Preparation For Singing
No one can sing properly without first preparing for it, mentally and
physically, with all the organs concerned in the production of the
We have in this to perform three functions, simultaneously:--
First, to draw breath quietly, not too deeply; to force the breath
against the chest and hold it there firmly till the upward and outward
streaming--that is, singing--begins. (See plate, T
e Path of the
Second, to raise the soft palate at the same time toward the nose,
so that the breath remains stationary until the singing begins.
Third, to jerk the tongue backward at the same time, its back being
thus raised, and elastic, ready to meet all the wishes of the
singer,--that is, the needs of the larynx. The larynx must not be
pressed either too low or too high, but must work freely. The breath
is enabled to stream forth from it like a column, whose form is
moulded above the larynx by the base of the tongue.
When these three functions have been performed, all is ready. Now the
pitch of the tone is to be considered, as the singing begins.
The consummation (Hoehepunkt) of the tone, above the palate, gives the
point of attack itself, under the palate.
Now further care must be given that the point of attack on the
palate--that is, the focal point of the breath--be not subjected to
pressure, and that the entire supply of breath be not expended upon
the palatal resonance.
For this the palate must remain elastic, for it has a twofold duty to
perform. It must not only furnish resistance for the focal point of
the breath,--except in the very highest head tones,--around which it
can be diffused; the same resistance, which stands against the stream
of breath from below, must also afford a firm, pliant, and elastic
floor for the overtones, which, soaring above the palate, shift, as is
needed, to or above the hard and soft palate, or are divided in the
nose, forehead, and head cavities. It can easily be seen how any
pressure in singing can be dangerous everywhere, and how careful the
singer is forced to be to avoid such mistakes.