Books on singing
July 25, 2008 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a book on singing?

Summer is my time for a bit of professional development type reading. I'm not a professional singer, but I direct singers a lot (mainly, but not exclusively, classical). My summer reading should, ideally, stimulate me and send me into the next academic year fresh with new ideas.
I'm not really after a method (although if you know an enlightening one, say), but something that focuses on stylistic considerations and performance practice. I'm also aware that my grasp of 'correct' pronunciation is a bit weak.
posted by monkey closet to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It's not exclusively about singing, but I know quite a few singers who speak very highly of The Inner Game of Music. I'm told it does wonders for getting the most out of rehearsals and raising performances to a higher level.
posted by Balonious Assault at 8:48 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Directly appilcable: A Soprano on Her Head

Technically useful: Freeing the Natural Voice

Sidebars: Zen in the Art of Archery, On Performing, and The Gift.

(I enjoy talking about performance theory, so feel free to memail me.)
posted by minervous at 10:14 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Great Singers on Great Singing by Jerome Hines is wonderful. Hines interviews 40 major opera singers and the discussions range over topics related to performance, technique, role preparation and so on. Inspiring.

If you want to work on pronunciation, The Singer's Manual of English Diction by Madeleine Marshall is one of the standard works. In my diction courses at conservatory we used Joan Wall's books International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers and Diction for Singers, both of which can be found used on Amazon and are very user-friendly. (And once you get comfy with IPA, Berton Coffin's Phonetic Readings of Songs and Arias is a great reference work to have, but it's not exactly inspirational sumer reading.)
posted by the_bone at 10:16 AM on July 26, 2008

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