Madame Lehmann main exercise: the great scale

On Instagram I am doing a series on this great exercise of Madame Lilli Lehmann. Here the links to Madame Lehmann How to Sing and to the series.

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This is a great exercise, and really as she says if you just can learn and practice this you will have most of what is necessary for a voice and with one only tool. Said that can anyone start practicing it with certainty of success? In my experience no, for two main order of different reasons: 1. attitude; 2. lack of at least few notes with sufficient correct voice production. Attitude: yes it if fundamental, always and always in voice production. In means if you can have access to the correct motor control system for singing. This means that as I said in the post of yesterday you do not fall into the screaming or the constrictive patterns governed by your vagal and sympathetic/parasympathetic systems (flight-fight response especially mediated by an activation close to the sacral spine that takes away all possibility of support). Those patterns are strongly activated by mental attitude toward voice production, and many of the tools used in vocal technique as speed, legato/staccato vocalisations, accents, change of volume and intensity, using a lot of breath etc. are in the purpose of unblocking the singer stuck into those stiffening and stiff patterns. In some sort it is a forcing the system not to hyper control and find the spontaneous system (as defined by neurologists working in mirror neurons field as Rizzolatti), and for the anxious to experiment that beyond the flight-fight you fly as Dumbo (and not crush and die and suffer, no: you enjoy and fly and find sustain). For the second if breath can not activate at least some tones, you have nothing to start working on. In this case anything slow will create more gap than filling it, slow requires a structure; so it is mandatory to build a structure. Strategies as for point 1 can be used, as many other tools (usually in regression and with an initial bad sound outcome even when successful and effective, the slow will refine the sound 😉 ) to create the sufficient body structure; the typical case of those singers that some months after a period of training find developed things we did not work together or they thought were not worked. Those are valid for all the slow vocalises. #lillilehmanngreatscale

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What you will find when you practice it correctly is 1. the internal shaping of the fascia that singing can do when well and scrupulously practised (no wonder of postural changes if you use well singing tools, as happened also during #cossumethod program); 2. the access to this point of stillness in which your breath out is a contraction before the note production, something very special and amazing in the sound you find and physical and mind connection it creates (and also its consequences in how it changes ideas on music and pitch and vibrations, as a deep meditation that opens to doors of different point of view). And it does this by finding the perfect contraction before the sound and then this slight movement into the fascia or the ulterior contraction and concentration in the front of the larynx and of throat muscles or in other styles just the opening of the jaw that are the starting point of perfect sounds. You can feel as drunk when you find them, and are refreshing as she says many times. Regressions as I was saying yesterday are mandatory if you have not enough capacity of hips and larynx to extend while remaining with a physiological placement of diaphragm during sound production, because you will compensate and deform the system (usually by hyper using lumbar back and pelvic pavement and eventually a direct anus contraction and some other legs muscles at the place of correct forces, so better wait and correct the system enough to get to use this perfect tool). PRACTICAL: if you do not have a teacher that understand how to solve your structure by use of regressions and regressive logic and you cannot use my lessons of help is a work with a strength and conditioning coach in the line of work of Coach Michael Boyle and an assessment of your movement and patterns with Gray Cook method. Then for us it is of direct help to work on: glutes bridges, deadlifts, split squats and all the unilateral squats variations, the chin up assisted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #voiceteacher #vocaltechnique #functionalvoice #belcanto #singing #vocalcoaching #luciacossu #lillilehmanngreatscale

