Hidden In Plain Sight: The Hermann Klein Phono-Vocal Method Based Upon The Famous School Of Manual Garcia
Hermann Klein was a student and life-long friend of the legendary voice teacher Manuel García, credited with discovering the laryngoscope, and creating the field of voice science. He also knew Manuel García's sister Pauline Viardot-García, the "Oracle of Paris," and a celebrated voice teacher in her own right. A music critic, author and voice teacher, Klein taught the principals of the Ecolé de Garcia, which originated with Manuel García I.
An Englishman, Klein came to New York City to teach Manuel García's historic method in 1901, returning to England eight years later after trying - and failing - to institute national certification for singing teachers. While in America, he wrote an 84-page singing manual utilizing the "new" technology of the gramophone, that was then "lost" for more than a century.
I found Klein's manual hidden in plain sight, and wrote about it in the September/October issue of VOICEPrints, which you can find here. The link contains extracts from Klein's text.
"What is said in these pages takes the place of what should proceed from the mouth of the teacher."
Klein makes you feel like you are having a lesson with the Master himself when you read his beautifully written text. Quite simply, his genius lies in his commentary. Klein gives the reader vocal wisdom not found in García's groundbreaking works: Complete Treatise on the Art of Singing (1841) and Hints on Singing (1894). It is a rare book waiting to be rediscovered.
The book includes:
1. An introduction written by Daniel James Shigo, detailing the discovery of Hermann Klein's manual, it's importance to historical vocal pedagogy, and the controversy regarding the García School teaching of "voice placement" or "singing in the masque."
2. Hermann Klein's historic 84-page c. 1909 manual, which was written to teach the art of singing to all four voices (soprano, contralto, tenor, bass), and accompanied by 20 gramophone recordings. It is divided into two parts. Part One (28 pages) contains text which outlines García's principles of singing. Part Two contains vocal exercises with accompanying instruction and commentary. Of the available copies of Klein's manual, the tenor volume was chosen for publication since it better suited reproduction in facsimile.
3. Klein's instruction and commentary for exercise 13—"The Trill"—which is not contained in the tenor volume as a result of difficulties with the recording process.
Part One outlines the García School principles for:
Breathing, Adjustment and Attack, Vowel Formation, Resonance, Management of Registers, Enunciation, Phrasing, Tone-Color and Expression, Concluding Advice.
Part Two features exercises for:
1. Sustained tones on Italian Vowels, Swelled and Diminished ("Messa di Voce")
2. Blending of the Registers and Equalization of Tones
3. The Slow Scale, Ascending and Descending
4. Changes of Vowel-Tone Upon Single Notes, Scale Passages, Etc.
5. The Portamento on Easy Intervals
6. The Pure Legato On Intervals of Increasing Length
7. Preparation of the Quick Scale
8. The Quick Scale
9. Runs, or "Divisions"
10. Triplets and Slurred Notes
12. Ornamentations: The Turn or Gruppetto, Acciaccatura, Appoggiatura, and Mordent
13. The Singing of Solfeggi
14 and 15. Consonants and Vowels (Italian)
16. Consonants and Vowels (English)
19. Style (Oratorio)
This section builds on the theoretical groundwork laid out in Part One, and contains a wealth of detailed technical information. Klein not only tells the singer what to do, but how to think. This requires the embodiment of principals set forth in Part One, two of which are the acquisition of "a true singing position" and "forward placement."
What about the original recordings? Unfortunately, only a handful of records for soprano appear to have survived. Efforts are being made to make them available online.
How does your support help?
Funds will go towards production costs: editorial fees, formatting of Klein's tenor manuscript which will be presented in facsimile with an introduction, and cover design. Four-fifths of this work has already been completed.
This book is a result of 20 years of research and study, conducted while singing with New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. I am excited to be presenting The Hermann Klein Phono-Vocal Method to a new generation of students and teachers of the voice. It has changed how I sing and how I teach.
Thank you for your pledge!
Risks and challenges
I am using CreateSpace at Amazon for this project, and do not anticipate technical difficulties or delays. However, should they occur, this page will be updated immediately with detailed information.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)