HISTORY OF VOCAL PERFORMANCE AND SCIENCE
The history of vocal performance is a scientific discipline that sheds light on the evolution, process and patterns of singing as a separate form of art in musical culture that has been formed on the European continent for several millennia. The basis of human singing is the voice function of the organism associated with speech, acoustic features of phonetics of speech. A person’s professional singing is different, depending on the type of musical art, genre, style and manner of performance. The typology of singing as a type of creative activity can be as follows: choral singing, ensemble singing, solo singing.
The foundations of modern solo singing were laid in the opera art, where the basic patterns, principles, techniques of vocal performance were revealed. A type of solo singing is vocal-chamber singing, which was formed in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century. the opera singing greatly influenced the choral performance. Singing in opera is the highest quality level of creative activity of a professional singer. The path of transformation of singing from the simplest forms of vocal performance in the past to the most complex opera singing on the contemporary theatrical stage must be considered as a history of vocal performance. Studying this story is a component of domestic vocal education and training of a professional singer of high qualification.
The aim of the course is to consider the historical ways of development and to reveal the patterns of the evolution of singing in the musical culture of Europe from ancient times to the present. There are very few textbooks or manuals on the history of vocal performance. This is explained by the difficulty of describing the singing skills of the singers of the past, the sound of their voices, the inaccessibility and limitations of documents of past epochs, which would testify to the level and technology of singing, illuminate the musical-aesthetic issues of the performing practice of a particular era. Well-known manuals on the history of vocal performance of professor RAM them. L. Gnesinakh Yaroslavtseva “Foreign Vocal Schools”  and professor of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine P. Tchaikovsky B. P. Gnyd “History of Vocal Art”  illuminates the problem from the standpoint of vocal schools and vocal pedagogy, which developed completely in the nineteenth – early twentieth centuries. Because of this, “what did they sing?” And “how did they sing?” Require new historical studies.
The opinion of the professor of MDK them. PI Tchaikovsky DL Aspelunda (Moscow) that it is the performance practice that determines the purpose and tasks of the singers training, their education and upbringing [2. – P. 7], and not vice versa. “Traditional singing theory,” Aspelund writes, “neglected the musical and artistic side of pedagogical and performing practice. The pedagogical process thus became an abs-tractable, schematic character that did not at all conform to the variety of performing practices. … Traditional vocal-pedagogical theory was limited to attempts to create a technique in the field of vocal and technical work, which is based mainly on natural-scientific data on the operation of the voice apparatus ”[2. – P. 8].
There is still a gap between vocal performance and pedagogy. This discrepancy explains the phenomenon of Maria Callas, who used in the opera singing the high register transition and the sound of the breast register, breaking all the canons of modern vocal pedagogy regarding the timbral equality of the singing range, and reached the tragic peaks of dramatic vocal performance. Here it is necessary to put the problem of vocal and performing styles, which capture and reflect the peculiarities of singing of a certain era. These features influence the composer’s creativity and determine the character of the vocal intonation of the musical work, the tessitura of singing and vocal range, the formation of the type of human voice.
The concept of “style” is multifaceted and reflects aesthetic and historical aspects. The concept of “style” can define a certain artistic direction of the era, creative personality – the individual style of the artist, the quality of the work of art, musical and performance interpretation – the style of the performer, national characteristics of a particular school, etc. Style is defined as a personal, concrete manifestation of the creative method [28. – P. 109]. Style in music, according to the Russian scientist S. Skrebkov – is the highest degree of artistic unity, which is based on a certain dominant principle of the development of musical material: thematicism, musical language, form-formation [24. – P. 10], – the principle of ostinatnost, variability and centralizing unity, which synthesizes in itself the sharpness and variability of the previous styles. It is the work of music that concentrates and reflects all the elements of musical art: composer’s creativity, the process of performance, the demand of the listener, forming his musical consciousness.
The evolution of the art of singing is the evolution of vocal-performing styles, each based on its own theory, which may not be in line with and contradict the style and theory of the previous or next era. At the heart of the vocal and performing practice of different eras lies the problem of using the nature of the singing voice.