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The female primo passaggio: a survey of its physiology, psychology, and pedagogy.

The female primo passaggio is acknowledged with both familiarity and controversy. Adolescents and adults alike are plagued by issues of the "break": they grapple with the difference between chest and head voice (and if that elusive "middle" voice really exists); they wonder why one area of their voice is weaker than another; they balk at the cracks that expose themselves without warning. Voice teachers are constantly challenged to help the student either "discover" one register or unify both registers. Yet the very definition of registration is controversial, for as James McKinney explains:

The chief reason for the confusion is that the word register is used to describe so many different things ... (1) a particular part of the vocal range (upper, middle, or lower register), (2) a resonance area (chest or head), (3) a phonatory process, (4) a certain timbre, and (5) a region of the voice which is defined or delimited by vocal breaks. (1)

Indeed, if individuals rely on vocal breaks to define their registers, it is no wonder that the transitions become so conspicuous. This study aims to answer the following:

1. Should registers be acknowledged to exist at all?

2. If so, what happens internally to make each register so different?

3. Does the "mix" or middle voice exist as a separate technique or register altogether?

4. What are the origins of register polarization--both physical and psychological?

5. What teaching techniques would be most effective for smoothing this transition?

An idealized concept of registers implies that only one voice should be acknowledged. Rather than consciously altering her voice to navigate through registers, the student should aim for a natural, seamless sound throughout her entire range. After all, both sensation and sound will slightly shift every time she changes pitch. Even when remaining on one pitch, altering a vowel or a dynamic will produce a change in resonance. Rather than considering each pitch as a separate register--which McKinney grants is "taking an idea too far" (2)--it may be easier to completely avoid gear-shifting, instead aiming for a sound both fresh and free. W. Stephen Smith compares singing to driving an automatic transmission vehicle, one that effortlessly shifts gears by just driving.

We should never sing like a manual transmission, consciously thinking, "I will now shift into a medium mix between speaking and airflow" ... We simply allow ourselves to let the voice shift naturally on its own, without making it do anything. (3)

While these intentions are honest, they seem beneficial for students with minimal problems from the start. A student that needs retraining must be met on her level. If in the past she has related to her voice using "chest" and "head" terminology, it would be futile for the teacher to pretend that separate registers do not exist. Even if the student can take advice to "stop thinking about it," her newfound "naturalness" will not be flawless. The teacher's guidance is necessary throughout all the unfamiliar--and often uncomfortable--sensations.

No matter what the ideal may be, registration is a concept that must be recognized and defined. Most importantly, is it purely laryngeal or partly sensational? McKinney insists that registers are defined by laryngeal function--the vocal folds produce specific vibratory patterns that, in turn, produce a particular range of pitches and a characteristic sound. (4) This writer, however, thinks that resonance should be included in the definition; the sensations that accompany each vibration are too strong to ignore. Scott McCoy acknowledges as well that laryngeal adjustments alone will not smooth the break; rather, singers must "modulate breath pressure through correct support, and skillfully manipulate resonance through formant tuning." (5) More than two hundred years later, Manuel Garcia's definition still seems to be the most inclusive. As a revolutionary pedagogue, Garcia was the first to take an interest in both the voice's varying tone qualities and its physical mechanisms. He combined his two interests, defining the register as a consecutive series of tones that share both the same mechanical production and the same basic timbre. (6)

Regardless of any sympathetic vibrations, understanding the vocal folds' own vibrations is paramount. The two pairs of primary laryngeal muscles are the thyroarytenoids (colloquially, the shorteners) and cricothyroids (the lengtheners). Although they almost always contract together as antagonists, one contraction is usually more prominent, resulting in changes in vocal fold fundamental frequencies. These changes are accomplished by lengthening/shortening or thickening/ thinning of the vocal folds, or by tautening/laxing of the vocal fold cover tissue. At the same time, voice source spectra undergo two alterations: one as they enter the vocal tract via the larynx and respiratory system, and again as the resonators adjust in dimension within the vocal tract. Therefore, both the glottal source and the resonators contribute to changes in voice quality. (7)

