Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Wobble vs Vibrato

Vibrato is natural to a completely free and well placed sound. The first writing on vocal technique (German, in the 1700's if I remember correctly) mentions that you should not even waste your time trying to train a voice that does not vibrate naturally, as such a voice is not fit for cultivation.A wobble is something that develops over time. It can appear as a consequence of old age, but it is not inevitable. It does not always hit the over 60 crowd.However it also appears as a repetitive motion injury, and sometimes shockingly, in the very young singer. If you lift a weight that is too heavy your muscles will tremble. If you back off and never do that again, or learn to do it properly, you will not permanently injure your muscles. Over time however, misuse will have lasting consequences.With singers. It is not an inevitable effect of age, but it certainly is the inevitable result of years of shoving and shouting. The hardier the subject the longer it takes to produce. There is also associated ear damage (on the functional plane most often) in people who are insulting their ears and bodies with the bad coordination and noise trapped inside the head which is associated with making that kind of unbalanced sound.I know this from my work as a singer, teacher, Tomatis practitioner, and translator of two books: "The Ear and the Voice" by Alfred Tomatis, Scarecrow Press, 2004, orig. "L'Oreille et la Voix" 1986, Laffont, Paris; and "The Voice and Singing", Vox Mentor, NY, 2005, orig. "La Voix et le Chant" by J. Faure, Heugel, Paris, 1886. These two works a century apart make mention of these principles.RP

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