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Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language Paperback – October 17, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kristin Linklater was born in 1936 and brought up in the Orkneys. Her father was the novelist Eric Linklater, and her brothers, Magnus and Andro, are both writers. She trained in London at LAMDA before moving to the USA to work with a number of well-known theatres there, returning occasionally to work with the RSC. She has just retired as Professor of Theatre Arts at Columbia University, New York. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 381 pages
  • Publisher: Drama Publishers/Quite Specific Media; Rev Exp edition (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896762505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896762503
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a theatre director, I have read a lot of books about other directors and stagecraft, and far fewer about the intimate work of the actor. I never got around to making a close study of voice until now, and FTNV has been a wonderful revelation for me.

Not only is Linklater's work imagistically strong and physically clear, but the thoughtful and careful way she approaches "release" seems a metaphor that extends well beyond the borders of the voice. It has inspired me in all facets of my artistic work. Wonderful, insightful, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
The original edition rightly cast Linklater as a leading figure in the world of voice training for actors and professional speakers. This edition is clearer, more specific, more exciting and more accessible. Greatly expanded, with useful (and diverse) illustrations, the text moves easily from theory to practice, with detailed exercises, musings, and references to a broad range of disciplines.
While nothing can substitute for learning this discipline from a qualified teacher, this book serves as an excellent road guide and reminder/refresher for the serious student or teacher.
As a professional linguist I can also vouch for the sound scientific grounding and accuracy of the discussion of the vocal process, which is all too often either lacking from dramatic voice work or else is so detailed that the student gets mired in anatomical minutiae and loses sight of the practical goal. Linklater ingeniously balances the science and art of voice in this improved classic.
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Format: Paperback
The second edition of Freeing the Natural Voice is a vastly expanded, inspiring and practical book for anyone interested in the human voice. Especially useful for actors at any level of experience, it de-mystifies the process of working on the voice. Linklater generously shares the depth and breadth of her life's work in language that stimulates the imagination as well as the intellect. Based on her understanding of human psychology and anatomy and the nature of the actor's process, it offers a window into the ways an artist develops craft and creativity simultaneously. The book is essential for teachers and students of voice, and is inspiring to anyone practicing related arts. For singers, the book might offer a new dimension to their level of personal connection with their voices and their material.
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Format: Paperback
While nothing can compare to the real deal of a professional Linklater voice instructor, this freshly updated and expanded 2nd edition (from the 1976 inaugural printing) brings with it 20 years of Kristin honing her voice exercises, and it truly shows in the meticulous explanation, improved illustrations and the careful word choice.

And when the book cover says expanded, it isn't kidding. Many warm-ups have been extended with additional exercises, and one useful feature is the commentaries at the end of exercises, which manage to put the exercises into a real world perspective that makes easy sense.

This book's language never gets caught up in intellectual logic. Instead, the text is so well laid out that exercises move from explanation to actual practice, and then to the next exercise before you realize it. The text is a definite improvement from the 1st edition, and that says a lot considering that when it first came out in the 70s, Freeing the Natural Voice became a staple in the voice acting industry and in many American acting curriculums.

When read, the text feels like Kristin is there having a conversation with you, and that is impressive considering that it is an exercise book, though so much more than that. It should be used as a helpful reminder and refresher for every instructor and student of acting (not just voice), as I myself intend to refer back to it on a regular basis.

Another thing that should be said that the text and exercises make the whole warm-up purpose simple by breaking down the body-emotion-voice connection to its most basic level.
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Format: Paperback
I had to buy this for a class. Honestly, I hate some of this. I DESPISE it. The exercises are painful and annoying...But...it's one of the best damn things I have pursued as an actor. So, as much as I hate it, I love every single thing this #!$@ing text has put me through! I have had so much growth, and it's not just voice--it addresses things that will release you as an actor. I just really don't think most people could seriously apply it as a solo effort. It's just so easy to throw this thing away as idiotic (as it can sound ridiculous) or just bail on when it gets painful (it can bring out things that will surprise you). If you are interested, I would seriously consider finding an instructor, or at the very minimum an extremely dedicated study group. Not saying that anyone could not do it on their own, but I could see this book gathering dust for individuals not knowing how to tackle it.
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Format: Paperback
As a teacher, I
find this new edition invaluable for students of all levels. It is complete, available and thorough. After working with many different books on voice, this book is the one I keep coming back to. My students love it.
The exercises are specific and continually return the student to the purpose of developing their voice- communication and the revelation of thought and feeling.
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