Although there are four generally accepted voice registers, only two are involved with the female primo passaggio. The "lower" register (so called here for the range of pitches it produces, not where sympathetic vibrations occur) has the thyroarytenoids more prominently contracted. (8) When the thyroarytenoids are dominant, the folds are shorter and thicker, (9) with more lax fold cover tissue and ligaments. (10) Given these conditions, a greater tissue mass is involved in oscillation, with a greater depth of movement into the vocal tissue membranes. Since more is free to oscillate under these lax circumstances, both the superior and inferior areas of the vocal folds are adducted, leading to longer closed phases in each cycle (usually over fifty percent). (11) The glottis closes firmly, remaining closed so that air pressure builds up and nearly "explosively" bursts out. (12) The folds' thickness and depth produces a lower range of fundamental frequencies. Strengthened with higher harmonics, the resulting sound has a thick, rich, and often brassy quality, being the source of both "ring" and "fullness." (13)

Meanwhile, the "upper register" is usually considered cricothyroid-dominant: the cricothyroids contract as the pitch ascends, placing greater tension upon the vocal ligaments. Both the vocal folds and the vocal fold cover tissues are stretched over more surface area. The folds become longer and thinner, and the tissues become more taut; as a result, there is less freedom to vibrate and little mass to be moved. The depth of tissue movement is shallower, and each oscillation cycle has a longer open phase; the folds offer less resistance to the breath, and each puff of air is simpler and weaker. (14) Only the superficial membrane participates in oscillation, and only the superior area of the folds is usually adducted. (15) Given these circumstances, the sound quality is naturally lighter, thinner, and often airier. With fewer intense partials and a more flute like tone, the higher register exemplifies flexibility, ease, and a "light, ethereal quality." (16)

Voice scientists Hirano, Vennard, and Ohala made groundbreaking news in their 1965 study. Through the technique of laryngeal electromyography--hooking wire electrodes to the laryngeal muscles (17)--they discovered that both sets of muscles may not directly control registration. Measurements showed that thyroarytenoid activity increased in the lower register and decreased in the higher register. However, cricothyroid activity remained similar from register to register; there was no great change unless it was accompanied by a considerable rise in pitch. (18) The researchers concluded that the thyroarytenoids were chiefly responsible for registration, antagonized by the cricothyroids as a pitch agent. (19) It is not necessarily a matter of which muscles "create" which register; instead, it is the degree of thyroarytenoid activity--or lack thereof--that allows for a register change.

Evidently, these two laryngeal coordinations are quite distinct. What happens when singers change from one to the other? The average singer experiences a "break" that is both internally felt and easily heard. Leon Thurman succinctly defines the register break as an "abrupt voice timbre change that occurs at an identifiable crossover frequency." (20) This change results from a sudden, strong adjustment of the thyroarytenoids and cricothyroids, usually occurring at an isolated tone. For women, this occurs at a frequency between C4 and G4. In transitioning from lower to higher register, the cricothyroids contract with more intensity since the pitch is rising. If the thyroarytenoids do not complementarily reduce their intensity, the folds hold on to their thickness while the cricothyroids attempt to elongate them, a battle that creates longitudinal tension. When the thyroarytenoids reach their limit, this muscular antagonistic tug-of-war peaks, leading to an abrupt readjustment at one frequency and an involuntary change in quality. (21) Meanwhile, singers who face difficulty in transitioning from high to low typically face one of two concerns: either their thyroarytenoids will abruptly contract at a lower frequency, accompanied by an audible break and increase in volume, or the cricothyroids continue to be dominant into the lower pitches. Since the thyroarytenoids are not significantly contracting, the glottis never regains its higher closed adduction phase. The vocal fold margins recede away from each other--and, with the glottis being open more often, more air escapes. Therefore, the sound becomes breathy and eventually "fades out." (22) Singers who have learned to mix registers have trained their muscles to gradually and subtly adjust their contractions over several fundamental frequencies. While the adjustments may still feel unsteady, they are certainly less audible.

