Reading & Listening

Use your own brain. Do not depend on your teacher.

Dame Nellie Melba – Melba Method, 1926

Reading (Classical) *

* If you are new to classical singing, look for the books below with an *.

At the bottom of this page are contemporary singing books, if you are new to contemporary then you may find the books with an * useful.

Albani, Emma. Forty Years of Song. 1911.

Anfossi, Maria. A Theoretical and Practical Treatise on the Art of Singing (Tratto teorico-practico sul l’arte del canto) (1837).

Aprile, Guiseppe. The Modern Italian Method of Singing, with a Variety of Progressive Examples, and Thirty Six Solfeggi. Printed by R. Birchall, 1795?

Bach, Albert Bernard. On music and vocal education for vocalists and teachers of singing. William Blackwood and Sons. 1883.

Bairstow, Edward C & Greene, Harry Plunkett. Singing Learned from Speech. Millan & Co. Ltd & Stainer & Bell Ltd. London. 1945.

Barber, Sarah, Peniston-Bird, Corinna M. Approaching Historical Sources in their Contexts: Space, Time and Performance. Routledge, 2020.

Baker, Janet. Full Circle: The celebrated diary of her last year on the operatic stage.1981.

Bassini, Carlo. Ed. N.H.Hillary. Bassini’s Vocal Method. 1886.

Beaumont, Roger and Ihimaera, Witi: Virginia Zeani: My Memories of an Operatic Golden Age. 2014

Broadwater, Kimberly. Revisiting the Laryngoscope. PDF articles accessed on 02/06/2021 <>

Brower, Harriette. Vocal Mastery: Talks with master singers and teachers – Comprising talks with Caruso, Farrar, Maurel, Lehmann and others. Frederick. A. Stokes Co. 1920.

Castles-Onion, Brian, Losing the plot in Opera: Myths and secrets of the world’s great operas. Exisle Publishing. 2008.

*Celletti, Rodolfo. A history of Bel Canto. Oxford University Press. 1991.

Chapman, Janice L. Singing and Teaching Singing. Plural Publishing Inc. 2006.

Ciccolina (i?), Sophia Marquise A. Deep Breathing M. L. Holbrook & Co. 1883.

Clippinger, D.A. The Head Voice and Other Problems, Practical Talks on Singing. 1917.

Coffin, Berton. Historical Vocal Pedagogy Classics. The Scarecrow Inc. 1987.

Coffin, Berton. Phonetic Readings of Songs and Arias. Scarecrow Press. 1982.

Cooke, James. Great Singers on the Art of Singing (Illustrated and Annotated): A Series of Personal Study Talks With The Most Renowned Opera Concert and Oratorio Singers Of The Time. Theo. Presser. Co. 1921.

Corri, Domenico. The Singer’s Perceptor. London. Chappell & Co. 1810.

Domingo, Placido. My first forty years. Penguin Books. 1984.

Donington, Robert. The Interpretation of Early Music. London: Faber & Faber; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1963. 

Downes, Peter. The Pollards: An Opera Company in New Zealand and Australia: 1880-1910. Wellington, N.Z. : Steele Roberts, 2002. 

Fingleton, David. Kiri Te Kanawa: A biography. Antheneum. 1983.

Fucito, Salvatore and Beyer, Barnet J. Caruso and the Art of Singing. Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1922.

Garcia, Gustave. The Actors’ Art. T. Pettitt & Co. 1882.

Garcia, Manuel. Exercises pour la voix. Between 1819-1822?

Garcia, Manuel. Garcia’s new treatise on the art of singing: A compendious method of instruction with examples and exercises for the cultivation of the voice. 1857.

*Garcia, Manuel. Hints on Singing. Canoga Park, Calif. Summit Pub. Co. 1970.

Guttmann, Oskar. Gymnastics of the Voice. A System of Correct Breathing in Singing and Speaking, Based Upon Physiological Laws, Etc. [Translated from the German.]. The Voice Press. 1882.

Gyger, Alison. Opera for the Antipodes: opera in Australia 1881 – 1939. Currency Press and Pellinor Pty.Ltd. 1990.

Hughes, Gervase. Composers of Operetta. MacMillan, 1962.

Jeffery, Brian. Fernando Sor Composer and Guitarist, Tecla, 3rd edition. 1977.

Jenkins, Garry. Kiri: Her Unsung Story. Harper Collins. 2016.

Joiner, James Richard, The Vocal Principles of Garcia as Represented by His Pupils: Bataille, Marchesi, and Stockhausen. PhD Thesis, 1979, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College.

*Klein, Hermann, and William R. Moran. Herman Klein and the Gramophone : Being a Series of Essays on the Bel Canto (1923), the Gramophone and the Singer (1924-1934), and Reviews of New Classical Vocal Recordings (1925-1934), and Other Writings from the Gramophone. Portland, Or.: Amadeus Press. 1990.

Klein, Hermann. Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900. New York. The Century Co. 1903.

Klein, Hermann. Unmusical New York : a brief criticism of triumphs, failures & abuses. 1909.

