Sane Judgment

Giambattista Mancini, in his singing manual, “Practical Reflections on the Figurative Art of Singing” 1777 wrote: “Singers must always pay attention not to acquire that common fault of imitating too closely what they see and hear; for instead of improving their natural gifts, they will often lose them. However, I do not mean to exclude imitation, because by imitating the perfect in music, using sane judgment and modifications suitable to one’s own particular talent, one perfects himself.”

So, how is “sane judgment” obtained?

Lilli Lehmann addresses this in her book “How to Sing”. She writes: “In former times eight years were devoted to the study of singing – at the Prague Conservatory, for instance. Most of the mistakes and misunderstandings of the pupil could be discovered before he secured an engagement, and the teacher could spend so much time in correcting them that the pupil learned to pass judgment on himself properly.”

Lilli Lehmann

Published by Deborah Wai Kapohe

I am a classical singer and guitarist. I have created a project called 'The Lilli Lehmann Project'. The project, lasting from 2020 until 2023, aims to refresh my voice and prepare me to be a singing teacher. The scope of the project is that I am studying Lilli Lehmann's singing book, bibliography, recordings and her reviews, as well as other historical vocal pedagogy. I have chosen this platform in order to blog about my discoveries, demonstrate techniques and exercises, and perform pieces of music. I have done so because I wish to be transparent. I think that if a student is prepared to learn from me then I should stand up to public scrutiny.

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