"Mix" is a concept widely used to camouflage the break, yet how exactly is it defined? Music theater performers often acknowledge it separately on their resumes (e.g., "Soprano with Mix/Belt"). Is it a different register altogether? Does it take an entirely different technique, or is it a blend of upper and lower registers? Is it just a matter of carefully modifying resonance and adjusting timbre? Researchers Castellengo, Chuberre, and Henrich investigated many of these questions in their 2004 study at the Laboratoire d'Acoustique Musicale. Singers of different voice parts were asked to sing the three or four notes they usually sang as a mix in three different registers: lower, higher, and mixed. As expected, these notes usually encompassed B4-E4 in female singers, and "all of the artists who participated as subjects [had] a vivid awareness of which laryngeal mechanism they use." (23) This experiment was repeated with five vowels--/a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, and /u/--and each EGG and audio signal was recorded. Based on the measurements of glottal open quotients (OQ), it was found that depending on the individual, the mix was produced in either one register or the other. (24) The mixed voice had a largely overlapping open quotient with one register, particularly for the women. One soprano's mean OQ was exactly the same for both her upper register and her mix (0.74), and another soprano's mixed OQ range (0.48 to 0.71) closely overlapped with her lower register (0.39 to 0.68). (25)

Why and how is mix used in the first place? Does it take merely adding fullness to the upper register and lightness to the lower? According to the audio signal measurements, the singers did adjust the intensity of each note to simulate one mechanism while in another. The intensity generally decreased by ten decibels to simulate the upper register while in the lower, and increased by five decibels to simulate the lower register while in the upper. Therefore, while mixed voice is primarily produced in one register, the singer can imitate the characteristics of the other register by modifying the sound's intensity, balancing the ratio between fullness and airiness. (26)

The roles of acoustics and resonance are significant in registration; the vocal tract must adjust accordingly to handle singing's heightened intensity. The oscillating vocal folds create sound pressure waves that travel upward through the vocal tract, often becoming trapped and reverberating on the underside of the vocal folds. When the fundamental frequency approaches the resonance frequency of the trachea, the pressure within the sound waves increases, magnifying the waves' intensity and greatening their impact on the folds. (27) With many inexperienced singers, this forceful pressure interferes with oscillation.

Unskilled singers will use the only vocal tract adjustments that they know--the adjustments that are appropriate for conversational speech. When speaking or singing in greater-than-speech F0 and intensity ranges, the conversational speech vocal tract adjustments will result in acoustic overloading. (28)

The brain learns to expect this impact as certain pitches approach, sending involuntary commands to the laryngeal muscles to compensate. (29) The muscles brace themselves to abruptly readjust, producing an obvious break.

The singer can learn to smooth her transition not only by relaxing the laryngeal muscles, but also by formant tuning. Formant tuning, which accommodates the intensity of these vocal sound waves, can be achieved through vowel modification. Berton Coffin was a revolutionary researcher of vowel-pitch interaction when he created his Chromatic Vocal Chart, a guide that showed which vowels would best resonate the fundamental frequency and harmonics on any note in a singer's range. Regarding the passaggio, he asserted that the female voice is narrower in the middle range while being wider and rounder at the top and bottom. (30) Based on his chart, Coffin recommended that the female singer vocalize in the primo passaggio on alternating front and neutral vowels (/i/ and /u/ coupled with /[??]/ and /e/) to gain flexibility. (31)

Round vowels, which are suitable to the high notes, would extinguish the ringing of the middle and lower notes ... For low notes to be heard, there must be brightening which gives more overtones so that the voice can be heard. (32)

More than twenty-five years later, Coffin's ideas still ring true while gaining more scientific support. Each vowel has an associated formant, and the closer that formant is to the fundamental frequency, the more resonant the vowel becomes--essentially louder, purer in tone, and easier to sing. By modifying the pharyngeal and oral cavities, the singer brings the vowel formant (F1) closer to matching the fundamental frequency (F0). F0 receives additional amplification, (33) so the break's change in volume and intensity becomes less obvious.

Acoustically, inertia of the air column above the vocal folds lowers the level of lung pressure needed to sustain vocal fold oscillation at a given frequency. The decrease in pressure makes it easier for the folds to vibrate. (34) This inertia can be maximized by lengthening and narrowing the vocal tract air column at some location (lips, nostrils, or velum). (35) Given the narrowing that lip trills, nasals, and closed vowels require, these sounds produce greater amounts of inertia--lowering

the first formant frequency, coupling with the fundamental frequency, and resulting in optimal resonance. It is no wonder that the vowels /i/ and /u/ are such helpful models for women in their break; /i/'s F1 of 310 Hz corresponds to the F0 of [D.sup.#.sub.4], (36) and /u/'s F1 of 370 Hz matches the F0 of [F.sup.#.sub.4] (37)--both tones in the initial register break. By adjusting the articulators towards an /i/or /u/ shape, the female singer can camouflage the break more easily.

