Fundamentals of Vocal Pedagogy Lecture Course – 3
Attempts to create a theory of solo singing have been undertaken repeatedly. Almost every vocal and methodical work of the XIX century claims to the level of theoretical generalization. “The theory of voice production”, “New theory of voice production”, “Textbook of singing”, “School of singing” are the names of vocal and pedagogical works in which information from related sciences is combined with methodological instructions. In addition to technical tasks, such works contained instructions of a musical, aesthetic and performing nature. In vocal and pedagogical practice, the tendency toward the natural sciences, which D. L. Aspelund , developed in contrast to the deep-rooted traditions of empirical teaching.
The theory of solo singing should correspond to modern natural-scientific concepts of the activity of the vocal apparatus in singing. In the field of vocal pedagogy, the following issues should be considered as priority: 1. The nature of the human voice and the structure of the singing range; 2.use of the nature of voice in opera and choral performance of different eras of musical art (the principles of the use of singing voice in vocal and performing practice determine the operation of the voice apparatus); 3.mechanism of the development of voice material, which forms the basis of the teaching methodology and the process of voice production. The identification, development of vocal material, the formation of timbral qualities of sound (strength, sonicity, flight, density, volume, vibrato) determines the process of vocal learning. This approach allows us to study not only the vocal and methodical treatises of the past, but also the vocal stylistics of opera and choral music, to trace the formation, development and change of the theory of vocal pedagogy and performance.
In vocal pedagogy, the theory of singing voice is determined by three factors: the register nature of the singing voice; acoustic capabilities of the vocal apparatus; activity of the organs of the vocal apparatus in singing. An important problem is the connection of speech settings and vocal position, the solution of which depends on the freedom of singing.
a) The register nature of the singing voice
According to D.L. Aspelund, “the register mechanism is the original, natural voice resource, which is somehow modified, mixed, cultivated, depending on individual characteristics, from requests for performance, artistic practice.” Meanwhile, it is this resource that is least developed and little cultivated in vocal and pedagogical practice. In the history of solo singing, the problem of the formation and use of voice registers in performing was the most acute and complex.
Voice registers reflect the special operation of the vocal folds. The transition from register to register is accompanied by a change not only in sound quality, but also in the activity of the organs of the voice apparatus. This entails a change in the acoustic properties of the singing sound, because the manifestation of the resonance of the cavities of the vocal apparatus in the registers is different.
The modern definition of the “register of singing voice” is based on the definition of M. Garcia-son given in the Complete Treatise on the Art of Singing (1843) – this is “a series of uniformly sounding sounds taken by a single physiological mechanism”. Traditionally, two registers (thoracic and falsetto) are distinguished in male voices, and three in female (chest, central or mixed and head) registers, referring to the different anatomical structure and functionality of the male and female larynx. In vocal and pedagogical literature there is a point of view that denies the register nature of the singing voice, and also recognizes the existence of more than three registers.
A study of the problem of register adaptability of the singing voice by V.L. Chaplin (Moscow, 1977) showed that the register restructuring in the activity of the vocal folds of men, women and children occurs according to uniform laws, regardless of the size of the vocal apparatus, and “the classic definition of the presence of two registers in men and three in women, based on the auditory perception of sharp register fractures in the voice range, is not physiologically sound. ”
The nature of the voice registers was clarified in the middle of the 19th century by M. Garcia-son, who first observed the operation of the vocal folds. In the thoracic register, the vocal folds closed completely along the entire length, and the arytenoid cartilage also participated in the vibrations. In falsetto – the arytenoid cartilage pressed tightly against each other, and a gap was formed between the edges of the vocal folds.
According to Dmitriev, in men in the thoracic register, the vocal folds close tightly, the closing depth extends to almost the entire thickness of the tense folds. In the falsetto register they are divorced – there is space between them – and are relaxed, i.e. partially included in the work. In this register, folds can be more actively stretched due to the inclination of the thyroid cartilage by the ring-thyroid muscles, rather than what happens in the thoracic register.
The increase in sound in the chest register is associated with an increase in the tension (elasticity) of the vocal folds to certain physiological boundaries.