Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Singing: The Truth Be Told

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Singing: The Truth Be Told

Article excerpt

Hedley T. G. Nosworthy, Singing: The Truth Be Told. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2011. Paper, xxi, 590 pp., $80.00. ISBN 978-0-7575-888807-5 www.kendallhunt.com

The truth in singing, according to Hedley Nosworthy, is that the human voice is subject to the laws of nature. Scientific study of the voice over the past half-century has resulted in many changes and breakthroughs. Singing: The Truth Be Told is a summary of the voice science and pedagogy that encompasses both the technical and artistic aspects of singing. The author states the book offers ". . . insights into the nature of music, anatomy, physiology and physics, encapsulated music history, performance practice, vocal technique and its health, artistry and style." It is intended for singers in all genres, from concert to commercial.

The volume is divided into two broad sections. The first focuses upon technique, and consists of chapters devoted to posture, inhalation, exhalation, phonation, acoustics, diction, vocal coordination, voice classification, vocal practice, and mental practice. The second part investigates various aspects of performance, from artistry to characterization, and from historical styles to physical health. Each topic is presented in brief, easy-to-read chapters. Bullet points indicate important points, and numerous diagrams and illustrations aid in the explanations. Where applicable, the author includes pertinent exercises, and student worksheets appear at the end of each chapter.

Nosworthy demonstrates a laudable ability to elucidate, in a clear manner, the salient aspects of singing. The text also presents topics that are often overlooked by singers and their teachers, such as cognitive health in singing. The author draws upon numerous excerpts from the pedagogic corpus by voice teachers and scientists such as William Vennard, Ingo Titze, Johan Sundberg, Richard Miller, and Robert Sataloff, to name only a few. Sources range from The Oxford Dictionary of Music to standard music appreciation texts.

The first of three appendixes is an introduction to the rudiments of music. …

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