It is natural to consider the larynx first when addressing the student's passaggio. However, the singer's entire body is her instrument, and, consequently, vocal concerns can and often do expand far outside the larynx. For instance, Richard Miller advises voice teachers to consider the student's head position and breath support. Too often young singers attempt to accomplish intervals with a subconscious change in head position--either elevating the head for ascending pitch changes, or depressing the head for to "dig" for lower pitches. Miller states that either change in position may inhibit the tilting of the thyroid and cricoid cartilages, which occurs as the cricothyroid muscles contract. "At points in the mounting scale, these [actions] become more pronounced, and because they produce different acoustic results, the singer perceives them as events of registration." (38) Since the head and neck provide external frame support to the larynx, (39) a stable head position is necessary for a smooth transition. Rather than asking a singer to immobilize her head from responding to the pitch changes, positively shift her focus to keeping her head relaxed. The singer can consider what less--not more--she has to do to sing a seemingly difficult note.

Breath support also plays a secondary role in register blending, as the young singer will often allow chest displacement to occur at the passaggio. One possible origin of this habit is that the singer, unaccustomed to extended breath support, will assume that she can use the same breathing habits for singing and speaking, especially considering that the passaggio is in her customary speaking range. After inhaling for typical speech, the sternum drops, the ribcage collapses, and the diaphragm rises, quickly depleting the volume of air in the lungs. (40) However, Miller asserts that the voice is an aerodynamic/ myoelastic instrument; the movement of air is what allows the folds to vibrate. (41) As this relationship grows more crucial at the passaggio, these heightened sensations can be met with appoggio breath management. "A uniformly resonant timbre is not possible unless breath energy is adjusted to match voice registration requirements." (42) By leaning into the abdominal and lower back muscles, the singer can counteract her chest cavity's instinct to cave in. Therefore, although the tones in the passaggio are not extreme (perhaps even easy to produce in one register), breath support is imperative. When a student is uncertain or insecure, her instinct is usually not to trust her airflow; rather, she will often bring the air to a halt. She will do anything to avoid hearing and feeling that bump in the road, attempting to micromanage the break with excessive laryngeal control. The student can satisfy her need to control by transferring this energy to her breath, threading the air through this delicate range.

By understanding the passaggio's physical and acoustic events, singers can apply practical solutions such as vowel modification, proper breath support, and appropriate head alignment. However, the origins of the break may be psychological as well. Some singers may be over aware of certain fundamental frequencies and the adjustments at each one. For instance, a singer who has perfect pitch may approach a pivotal note, recognize it, and confess that she does not know which way to sing it. When singing certain pitches, we often feel sympathetic vibrations in our chest or the front and sides of our head. These sensations have coined the common terms "chest" and "head" voice, yet to rely on them could be potentially dangerous. It is easy to assume that since we feel vibrations in a certain place, the sound originates from that source. (43) Those under this assumption may separate their placement of these "voices" to an extreme, even attempting to produce the sound from these locations.

In addition, since women mainly speak in their lower register (centering their inflection between Bb4 and E b4), (44) using their upper register may seem unnatural. Oren Brown interestingly points out that the derivation of the word falsetto, often a synonym for the higher register, dates back to the Latin verb falere, meaning to deceive. "To the extent that we associate falsetto with something false or wrong, we may have built a mental barrier against it." (45) The pressure for women to achieve a "professional" sound may further discourage use of the higher register. On the other hand, everyday speaking habits do not typically include the same legato prolongation that is required for singing. Therefore, singing in the lower register may also seem foreign to women. These ideas originate from one misconception: the difference between speaking voice and singing voice. Thurman claims that such a distinction exists with no other part of our body: "We do not have walking legs and running legs." (46) Humans have one larynx, one vocal tract, and one voice that is produced by the same muscular patterns, whether it is singing or speaking. After all, when we speak expressively on a daily basis, we may cover such a range of fundamental frequencies that a register change indeed occurs. Yet this transition is rarely so abrupt in speech. Could the trick be to carry over the spontaneity of speech into the athleticism of singing?

