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Selected Content from the Vocalists Department

Content is listed chronologically in the order originally published by "The Etude".
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    Minnie Hauk's Music Lesson - July, 1891

    A few days since Mme. Minnie Hauk was called upon by a young choir girl, who desired the great prima donna to give her some information about going abroad to study.   After some pleasant conversation, Mme. Hauk said... Read More

    Phenomenal Voices. - October, 1895

    The singing in Russia—that is, in the Russian Church—is confined entirely to men. All the monks are singers. For a thousand years Russia has been searched for the best voices among the monks, and they are brought to the most... Read More

    Church Music. - June, 1897

    Speaking of choir matters, Dudley Buck says, in the Sunday School Times, that: "1. The choir is supposed to sing with spirit and precision, not accommodating itself to the dragging tendency of the congregation. This is the purpose for which... Read More

    Answers to Voice Questions. - June, 1897

    W. E —Tradition sanctions the pronunciation of the first syllable of the word Abraham as if spelt Ah, when sung in Oratorio. In chanting, such a pronunciation would appear forced and pedantic. I should give the first syllable the long... Read More

    H. W. Greene, Editor Vocal Department of The Etude - June, 1897

    H. W. Greene, Editor Vocal Department of The Etude: Dear Sir.—Referring to your three questions touching the subject of a vocal congress, I would answer to the first: Yes, an exchange of ideas upon any subject which concerns a great... Read More

    The Meat and Drink of the Singer -- Vocal Department. - June, 1897

    This is not a delicate subject. On the contrary, it is a practical, every-day consideration. A well-fed man-- and by that I mean a scientifically well fed man--has resources which the unscientifically fed, or the unfed man is entirely destitute of. The singer must be better nourished than any other professional. The demands made upon him by his profession are greater on the score of brawn and muscle, brain and vitality, in combination, than can possibly be required in any other field of effort. Read More

    The Benefit Of Seeing And Hearing Concert And Opera. - July, 1897

    BY H. LORAN CLEMENTS. Modern education in a sense is a system of self development and instruction. The wide-awake student of today will not take every statement of his text-book or instructor on faith, but will only be satisfied when... Read More

    Francesco Lamperti. - July, 1897

    There have been teachers of the art of singing whose sole aim was effect,—who were inspired by this baser construction put upon the art value. True vocal art invariably has a within and a without point of view. The within... Read More

    More About The Falsetto Voice. - July, 1897

    Editor of the Vocal Department:— Dear Sir.—It is with much interest and pleasure that I have read the article in the May Etude regarding development of the so-called ''falsetto " voice, and heartily agree with every point excepting the statement... Read More

    Song Writers of the Day. - December, 1897

    BY FARLEY NEWMAN.  FRANCESCO PAOLO TOSTI  is by no means the least fortunate of the many sons of the sunny south who have been successful in converting the note of Italia's classic lyre into coin of the realm. Signor Tosti... Read More

    When Vocalists Should Eat. - December, 1897

    Among the questions which vocalists have to settle for themselves is that of eating. Some of the greatest singers of the world can not sing for hours after they have eaten, while others must eat almost the last thing before... Read More

    How To Sing An English Ballad. - December, 1897

    Elizabeth Philp, an English song writer of some distinction, has published a small book, giving the text of the various poems she has set to music, and prefaces them by advice to students on ballad rendering. It has never been... Read More

    Legato. - December, 1897

    BY JOHN C. GRIGGS. Through all the confusion that obtains in regard to the terminology of vocal study, a certain general distinction exists in the minds of all between method and style. Method, I believe, is generally accepted as designating... Read More

    Artistic Singing. - December, 1897

    BY CHARLES R. ADAMS. There are many beautiful voices in America which the public never hears, because they are never brought to the perfection, or to a quarter of the perfection, of their possible beauty. I will try to explain... Read More

    The Problem. - December, 1897

    "Now that I am a singer, how shall I advance myself?" said a young woman to her professor, not long after she had made an appearance, earned a bit of money, and scored a success. The tactful teacher knew better... Read More

    Nordica on Practicing. - February, 1898

    In a recent number of an English Journal Madam Nordica has contributed the first of two articles entitled "Advice to Young Singers." There is much sound sense in what the gifted vocalist has written, though, of course, some of it is rather obvious--as advice is apt to be. On the other hand, it is precisely the obvious that the student will not notice, of which the following advice on practicing is an example. Read More

    The Old Italian Method. - February, 1898

    Distorted, degraded, demoralized; sheltering beneath its plausible respectability presumptions of the grossest sort; a scapegoat compelled to answer for every crime in the vocal catalogue; loaded with the stigma of every possible grade of incompetency; a shield behind which ignorance wards off the thrusts of disappointed hopes; a cloak in which charlatanry and pretense enfolds itself and beguiles the unwary and aspiring student into confidences which are followed by despair and wreck;--all because of a name which, except to the few, comprehends only an indefinite significance, even that being borrowed from the faded glories of a remote past and forced into artificial existence in an unnatural and unfriendly soil. The partially equipped status of the vocal profession is accountable for this in part; not less, however, than the credulity of the average vocal aspirant. Our purpose is to answer clearly the question, so frequently put and vaguely answered, "What is the old Italian method?"--and in so doing to settle, beyond cavil and finally, the necessity at least for further impositions--and to remove the mask of mystery surrounding the subject, which has been its greatest charm. Read More

