Composing for Voice: Exploring Voice, Language and Music

Barker, Paul and Huesca, Maria (2018) Composing for Voice: Exploring Voice, Language and Music. Routledge Voice Studies . Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9781138244047


Composing for Voice: Exploring Voice, Language and Music, Second Edition, elucidates how language and music function together from the perspectives of composers, singers and actors, providing an understanding of the complex functions of the voice pedagogically, musicologically and dramatically. Composing for Voice examines the voice across a wide range of musical genres (including pop, jazz, folk, classical, opera and the musical) and explores the fusion of language and music that is unique to song. This second edition is enlarged to attract a wider readership amongst all music and theatre professionals and educators, whilst also engaging an international audience with the introduction of new co-author Maria Huesca.

New to the second edition:

A review of the history of singing
An overview of the development of melisma
A chapter designed to help performers understand each other, as singers and actors often receive disparate educations
Case studies and qualitative research around song, lyric and meaning
A discussion of the synthetic voice
An introduction to the concept of embodied composition
Interviews with composers and singers
Summaries of various vocal styles, including bel canto, the lyric voice, the belt voice, the rap voice, the dramatic voice, the virtuoso voice, the folk voice, the crooner, the live voice and the actor’s voice
A website with many of the links and performances of music discussed, as well as related workshops and seminars:
Composing for Voice: Exploring Voice, Language and Music, Second Edition, articulates possibilities for the practical exploration of language, music and voice by composers, singers and actors


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