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Lost Teachings from the Father of Voice Science

An Englishman and Londoner, HERMANN KLEIN (1856-1934) was a prolific writer, voice teacher, and student of the legendary voice teacher Manuel García (1805-1906). After arriving in New York City in 1901 to teach García's method, Klein became the Chairman of the newly-formed National Association of Teachers of Singing; furthering the organization's goal of bringing standards and certification to the singing teacher profession by writing an 84-page singing manual utilizing the new technology of the gramophone. In doing so, Klein documented the studio teaching of the father of voice science, revealing details of García's method for the first time. However, Klein's manual was subsequently lost for more than a century after the quest for certification failed, Klein returned to England, and the recordings perished in a fire—twice.  

In a well-documented introduction, DANIEL SHIGO recounts how he discovered Klein's manual hidden in plain sight, discusses its history and significance for modern students and teachers of singing, and addresses García's controversial teaching of voice placement. 

While this historic manual was originally published for four voice types, this publication is a facsimile of the tenor voice edition. Please note that it does not contain the tenor recordings, which, despite a decade of searching, have not been found. However, in a curious twist of fate, the contralto recordings were discovered during the book's publication and can be heard at YouTube and Soundcloud. We owe their existence to the foresight and generosity of John Wolfson, a record collector and patron of the arts in New York City.



What is said in these pages takes the place of what should proceed from the mouth of the teacher.
— Hermann Klein, New York City, 1908

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Hermann Klein Phono-Vocal Method Based upon the Famous School of Manuel Garcia is available at IngramSpark and Amazon. 

My Dear Mr. Klein,
I hear you are going to live in America and to establish yourself there as a teacher of singing. At a moment when the art of singing is in a condition of decadence, I am glad to be able to express my confidence in your ability to carry on those traditions which I imparted to you during a period of four years. It is gratifying to me to know that the great American people appreciate the sound theories of the old school and they will assuredly find in you one among its few capable exponents. Wishing you every success, believe me.
— Manuel García, London 1901
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The introduction to this pedagogic treatise reads like a detective novel. Those interested in historical vocal pedagogy will find this volume fascinating, and all serious students of voice will benefit from the succinct and straight-forward instruction offered by Klein.
— The Journal of Singing
“This is much more than just a piece of vocal archaeology. It takes the art of teaching back to foundational elements of voice training: no acoustic analysis, airflow studies, no closed quotients—only simple concepts and effective exercises that are tried and true, developed through decades of trial and error and proven over scores of years in studios all over the world. Would that our voice teaching profession take heed and return to simple things as presented in this little book.
— Stephen F. Austin

About the author 

DANIEL SHIGO is a voice teacher, scholar, and author based in New York City on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near Lincoln Center.

Daniel Shigo is the vocal Indiana Jones!
— Justin Petersen
This is a valuable reissue of a major course of vocal study by a pupil of one of the most famous teachers of all time.
— Fanfare Magazine
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It is important for teachers of singing and students of the voice to have access to this material, if only because a growing mountain of scientific information is casting a large shadow over older, more empirically-oriented pedagogies—the irony, of course, being the fact that Manuel García is considered the father of voice science.
— Daniel Shigo

Visit the SHIGO VOICE STUDIO for information and instruction in the bel canto principles of singing as taught by Manuel Garcia. Voice Lessons in New York City and Internet Lessons.

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Hermann Klein, 1901

Hermann Klein, 1901

He taught a style that was irreproachable in its purity, irresistible in its charm; and his treatment of the Mozart or the Rossini aria was a perfect model of the highest and most accurate tradition. He knew exactly how every and where every turn, every gruppetto, every appoggiatura, every tiny nuance had been executed under the composer’s direction, and to acquire that knowledge from Manuel Garcia was to obtain it from the fountain head and with a measure of authority that no other living being could have the right to dispute.
— Hermann Klein, New York City, 1905
Manuel García c. 1850

Manuel García c. 1850

There was always room for such beautiful voices as America produced, provided they were produced and trained in accordance with the great recognized principals—the one and only true method—of the art of singing. I wish that people would disabuse their minds of the notion that there is, or can be, any new system of so-called voice production, or even any satisfactory modification or development or pre-existing theories on this subject.
— Manuel García, London, 1901