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The History And Development Of The Singing Voice

1281 words - 5 pages

Practical Musicianship

HNC 1st Study Outcome 2 Natalie Masterton

The chosen area of study for this assignment will be the history and development of the singing voice. It has been argued that the production of such an instrument as the various vocal tones, known as a singing, is the original musical instrument. Although not an instrument one can see, the vocal range and talents are something that can be learned, expanded on and creatively knows only the limitations of the individual singer. The primary use of the voice is seen as communication and it is mostly assumed that the spoken word is the primary function, however it is argued that the human voice was first used to create various noises, thought to be imitating nature, and from there it developed on to a basic form of song. It was not until much later that the spoken word and language were created, which nowadays is societies main use for this organ. In prehistoric times, carried on throughout primitive cultures, singing and development of this instrument played a key role in communication and actually predate the spoken word. Singing is now considered a form of entertainment and not something primarily associated with various rituals and communication. It has developed along side technological advancements and changes within societies ideals. Continuing adaption made it stay relevant and allowed for various changes in a singers expression vocally. The basic communication styles are now developed into voices being highly trained instruments that can handle various styles and can fluctuate between many in quick succession to provide a powerful, quality performance.

Pre 1925 acoustic performances were standard processes of recording as voices compared to instruments were easier to record. With more technological developments ways of recording and the scope for creative use of recording the voice and alternate song arrangements became common place. However, operatic and orchestral repertoire began to emerge and become more common and this kind of singing was proved extremely popular. With the development in filming, and such things as Hollywood, `talkies' became available to the masses and yet another platform for vocal talent to be heard. From things like musicals to just having film soundtracks to dictate the mood of a particular scene, this gave way to another form of expression. However the visual nature of this media compared to previous radio and gramophone recordings meant that the visually attractive singer was given preference to those who may posses the vocal talents but did not fit the image.

"In motion pictures, pleasing appearance soon became a sine qua non, and even the 'tenorissimo' Luciano Pavarotti had to slim down somewhat before Hollywood would consider using him."

Performers follow one of two paths within vocalism, these being classical and popular. The transition from the classical, more operatic and basic musical...

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