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The great scale is the perfect breath management exercise; and breath in singing and most refined ways of thinking is a deep fascia thing. Life changes fascia: movements, emotions, a virulent and wild flu, walking, what we eat, drinking, surgeries, the shoes we use, travels, sitting habits, sport, ageing, health conditions etc. Some norms and prescriptions we find often in books and among singers are in the sense of avoiding the excesses in this changes or to take back some issues (as dietary prescriptions that can affect inflammation in some in unbearable levels as for high oxalates foods that many singers have traditionally reported as problematic). As great technical singers know one of the best way is to gain back and work technically on it every single day, and this is the line of advice of Lilli Lehman. Practice it to gain the fascia changement that do build the voice, and practice it to have basically no major changes in your voice or contain and slow down them. This also is the logic and path to follow to understand why we have to patiently build back or build when something of traumatic has happened. Also the reason why as singers we often do well with the assistance of figures and practices specialised on fascia health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . #voiceteacher #vocaltechnique #functionalvoice #functionalsinging #singing #vocalcoaching #luciacossu #cossumethod #vocaltechniqueforprofessionals #professionalsvoices #voixprofessionels #careofprofessionalvoices #techniquechanteurs #italianbelcantotechnique #vocalteacher #singingteacher #voice #voiceform #vocalgesture #breath #breathing #tongue #italianbelcanto #belcantotechnique #belcanto #lillilehmanngreatscale #greatscale #fascia #fasciacounts

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Madame Lehmann prescriptions on how to execute the scale points it on the fifth grade of the scale, in her prescription is perfectly balanced on the fifth grade. By perfectly balanced I mean that it is not done at the expenses of sustain brilliancy or of voice colour. Often it is asked where to make this turn, and as in the great scale if appropriately executed it will be a segment in the middle of the tessitura, all the fifths of the two octaves extension are the segment of tessitura with this turning. The turn is the movement that brings a required and precise capacity of putting the voice relaxed but not without colour, a sort of copertura that will not deprive the tone from true brilliant sustain. It is exactly what she asks when she says of the palatal sensations and the movement in pronounciation of the fifth grade (going up or coming back down). The fifth is the turned sound that will enlarge the compass, if well executed will create that segment additional with no loss of coulour and stenght that do shape correctly breath and fascia. On the fifth it is easier to make it clearly correct since: 1. the pitch and the vibration of correct pitch on the fifth is correct or wrong in a more clear way that on other tones; 2. it is first forced point of changing larynx position, this meaning that if you can incorrectly force tones in a fourth in the same position (as you can do sometimes for some stylistic requirements or with beginners who have not acquired the flexibility of changing correctly positions) you cannot do that for a fifth, you are forced to change position. In others Belcanto styles this turn can be exaggerated (as in many XXth century opera singers, as shows the great soprano Katia Ricciarelli in her stylistic evolution; swipe for examples of this on YouTube) or taken to the minimum physiological required not to strain the voice as in Nellie Melba or Tetrazzini Belcanto concept. #lillilehmanngreatscale

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Italian Belcanto in its pure acceptation is different from other Belcanto styles in one precise thing: it wants and chooses the sustain component in the purest vertical force and never loses it in the vibration, not to gain colour or volume or expression that it is called void volume since it is done at the expenses of those vibrations that carry the sound and give this special vibrancy of Italian voices. In practical terms it means that it is centered on the development of positions and sustain to have pure head tones and overtones and never get to hyperturned or hypernasalised or worse intubated. Madame Lehmann is specially wise and prescribing to get to palatal sensations in the fifth of the scale and then getting into pure head tones going toward the octave she avoids the loss of this magic and wonderful vibration gaining at the same time what the voice can of warmth and nuances in the octave central the tessitura. You can note that when in this segment the notes are reached as the octave they will have a more head tones prevalence and when reached as the fifth the most coloured version of them; so in all the positions they will be found you are training this octave in all the flexibility and colour possible for the specific voice in the mixture of power-colour-vibration without risking the loss of the Italian Belcanto style magic vibration. In practical this vibration is a development of the structure, a strength development that can be fantastic and absolutely safe to develop as straining and dangerous if chased by violence and ignorance of how to protect vocal chords as the fascia system. *This development is a development of fascia, being the vibrations a material vibrating effect and not a only vocal chords thing as Tomatis found in some of its research. The sound is a sum of biological tissues vibrations and not just the effect of vocal chords exactly as a violin sound is not given by just the chord :). #lillilehmanngreatscale

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Here the link to Madame Lehmann How to sing free online copy http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19116

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