Lamperti, Francesco, and J. C. Griffith. The Art of Singing. Revised Edition with Translation by J. C. Griffith. New York: G. Schirmer ; London : Chappell & Co ; London printed. 1951.

Larsen, Robert L. Arias for Mezzo-Soprano – Complete Package: with Diction Coach and Accompaniment Audio Online G. Schirmer Opera Anthology. 2013.

Lawson, Collin. Stowell, Robin. The Historical Performance of Music. Cambridge University Press. 1999.

Lehmann, Lilli. My Path through Life. G. P. Butnam’s Sons. 1914.

Lehmann, Lilli, and Richard Aldrich. How to Sing. New and rev. ed. New York,: The Macmillan company. 1914.

Liebling, Estelle. The Estelle Liebling Book of Coloratura Cadenzas: Voice and Piano. 1986.

Love, Harold. The Golden Age of Australian Opera: W.S. Lyster and his Companies 1861-1880. Currency Press Pty. Ltd. 1981.

Lovell-Smith, Margaret. The Enigma of Sister Mary Leo: The story behind New Zealand’s most famous singing teacher. Reed Publishers.1998.

Lutgen?. B. Lutgen Vocalises. Schirmer. 1985.

Mackinlay, Malcolm Sterling. Garcia the centenerian and his times. Da Capo Press. 1976.

Mancini, Giovanni Battista, and Pietro Buzzi. Practical Reflections on the Figurative Art of Singing. Translated by Pietro Buzzi. Milan. 1777.

Manen, Lucie. The Art of Singing: A Manual. London: Faber Music. 1974.

Marchesi, Blanche. Singer’s Pilgrimage. Grant Richards Limited. London. 1923.

Marchesi, Mathilde. Bel Canto: A Theoretical and Practical Vocal Method (Republication of Marchesi’s book writtten in 1881 by Dover Books on Music).Dover Publications. 2014.

Marks. Edward. B. They All Had Glamour. Globe Publishing Company. New York. 1944.

Manen, Lucie. Bel Canto: The Teaching of the Classical Italian Song-Schools, Its Decline and Restoration. Oxford University Press. 1987.

*Melba, Nellie Dame. Melba Method: Part One. Breathing and Other Exercises, Examples, and My Daily Exercises. Part Two. Vocalises. London. Chappell & Co. 1926.

Merlin, Maria de las Mercedes. Memoirs of madame Malibran, by the countess de Merlin and other friends. 1840.

*Miller, Richard. National Schools of Singing: English, French, German, and Italian Techniques of Singing Revisted. Scarecrow Press, INC. 1977, 1997.

Miller, Richard. On the Art of Singing. Oxford University Press. 1996.

Miller, Richard. Solutions for Singers: Tools for Performers and Teachers. Oxford University Press. 2004.

Miller, Richard. Training Soprano Voices. Oxford University Press. 2000.

Nichols, Beverley. Evensong. 1932. (Novel)

Nichols, Beverley. Evensong. 1934. (Film)

*Nicola Porpora. 25 Vocalizzi. Published somewhere between 1686 and 1768.

O’Brien, Grace. The Golden Age of Italian Music. Jarrolds Publisher. 1948.

Osborne, Charles. Verdi. Knopf. 1987.

Paton, John Glenn. German Diction: The Singer’s Guide to Pronunciation. Alfred. 1999.

*Pilotti, Katarina. On my re-training to Chiaroscuro. Master’s Thesis at the Academy of Music, Orebro University, Sweden 2009.

Plantinga, Leon. Romantic Music. Norton. 1985.

Pleasants, Henry. The Great Singers: From the dawn of opera to our own time. Simon and Schuster. 1966.

Proschowsky, Frantz. The Way to Sing. Boston, C. C. Birchard and Company. 1923.

*Radomski, James. Manuel García (1775-1832): Chronicle of the Life of a bel canto Tenor at the Dawn of Romanticism. Oxford University Press. 2000.

Rene, Anna Eugenie Schoen. America’s Musical Inheritance – Memories
And Reminiscences.

Rosand, Ellen. Opera in seventeenth-century Venice: The creation of a genre.University of California Press. 1991.

Rosselli, John. Singers of Italian Opera. Cambridge. 1992.

Rosselli, John. The Opera industry in Italy from Cimarosa to Verdi. Cambridge University Press. 1984.

Rutherford, Neil. Musical Theatre Auditions and Casting. London : Methuen Drama, 2012.

Salaman, Esther. Unlocking Your Voice: Freedom to Sing. 2nd ed. ed. London: Kahn & Averill. 1999.

Salazar. Music in our time. Norton. 1946.

Santley, Charles Sir. The Art of Singing and Vocal Declamation. Macmillan. 1909. Santley, Charles Sir. Reminiscences of My Life. Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd. 1909.

Shakespeare, William. The Art of Singing. 1910.

Sherman, Bernard. Inside early music. Conversations with performers. Oxford University Press. 2003.

*Daniel James Shigo, and Hermann Klein. Hidden in Plain Sight : The Hermann Klein Phono-Vocal Method Based Upon the Famous School of Manuel Garcia. New York, NY: VoiceTalkPublications. 2013.

