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Subject: Re: Kaufman in Otello… NY Times:
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:27:47 -0400
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I've always tended to think of what we tend to call "the mix" being slightly higher, but also 
depending on the individual voice. What originally confused me was Max's assertion that a 
full chest tenor F would sound "shouted" - I'm not sure I agree. But then again, vocal ped 
is one of those areas of discussion where everyone will tend to disagree a little, because 
there are so many varied approaches to singing technique. And as many things as we tend 
to universally accept about the voice and vocal production, it's still something unique to 
each person. 

But, Max - at least I understand generally what you meant now. Thanks. ;-)


On Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:10:05 -0700, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I found this very interesting and pretty much on target.  When I sang, I
>had no problem with the passagio.  I could sit there and it was easy.  As
>for falsetto, I couldn't produce one to save my life.  I had a friend, a
>baritone who was able to sing falsetto with a rich, vibrato laden sound.
>He did a better Leyla Gencer then Leyla Gencer - it was uncanny - glottal
>clucks and all.  I think most big voiced tenors cannot do a real falsetto.
>The lyrics and leggieros are different.  Baritones, or at least, many that
>I have known, can do it no problelm.
>
>Certain sopranos, Lily Pons - and  Emma Calve, used to speak of a fourth
>voice - something above their usual top.  Pons from what I have read used
>to use almost a closed mouth when she would go at the extreme top.  Of
>course, Pons had a very different voice than Calve but they talked about
>the same thing.
>
>Donald
>
>On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 6:14 PM, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> That E above middle C is the break point for all normally functioning
>> voices, male or female.
>>
>> Anything that doesn’t transition into head voice there is going to take on
>> a strained and increasingly strangulated quality. Most tenors will
>> transition into head voice (a fully supported head voice that sounds
>> integrated with the rest of the voice) at or below that E, usually below.
>> Baritones can make thrilling “open” chest voice notes on D and E-flat but
>> usually will be transitioning by the E itself. Baritones who don’t
>> successfully transition have strained and constricted high notes - good
>> example of an another wise excellent baritone who had difficulty making
>> that transition for his high notes was Gobbi. Warren, despite the size and
>> power of the sound, was well into head by the E-flat.
>>
>> A baritone will usually maintain more of a mix for the F and maybe F# but
>> if their G or above is going to have any real “gleam” on the sound, they
>> need to be in head voice.
>>
>> Tenors singing above the E with a chest voice mix can endanger their
>> ability to get into head voice for their top notes, with few exceptions.
>> Vickers made sounds in the F and F# range that were mixed but managed to
>> transition. Doing that requires the robustness of the true dramatic tenor
>> voice, which is a rarity. This makes Wagner and Verdi’s Otello very
>> dangerous for voices that, even if they have power and projection, aren’t
>> true dramatic tenors. Both encourage the singer to make big, powerful
>> sounds on an F and F# which is not the proper climactic point of the lyric
>> or even spinto tenor. This is why so many “big” lyric or spinto tenors
>> sound so exhausted and sometimes can’t even make the high A at the end of
>> the first act of ‘Walküre.”
>>
>> Tenors typically sing their upper notes using the same kind of integrated
>> head voice that women, mezzos and sopranos, normally use for their middle
>> voices. The female voice moves into a head voice with a yet higher
>> placement at their “second passagio” (around the F at the top of the
>> stave). Some women claim to transition to yet a different register (called
>> “whistle register” by some, which term has also caused great confusion) for
>> the coloratura top notes.
>>
>> Some women sing in their middle voice with the same type of head voice
>> that they use for their upper notes. This makes for good, ringing high
>> notes (no need for transition) but murky, foggy sounding middle notes
>> (Leonie Rysanek, sometimes Joan Sutherland).
>>
>> Many tenors have said that once they learned the integrated head voice
>> that they use for their upper middle and top notes (at least up to C), they
>> lost their ability to even produce a falsetto.
>>
>> Max Paley
>>
>>
>> > On Jun 22, 2017, at 5:35 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >
>> > Max - I'm confused. The E above middle C is just below the passagio for
>> a tenor (or the
>> > lowest end of it) - it's essentially the top of the middle range. (The
>> first pitch of "Di quella
>> > pira.") Is it possible you meant an octave higher than that? (i.e. in
>> the range of the Puritani
>> > high F, and also in the range where metal/hard rock singers usually
>> wail?)
>> >
>> > On Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:18:35 -0700, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >> It's somewhat like reading about a tenor singing a high C (or even
>> B-flat) "in chest voice." If
>> > anybody sang any note higher than the E above middle C in chest voice,
>> it would be a shout.
>> > The B-flat or C above that in chest voice would be an appalling scream.
>> >>
>> >> Max Paley
>> >
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