Voices, Tonal Ideals, Classification, and Technique
Before discussing particular aspects of technique, this chapter considers voices as such, tonal ideals and voice classification. While the primary focus is on the eighteen-to-sixty-year-old voice, vocal pedagogues may properly be expected to have an understanding of childrens' and seniors' voices. It is important that adolescent students should have the voice change explained to them by their singing teachers. Traditionally, the main categories of the singing voice in Western culture are, for men: bass, and tenor; for women: contralto/alto, and soprano. A critical evaluation of that sound may be felt as an intrusion into personal privacy, the more so if singers have been acclaimed for their singing. In order to sustain the singing sound the breathing muscles have to maintain their inspiratory position for as long as it is comfortable, thus delaying the expiratory section of the breath cycle.