe acluaI neaning of lhe voids is secondaiy lo lhe
enolion vhich undeiIies lhen. In ieaIily nosl vocaI nusic, Iike noinaI speech in eveiyday
Iife, is al lhe sane line senanlic and sensuous.
WhiIe knoving a pailicuIai voids neaning (especiaIIy in a foieign Ianguage) is necessaiy as a
lasic eIenenl of lexluaI conpiehension, lhis in ilseIf is oflen insufficienl foi liue expiession in
singing. When ve connunicale in day-lo-day Iife, ve iaieIy do so vilh a conscious
avaieness of an individuaI voids neaning. This is liue foi lhe acls lolh of liansnission and
of ieceplion. Woids aie onIy lhe nediun lhiough vhich specific lhoughls and feeIings aie
liansnilled (lhis is vhy one can easiIy 'say one lhing lul cIeaiIy 'nean sonelhing eIse). Il is
lhe diffeience lelveen voids viillen on a page and voids spoken fion soneones noulh and
heail. WhiIe nosl cIassicaI singing oiiginales in a viillen lexl (lhe scoie), in peifoinance
lheie is lhe possiliIily foi lhal inheienl expiession lo le augnenled ly lhe singeis undeiIying
enolionaI lhoughls and feeIings. Thus, ve as singeis nusl considei lhe laIance lelveen
naiialion and enolion, depending on hov a piece is viillen, lul aIso on hov ve feeI aloul
lhal piece ouiseIves.
A nusicaI scoie can al fiisl appeai iesliicling fion an expiessive poinl of viev, as lhe najoiily
of expiessive looIs ve use in speech (speed, ihylhn, pilch, elc.) aie pie-deleinined. Hovevei,
if a singei suiiendeis hin- oi heiseIf lo lhe iesliiclions lhal lhe scoie inposes, aII addilionaI
expiessive eIenenls lhal lhe singei liings lo a peifoinance aie liansnilled oiganicaIIy and
sinceieIy. This is lhe naluie of honesl peifoinance, and lo lhe liue nusician il is inciedilIy
Iileialing lolh physicaIIy and peisonaIIy.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 102 Musical exercises
M1. Woid-isoIalion
Wilhin any nusicaI Iine lheie aie lound lo le ceilain voids vhich have a heighlened
inpoilance, vhelhei ly viilue of lhe neaning of lhe void ilseIf, ils pIacenenl in lhe lexluaI
phiase, oi lhe nannei in vhich lhe conposei has sel il. In consideiing individuaI voids
vilhin a phiase one shouId considei lolh lheii senanlic neaning and lhe expiessivily of lheii
phonelics. This is pailicuIaiIy inpoilanl vhen ve sing in foieign Ianguages, lul aIso ieIevanl
in oui nolhei longue.
In lhis exeicise, isoIale individuaI voids and sing each vhiIsl lhinking of ils senanlic
equivaIenl (if in a foieign Ianguage lhink lhe nolhei-longue equivaIenl). Nexl isoIale lhe
sane voids and lake lhe line lo appieciale lhe conlinalion of consonanls and voveIs lhal
cieale lhen. IinaIIy, do a peisonaI anaIysis of hov oi vhelhei lhe neaning is liansnilled
lhiough lhe voids phonelic eIenenls, and vhelhei lhe nosl expiessive eIenenl is lhe voids
neaning, ils pionuncialion, oi an undeiIying (olhei) lhoughl oi enolion.
M2. Sullexl
In nany silualions lhe senanlic neaning of a lexl viII seen insufficienl lo expIain vhy il has
leen sel lo nusic, pailicuIaiIy in conposilions vilh a dianalic puipose oi inlenlion. In such
ciicunslances il is necessaiy foi lhe peifoinei lo give sone lhoughl lo an appiopiiale sullexl.
This sullexl can le diiven ly an ongoing naiialive as in an opeia (pailicuIaiIy if an aiia is
sung oul of lhe conlexl of lhe fuII voik), lul lhe sullexl nay aIso le a ceilain enolionaI oi
nenlaI slale vhich is leing expiessed lhiough a coIIeclion of voids, pilches and ihylhns. In
lhis exeicise, considei possilIe enolions oi inlenlions appiopiiale lo individuaI phiases oi
voids and sing lhen vilh lhose feeIings oi inlenlions al lhe foiefionl of youi nind. If you can
pIausilIy appIy noie lhan one enolion oi inlenlion in ceilain ciicunslances, iepeal foi each
one. You can easiIy diav upon such lhoughls in peifoinance ilseIf.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 103 Musical exercises
M3. Naiialive vs. expeiience
As slaled alove, nany pieces have al Ieasl sone necessily of naiialion, lhal is, on sone IeveI a
puieIy senanlic expiession is inpoilanl. HappiIy, lo sone exlenl such senanlic liansnission
is lound lo iesuIl fion cIeai diclion and allenlion lo nusicaI delaiIs. NonelheIess, il is
inpoilanl lhal ve as singeis le neilhei oveiIy naiialive noi oveiIy alsliacl in oui expiession.
