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  1. Summary Copyright( China ): No 2008-A-09241 The senior Beijing opera fiddle player in Beijing Opera House, Beijing, China, Mr. Xue Zhiqing devoted himself for decades in the study of the vocal music and found the theory that is never discovered ancient and modern, Chinese and foreign, i.e. “thirteen ways of vocalizationâ€, of which the key content is the application of “the look being just like the sound†in the singing performance. The mastery of such a method can enable the singer having troubles with vocalization to return to the stage very soon, and recover the youthful vividness in singing. It helps to very quickly uplift the students with born conditions in singing, to rapidly rise into the free kingdom of singing. So far, the bewilderments in articulation have therefore been overcome, the maze of vocalization has been walked out. In the mysterious field of vocal science, ‘the look being just like the sound’ has reached the climax. Thirteen Methods of Vocalization Momentous Findings in the Field of Vocal Music Preface The thirteen methods of vocalization will cause unprecedented changes in the international forum of vocal music. They are new milestones in the vocal music forum, which will soon bring people engaged in vocal music out of plight. Among so many vocal music experts, including so many famous ones, who has developed a theory as clear and precise as the thirteen methods of vocalization? Isn’t that enough to prove their value? If the thirteen methods of vocalization didn’t make their appearance, you wouldn’t be able to buy it at any cost. Only those who are extremely honest and respectful to art are likely to get what they earnestly look for. Otherwise, you may let it slip even if wind brings it to your door. Brief Introduction of Thirteen Methods of Vocalization: The wordings are very simple, so simple that most people who feel so fail to understand. Only those who have engaged in the research of vocal music for many years and grasped its essence can see the significance of these methods. But such people are too few (I mean internationally, not nationally). The introduction is clear for sure, only that you cannot understand it. This is a matter of distance, great distance. It is just like people on the earth looking at UFO: they cannot make anything out of it. The thirteen methods of vocalization is a thing you can get with diligence, patience, infatuation, brainwave, simplicity, frustration and chance. Even a slight fickleness will drive it away (because you may discontinue your research). You do not know when you will feel it. One year, two years, eight years, ten years, twenty years or more? It seems so far away from you. Just like a person contracts a strange disease. He does not know what can cure it, and it may remain a myth till his death. I do not believe that before there have been no vocal music researchers infatuated with his field, but there have been no success. I’m not a smart person; actually even money I can’t count correctly. I haven’t done any great thing, but I love art for all my life. I have spent all my physical and mental energy in developing these thirteen methods of vocalization. That I have obtained it is the greatest favor God has delivered to me. I’m quite satisfied with it. Hereby I solemnly declare that I’m willing to transfer the copyright of “thirteen methods of vocalization†at a price no less than 10 million euros. Only a person with peculiarly intelligent eyes can buy an internationally peculiar artistic theory. The price of this rule passes to increase 1,000,000 euros year by year from 2,005. Thirteen Methods of Vocalization THE sound is word while the word is sound, these two things can never be divided, human beings could pronounce sounds ever before the appearance of written language. Letters/characters have been created by human beings in accordance with different sounds. That is the reason why the written forms of language vary with variable human groups. First comes the vocal sounds and written words are to follow. Though in arias, the singing is based on written words, these words are different from those in the reality of life, the words are restricted by vocal sounds, for all the arias are based mainly on vocal sounds, because it is singing, in case that it is based on words, that can then only be called “rhythmic story-telling†That is the reason why the words are not so clearly expressed in songs/operas than in daily life. Though the written or vocal language of a nationality differs from any other, however talking on the variable sounds that all the human beings pronounced are in the least no difference at all, it is common for the whole of human race. Even for all the living creatures on earth, the sounds they articulate are totally the same. All sounds in the world around are in rhyme, not only of the human beings and animals but the sounds of thunder, gun shots, etc.. No sound is beyond the thirteen rhymes. The heehaw of a donkey is in “Jiangyang rhymeâ€, the caw of a crow is in “Fahua rhymeâ€, the chirp of a turtledove is in “Gusu rhymeâ€, etc. Their cries are all in the rhymes. Therefore, the thirteen rhymes in the ancient Chinese phonology is interchangeable in the world, never taken them as divided by Chinese characters, characters here are nothing but sounds they belong to, in other words, characters are only symbols representing the sounds. ( Xinsi Yin 's meaning be equal the look being just like the sound ) THE art of vocal music is a science. Anything belongs to science has its laws: Xingsi Yin (sound similar in form) Xingsi Yin derives from Thirteen Rhymes (an ancient Chinese folk art form). It comes from the end sound of the words, as each word belongs to the Thirteen Rhymes. For instance, the end sound of “Yang†in “Jiangyang Rhyme†is “Ang,†but there is another sound in “Ang.