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Subject: Leontyne Price's Hooty Swooping: A Question
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:18:26 -0400
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Many on this List, including me, have commented on one of the odd 
features of Price's singing from the 70s on (actually, one can hear it 
creeping in at least as early as 1968), namely, that toneless, hooty-swoopy 
portamento she used when singing across intervals in the upper-middle 
and upper registers.  It really did disfigure her later singing, and I have 
always wondered: was there a technical reason, vocally, why she did this,  
some defect in her technique that caused this yowling effect, especially 
when coming off a high note?

I guess what I am asking is: was this distressing aspect of her singing due 
to technical issues, or was it just a mannerism that crept in and eventually 
took over?  I've rarely heard this kind of thing from other singers. 

MDW

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