    Training For the Stage - July, 1898

    Mme. Materna, the great prima donna, says: "One of the most salient features of learning any art is routine; and where can a dramatic singer learn routine except on the operatic stage? Most singers learn after six years of study... Read More

    The Fine Art Of Enunciation - July, 1898

    Fine enunciation is to song what perfect mintage is to coins. As a mere matter of art, every word should be as distinct in its vocal elements as a coin fresh from the mint. Having stated this absolute rule for... Read More

    Song - July, 1898

    Dr. Bernhard Marx, the famous and learned musician, writer, and critic, in his work on "General Musical Instruction,'' says: "We have already said that, if possible, every one should learn music; we now pronounce our opinion more specially, that 'every... Read More

    Good Voice Or Good Singer - July, 1898

    Last spring, as the curtain rose at the commencement of the finest representation of Gounod's "Faust" which have ever had the good fortune to attend; as the first notes of de Reske's recitative floated forth, my neighbor in the next... Read More

    Five Minutes In Her Studio - July, 1898

    In conversation with a young and successful teacher, the other day, I put the question: "With whom have you studied?" Her answer would, perhaps, give as fair an index to her character as it would an explanation of her success.... Read More

    What Repertory Shall I Teach? - July, 1898

    II. When viewing as a whole the foreign repertory, it is less difficult to pursue the plan suggested in the first article on this subject; in fact, it is common among the American profession to teach a composer's entire repertory,... Read More

    Consistent Energy. - June, 1899

    As musician, [Garcia] was informed in all the known forms of melody, instrumental and vocal. He considered nothing musical unuseful. He devoted his life solely to music, as though there were no other life but music. All his reflections fell into musical form. In promenade, at table, in bed, during an instant of leisure--anywhere and under no matter what conditions he occupied himself with music in one way or another. He wrote over forty operas. Read More

    Notes of Cases From the Records of a Voice Hospital. - June, 1899

    I.EDITED BY F. W. WODELL. A professor of singing who had led a busy life died. Among his papers were found memorandum-books inscribed "Records of a Vocal Hospital." They were of no value to the heirs of deceased, and came... Read More

    How To Spend the Half-Hour. - June, 1899

    I believe it is true, as a general thing, that voice lessons are not so long as piano lessons, one-half an hour being the amount of time which, in the majority of cases, the teacher thinks best to devote, or the pupil to pay for, in the domain of voice culture. All this has reference to private instruction, class work being nominally in periods of one hour; though actually, where there are four in the class, it often happens that each pupil gets but fifteen minutes, unless, having the gifts of observation and reflection, he is able to turn to his own use some of the time devoted especially to the others. Read More

    Robert Franz. - June, 1899

    Wagner declared that the voice should be at the command of the composer, whereas Franz was convinced that the "human voice should command the first attention, accompaniment or orchestra forming but a background." "Instruments," said he, "can be improved to meet the demands made upon them; the human voice is given;--who dares venture beyond its limits?" Read More

    Culture. - June, 1899

    Repeated effort and the close attention to effect in tone-study afford in themselves distinct mental balance. The theory--a favorite one with pianists--that "mental output is reinforced by its physical response" may or may not hold, but the habit of concentration, which must ever accompany fruitful vocal practice, is invaluable and exerts an influence in all other directions. Read More

    The Faults of the American Girl - February, 1900

    BY SEMBRICH. There are two big faults with the American girl who would sing. One fault is her temperament and the other fault is her hurry. She is a very proper girl and very nice girl, but she has not... Read More

    The Art of Singing. - March, 1900

    After the voice has been well cultivated the art of singing should be earnestly begun. No one should suppose that because he has a good voice he can sing well. The voice is a physiological matter, singing a spiritual matter,... Read More

    Vibrato-Singing. - March, 1900

    In answer to many questions on the use of the vibrato, let me explain that the term vibrato implies a graceful and not too perceptible wave in the tone. It is imparted only to voices with a correct method of... Read More

    Timely Counsel From Great Singers. - March, 1900

    "By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight we   quote."—Emerson. With each recurring season there come to our land many of the best artists of the day, and in listening to their oftentimes masterly performances there is afforded great opportunity... Read More

    Expression. - March, 1900

    Expression belongs as distinctly to musical art-terminology as form to that of the older arts of painting and modeling. It applies as definitely to the technic of rendering as form can be said to apply to the technic of modeling.... Read More

    Listen and Learn. - March, 1900

    To treat this subject in the style of the "sermon- makers" of forty years ago: First: Why should the vocal student listen? Secondly: To whom should he listen? And Thirdly: How should he listen? As to the first topic: The... Read More

    The Circle Pin. - March, 1900

    As a result of the call for  votes as to which of the ten mottoes published last month should be selected, am glad to report that we have a very definite expression of opinion from different parts of the country.... Read More