In lhis exeicise, aIleinale singing a phiase as an acl of naiialion (connunicaling lhe neaning
of lhe voids) and as an acl of expeiience (enlodinenl of enolions and inlenlions in sound).
CiaduaIIy liy lo neige lhese lvo diffeienl nindsels as you find lhe appiopiiale laIance
iequiied of a specific phiase oi piece.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 104 Memori:ation
WhiIe nenoiizalion is nol aIvays a necessily in cIassicaI singing, lheie is no doull lhal a piece
is nol fuIIy inleinaIized unliI one can sing il vilhoul a scoie. Thal leing said, lhal a singei can
sing a piece vilhoul a scoie does nol necessaiiIy nean lhal he oi she has inleinaIized il. The
goaI of nenoiizalion foi a singei is nol lo visuaIize lhe scoie and lhen lo sing fion il
indiieclIy. Ralhei, il is lo execule lhe scoie lhiough lhe fuIIy inleinaIized nenoiy of lhe lody
and lhe nind. Lxcepl in a veiy fev a capeIIa soIo pieces, nenoiizalion is nol onIy a queslion
of ienenleiing ones peisonaI Iine lul aIso of knoving and feeIing lhe nany ieIalionships of
lhal Iine lo lhe olhei voices oi insliunenls invoIved in lhe piece. In shoil, nenoiizalion is lhe
scoie nade nanifesl.
If you have done seveiaI of lhe exeicises in lhis look, and done so Iooking Iess al lhe scoie and
noie al youiseIf in lhe niiioi, lhen you viII IikeIy have nosl of a piece, if nol aII of il,
connilled lo nenoiy aIieady. CeilainIy lhe physicaIily oi lechnicaI execulion of a piece
shouId le veII inleinaIized, and lhis need nol le iepealed endIessIy in lhe finaI nenoiizalion
exeicises. Thus, duiing lhe finaI acls of nenoiizalion one shouId focus on using lhe liain
ialhei lhan lhe voice.
In lhe fiisl exeicise pIay youi vocaI Iine on a keyloaid insliunenl (oi olhei, if you can) vhiIsl
lhinking lhe coiiesponding lexl. This exeicise is siniIai lo lhe neIodic anaIysis done in lhe
eaiIy slages of Ieaining a piece, hovevei, as lhe pilches and voids have aIieady leen
inleinaIized in lhe lody, lhis exeicise seives lo shifl oui souice of iefeience foi lhis execulion
fion lhe scoie lo lhe nind. If possilIe, one shouId aIso pIay inleinillenl neIodies and
acconpanying hainonies so lhal lhese nonenls aie aIso liansnilled fion lhe scoie lo lhe
singeis nenlaI avaieness.
Moulh lhe voids
Anolhei usefuI looI in lhe nenoiizalion piocess is lo noulh lhe voids in line vilhoul voice
vhiIsl lhinking lhe pilches. This is essenliaIIy lhe ieveise of lhe pieceding exeicise and
denands aIieady a cIeai inleinaIizalion of lhe scoie. The noulhing of lhe voids is added
liaining foi lhe lechnicaI execulion of a piece, lul doing lhis in siIence aIIovs nuIlipIe
iepelilions vilhoul liiing lhe voice. Again, vhal you heai in youi head shouId nol le Iiniled
lo an individuaI vocaI Iine, lul shouId enliace lhe olhei voices and insliunenls and lhe
neIodies and hainonies lhal lhey cieale. Such liaining can aIso cone in handy as piepaialion
foi ieheaisaIs so lhal you can idenlify lhe souice of piolIens in pulling a piece logelhei vilh
olhei singeis and/oi insliunenlaIisls.
K. Skelton Settle the Score 105 Conclusions
Civen piopei and lhoiough piepaialion, peifoinance onIy iequiies lhal you aIIov aII youi
haid voik lo cone logelhei in a specific nonenl. e in lhal nonenl, lake in eveiylhing
aiound you vilh aII of youi senses, and aIIov youi piepaialion lo nake aII of lhe appiopiiale
iesponses vhiIe lhe nusic cones oul of you.