The question received relating to accompanying singers was so pertinent to present conditions that I have made an extended allusion to it in the article heading this department.
Ida H.—The Baritone, when singing from a treble score, pitches his voice an octave lower, and this unconsciously; for, as a rule, those who sing songs become accustomed to the use of the treble clef, without realizing that they are using the voice an octave lower than the melody is being played. He uses the same pitch in both treble and bass clefs.
2. For bass and baritone songs send for the classified lists of Presser, Schirmer, Ditson, and Schmidt, specifying the voice.
3. The “Creation” or the “Messiah.”
4. The answer to question No. 2 applies also to lyric soprano.
5. She should extend her range to meet the requirements of the oratorio, the “Elijah” and Gaul’s “Holy City.” She should be able to sing now.
6. By registering with one of the two most reliable agencies.
7. I think most of the New York vocal teachers answer to this requirement.
8. From October to June.
Clara P. H.—I do not think violin-playing can injure the voice. I have heard many violinists sing well, which strengthens me in this view. If I had special solicitude in this regard I should establish the physique in the direction which gave the most promise first.
M. E. B.—Any time after sixteen years for the girl, and for the boy not until his voice had changed and was secure in its new tone.
Mother M. M.—Your letter gives evidence of earnestness, which must yield ideal results. I would mark a course for your girls and make them conform to it, giving in the order named: Behnke, Sieber, Wieck, Marchesi’s twenty, Nava’s “Elements,” and Lütgen’s “Trill,”—Tosti’s are also good to follow Sieber, but they should be used with the Sieber syllables rather than with “ah.” As to aiding you in the matter of repertory, I feel really quite helpless. Even my many hundred regular teaching songs, all of which have found a permanent place in my library because of some special value, sometimes fail me. The best music is best worth teaching, and publishers are going so extensively into collections of late that you can hardly go wrong, if you equip yourself with them. Schirmer’s “Modern Lyrics,” four volumes, and Ditson’s “Modern Classics” are fine examples.
X.—1. Make a close friend of the first six pages of Behnke and Pierce, Volume I, and the chances are they will help you out of the breathiness without contracting the throat.
2. For pianoforte-work send to general “Question and Answer” department of The Etude.
3. Your ideal vocal solo is not hard to find. Ask the publisher of The Etude to send you “on selection” a group of the old Italian songs which formerly belonged to the Martens Brothers’ catalogue, and you will have an embarrassment of riches.
I have seen no compilations at hand of Irish songs, and therefore cannot help you. If the question comes when I am in New York, will make a search for the thing you want.