Home Music Lane

It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

Sorry for the misquote.

A lot of my posts are made when I'm put on hold on the phone at the office, listening to music and sorting through mail at home, or otherwise multi-tasking. Hence the frequent gaffes. I do think that there are some talented musicians who understand that the HIP concept is useful if used in a fluid and imaginative way, not so much if used in a rigid and mechanical way.

Vibrato certainly had an important role in 18th century music and intelligent HIP performers and writers well know it. Singers and wind players produce it naturally and have to make a conscious effort to suppress it. String players have long imitated it in the human voice.

Some writers have commented how in the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the middle class expanded and large performing venues became more common, music became louder and sharper. Researchers have found (not sure if I can find the cite at this point) that people tend to speak not only louder, but also at a higher pitch, in a larger venue.

To me (and I've discussed this with professional singers), heavier and more prevalent vibrato may well be naturally associated with both louder volume and sharper pitch (as with vibrato above the fundamental, Maria Callas style).

But none of that suggests a dogmatic and complete rejection of vibrato for 18th and early 19th century music.


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