'The Historical Record of Vocal Sound': A conversation about vibrato with Richard Bethell

31st November 2021

In the Spring 2021 publication of the Newsletter of the National Early Music Association UK appears a rather substantial article entitled ‘The Historic Record of Vocal Sound (1650-1829.) ’ The article in question was penned by independent musicologist and secretary of the National Early Music Association UK, Richard Bethell, in response to a somewhat mixed review by Dr. Edward Breen of Mr. Bethell’s recently published book on the same subject. While Mr. Bethell and I have discussed the contents of his book at great length outside of print, the publication of the aforementioned article served as an opportunity for an explicit and public challenge to be issued for me and my colleague and friend Lisandro Abadie to defend our perspectives on the subject.


Giulio Caccini: The good, the bad and the unclear


Created in collaboration with, This project aims to present a new translation of several of Giulio Caccini's most influential printed works, alongside an educational video on the subject of his famous preface to Le Nuove Musiche


Demystifying Tosi


This collection of summaries is designed to make wading through the dense texts of Pier Francesco Tosi, as well as his most notable eighteenth-century translators, easier for students of 'historically informed' singing. The intention is to present those elements of Tosi's text which are essentially practical, accompanied by the various commentaries provided by his translators, in a clear and concise, and therefore more easily usable manner.


A History of the Countertenor Voice


Created in partnership with 'Early Music Sources,' this project aims to present an overview of the history of the countertenor voice and the role of falsetto in Western singing while addressing several common misconceptions on the subject. This document began as my preparatory notes on the subject, but quickly became extensive enough to warrant their inclusion on this page.


Collection of Ornamented Vocal Music


The issue of ornamentation is one of the most tangible elements of historical performance practices due in part to the high level of attention dedicated to the subject by historical writers. This project consists of an open-source list of ornamented vocal music ranging from late Medieval period to the 20th century. The aim of the project is to collate the vast amount of source material which is already available online into a single, easily searchable document.

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