Techniques | Bel Canto | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Bel canto – beautiful singing – is a vocal technique that is deliberately designed to sound effortless but is, in reality, extremely difficult to achieve. Although the technique reached full flower in the nineteenth century, especially in the operas of Vincenzo Bellini (1801–35), elements of bel canto style first appeared in the Baroque era, in Venetian opera of the mid-seventeenth century. The technique goes back even further, though, to Medieval teachers who encouraged singers to achieve an even continuity of tone and pass from one musical phrase to the next without a pause. The smooth, sustained legato characteristic of bel canto, in which the singer scarcely seems to take a breath, requires superlative tone, elegant phrasing and expressive delivery, all combined in seamless fashion to provide an uninterrupted musical line. Although bel canto can appear to lack vocal fire when compared to the extra-musical dramatics of verismo, it is by no means without drama or emotion and was used to great effect by its most illustrious twentieth-century practitioners, Maria Callas (1923–77) and Tito Schipa (1888–1965). Long identified as the traditional Italian art of singing, the term bel canto was first used some time before 1840 by Italian composer and singer Nicola Vaccai.
Styles & Forms | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Techniques | Monteverdi’s Innovations | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Techniques | Realism, Naturalisme & Verismo | High Romantic | Opera
Techniques | Verismo | Turn of the Century | Opera
An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...
Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.
The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.
Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers
his life, music, art and movies, with a
sweep of incredible photographs.