For most female singers, the register break usually rears its head during adolescence. The female voice undergoes mutation in various ways: the trachea lengthens, the laryngeal muscles grow, the vocal folds thicken, (47) and the larynx itself increases in size from twenty to thirty percent. (48) The female voice is particularly vulnerable as it grows, and its inherent qualities become exposed. The development of noticeable breaks is no exception. Range capabilities may be limited and/or inconsistent, the tone may become breathy and/or husky, and females may feel discomfort or difficulty in phonation. (49) As the vocal folds thicken, many adolescent females observe more volume with less effort in their lower range, while their higher range may suddenly be difficult to access. As a result, adolescent females are often prematurely classified as altos in school, especially if they possess exceptional pitch-matching and music-reading skills. (50) However, classification may be more problematic than helpful. If a female sings exclusively in her lower range, it becomes difficult to break the habit of carrying the lower register too high. A noticeable break will inevitably develop, and the upper register may become virtually inaccessible without retraining. Educator Kenneth Sipley suggests one solution: dividing all the females in middle school choir into two groups that alternate soprano and alto parts every other song. "This procedure not only allowed the singers to exercise their full vocal range, but also created senior high school choristers who were better musicians." (51) Since the adolescent female's voice is still developing, it is crucial to recognize her full potential rather than emphasize her limitations. "Her development as a singer will be much more natural, complete, and free of trouble if she is allowed to use her entire range in choir singing and in vocalization." (52)

To address the passaggio, the teacher must first determine the student's individual issue. Does a register need to be completely discovered,

or do both registers need to be aligned? Is the student dominant in her higher or lower register? Should the student be higher-dominant, she may have been told that using her "chest" voice would hurt her. On the contrary, Stephen Austin suggests that singing only in chest voice for a time may be necessary for such students. (53) The development of the lower register is harmful only when taken to an extreme of its range; otherwise, it is a natural part of the singer's voice that should be properly developed to create richer harmonics. (54) Emphasizing movement (knee squats, dipping, and "scooping" from the ground) may also be effective for these students, encouraging them to feel grounded in their bodies and fullness in their sound. (55) In most circumstances, however, the student will be lower-dominant, and voice teachers usually recommend bringing the upper register down (i.e., vocalizing from higher to lower range). Women generally have less experience with the higher register, and it may strain them to bring their "chest" voice all the way up.

Middle school chorus teacher Patricia Bryan observes, "Everyone wants to be big and loud. I sound like a broken record, telling my seventh and eighth graders that it's okay to be light." (56) Indeed, it may be helpful to embrace this characteristic, letting the tone be light while encouraging consistent airflow through the break. Brown suggests a childish tone, releasing an easy flow of air on a descending slide. (57) An octave skip may help the student confront the "flip" immediately and begin to iron it out. As the break approaches, the tone being "too" light should not be the issue; rather, the student should aim to maintain a legato connection between the registers, threading the air through the notes with the focused vowel /u/ or /i/ as a medium. As the student feels more comfortable exploring the registers, scales and arpeggios encompass more territory and demand more flexibility. Miller suggests a legato descending five-note scale and broken arpeggios with varying degrees of lower, upper, and mixed registers--having the student singing all in higher register until the final note, then changing from higher to a mix on the third note, then from higher to a mix to lower register, then singing the exercise once more in higher register. (58) When less "friendly" vowels are added to the mix, it may be helpful for the singer to maintain a narrow sensation by shaping each vowel from a /i/ or /u/ influence. The energy students place in their laryngeal muscles can be transferred to considering the placement of their articulators. (The teacher may ask: "What are the only things you need to form that vowel?") Similarly, appoggio breath management may transfer "pushing" from the larynx to a lower place, allowing the laryngeal muscles to vibrate more freely while increasing breath flow. (The teacher may ask: "Where can we focus our energy instead?") Vocalizing the above exercises on lip trills, nasals, and hums offers students both palpable resonance and a concentrated stream of airflow, similar to what healthy singing should produce. Above all, no exercise should single out that one pivotal pitch that marks the transition. Rather, the student should gain facility and freedom to use different timbres at different tones.

