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70
FRANKLIN SQUARE SONG COLLECTION.
Gradually, in Italy, singing became an art. What we mean by singing when we speak of it as a source of pleasure of the higher kind, is really an Italian art, which has been diffused over the civilized world; and the Italian school of singing is still the great school.—others, in so far as they differ from that school, being inferior. The first distinctive charac­teristic of the Italian school of singing is the delivery of the voice, the mode of uttering a single note. Italians generally (for singing in this way has be-
come a second nature to the whole people) use their voices in quite a different way from the generality of other people. They uaturally utter their notes with a purity and a freedom rarely heard from untaught persons of other races. This delivery of the voice is the foundation of their excellence as singers. In­deed, it may almost be said to constitute that excel­lence; for not only is there no great singing without it, but the chief end of Italian vocal discipline is to attain execution united with this free vocal utterance.
THE SLUMBER-SONG.
F. KUCKEN.
There are singers who have voices of remarkable power, range and flexibility, who can never be great because, either by nature or from bad and ineradica­ble habit, they cannot attain this pure and free deliv­ery of the voice. Their tone is guttural, or it is nasal, or it is rough, or it is unsteady, or something else; it may be merely constrained; in any case, the fault is more or less destructive. There may be great singing without great power, without remarkable flexibility, without the ability to execute a roulade or
trill; but there can be no singing really great without this free, pure delivery of the voice. A singer who can go through the whole range of his voice, frcm low to high, swelling out the tone and diminishing it with the vowel sound of broad a (ah,) preserving that sound pure, and uniting with it perfect intona­tion through crescendo and diminuendo, has con­quered much more than half the difficulties of the art of vocalization. All the rest, almost without exception, are mere " limbs and outward flourishes."







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III