†This sound is Xingsi Yin. When singing “Ang,†the two sounds will be sung out simultaneously. More emphasis should be laid on Xingsi Yin, so that the voice can move back and forth smoothly and freely. If “Ang†is sung without Xingsi Yin, the voice won’t be strong and will die out once pushed. Strength is of no avail now, as the vocal cords are “closed.†Therefore, the voice will not be open and through. Some actors are quite worried when their voice cannot get through, but they do not know the reason is that there are two sounds. Other actors sing xingsi yin and it turns out well, but their knowledge about xingsi yin is perceptional rather than rational. Although their voice is silvery, they do not know how comes. More often than not an actor may find it easy and comfortable in voicing a sound one day, then another day things are totally different. Time after time such thing happens in actors’ life, so they become extremely alert to their voice lest anything happens. In serious case, such concern has turned a constant anxiety. By Now Xingsi Yin Has Not Yet Been Discovered by Vocal Music Researchers Among the vocal musical experts, there are various opinions concerning vocalization, but none has hit the point. While listening to such kind of abstract and vague theories, students are slow to understand. Even though some have found the way, they are not taught by their teachers. But xingsi yin is different because it can be easily accepted by the singers. Instead of being abstract, it concretely points out why the actors fail to make appropriate sound, which sound is open through and which is not, why it is so and how it should be sung. What’s more, it carefully and clearly marks the sound by word or sound, so that actors are quite clear what they are aiming at, how they should sing, which sound will be focused and which not. As long as their train of thoughts is clear, their progress is obvious. However, the exact date of birth of xingsi yin will remain unknown forever. I have discovered it just till now. But it is a great achievement anyhow, because by now no other man has discovered its existence. It is still a myth why there is no record of xingsi yin in the history of art. Xingsi yin is mostly analyzed in terms of Beijing opera. In fact, such kind of analysis is so numerous that you cannot do without it. Despite its ubiquity, xingsi yin is difficult to find. You may not see it even though it is right before your eyes. But in old Beijing opera, the existence of xingsi yin is quite obvious already. That some actors have used it quite skillfully has well demonstrated its existence prior to Beijing opera. Since there is no record in history concerning xingsi yin, it becomes a myth to people, teasing them now and then. Most actors, including some very successful artists, are at a loss towards it. Eventually they come to this absurd conclusion: “Today my voice is not in place; God is not in my favor.†How to Sing Well Xingsi Yin? Xingsi Yin permeates throughout the whole aria and changes with rhymes. In other words, each word has its own rhyme. Different rhymes make different Xingsi Yin. Even in the same rhyme, there may be different Gui Yin (Converging Sound)because of different words. So there may be several Gui yin in the same rhyme, i.e., several Xingsi Yin should be used in singing. When xingsi yin is prolonged, its role is more important, as it keeps your voice moist, saves your energy and thus makes your voice relaxed and tone sweet. How to Determine Whether the Voice Gets Through ? The key point is to hear whether xingsi yin is sung. If it is, the voice will naturally be through. While practicing, do not sing out gui yin if your voice is not through. Sing xingsi yin first, then add gui yin without any changes in the volume of the former. When gui yin is added, the voice should be more resonant than xingsi yin, otherwise you have made a mistake in singing xingsi yin. Some singers feel that the sound of the word becomes vague when gui yin is added. The feeling is right, because words sung on the stage are different than words spoken in daily life. These are “artistic words. †How to Use Xingsi Yin in Aria? While using xingsi yin as a transitional sound between sounds, you cannot apply it mechanically disregarding specific situations. You should adjust it according to the volume of the beginning word. Sometimes it may be higher, sometimes it may be lower, and sometimes it may be even lower. If necessary, you may sing it so lightly as if you were not singing at all. In short, you should use it flexibly according to the changes in the mood of the aria. You cannot regard it as dead and unchanging law. There are some Chinese artists who had misused xingsi yin and thus voiced some strange sounds. It is ridiculous that some people classify these artists as one school. It’s all right if you like their voice and want to learn it, but you must note that what you are learning is wrong and cannot be classified into any school. There is no school that is established on the ground of its strange sounds and tones. Despite their special features, all schools have one thing in common: pleasing to the ear. Who will refute that the tones of several current rock music singers is an exact reproduction of Zhou Xinfang, the great master of art whose reputation has extended throughout the whole Shanghai in his time? Zhou Xinfang is different from all Laosheng (an elderly character in Chinese opera), but his voice is pleasing indeed. So tone cannot be monotonous. It is just like birds in the woods. They cannot be the same, and it is impossible that they are the same. This is what nature is. Although Zhou Xinfang differs from other people, his use of xingsi yin and kaoyin zi (words whose pronunciations are close to each other) is the same as that of those famous