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Chapman University

Ethnomusicology

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Vocal Pedagogy

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Full-Text Articles in Music

Diva Diversity: National Vocal Schools And Qualities, Emma Plotnik Dec 2015

Diva Diversity: National Vocal Schools And Qualities, Emma Plotnik

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Hearing the term “opera singer” for many triggers an image of a German dramatic soprano bearing viking horns and powerfully bursting into a high C. Yet, what is it that perpetuates this stereotype that German singers possess weighty instruments with dark timbres? Why are classically trained North American vocal students told by their teachers to sing lightly and delicately when performing French mélodie, and not any other genre?

Research in vocal pedagogy has demonstrated that singers from particular regions have been typified by their vocal qualities in terms of size and color. These qualities by nation mainly stem from contrasting ...