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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Of all musical sounds clearly none are more intimately related to the men and women andchildren who produce them than singing. How might the relationship between singersand singing styles be studied? What sources might be drawn on to illuminate thisrelationship? This chapter examines the peculiar and distinctive choral tradition ofEnglish cathedral choirs, a style distinguished by the “whiteness” of the sounds, theabsence of vibrato, and the control, restraint, and reserve. It attempts to relate thesounds the men and boys make to the lives they lead and the ideas and ideals by whichthey lead them. What is the value of such an exercise in cultural history?

Keywords: singing styles, English cathedral choirs, vibrato, absence of vibrato, cultural history

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