The Voice: Its Production, Care and Preservation

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Dr. Frank E. Miller, MD --not to be confused with the prolific creator of SIN CITY-- writes a spirited book on the physical and such of the singing voice. I believe the Voice is more than a singing tool and I think this community values the Voice and its (collaborative) production.
This passage from the first chapter, The Rational Voice, I found to be so lovely in that it captures the duality of physicality and feeling as well as the synergism between the mechanical and the sensual:
"Voice is physical. But everything that colors voice, charging it with emotion, giving it its peculiar quality and making it different from other voices, is largely, although not wholly, the result of a psychical control—a control not exercised mysteriously from without, like Svengali's over Trilby, but by the singer himself from within. Every singer is his own mesmerist, or he has mistaken his vocation. For while voice is a physical manifestation, its "atmosphere," its emotional thrill and charm, is a psychical one—the result of the individual's thought [Pg 2] and feeling, acting unconsciously or, better still, subconsciously, on that physical thing, the voice.

"Between the two, however, between mind and body, there lies, like a borderland of fancy, yet most real, the nervous system, crossed and recrossed by the most delicate, the most sensitive filaments ever spun, filaments that touch, caress, or permeate each and every muscle concerned in voice-production, calling them into play with the rapidity of mental telegraphy. Over this network of nerves the mind, or—if you prefer to call it so—the artistic sense, sends its messages, and it is the nerves and muscles working in harmony that results in a correct production of the voice."

Created: Jan 20, 2011


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