Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Despite its cursory description by Leonard Ratner and its outright dismissal by Raymond Monelle, the “singing style” is frequently evoked by analysts referring loosely (and often contradictorily) to song-like qualities. This chapter presents the singing style within the wider discourse, culture, and practice surrounding eighteenth-century songs and singing. Contemporary discussions of vocal composition (Johann Mattheson, Heinrich Christoph Koch) and vocal performance (Pier Francesco Tosi, in translations with commentaries by John Ernest Galliard and Johann Friedrich Agricola) involve a range of musical qualities but share a focus on intelligibility and accessibility. Contemporary poetry, literature, and criticism may connect singing to femininity, amateurism, domesticity, nature, beauty, or sociability, but retain similar connotations of simplicity, purity, and directness. The singing style can thus be understood as centered on comprehensibility, an extra-musical quality that is available to migrate to instrumental music under many guises.

Keywords: singing style, comprehensibility, Heinrich Christoph Koch, Johann Mattheson, Pier Francesco Tosi, John Ernest Galliard, Johann Friedrich Agricola

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.