The adolescent female also undergoes considerable psychological development, much of which may contribute to her break. Sipley notes, "She must work out a conception of life which allows her to assert herself ... She tries to adapt her ego to her environment, and her environment to her ego." (59) As a student asserts herself, she may feel the need to sound big and loud, assuming that light is weak instead of different but just as beautiful. At the same time, with adolescence often comes self-consciousness, a desire to blend in as much as one desires to be noticed. Issues of cracking and breaking may be embarrassing for the self-conscious adolescent. By attempting to blend in, she would probably accomplish little "blending" at all. Instead, she would most likely avoid the problem altogether, limiting her singing to the stronger register and making the break more prominent. With adolescent development also comes an eagerness to belong, which can partly explain the over-classification of voices. Girls may enjoy the defining qualities of the soprano or alto "clique," acknowledging what skills make them unique while still being surrounded by those who are similar. Finally, adolescent females experience a shift of outside influence in their everyday lives. "Parents, teachers, and adult role models lose ground to peer influence and egocentric confidence. Each adolescent begins to develop her own personal value system." (60) As the student creates her own standards, she often picks her own vocal models that may not be the best examples of healthy singing. She may listen to her singing and not hear anything "harmful," even though self-listening is usually distorted. Keeping this necessary development in mind, how can we as teachers acknowledge the student's need for self-reliance while still asserting our authority?

First, we can affirm students' vocal models--often pop or music theater--while clarifying what is being sung from what they hear. Singer and voice teacher Kelley Nassief claims that ... singers are used to bringing everything up. [Adolescents] think they hear all chest, but everyone's usually doing some kind of mix. Audra McDonald may sing in a head-dominant mix, Sutton Foster in a solid mix, and Kristin Chenoweth often all in head--it's just placed so far forward that you can't tell. (61)

Refining students' ears to hear these subtle differences, reinforced by our own demonstrations, may inspire the student to perform likewise. Jazz vocalists such as Jane Monheit may also be effective models, as they encourage a natural, light sound throughout the range for lower-dominant women. Since adolescents so often listen to themselves, they can record each lesson to differentiate what they think they hear from what they actually produce. To encourage self-reliance and responsibility, the teacher can encourage feedback based on sensations the student feels. "When a clear image of balanced resonance has been established, the sensation it produces becomes ... identifiable, repeatable, and above all, freedom-inducing ... feeling the ideal tone becomes a reliable monitor." (62) Finally, teachers can create a positive environment that affirms the student's strengths while presenting them with more possibilities. "Just because you can sing this with so much power doesn't mean you always have to. What would happen if you tried it a different way?" This environment should be safe for

"mistakes"; in fact, cracking should never be considered a mistake but a release of tension, a rite of passage on the way to one's destination.

Both physically and psychologically, the most effective plan of action is for the student to confront the break directly. Physically singing into the flip, as chaotic as it is, is the only way to eventually sing with "one" voice. To avoid it altogether--opting instead to stay in the student's comfort zone--would prevent any new patterns from becoming habits. Finally, facing one's vulnerabilities takes courage, maturity, and self-actualization. To guide a student through this transition is not only smoothing out a technicality, but also encouraging growth in being human--acknowledging weaknesses, accepting them, and patiently working through (not around) them to become stronger individuals. What more valuable lesson could a music teacher offer?


(1.) James C. McKinney, The Diagnosis and Correction of Vocal Faults: A Manual for Teachers of Singing and for Choir Directors (Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2005), 93.

(2.) Ibid., 98.

(3.) Stephen W. Smith and Michael Chipman, The Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 99.

(4.) McKinney, 93.

(5.) Scott McCoy, Your Voice: An Inside View (Princeton, NJ: Inside View Press, 2004), 69.

