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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Jim Carroll Where are the voices? (92* d) RE: Where are the voices? 03 Nov 07

Don't think it's a case of 'wanting to sound ladylike' but one of conditioning. It is, I believe, why the 'traditional' voice is often thought to be ugly by trained singers.
When I first moved to London I was carrying out some electrical work for a customer who, I was later told by my flat-mate, was a musical director for the BBC and who also gave singing lessons. I could overhear his classes, and when one young woman, obviously a new pupil, delivered her set piece in a beautiful hard, open-toned voice (I remember thinking she should be singing blues) he roared at her, "why do you sing like that do you want to sound like a ******* Hottentot?"
Tonal control can be obtained via a few easy(ish) voice exercises, without using head voice and without straining the voice - it takes practice, but it can be done - I've seen it happen.
I've also witnessed the situation where a singer with a collapsed lung was able to handle long line songs with ease by simply ceasing to use head voice.
The problem seems to be that head-voice is not a natural one to virtually all the singers who use it.
Not so long ago there was a young singer on the club circuit who had a wonderful 'natural', but quite limited chest voice but whose insistence on using head voice produced a 'yodel' when she came to the gear-change.
I'm fairly convinced that the use of HV in traditional singing dates back to the beginning of the revival when a handful of singers (one in particular) chose to use it and others copied.
As much as I'd like to stay with this, am off to Barcelona tomorrow for four days; hope it hasn't finished by the time I get back.
Jim Carroll

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