Flatness Causes

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FrancoFiglio
Posts: 5
Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 18:08

Flatness Causes

Postby FrancoFiglio » 19 Jul 2017, 11:40

First post. Greetings all.

I'm interested in the causation of flatness in some singers. While I understand that shades of vowels excite/deny certain harmonics which affect pitch (which is relative to tongue position, from what I understand), I do not understand why great singers like Tebaldi or Barioni are often flat. In the case of D. Barioni, who's singing I am amazed by, my sense is that the relationship of air flow to sound is off (eg. not enough air actually moving through cords, too much adduction) and not a matter of vowel choice. In the case of Tebaldi, there too I sense a problem with air flow, or something held which hampers proper acoustical balance. Of course, all singers sing out of tune from time to time, but I'm more interested in those who can be consistently THIS much under the pitch (certainly Barioni less so than Tebaldi). I'm less interested in tearing down singers, and more interested in the pedagogical reasons why it happens.

Thanks for your input.

p.s. Did anyone here hear Daniele B live? i'm curious what that voice sounded like in person, and why he was not more recognized for his greatness. Some say he was mentally disturbed. I am skeptical of that but willing to allow for it. Thoughts on why he became known for being inconsistent?

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Orestes
Posts: 27
Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 20:48

Re: Flatness Causes

Postby Orestes » 19 Jul 2017, 19:44

Some singers probably sings flat because hearing loss by age or of purely psychological reasons. Tebaldi's flatness grow worse by age.
I don't know much about Baroni, if I should be honest.

I usually think about Carlo Bergonzi. He was often "calante" in most versions of Celeste Aida or Quando le sere al placido throughout his career. One reason behind this could be that he darkened his sound a bit much.

If you for instance are a lyrical tenor and want to try to sound like a Caruso in front of your mirror you will likely sing flat. At least in my own experience. ;)

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Negenbari
Posts: 12
Joined: 16 Oct 2016, 09:19

Re: Flatness Causes

Postby Negenbari » 20 Jul 2017, 17:59

If the singer is musically trained and otherwise without any possibly incurable pitch problems, I find it has always to do with weight (too much), darkness (too much), timbre (not using the natural timbre). In great singers like Barioni and Tebaldi I would venture to guess that their greatness made it far less obvious they had one of the previously mentioned bad habits. Both definitely did not sing on the interest. So in such great singers it might simply mean that they were flat at a higher percentage of their total singing than they should have been, given their league.

FrancoFiglio
Posts: 5
Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 18:08

Re: Flatness Causes

Postby FrancoFiglio » 20 Jul 2017, 21:29

Negenbari wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 17:59
If the singer is musically trained and otherwise without any possibly incurable pitch problems, I find it has always to do with weight (too much), darkness (too much), timbre (not using the natural timbre). In great singers like Barioni and Tebaldi I would venture to guess that their greatness made it far less obvious they had one of the previously mentioned bad habits. Both definitely did not sing on the interest. So in such great singers it might simply mean that they were flat at a higher percentage of their total singing than they should have been, given their league.
Good thoughts Neganbari on the weight/darkness/timbre. I have to agree there. In the case of Barioni, I get this distinct feeling he had honed his emission to such a knife's edge that at times, it got a little TOO slim, and there wasn't quite the air pressure needed to keep the harmonics secure. Fisichella would say, he didn't sing open enough in the passaggio, but let the sound sink slightly for maximum depth of origination. It's not an noticeable thing often, but when it is, I have a hard time understanding precisely what he's did wrong in those moments.

Tebaldi mystifies me. Certainly a luxurious sound. And I think that was basically her undoing. Not enough firm adduction, a little too 'plummy' for her own good and pitch suffered because of it. Since I'm teaching a soprano at the moment who can, momentarily also sit on the under side of the pitch, I'm trying to gain the best strategy to help her thru this technical aspect. I DO notice when I have her sing more lithely (within the staff, closer to speech), purer vowels, the pitch always corrects itself.


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