A Dictionary for the Modern Singer (Dictionaries for the Modern Musician)

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9780810886551: A Dictionary for the Modern Singer (Dictionaries for the Modern Musician)
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Titles in the Dictionaries for the Modern Musician series offer both the novice and the advanced artist key information designed to convey the field of study and performance for a major instrument or instrument class, as well as the workings of musicians in areas from conducting to composing. Each dictionary covers topics from instrument parts to technique, major works to key figures—a must-have for any musician’s personal library!

A Dictionary for the Modern Singer is an indispensable guide for students of singing, voice pedagogues, and lovers of the art of singing. In addition to classical singing, genres, and styles, musical theatre and popular and global styles are addressed. With an emphasis on contemporary practice, this work includes terms and figures that influenced modern singing styles. Topics include voice pedagogy, voice science, vocal health, styles, genres, performers, diction, and other relevant topics. The dictionary will help students to more fully understand the concepts articulated by their teachers.

Matthew Hoch’s book fills a gap in the singer’s library as the only one-volume general reference geared toward today’s student of singing. An extensive bibliography is invaluable for students seeking to explore a particular subject in greater depth. Illustrations and charts further illuminate particular concepts, while appendixes address stage fright, tips on practicing, repertoire selection, audio technology, and contemporary commercial music styles.

A Dictionary for the Modern Singer will appeal to students of singing at all levels. For professionals, it will serve as a quick and handy reference guide, useful in the high school or college library and the home teaching studio alike; students and amateurs will find it accessible and full of fascinating information about the world of the singing.

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About the Author:

Matthew Hoch is Assistant Professor of Voice at Auburn University. He also serves as Vice President of the New York Singing Teachers Association (NYSTA) and Editor-in-Chief of VOICEPrints: The Official Journal of NYSTA. Dr. Hoch holds the BM from Ithaca College, the MM from The Hartt School, and the DMA from the New England Conservatory. He actively performs art song, opera, chamber music, and as a professional chorister.

Review:

Hoch offers a practical resource intended for singers, voice teachers, and lovers of the art of singing. It is truly comprehensive, encompassing not only classical genres and styles, but also musical theater, popular music, and folk and traditional music. Topics include vocal pedagogy, voice science, vocal health, styles, genres, performers, and diction. He also provides easily understandable definitions and explanations. A welcome bonus is the inclusion of five guest essays on important topics by distinguished pedagogues: comparison between classical and contemporary commercial music, choosing repertoire, practicing, performance anxiety, and audio technology. Also included are useful appendixes, among which are International Phonetic Alphabet charts, anatomy diagrams, the German Fach (vocal category) chart, and effects of medication on the voice. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners. (CHOICE)

Hoch provides us . . . with more of a vocalist’s field guide; his audience is the student in his classes. . . .As a reaction to Cornelius Reid’s A Dictionary of Vocal Terminology, Hoch’s entries lean toward tight definitions of general topics; the dictionary section of the text is just over 200 pages. Such economy allows for a large number of interesting entries, including various current programs, theories, and abbreviations encountered. We also find singers who are 'important figures in their field'; Aretha Franklin, Jacques Brel and Amy Grant find their way into is category. Some of the entries would be improved by including pronunciation guides, especially considering the audience. Hoch includes a substantial bibliography of the works consulted, which is a vital launching pad for the interested reader. The appendixes are worth their weight in gold—a timeline of the history of singing, 10 steps to singer’s wellness, and the effect of selected medications on the voice are but a few. For the student or practitioner, this is an essential volume to own. . . .This is essential for practitioners and undergraduates; it is also recommended for faculty. (American Reference Books Annual)

Three years in the making, Matthew Hoch's aptly-titled tome is now in print—and what a handsome book it is! From its elegant cover which features a singer sporting an asymmetrical dress, platinum ring and bob cut, to the well-written entries, articles and appendixes which deftly bridge the worlds of classical and contemporary vocal pedagogy, A Dictionary for the Modern Singer succeeds in giving singers and voice teachers a great deal of information, much of which will be new to those unaccustomed to the terminology of voice science. (VoiceTalk)

This book is an authoritative, well-researched and referenced work that will become an indispensable guide to student singers, giving them self-sufficiency to decipher their music, from tempo markings to languages and provide them with a resource from which they can start more a more in-depth study of their discipline. . . .[This book] is a very successful endeavor. The subject range is vast but appropriate given the range of the singing discipline In one volume lies much of the basic information a singer needs and a refresher for those of us who learned some of these terms a long time ago or perhaps need some more current information. As a reference book for the singer, student, teacher and enthusiast it is a fine starting place for more in-depth study. Recommended. (The Opera Journal)

A guide for vocal students and teachers, this work introduces terms that have influenced modern singing styles, covering topics such as vocal pedagogy, voice science and health, styles, genres, performers, and diction. Also included are an extensive bibliography and appendices on stage fright, tips for practicing, repertoire selection, audio technology and non-classical styles. (OPERA America)

We know that voices are unique and personal. There are deep bass voices, high-pitched cutting voices and melodious mellow voices. Each of us changes the volume, intensity and rhythm of our voice to suit the context or the people we are talking to. In short, our voice expresses who we are, what our thoughts and intentions are and how we feel. So, how do you get a beautiful voice? How do you wade through the many terms during your first singing lesson: head voice, chest voice, portamento, rounded voice and so on? Acquiring a correct vocal technique, both for singing and speaking, takes time and commitment, but having the appropriate theoretical knowledge makes the learning process much easier. How do you master the art of breathing, what does 'support' mean? Many of the answers to these questions can be found in Matthew Hoch's book, A Dictionary for the Modern Singer. (International Choral Bulletin)

Matthew Hoch’s A Dictionary for the Modern Singer is quite a useful tool. The entries are concise, clear, and its scope is appreciable. . . .It is a handy first place to go for information, and that is the author’s intention. Backed by appreciable scholarship and with plenty of bibliographic information, readers can strike out on their own to deepen research interests. Recommended. (The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians)

The lexicon is vast, encompassing anatomy, pedagogy, performers, teachers, terms, and vocal music of many genres. It offers general information about theory, history, and music literature, and includes singers of numerous styles, stage directors, collaborative pianists, choral conductors, and acting teachers. The subjects are eclectic (as evidenced by three successive entries: ‘Armenian chant,’ ‘Armstrong, Louis,’ and ‘ars antiqua’), and none of the explanations are long. Hoch explains each term in clear, articulate prose . . . [He] writes exceedingly well and the research is detailed . . . A Dictionary for the Modern Singer is a helpful single-volume reference for any studio. (Journal of Singing)

A Dictionary for the Modern Singer is a valuable resource that singers in all styles and at all levels (and their teachers) quickly will count as a favorite. Highly recommended. (The Triangle of Mu Phi Epsilon)

I highly recommend A Dictionary for the Modern Singer. It is a must-have reference guide for any voice teacher, student, or performer. I am certainly going to use it in my studio teaching and suggest that it be made part of my school’s classical and musical theater curriculum. Bravo to Matthew Hoch for this invaluable addition to any serious singer’s library. (The Voice and Speech Review)

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