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Subject: Re: Serious Question II
From: John Rahbeck <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:15:24 -0400
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The rule is if the vibrato is wider than a half step, it becomes intrusive  
and bends the pitch. If you listen to Concita Supervia, she uses many 
different  coloratura techniques, and among them for special effect she would 
sometimes  sync the speed of the coloratura with the speed of her vibrato to 
great  effect, but this was a conscious choice, and one of many  coloratura 
techniques she employed. I have heard it called singing  coloratura on the 
vibrato among other things.
John Rahbeck
. 
 
 
In a message dated 4/24/2017 2:19:16 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

All of  the summary below seems fair enough to me, but there is a 
complicating  factor: vibrato.

Vibrato is an oscillation of both intensity and pitch,  and in most but 
not all singers the oscillation of pitch is symmetrical,  that is to say 
the oscillation above the note equals the oscillation below  the note.  
In those singers with an asymmetrical vibrato, however,  some listeners 
will hear the singer in tune, and others will hear them out  of tune.

I live in Australia, and so have not yet had the opportunity  of seeing 
the Onegin HD with Netrebko.  Of late it seems to me that  Netrebko's 
vibrato has widened, and it may well be that it has started to  become 
asymmetrical.  I look forward to judging this for myself in  June, when I 
get the opportunity to do so.

Neil Mason

On  24/04/17 23:27, Kiwi wrote:
> I thank all of those who have responded,  publicly and privately, to my 
question.  I have learned A LOT and have  enjoyed reading each email.
>
> So, here’s where I am:  I  messed up completely on my use of the terms 
relative and absolute pitch.   I understand the proper usage now, and thanks 
all of those who took the time  to explain.
>
> I think I also learned the following, though I am  open to the folks in 
the know telling me where I’ve messed up  again.
>
>    > Unlike interpretation and musicality,  pitch is not opinion-based 
but fact-based.
>
>    >  Perfect pitch may allow a listener to identify a specific note as 
is is sung  but you do not need to have perfect pitch to know that a singer 
is not on the  note.
>
>    > A singer is on pitch or off pitch and  that fact can be ignored but 
not truly, honestly  refuted.
>
>    > While pitch is an objective  quality, it can become much more 
subjective (and less important) depending on  the listener and that listener’s 
affinity for the  singer.
>
>    > While it is possible to prove a  singer is off pitch, there is a 
degree of willful ignorance at play among fans  that will cause them to ignore 
/ reject / downplay the  proof.
>
>    > You can hear off-pitch singing best  when not being distracted by 
the staging / audience / etc., – visual  stimulation may dilute aural 
awareness, for example.
>
> On the  other hand, there seems to be a certain ‘so what’ raised on the 
issue—maybe  I’m misinterpreting that? For example (to stay with Netrebko 
only because it  is a recent example), if someone finds she was “at her best”
 when having  obvious pitch problem, then my next serious question has to 
be what vocal  qualities (again, not talking about interpretive or musicality 
or even  appearance of the singer) go into making a top-flight singer?
>
>  I’m truly interested to hear from the list because time and again folks 
say  that opera is all about the voice and everything else is secondary.  If 
 pitch is fact but can be ignored, maybe it is not so  important?
>
> I understand that appreciation of a singer is often  subjective and there 
is no accounting (and shouldn’t be) for liking this or  that singer, but 
what goes into a high-quality voice and are those factors  mutable?  And if 
mutable, then can any argument be sustained that opera  is primarily about 
voice and not about all the other elements of a  singer?
>
> Is this an impossible question to  answer?
>
>
>
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