    More About Shakespeare. - March, 1900

    Mr. Shakespeare has precipitated what might almost be called a crisis in the affairs of method by his appearance in this country. His views on what constitutes correct tone-production are so vastly different from those held by eminent and successful teachers in France that unconsciously the profession will be doing jury-duty as evidence accumulates. He is keenly conscious of the importance of his mission, and will welcome honest criticism. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - February, 1901

    The question has again and again been asked as to the proper age for young girls to begin the study of singing. To guard against being misunderstood, I am going to state frankly and with due appreciation of the importance of the subject, that the entirely safe age to begin is from six months to a year after the change has occurred from childhood to womanhood. The safety must then depend upon the skill and extraordinary care of the teacher. Read More

    A Tenor's Trial. - February, 1901

    His soul yearned for Chicago, the Mecca of so many musical pilgrims, and he constantly looked forward to a choir position there, after which he felt sure (poor fellow!) that the rest would be easy enough. His discouragements had been many, and another man would have given up in despair; but here at last was his reward, a telegram from a friend urging him to come to Chicago at once and try for a tenor position at the Street Church. Read More

    Some Suggestions Regarding Interpretation. - February, 1901

    So much has been written upon the subject of voice-production that it would seem as if the interpretation of the music to be sung, is largely lost sight of by those who write upon the subject of singing. Many a student succeeds in developing a more or less good voice, and yet, when that is done, is very much in the same position as would be the non-musical owner of a piano or other musical instrument. Read More

    Wagner and Vocal Art. A Word to the Student. III. - February, 1901

    If Wagner had done nothing more than to emphasize the importance of the text in singing, this alone would have been a great advance in vocal art. Read More

    Enunciation in Singing. III. Consonants (Continued). - February, 1901

    The consonants that are made by lip action are about the simplest of all because the action can be so distinctly seen. Read More

    Repertory V. - February, 1901

    It is deeply to be regretted that the balance that usually accompanies maturity is wanting in Madame Marchesi, and the lustre of great attainment is dimmed by her inability to yield graciously to the amenities of increasing years. Read More

    Questions and Answers. - April, 1901

    R. Q.—1. If you wish to  learn sight-reading, and a teacher is not available, buy one of the many good systems in print and study it out by yourself, or get into touch with some teacher by correspondence; for a... Read More

    Vocal Methods - April, 1901

    There are three national  methods of vocal culture, viz.: the Italian, French, and German. The Italian method is that by which nearly all the famous singers of the past and present have been educated. The French school of voice culture... Read More

    The Curse of the Unclean. - April, 1901

    The popular song is a real need of the nation. Whatever cheers an aching heart, whatever brightens a sullen tendency, whatever puts spring in feet lagging with discouragement, whatever turns the coarse jests of a vulgar company to disciplined rhythm... Read More

    As To "Coaching." - April, 1901

    It is easy to see why the professional music-critic “coaches” singers. His critical labors are thus made so much more pleasant and satisfactory. The professional critic would always prefer to praise rather than to condemn, and the singer whom he... Read More

    A Word To Composers and Teachers. - April, 1901

    It was once said of Mark  Hopkins that he could make a university out of a log with himself at one end and a pupil at the other. But the average teacher, and many who think themselves far above the... Read More

    Position While Singing. - April, 1901

    The correct position while singing—chest up, not stiffly, but naturally; abdomen in and weight resting on the balls of the feet—has more to do with the singing than a great many would-be vocalists, beginners especially, seem to think. It does... Read More

    Repertory. VII. - April, 1901

    In taking up “Studies  for Advanced Pupils” I am aware that my audience is somewhat smaller in numbers, not altogether because pupils fall out before they become advanced, but because it is the American custom to employ repertory as a... Read More

    Mr. David Bispham on the Study of the English Song. - May, 1901

    This is the first of a series of talks with prominent artists which Mr. William Armstrong, the well-known critic and writer, has obtained for The Etude. The next will be "The Study of the German Song," by Mme. Schumann-Heink, to be followed by M. Pol Plancon on "The Study of the French Song," and Mme. Lillian Nordica on "Woman in Music," particularly addressed to the American girl music student. Read More

    Value of Choir-membership. - July, 1901

    We must have our organizations and clubs for the cultivation of the externals life, as well as for deeper things of intellectual culture and thought-interchange. Is there anyone within the reach of my voice who knows of a more satisfying... Read More

    What Constitutes a Singer? - July, 1901

    It is already definitely known that the singing and the speaking voice differ only in the plane of vibration, plane of resonance, and trend of the energy used. Otherwise the mediums of expression and the physical force employed are identical.... Read More

    The Making of a Great Singer. - July, 1901

    It has been said that a great singer is born, not made. But this, like a great many other nice sayings, is only a part truth. No singer has ever achieved greatness on just what was born in him. Nor,... Read More

    About Method. - July, 1901

    Much has been said of late, both in the columns of The Etude and else­where, concerning “methods”; but in all the endeav­ors to show the weakness of one method and the strength of another the main point has been lost.... Read More