(6.) Nathalie Henrich, "Mirroring the Voice from Garcia to the Present Day: Some Insight into Singing Voice Registers," Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology 31, 3 (2006); 34/41/77/PDFHenrich/LPV_2006_registers.pdf (accessed April 15, 2009)

(7.) Leon Thurman et al., "Addressing Vocal Register Discrepancies: An Alternative Science-Based Theory of Register Phenomena" (paper presented at the second international conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing, Denver, CO, October 6-9, 2004), 22; (accessed April 15, 2009)

(8.) Stephen F. Austin, "Scientific Support for the Two-Register Theory," in Ariel Bybee and James E. Ford, eds., The Modern Singing Master: Essays in Honor of Cornelius L. Reid (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2004), 72.

(9.) Thurman, 25.

(10.) Ibid., 26.

(11.) Ibid.

(12.) William Vennard, Singing: The Mechanism and the Technic (New York: Carl Fischer, 1967), 66.

(13.) Austin, 72.

(14.) Vennard, 67.

(15.) Thurman, 29.

(16.) Austin, 72.

(17.) Minoru Hirano, William Vennard, and John Ohala, "Regulation of Register, Pitch and Intensity of Voice," Folia Phoniatrica 22, no. 1 (1970): 1.

(18.) Ibid., 6.

(19.) Ibid., 10.

(20.) Thurman, 28.

(21.) Vennard, 66-67.

(22.) Thurman, 37.

(23.) Michele Castellengo, B. Chuberre, and Nathalie Henrich, "Is Voix Mixte, the Vocal Technique Used to Smooth the Transition Across the Two Main Laryngeal Mechanisms, an Independent Mechanism?" (paper presented at the International Symposium on Musical Acoustics, Nara, Japan, March 31-April 3, 2004); (accessed April 15, 2009)

(24.) Ibid.

(25.) Ibid.

(26.) Ibid.

(27.) Thurman, 15.

(28.) Ibid., 42.

(29.) Ibid.

(30.) Berton Coffin, Coffin's Sounds of Singing (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1976), 113.

(31.) Ibid., 206.

(32.) Ibid., 233.

(33.) McCoy, 69.

(34.) Ingo R. Titze, "Voice Research: The Use of Low First Formant Vowels and Nasals to Train the Lighter Mechanism," Journal of Singing 55, no. 4 (March/April 1999): 41.

(35.) Ibid., 41.

(36.) McCoy, 44.

(37.) Ibid., 45.

(38.) Richard Miller, Training Soprano Voices (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 118.

(39.) Ibid., 118.

(40.) Ibid., 120.

(41.) Ibid., 119.

(42.) Ibid., 120.

(43.) Oren Brown, Discover Your Voice: How to Develop Healthy Voice Habits (Clifton Park, NY: Thomas Delmar Learning, 1996), 55.

(44.) Miller, 143.

(45.) Brown, 56.

(46.) Thurman, 49.

(47.) Kenneth L. Sipley, "The Adolescent Female Voice: A Review of Related Literature" (ERIC Document Reproduction Services, text-fiche, ED391703, 1995), 6.

(48.) Kevin D. Skelton, "The Child's Voice: A Closer Look at Pedagogy and Science," Journal of Singing 63, no. 5 (May/ June 2007): 540.

(49.) Sipley, 6.

(50.) Ibid., 11.

(51.) Ibid., 12.

(52.) Ibid., 13.

(53.) Austin, 73.

(54.) Ibid., 75.

(55.) Kelley Nassief, interview by author (Mastic, NY, April 6, 2009).

(56.) Patricia Bryan, interview by author (East Islip, NY, April 1, 2009).

(57.) Brown, 55.

(58.) Richard Miller, Solutions for Singers: Tools for Performers and Teachers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 141.

(59.) Sipley, 35.

(60.) Ibid., 36.

(61.) Nassief.

(62.) Miller, Solutions, 68.

Elena Blyskal, a New York-based soprano, graduated summa cum laude from Providence College with bachelor degrees in both Music and Theatre Arts. She completed additional studies in vocal performance at New York University and voice pedagogy at Long Island University. Published work includes the article "Dancing as Storytelling: The Innovations of Robbins and Fosse" in the 2010 book Writing About Dance. Elena has performed roles with the New York Lyric Opera Theatre, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Crittenden Opera Studio, and Sayville Opera Workshop. She is also a committed private teacher as well as an active piano accompanist, NYSTA member, and musical director. Elena looks forward to attending graduate school in the near future for an MM in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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