Review by Choice Review
Potter's addition to "The Cambridge Companions to Music" series discusses singing broadly, in its considerable diversity. In so doing, it breaks ranks with the 20th-century norm, represented by books dealing with the singing of high culture only. This companion constitutes a general summary of "where we have come from" at the turn of the century/millennium and suggests that future generations will have to take popular and world culture much more seriously. Since Cambridge takes superior scholarship very seriously, this title's point of view must be taken very seriously. A handbook is not intended to cover a subject exhaustively, and this one further limits itself to singing found in Western culture. In 19 chapters, the contributors--an interesting combination of highly regarded professors and performing musicians, most of them English--cover such subjects as rock, rap, and jazz; stage, film, and opera; choral singing; art song; and historical styles and influences adopted from non-Western cultures. The volume also includes a chapter by acoustician Johann Sundberg, whose researches in singing have educated voice professionals throughout the world. Individual chapters will interest singers, voice teachers, music theater teachers and practitioners, musicologists, and those who pursue studies in popular culture and interdisciplinary studies involving music. Abundant endnotes; excellent bibliography. All collections. M. S. Roy; Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
This newcomer in an extensive series on music covers all aspects of the vocal arts. Articles on popular traditions, including world music, rock, rap, and jazz, describe the major singers and songwriters in each. Then come histories of theatrical singing encompassing twentieth-century stage and screen artists, the beginnings of opera, and grand opera. The growth of choral music and art songs is traced next, with examples from the English cathedral literature and American sacred choral music. The last and largest section concerns performance practices in choral and ensemble singing, medieval singing techniques, singing in the preromantic and contemporary periods, teaching singing, children's singing, and vocal production. With such distinguished authorities as Stephen Banfield, John Rosselli, Stephen Varcoe, and David Mason contributing, the guide covers its wide range of topics accessibly as well as thoroughly for a one-volume work. Those for whom singing is a joyous activity will treasure the book and learn much about the vocal arts that might otherwise take years of personal research. --Alan Hirsch
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
This excellent, single-volume resource aspires to be a comprehensive study of singing throughout history. That it succeeds as well as it does is a remarkable accomplishment. Potter (music, Univ. of York, U.K.) has gathered essays from a wide variety of (mostly British) performers, teachers, and musicologists. Rather than attempting a chronological arrangement, the chapters have been grouped into four loosely connected areas. Popular Traditions looks at vocal styles seldom covered in books on vocal history: an essay by David Troop on the origins and development of rap, chapters on singing in jazz and rock music, and an intriguing look at vocal traditions in world music. The Voice in the Theater and Choral Music and Song cover more familiar territory but do it succinctly and thoroughly. The final section, Performance Practice, again broadens the scope, with chapters on vocal pedagogy; the training and use of children!s voices; vocal acoustics; Alternative Voices: Contemporary Vocal Techniques, which reveals the new demands placed on singers by 20th-century composers; and the use of electronic enhancement as an expressive device. This unique volume is highly recommended for its depth of coverage, uniformly accessible writing, and very reasonable price."Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.