    Interpretative Analysis: "Who is Sylvia?" By Franz Schubert. - July, 1901

    In the interpretation of a song the mere singing of the words in an intelligent way is not sufficient to bring before an audience the composer’s as well as the poet’s intention. Something more than intelligence is required, and that... Read More

    A Substitute for the Italian Aria. - July, 1901

    An article appeared in these columns last issue urging the importance of American composers writing in the larger form. I desire to emphasize that need under the above heading. The subjects commonly treated by the majority of those whose music... Read More

    The Passing Of The Italian Aria - July, 1901

    The pupils’ recital indexes, with reasonable accuracy, the popular trend of repertory. If a few of the best or worst teachers should alone fall under observation one could easily err in his summing up, but, if the aggregate of studio... Read More

    Mr. Pol Plançon - The Study of the French Song. - July, 1901

    There is both elegance and finish in the versatility of Mr. Plançon, and whether it is opera, a sacred composition, or a song, there need never be any uncertainty of his artistic poise. He is a man of absolute adaptability, and, after all, if we consider a moment, the lack of this quality, or perhaps, one may say, the lack of its development, prevents success oftener than many more recognized shortcomings. Read More

    The Singer's Opportunity. - December, 1901

    Music has its own language, but it is never a defi­nite language as we have by the use of words. It only presents pictures, and this effect must be very largely aided by the imagination of the hearer; but, the moment words are used in connection with the music, a definite idea is conveyed, an idea which will be much more intelligible and concrete to the ordinary unmusical audience than will be the more abstract ideas suggested by the music alone. This is where the singer's great opportunity lies. Read More

    Technic in Singing. II. - December, 1901

    I may now pass on to the subject-matter proper of this paper, — Technic in Singing, — which I will divide up into vari­ous sections, beginning with the Singing Breath. Many words, both written and spoken, have been wasted on... Read More

    How Not to Make a Song. - December, 1901

    It is strange how the uninitiated view music: To some a song is just simply a tune, a succession of tones arranged in an inoffensive manner, conveying no par­ticular thought, and therefore pliable enough to be twisted into companionship with... Read More

    The Technic of Vocal Expression. - December, 1901

    When we listen to the interpretation of a great artist in song, it is not necessary to the full enjoyment of the work that we make an exhaustive analysis of how it is done; but if perhaps we are also... Read More

    Analysis of "Voi, Che Sapete." - December, 1901

    I realize that the infinite care and thought be­stowed on a song when increased to meet the require­ments of an operatic rôle means great toil and ex­penditure of time. But it has its own reward. The truly great opera-singers of to-day are great because of just this great amount of time devoted to their work. Read More

    Prospective. - December, 1901

    Among the subjects that are to claim the attention of vocalists during the year of 1901-2, the following have been selected because of their practical value to the profession. So much has been said and written on respiration, tone-placing, and... Read More

    Registers. - May, 1902

    Following a similar line of thought to that expressed in the article in The Etude for February, 1902, it has led me to the consideration of another phase of voice cultivation in which there is a wide divergence of opinion... Read More

    Natural Vocalism. - May, 1902

    Many find the art of Voice-Production a sub­tle matter beyond their comprehension; yet there is none so facile, and that for a very excellent reason, viz.: the mechanism of the instrument is perfect. Given health, and an in­telligent study of... Read More

    Signor Sbriglia and Some of His Pupils. - May, 1902

    Perhaps there is no teacher living at pres­ent more prominent in the public eye than this G. Sbriglia, who has such unique, if not ex­treme, views on tone-production. As I knew him in my student-days, he represented the very antithesis of the modern popular ideas on vocal technic. Read More

    Outlets for Vocalists. - May, 1902

    This is, in some respects, a painful subject. Too many men and women say to themselves: “I'll study the voice. I may sing; if I cannot, I certainly can teach.” The professions seem to parallel in this particular; failure to... Read More

    The Best School for Expression. - May, 1902

    BY ROBERT D. BRAINE. If a teacher has in his class “dull and muddy met­tled” pupils who seem to be hopelessly destitute of taste, feeling, expression, and enthusiasm, he cannot do a better thing than advise them to go to... Read More

    Questions and Answers. - September, 1902

    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... Read More

    How the Voice Looks. - September, 1902

    Prof. E. W. Scripture contributes an article entitled "How the Voice Looks" to a recent number of the Century. Professor Scripture is director of the Psychological Laboratory of Yale University, and if his views are accepted there promises to be... Read More

    Operatic Voices. - September, 1902

    W. J. Henderson clears  up some of the fog of adulation that exists around the present-day opera-singers. He writes in his department of the New York Times: The unthinking worship of the opera-singer has its origin in the supposition that... Read More

    Why Am I So Stupid? - September, 1902

    This question was asked me some time ago by a pupil who for years had been singing with a very tightly constricted throat, so much so, that the quality was very harsh and poor, and there was very little power.... Read More

    Study in Phrasing. I. - September, 1902

    Because of the intimate relations of poetry and vocal music there is much light to be cast from verses upon tunes, and from tunes upon verses. As soon as we begin to set words in order, into feet, lines, and... Read More

