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Contemporary Choral Work with Boys
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The choral world is drifting and in need of solutions in relation to one of its most enduring problems - the shortage of male singers. Contemporary Choral Work with Boys offers a radical re-appraisal of the situation based on a unique combination of scholarly work on the sociocultural aspects of young male singing with similar cutting edge work on the physiological. The book provides clear, lucid information on the nature of puberty and later adolescence and the impact these times have upon both the vocal mechanism and the social self. New data answer many questions about whether or not trends in the timing of puberty are causing voices to "break" earlier and how choir directors and singing teachers need to respond. The book contains a significant amount clinical reference material, but the text and presentation is designed to serve primarily as a practical handbook. Thus, readers will be able to access the practical advice readily, whilst having access to more detailed scientific information as and when they need it. Pitched at a level that will appeal to those who have some experience of working with choirs that include young male singers (or would like to include such singers), it should answer questions that such readers will inevitably have through their experience. While Professor Ashley's book will stimulate much debate and no little soul searching, it will encourage organizations associated with choral singing to explore exciting new initiatives to break the deadlock of the "missing males" in choral singing.
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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction - Pedagogy or Performance? Why are we doing it? Choral Tone: From the Old Masters to Cambiata. Part II: Technicalities and science - Adolescence and the voice. The secular trend in puberty. Training the voice and tone production during adolescence. Boys' choral tone: the acoustic environment and wider consideration. Vocal Identity and Vocal Agency Part III: Practicalities and artistry - Children's Choirs. Changing Voice Choirs. Youth Choirs. Men's and Boy's Choirs. Index

About the Author

Professor Martin Ashley is Head of Research in the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University. He has conducted extensive studies of boys' vocal identity and authored two books on the topic. Taking the theme of "how high should boys sing?" he has gathered and analysed large volumes of data from boys across a broad social spectrum about the relationship between the singing voice and the masculine self. He has recorded and analysed the voices of over 1000 boys aged between ten and fifteen, creating a unique window into the state of boys' voices and choral singing in the early twenty-first century.

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