Simpson, Adrienne. Capital Opera. The National Opera of Wellington. 1996.

Simpson, Adrienne. Opera’s Farthest Frontier – a History of Professional Opera in New Zealand. 1996. Witham Press. 1990.

Simpson, Adrienne. Southern Voices: International Opera Singers of New Zealand (with Peter Downes). 1992.  

Simpson, Adrienne. The greatest ornaments of their profession’ – the New Zealand Tours by the Simonsen Opera Companies, 1876-1889. School of Music, University of Canterbury. 1993.

Spongberg, Ernest Albert. The Life of Jenny Lind. 1920.

Stark, James A. Bel Canto : A History of Vocal Pedagogy. Toronto ; London: University of Toronto Press. 1999.

*Striny, Denes. Head First: The Language of the Head Voice: A Concise Study of Learning to Sing in the Head Voice. 2007.

Striny, Denes. Great Singers : An Endangered Species : How to Get Back to Mother Nature. Lanham, Md.: Hamilton Books. 2011.

Te Kanawa, Kiri. Opera for Lovers. Trafalgar Square. 1996.

Tetrazzini, Luisa, and Enrico Caruso. Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing. First published in 1909 by Metropolitan Company Publishers and republished by Dover Publications 1975.

Toft, Robert. Bel Canto: A Performers Guide. Oxford University Press. 2013.

Toft, Robert. Heart to Heart: Expressive Singing in England 1780-1830. Oxford University Press. 2000.

Toft, Robert. With Passionate Voice: Recreative Singing in Sixteenth-Century England and Italy. Oxford University Press. 2014.

Ulrich & Pisk. A History of Music and Musical Style. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. Brace & World, 1963.

Vaccai, Niccolo. Vaccai Practical Method. Allans Publishing. 1830s?

Vennard, William. Singing: The Mechanism and the Technic. Carl Fischer. 1967.

Viardot, Pauline. An hour of Study. G. Schirmer. 1897.

Williams, Beth Mary, Lineages of Vocal Pedagogy in Australia, 1850 – 1950, Volumes One and Two. A dissertation submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 2002.

Zahavi, Dan. Phenomenology, The Basics. Routledge, 2019.


*Daniel Shigo’s website

Donizetti Society can be found at

UCSB Library Cylinder Audio Archive is a wonderful place to condition one’s ears to the lighter and brighter singing sound of the turn of the 20th Century: accessed 19 March 2020 accessed 21 April 2020.

Further Listening on Spotify

On Spotify, I have curated playlists. In particular, including historical singers Klein reviewed favorably. The purpose is to provide examples of fine technique. The playlists are continually evolving.

Examples of fine singing

Reading (Contemporary Singing)


*Barton, Mary Saunders.

Books & Dissertations

Bartlett, Irene. Unique Problems and Challenges of Contemporary Voice – What do Teachers Think? Australian Voice, Volume 5, 1999, pp.45-49.

Barton, Mary Saunders and Spivey, Norman. Cross Training in the Voice Studio: A Balancing Act. Plural Publishing Inc. 2018.

Baxter, Mark. The Rock-N-Roll Singer’s Survival Manual. Hal Leonard. 1990.

MORIARTY, BRIDGET MAUREEN, D.M.A. Crossing Over: Examining the
Challenges of a Classically Trained Female Performing Music Theater Repertoire. (2015)

Collyer, Sally. The Classical Teacher and Belting. Australian Voice, Volume 3, 1997, pp37-41.

Edwin, Robert. The Bach to Rock Connection: From Classical to Pop: A Case Study. NATS Journal of Singing. Volume 56. Nbr 3.

Edwin, Robert. Apples and Oranges: Belting Revisited. Volume 57. Nbr. 2.

Edwin, Robert. Popular Song and Music Theater: If They Were My Students. NATS Journal of Singing. Volume 60. Nbr. 1.

Gagné, Jeannie. Belting: A Guide to Healthy, Powerful Singing. Berklee Press. 2012.

Green, Stanley. Broadway Musicals: Show by Show. Eight Edition. Revised and updated by Cary Ginell. Applause Books 2014.

Hoch, Edward, ed. So you want to sing CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music): A guide for performers. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018

LeBorgne, Wendy. The Vocal Athlete. 2nd Edition. Plural Plus. 2019.

Love, Roger. Set Your Voice Free. Little, Brown and Company. 1999.

Peckham. Anne. Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer. Berklee Press. 2005.

Peckham, Anne. Vocalise Patterns for the Contemporary Singer. NATS Journal of Singing Volume 59. Nbr. 3

Wilson, Pat. Sinful Modern Music: Science and the Contemporary Commercial Singer. Australian Voice. Volume 9, 2003. pp.12-16.

‘In order to do justice to the piece which he is about to perform, the player must first acquaint himself with the conditions under which it originated. For a work by Bach or Tartini demands a different style of delivery from one by Mendelssohn or Spohr. The space of a century that divides the two first mentioned from the last two means in the historical development of our art not only a great difference in regard to form, but even a greater with respect to musical expression.’

Joseph Joachim’s Violinschule cited on page 1 of The Historical Performance of Music by Lawson/Stowell.

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