    The Technic of Vocal Expression. No. III. Tone-Connection. - September, 1902

    The principal varieties of tone-connection in singing may be classified as follows: Legato, Portamento, Marcato, and Staccato. The term Legato is from the Italian legare, to bind, and indicates a tone-connection where the pitch of one tone begins directly at... Read More

    The Awakening. - September, 1902

    Some awakenings are gradual. The dream of success has not been a troubled dream, but a season of repose interspersed with moments of self-sacrificing effort. The gifts, however, were so abundant that even such efforts gave a respectable harvest of... Read More

    Accompanying Singers. - September, 1902

    It is not easy to give directions for this most rare accomplishment. There are so many sides to it and conditions confronting it that a book could and should be written which would, as far as possible, exhaust the subject. Let us first consider the accompanist, and, because so many more women than men aim to succeed in this field, we will designate her as she. Read More

    The Influence of Our Composers Upon Vocal Art in America. - June, 1903

    Art becomes national, it seems to me, only when it expresses the egotism of the race. There must be a subconscious certitude of being before there is the impulse to voice those sentiments which individualize a nation. Read More

    A Talk with Alberto Randegger, By William Armstrong - January, 1904

    "English is a good language to sing, no matter what is asserted to the contrary. Personally, I class English, next to Italian, as the best language for singing. But the worst of the matter is that so few speak it properly. Quite unfortunately the English do not study English diction, yet they should study it as they study spelling and grammar." Read More

    Question and Answer Column (Vocalists) - March, 1904

    Desire.—The bass voice may ascend to E-flat or E-natural above the bass staff; the baritone to an F or G; the tenor to a B-flat above the baritone. The compass of each of these voices should be about two... Read More

    The Gleaner's Column - March, 1904

    The life of a musician is peculiarly isolated. There are few, if any, callings that so absorb the time and energy and interest of their followers. Years of preliminary study are necessary to fit the singer for the stage,... Read More

    The Head Voice - March, 1904

    BY D. A. CLIPPINGER.   Owing to a very elastic nomenclature all statements relative to the voice need explanation. Such a variety of terms is used in referring to the different vocal processes that it is often impossible to... Read More

    Musical Instruction in Schools, by Camille Saint-Saëns - March, 1904

    BY C. SAINT-SAENS.   [Saint-Saëns, the composer, who is spending part of the winter in Egypt, has written a choral composition entitled "Hymne a la France," which is to be used in French schools and colleges. We reproduce below... Read More

    Ancient and Modern Songs - March, 1904

    BY HORACE P. DIBBLE.   The art of singing and the art of song writing represent to-day, in their respective spheres, their share in the great evolution of the art of music. There are fashions and fads in music as... Read More

    Vocal Department - March, 1904

    CONDUCTED BY H.W. GREENE   I have told you of the Spaniard who always put on his spectacles when about to eat cherries, that they might look bigger and more tempting. In like manner I make the most of... Read More

    Mental Touch - March, 1904

    BY ANNA E. BAILEY.   There are two totally irrelevant pursuits which have greatly helped me to an understanding of artistic pianoforte touch. At first blush they both appear strikingly far-fetched. They are: The study of voice placement and... Read More

    Madame Marchesi - Some of Her Teaching Principles - April, 1904

    Madame Marchesi would strike you with interest no matter where you might see her or in what ignorance you might be of her distinguished personality. Of good height and with an erect bearing and carriage that make her appear taller,... Read More

    Dr. Theodor Lierhammer On the German Lied - June, 1904

    In talking on a subject intimate to any man, one gets a glimpse of his equipment, quite aside from any opinions that he may express on the work that absorbs him. Mr. John Drew has the most complete vocabulary of any man on the stage with whom I have talked, the outcome of a study of many rôles by well-equipped dramatists each with his special range of expression. With Dr. Lierhammer, in telling a story in general conversation, he gives it briefly, simply, yet graphically, and full of fancy--the result of study of the exact meaning of the words that he delivers in his lieder, and their relation to the picture that they sustain, conveying thus unconsciously the prime point in his art--the equal importance of the poet and the composer in the song. Read More

    M. Jean de Reszke as Teacher. - October, 1904

    The announcement that M. Jean de Reszke, the famous operatic tenor, had decided to turn professor and teach others the art which has brought him wealth and a world-wide reputation has had the only result that could have been expected. Twenty-four hours after his intention was made known in the Paris papers M. de Reszke had received applications from forty-two persons by letter, telephone, or otherwise to be enrolled among his pupils. Read More

    Manuel Garcia--The Grand Old Man of Music. - October, 1904

    The first essential of longevity, according to the authorities, is to start life with a good constitution. No doubt that was Manuel Garcia's endowment; but it was not evident in 1829, when he quitted the operatic stage because "his physique was not equal to the strain." But there is a second condition, hardly less essential, an active life in a pursuit that gives pleasure. Read More

    Is English a Singable Language? - October, 1904

    A leading teacher in Cincinnati once said to me: "There is really no vowel harder for our American pupils to utter than just the standard one, the Italian 'ah.'" This remark led me to make some investigations... Read More

