Monday, April 3, 2017

Nine Singing Rules for 18th Century Singers

From Geri Walton:
Singing was a popular activity in the 1700s. One writer noted that when there was a large group of singers, the worst singer was often the person who got the greatest pleasure from the activity. To ensure people got the most pleasure out of singing, numerous song books were published. Among them was one that maintained when a person was in society, it was the person’s duty to be “conformable and good-humoured.” To accomplish that, there were nine singing rules for 18th century singers.
  1. Pronounce Articulately and With Proper Emphasis – Mispronouncing words was said to be proof of ignorance, and it made songs unintelligible and sometimes even caused pain for the listeners. Thus, this rule was one of the most important as “a singer of good taste will not only avoid making errors himself, but will correct or soften those of others.”
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