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Bel Canto: A History of Vocal Pedagogy Paperback – March 28, 2003
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'Bel Canto is an extraordinarily well written, carefully researched, and meticulously documented work that demonstrates the author's vast knowledge and mastery of historical and current pedagogical literature. Uniquely authoritative, highly informative, it is a monument in its field and highly recommended to all students of singing.'(Richard Dale Sjoerdsma Journal of Singing)
'In Bel Canto: A History of Vocal Pedagogy, Stark has brought together the worlds of voice teacher, laryngologist, and acoustician in a highly readable and informative resource. Never before has this information been more accessible. This is a treasure trove for all those interested in the human voice, and helps them to 'reason why' -- with specific information, old and new.'(Darryl Edwards University of Toronto Quarterly)
About the Author
James Stark is a singer, vocal instructor and musicologist, with a lifelong interest in vocal pedagogy. He has taught for the last twenty-five years at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick.
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Top customer reviews
Today was our last class, and we all found that Stark's 'Bel Canto' has been a very good choice. His voluminous use of resources (Both primary source documents of singers, composers, vocal pedagogues speaking not only on vocal issues, but on composers, music, national styles, etc.) as well as Stark's 'historical overview' approach - starting and ending with Garcia, "the Master" -was an excellent tactic, in trying to put what we singers call 'The Golden Age' into both historical and aesthetic perspective.
I might not have purchased this book for my own personal library from the cover alone, nor might I have searched it out for post-doctoral study, had I not been 'assigned' the task of teaching Pedagogy by the rest of the Vocal area; (the 'new kid on the block' syndrome- you tenured faculty know what I am talking about!- lol) but I am very glad that I did teach this class. Coming after my Doctoral Orals, and achieving ABD status, I found this book to be a fitting summation of what the last twenty years has been about- that elusive 'search' for the 'secrets' of how to sing. Stark's own journey thus became MY journey, and, as a result of reading his book, it will now join it's place next to other books that have changed my view- for the better, (Reid's trilogoy, Ristad's Soprano on her Head, Hines' Great Singers on Great Singing, etc.) on matters of vocal pedagogy, music making, and what it means to be a Singer, entrusted with this most elusive and ephemeral of Arts. Thank you, James Stark. Your work is a gem.