The heading of this post promises actually too much. I don´ t intend to say anything final about this much debated subject. But for your knowledge, Dear Singers, that´s what it´s about these days in every single voice/singing pedagogy congress. I have attended many of them, lastly the International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT) in Brisbane, Australia and
the PEVOC, Pan-European Voice Congress in Prague, Czech Republic this summer. And all those spectrograms describing the formants of the vocal tract; that`s really the craze today.
Oh, I just love looking at spectrograms! But believe me, they can never substitute a good pair of ears by a good knowledgeable singing teacher. Maybe nobody ever claimed they would. And yet, as a teacher, it`s really great to SEE what you always thought you heard. “Ah, I knew it! ”
What I wanted to say with this post is that in classical singing there really exists a thing called vowel modification. Because as a singer ascends higher towards his/her passaggio range, it is very wise to do something about one´s vowels – to modify them towards a more slender, more narrow and vertical form. That is unless you want to sound strident and strained. By so doing, your larynx has it much easier to stay comfortable and your resonance doesn´t spread but finds a higher placement, giving you more overtones while keeping the depth in the sound. It´s really that simple! It´s all about the old bel canto adage “chiaroscuro”, the ideal th
at the vocal sound should be both dark and bright at the same time. That means beautiful balance both in the larynx and in the resonance.