The Project Gutenberg eBook, Advice to Singers, by Frederick James Crowest
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Title: Advice to Singers
Author: Frederick James Crowest
Release Date: October 10, 2012 [eBook #41013]
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FREDERICK J. CROWEST
AUTHOR OF "THE GREAT TONE POETS" "MUSICAL GROUNDWORK"
EDITOR OF "THE MASTER MUSICIANS" SERIES, ETC.
"Since singing is so good a thing
I wish all men would learn to sing"
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
AND NEW YORK
SINGING cannot be learnt from a book, and so far from attempting any such impossible feat as writing a book which might be called "Singing without a Master," the author's object—frequently insisted upon herein—is to point out the impossibility of overcoming the difficulties of singing without a teacher. At the same time, there are points upon which a master would not feel called upon to speak; nor would he (except, perhaps, in the course of a very long period of training) be likely to touch on many matters which, though closely connected with the life or business of an accomplished singer, yet lie rather outside the province of the voice-trainer.
In a work consisting of detached paragraphs, and not being a continuous essay, it is not always possible to enter into full explanations of the reasons for certain statements; and (for the want of such explanation) one paragraph may appear to contradict another. However, I can assure the reader that such paragraphs are only apparent contradictions; and if he will take the trouble to think such points out for himself, he will find that they are easily reconcileable.
There is no subject, perhaps, on which opinions are so divided, and prejudices run so high, as the proper method of training and using the voice; nor is there perhaps one more wrapped in mystery than is the art of singing. This is probably the result of that readiness with which almost every music teacher has hitherto undertaken to teach Singing. This book will not, I am sure, add to the mystery. A careful perusal of its contents should clear away many misconceptions, and place the student on the right road to that end which he or she has in view.
PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
That another large edition of this little Manual should be called for in so comparatively short a time is sufficiently encouraging testimony of the worth of the book and the favour it has found at the hands of students of singing and others—a result the more gratifying to the publishers since hitherto it has been issued with an anonymous title-page. Often has the authorship of the little volume been industriously defended and disputed—not by myself—both in this country and America; but, on the whole, the identity of its originator has been well maintained. For my part matters might have remained so, especially as I am not insensible to the fact that there is much "preaching" herein—as indeed there must be in such a work, and some of the advice is of such a nature that its giver runs the risk of being placed upon an exceeding high pinnacle of moral excellence, or of being accounted the personification of all the virtues—both of which distinctions might scarcely be merited. The appearance of my name upon the title-sheet is the result of no wish of mine, and I have consented to it only out of deference to the pressing request of the publishers.
A chapter on the Physiological Surroundings of the Voice has been added to this edition.
FREDERICK J. CROWEST.
PREFACE TO THE SEVENTH EDITION.
Once again my publishers have informed me of the necessity for reprinting this Manual, which has been so successful both here, in America, and in the Colonies. I have nothing to alter in the work, but I must express my thanks for the marked support that has been given to this straightforward advice. Did space permit, much might be said relative to that growing complaint, "Teachers' (or Board School) Laryngitis" as it is called. For some time past I have been authorized to make observations at the chief Throat Hospitals in connection with this constantly increasing mischief, arising from an injurious use of the voice in Teaching, and which only proper Voice Production will remedy. While I cannot give advice here, I shall be happy to answer any communications of sufferers from this complaint.