Sunday, April 07, 2013

Vibrato

While driving to a rehearsal for the group, Sunny Side Up, today, I was thinking about the use of vibrato in singing because a bass singer in Don Carlo, which was on the car radio at the time, seemed to be making excessive use of it. I have a bit of a thing about vibrato: I tend to think that it's an overdone practice, and certainly opera singers from some countries make more use of it than others.  Supposedly vibrato is natural in a singing voice.  If that's the case I'm not sure why certain singing teachers insist on increasing the use of it, something that young singers often find quite hard.

String players and wind players make use of vibrato too, some to an extent that it becomes irritating.  Again this seems in part to depend on the nationality of the player.  Vibrato isn't quite the same as tremolo - pianists can play tremolo, for instance, whereas they can't do vibrato in any sense - but the words do get interchanged.  Thus when you go to buy a Floyd Rose tremolo at GC you're basically buying a tremolo for your guitar, since a Floyd Rose tremolo is a type of double-locking vibrato arm to keep your guitar strings from going out of tune when you produce a tremolo effect.

Apparently if you say the words, Floyd Rose, guitarists will understand that you don't mean the person, Floyd D Rose, [pictured at left] the man who invented the locking vibrato arm, but the device itself.  Thus a person's name gets taken over by his invention, as did Alessandro Volta's name by electrical voltage.


Post a Comment