Demo of page 71 of Garcia’s ‘Art of Singing’

Garcia’s Treatise on the Art of Singing is having a profound effect on my singing.

On page 71, Garcia teaches us how to sing plain passages. In this post, I am going to try out his instructions on a short passage from Lucia’s Mad Scene. See the audio files below.

Plain Style

Garcia writes, on page 71 of his Treatise, ‘”..chief resources are – steadiness of voice, true intonation, choice of tone-color, swelled sounds of every variety, finest delicate shadings of forte-piano slurs, tempo and rubato, and neatness of articulation…[d]ifferent appoggiature, and trills, may be happily employed, and give pleasing relief to a melody.”

In this short passage from Lucia di Lammermoor’s ‘Mad Scene’, I am going to make the following artistic choices: swell each note approaching the top note, sing the top note piano and then diminuendo to ppp, trill on the Bflat combined with messa di voce, and then turn on the following note. Here goes…

Attempt One

I think the trill was a bit too long and uneven, here is a second version, this time with a fp on the top note followed by a dim to ppp. The trill is now shorter.

Attempt Two

Garcia’s Treatise is having a profound effect on my singing. I recommend using Garcia’s Treatise every day.

Hint: I tick each exercise when I have studied it because it gives me a sense that I am getting ‘somewhere’ with the book. I also diarise the exercises, for example, today I have to do numbers 7, 49, 63, 109, messa di voce and read page 71. I cross these off in my diary as I complete them. (I think if you don’t give yourself a sense of accomplishment, the book can be overwhelming.)

HINT: Write on Garcia’s Treatise to give yourself a sense you are making progress. It is a big book and can be overwhelming!

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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