The Singing Cellist: An Exploration of the Relationship between the Cello and the Human Voice
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Singing and playing the cello have often been anecdotally linked, but there has been little research undertaken that examines the relationship in any depth. Through reflection upon my practice as a singer and cellist, and in examining selected repertoire, this paper explores the ways in which the use of the human voice can influence and inform string playing generally, and cello playing in particular. A series of interviews was undertaken with selected relevant musicians to gain a wider perspective on the research topic, and these support and inform the author’s reflections. The first chapter deals with various technical elements of singing practice, with relationships and equivalences to string instrument practice noted. These elements include the breath and breathing, phonation, vowel and consonant production, vibrato, shifting and portamento, and registers. Chapter two examines the area of language as it relates to music and ideas for its incorporation into instrumental performance are explored. Chapter three investigates the pairing of the cello with the voice in several contexts, including in an orchestral/vocal setting, in chamber music, and with the performer singing and playing at the same time. Finally, brief conclusions are drawn from the research undertaken and recommendations for further research are noted.
Master of Music (MMus)
Queensland Conservatorium of Music
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