    Shopping Voice Students. - October, 1904

    The final decision upon a voice teacher is based entirely upon impression. It may be because a studio is beautiful, or the appearance of a teacher pleases, or meaningless flattery has made an impression, or one may be influenced by a teacher who states that in his instruction he combines all the better vocal methods of the world, thus obtaining wonderful results, or by a teacher who states that he can guarantee a church position, or a teacher who assures the student that he possesses a remarkable voice, great dramatic talent, and he will eventually place him in grand opera. Read More

    Ease in Singing. - October, 1904

    It may seem to some that this is going a long way 'round to remedy a very simple matter. "Why not tell the pupil to stop singing nasally and have the matter over with at once?" Read More

    Is the Profession Overcrowded? - October, 1904

    The general opinion is that the business of music teaching is overdone, that more persons than are necessary are engaged in it. An unusual number of calls during this summer for men to take charge of vocal departments, has strengthened some of my convictions and I think may properly form the basis of some observations. Read More

    A Teacher's Competition. - October, 1904

    There are many young teachers to-day who are fighting the competition of accidents. They realize it, and rebel against it, but yet content themselves with the consciousness of their own worthy efforts, fostering the determination to win in the long run, secure in the feeling that in music, as in other walks of life, "right will prevail." Read More

    The Meaning of Song. A Quotation from Mendelssohn. - February, 1906

    Music is more definite than words, and to seek to explain its meaning in words is really to obscure it. Read More

    A Great Singer's Advice to Students - February, 1906

    I am of the opinion that the voice of the American woman is, as a rule, better than that to be found abroad. They say we Americans sing through our noses. This is hardly true. At any rate, we do not sing through our noses half so much as the French do. Read More

    Train the Ear - February, 1906

    The modern complaint of the listener is not of the nervousness of the singer, but rather is it of the too evident self-consciousness of the vocalist; and we credit it, however truly I know not, to the modern methods of what is called voice production. Read More

    An Episode - February, 1906

    It is very inspiring to realize that the greater the artist, the surer one may be that extraordinary attention has been given to detail in the preparation for public appearance. Read More

    Hints to Young Song Composers. - February, 1906

    If you are a singer, you will probably produce a much more singable composition than a composer who does not fully comprehend what the human voice can do. Notable instances among American songwriters are J. C. Bartlett, Carl Sobeski and Eugene Cowles, all of whom are as well known vocalists as composers. Read More

    Breathing Exercises. - February, 1906

    The two acts of inhaling and of exhaling constitute respiration. The art of correct breathing ought to be, from the very beginning, one of the most important objects of the student who aspires to become a skilful singer. The act of respiration is under the control of the midriff or diaphragm, a large, thin muscle closing the case of the chest cavity and separating the thorax from the abdomen. Read More

    American and German Opera Conditions Contrasted. - February, 1906

    BY C. M. HOOK.  [We are glad to give space in this issue to the following letter from a correspondent of The Etude, Miss C. M. Hook, now in Berlin. It gives some interesting details as to work in Grand... Read More

    My Pupil. - February, 1906

    [I]f the teacher is able to hold for a long term of study the less talented pupil, she who may be called one of average talent, he is entitled to all the credit of the success. Here is work that is interesting, and the results to the earnest teacher even more gratifying; for he not only must be accredited with the negative virtue of doing no harm, but with the ability to achieve where success seemed elusive, if not impossible. Read More

    A Conversation. - February, 1906

    One of the most characteristic things about a man of the world is his reticence in the presence of strangers--especially so, concerning his own affairs. These two men, in addition to the conventional caution of their kind, were also each a little sensitive as to his profession. It is not quite explicable, yet we sometimes see a full grown man trailing about with a music roll under his wing and not at all shy. There are others, however, who are. Read More

    One Side of the Musical Situation. - February, 1906

    A teacher in any line of musical work should always say a good word for the betterment of the church music and the putting of it in the hands of professional people at reasonable salaries. He should impress on his pupils and such of their families as he comes in contact with, the fact that only thoroughly prepared musicians should enter the profession. Read More

    Three Modern Opera Composers As Seen By The Caricaturist. - February, 1906

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    Choral Societies and Their Progress. - July, 1906

    What a great mission the choral society has, its aim and object being to give the very best, and one of the highest forms of music; so that really it is an educative force, for it puts before the people--sometimes musically unlettered--the choral works of the masters. Read More

    What is a Sight Reader? - July, 1906

    There are numerous "methods" of sight singing, and while they differ considerably, especially in the names of things, they all demand a good working knowledge of staff notation, and the ability to read intervals in any key, in both the G and F clefs. Read More

    A Question. - July, 1906

    It is the natural ambition of students to go to Europe; but what is the object or idea in going? Do they have a definite idea as to what they are going for? From my association with the student colony in some of the largest cities of Europe, I should say they have not. Naturally there are exceptions. Read More

    The Americanization of the European Opera Stage. - July, 1906

    The so-called American invasion of the European lyric stage is a comparatively recent event. Sixty years ago, when the Jenny Lind furore was at its height, American opera singers were scarcely known in Europe; towards the latter end of the last century, the pay-sheets of the Metropolitan Opera Co., New York, and of Covent Garden, London, contained a large proportion of American women artists; and to-day, though transatlantic tenors, baritones and basses are seldom heard away from their own country, the American prima donna has become a most important personage in the operatic world. Read More

    A Great Work For The Teacher And Singer - July, 1906

    The Italian School of Florid Song, By Pier Francesco Tosi. Imported by Charles Scribner's Sons. $1.75 net. Read More

    Smatterers. - July, 1906

    Why not organize a "Smatter Club," its membership to be composed of persons who confess with nonchalant air, that they have just a smattering of this or that. Read More

    Loyalty. - July, 1906

    Loyalty is based, not alone upon good intentions on the part of the teacher, not upon congeniality between teacher and pupil, but upon the teacher's ability to command first, interest, then obedience, and then results. Read More

    Recitals. - July, 1906

    There isn't very much that is new to be said either for or against the practice of periodically bringing pupils forward for a test. Probably no argument against it could offset the value which the pupil has gained by such an experience; but if there are arguments against it, they should be presented. Read More

    A Sovereign of Song - January, 1909

    A matter of "keen interest" it must indeed be to every prima donna of to-day--this amazing, magic trumpet that can record the subtle, individual quality of a singer's voice, and give it gloriously forth again whenever desired. By means of this weird invention the present vintage of fine voices can be bottled up like rare wine and poured out in future years. More wonderful still--like the widow's cruse this trumpet never grows empty--from its uptilted mouth the flow of song will stream on continuously, if so desired and directed. Read More

    Garcia the Great - May, 1909

    The Story of the Teacher of Jenny Lind   An Account of the Most Remarkable Career in the History of Musical Education—How One Man Lived to See a Century of Musical Advance in Which it Was His Privilege to Take... Read More

    Tone, the Groundwork of All Good Singing - Mme. Lillian Blauvelt - July, 1909

    I believe that records of the voices of great singers of our own time will become rare in the future and that these records will therefore be highly valued and prized as family heirlooms along with choice paintings and the family plate as evidences of the culture of one's ancestors. Read More

    Lessons From the Life of Jenny Lind. - July, 1909

    Although most readers of the present day will think of Jenny Lind's voice as that of the coloratura soprano, it is a fact revealed by history that her voice was not naturally flexible and that the flexibility was only produced after the greatest effort. Her normal range was from the B below the treble staff to the second G above the treble staff--two octaves and five notes. While her fioratura singing is described as being so beautiful that words are wanting to tell how remarkable it really was, it was the wonderful sweetness of the voice itself that made her greatest fame. One writer states that she had "all the volume and sonority of the true soprano dramatico, with the lightness and flexibility peculiar to the more ductile and airy soprano sfogato." Read More

    Why American Girls Succeed in Opera - July, 1909

    The young aspirant for operatic honors should secure a special course in dramatic study if possible. There are some excellent schools in America and the graduates of these schools have a knowledge of acting and stagecraft that frequently secures them positions in representative American companies. Read More

    The Song Masterpieces of Robert Schumann - June, 1910

    Mme. Johanna Gadski   [Editor's Note :—Mme. Johanna Gadski, one of the foremost Wagnerian Sopranos of our day and also one of the most successful interpreters of the "Art Songs" of Schumann, Schubert, Franz, Brahms and other masters, has given... Read More

    Department for Singers - Editor for March E. Davidson Palmer, Mus. Bac., Oxon - March, 1912

    In presenting the following article to the readers of The Etude, we must ask them to recollect that the sole mission of the editor is to seek for the truth in all its phases. It is not within the editor's province to determine arbitrarily what is right and what is wrong. Consequently many articles are presented in this magazine which may be exactly opposite to the principles maintained by some of our teachers. We cannot take one side and maintain that that side only is right. We must present all sides of a question. Read More

    Success in Concert Singing - An Interview with the Distinguished English Contralto Mme. Clara Butt - February, 1913

    Lord Bolingbroke in his essay on the shortness of human life shows how impossible it is for a man to read more than a mere fraction of a great library though he read regularly every day of his life. It is very much the same with music. The resources are so vast, and time is so limited, that there is no opportunity to learn everything. Far better is it for the vocalist to do a little well than do much ineffective. Read More

    Truths for Singing Teachers and Students - October, 1913

    By the most renowned teacher of Singing of the Past Century MME. MATHILDE MARCHESI Prepared in co-operation with her daughter Mme. Blanche Marchesi   [The name of Marchesi is so well known in the musical world that it seems... Read More

    After A Day's Work - September, 1914

    The singer must form the habit of listening to the promptings of the inner guiding voice, and yield to it the ready and implicit obedience of the trained organs of sound. This is spontaneity of expression; artistic abandon. Read More

    Some Aspects of Breathing - September, 1914

    Breath management is the basis of vocal technics. This feature of the art of singing can with considerable degree of certainty be gained without the immediate aid of a teacher. The earnest hope of the writer is that this sane and safe system of breathing will reach and substantially aid many students of song who for one reason or another are unable to get in personal touch with a teacher of singing. Read More

    An Important Suggestion to the Student of Singing - January, 1916

    There is a time between the well-practiced task of tone-work, solpeggio-study (sic) and song-preparation, and its rendition at lesson to the singing-master that should be well considered by the pupil. It is the time that is spent immediately before the... Read More

    Why Singing Is an Excellent Exercise - January, 1916

    Even in church, with almost everybody snoozing away under the droning stupidity of an over-worked sermon, the songs of the choir awakens the congregation to new life and energy. In churches where all may join in the singing, there is enough exercise to interest even the fat, the over-fed, and those who forget to do gymnastics all the rest of the week. Read More

    What Gives Sweetness to the Voice? - January, 1916

    The teacher who properly criticizes both and is able thus to prevent the loss of sweetness in the voice by forcing or pushing, is the best guide to beautiful tone-production. A teacher, no matter how capable, can only be the guide and pilot and without intelligent, hard work one cannot attain the goal of high ideals and faith born of technical mastery. Read More

    A Lesson from the Life of Jenny Lind - January, 1916

    The life of Jenny Lind (1820-1887) is, without doubt, the most useful model to be held up to the young student of singing, for although hers, with the exception of Malibran's, was the shortest operatic career of any great prima-donna,... Read More

    Learning the Coloratura Style - January, 1916

    Though born in Texas, Mme. Yvonne de Treville may be regarded as an international singer, since she is as well known in Europe as here. She enjoyed very excellent training as a coloratura soprano, and has appeared in opera at the Opera Comique, Paris; Opéra Imperial, Petrograd; Théatre de la Monnaie, Brussels, and at the Imperial Opera in Vienna. Read More

    Frances Alda - What the American Girl Should Know About an Operatic Career - November, 1916

    From an interview secured expressly for The Etude, with the noted prima donna soprano FRANCES ALDA (Mme. Gatti-Casazza) of the Metropolitan Opera Company   (Editor's Note.—Mme. Frances Alda, like Mme. Melba, was born in Australia. Her studies in music... Read More

    Elasticity and Relaxation - April, 1920

    If the breath-controlling muscles should be completely relaxed the breath would leave the lungs in a feeble gasp and it would be impossible to produce a tone. Yet if these breath-controlling muscles be held too tight their action will be labored, there will be too heavy a pressure on the tone-producing muscles within the larynx and the tone will be forced and hard. Read More

    Fear is the Main Enemy of the Singer - April, 1920

    People seem to forget the restorative vigor of nature. It is astonishing with the normal healthy individual how rapidly nature can remedy the inevitable ills to which we are all subject. Of course, if you are weak and sickly it is hard luck and about your only chance for success in this life, whether as a singer or in any other department of activity, will depend on your building yourself up into health and strength. Read More

    Hearing Tone Accurately - April, 1920

    Beauty of tone comes as the result of freedom of tone production. This was the foundation of the old Italian method. The older Italians learned this centuries ago and it was the understanding of this law that enabled them to produce so many great singers. It is as true to-day as it was a hundred years ago. Freedom of tone production means precisely what it says. The absence of strain or rigidity so that the vocal mechanism can function with freedom and elasticity. Read More

    Mary Garden - The "Know How" in the Art of Singing - July, 1920

    Mary Garden was born in Aberdeen. Scotland, but came to America with her parents when she was eight years of age and was brought up in Chicopee, Mass.; Hartford, Conn.; and Chicago, Ill. She studied violin, piano and voice in Chicago and then went to Paris where she became a pupil of Trabedello, Chevallier and Fugère. Since 1910 she has been connected with many of the greatest successes of the Chicago Grand Opera Company. Read More

    Julia Claussen - Modern Roads to Vocal Success - April, 1921

    American children need to be constantly taught to reverence the great creators of the land. Why, Jenny Lind is looked upon as a great national heroine in Sweden, much as one might regard George Washington in America. Before America can go about musical educational work properly, the teachers must inculcate this spirit, a proper appreciation of what is really beautiful, instead of a kind of wild, mob-like orgy of blare, bang, smash and shriek which so many have come to know as ragtime and jazz. Read More

    Emma Calve - Practical Aspects of the Art of Studying Singing - October, 1923

    The voice demands care and sensible protection. Some singers seem to carry this too far. Patti, for instance, did not even read on the days when she was to sing. Her husband, Nicolini, had a theory that the voice was so delicate that even the act of reading caused a strain upon the eye muscles that was in turn communicated to the throat. Patti also did not attend rehearsals, in order that her voice might be spared. We may laugh at these precautions; but we must remember the very great length of time that the great singer preserved her voice. Read More

    The Thresholds of Vocal Art - MME. AMELITA GALLI-CURCI - January, 1924

      An Interview Secured Expressly for THE ETUDE with the World=Famous Diva MME. AMELITA GALLI-CURCI Biographical The success of Galli-Curci has often been described as "meteoric " but familarity with her biography reveals that, as in the case with all... Read More

    Sing With Your Heart! By Frieda Hempel, Internationally Renowned Prima Donna - April, 1939

    I see no harm in learning by imitation, provided that the models are worth imitating, and that the imitation does not become mechanical or slavish. Read More

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