Laosheng. He has made the best use of xingsi yin and kaoyin zi, except that his tone is different, thus he has formed the school of Lin. Xingsi yin and gui yin of words are mutually restrictive. When singing the prolonged sound of words, xingsi yin should be used. It can ensure the free and smooth transition of gui yin from strength to weakness so that actors can make the best presentation of their artistic competence. Xingsi yin is also a Chinese character. If there is such a word in the song, then its xingsi yin is gui yin of the word. It is called close word because it functions as a chain tying up with open word. Xingsi yin is open word, whereas gui yin is close word. When voicing open word, the throat is open and loose, so the sound of the word is liable to slip. But in voicing gui yin, the throat is closed, so in singing they are mutually restrictive and dependent. Neither Chinese operas and songs nor foreign songs are independent of kaoyin zi and xingsi yin. Even though you do not know foreign language, once you have truly understood xingsi yin, you can clearly determine whether the voice of a foreign singer is through or not. All operas and songs are based on sound. The sound any singer voiced can be precisely classified according to the Thirteen Rhymes and thus the quality of his voice is evident (this applies to xingsi yin only). Kaoyin zi and xingsi yin have no territorial bound. Although language varies from country to country, the phonology is the same. Any good singer must grasp kaoyin zi and xingsi yin. But an ingenious use of kaoyin zi and xingsi yin does not necessarily mean the users have a rational knowledge about them. Xingsi yin is more difficult to discover than kaoyin zi. Some kaoyin zi can be clearly voiced, some vaguely voiced, but they can be easily detected by ear. Xingsi yin is different. It cannot be strongly sung, so it is not easy to be detected by the singers. This is the very reason why some singers suddenly decline in the prime of their career – their knowledge about kaoyin zi and xingsi yin remains perceptional. Kaoyin zi and xingsi yin permeate throughout the whole aria, without which you can not bring your voice into full play no matter how naturally good it is and no matter how high your artistic level reaches. You cannot get to the summit, and even if you have reached, you are bound to fall and never to stand up again. Xingsi yin is determined according to the ancient Chinese rhyme scheme of the Thirteen Rhymes, which divides all words into 13 categories. There are slight variations in a few rhymes. For instance, gui yin has four variations. Therefore, xingsi yin should be changed accordingly. You cannot use one xingsi yin only; instead, you should use them flexibly within the range of Thirteen Rhymes. Xingsi yin of most rhymes, namely, gui yin, can be marked by Chinese characters, but some can only be spoken as there are no such corresponding words for their xingsi yin. Mr. Zhao Yuanren, a modern Chinese phonologist once said: fanqie yu is to be spoken, not written. With the rules of additional sounds, fanqie yu of any words can be plumed out. This is widely different from selecting legible words and marking illegible ones in rhyme books. Although fanqie [a traditional method of indicating the pronunciation of a Chinese character by using two other Chinese characters, the first having the same consonant as the given character and the second having the same vowel (with or without final nasal) and tone] of any words have their corresponding words, that of fanqie yu may not. So it is impossible to mark by words all the rhymes in the Thirteen Rhymes. The problem can be solved by recorders only. Vocalization and the Art of Singing It takes me about thirty years to develop the thirteen methods of vocalization. From these years’ research I conclude that each sound, including half-sound, consists of two sub-sounds. This is true for sure. In any singing, there are two methods, or two firsts, to be considered. The first method is vocalization. How can you sing if your voice does not get through? It is just like trading; you should have capital first. Once vocalization has been solved, the art of singing becomes the first thing, because it is the control center. The quality of artistic realm directly affects the level of the singers. If vocalization is well solved, the art of singing will always be the first thing to be considered. Only those who have mastered these two methods can be regarded as perfect singers. These two cannot be separated. Although they are two different entities, in singing they get united into one. When they are well used, they will mutually complement and make the singer feel like a duck to water. But if either of them is not well used, they cannot help each other. Therefore, we cannot confuse them. In singing, an excellent singer will naturally change himself as the time changes. An unchanging art is a dead one, having no vitality. But vocalization cannot be changed; otherwise one will change for the worse. An ill feeling towards several sounds will probably arouse ripple effect. In serious case it will drive you off the stage never to re-arise. I’m not threatening you. Yu Shuyan, the father of Beijing Opera and the famous Laosheng, together with other artists in his time, has undergone such changes. It is a shame that they withdraw so early. There is a story going like this: a farmer is drugging in his field in hope of finding the gold he always dreams. He has drugged for many years, then one day he gets it at last, and he becomes rich since. But things would be different if we change the farmer into a singer. Although the singer has got a golden voice after many years’ practice, yet he gradually loses it unawares. He does not know how he has lost it because he even does not know how he has got it. His knowledge is not rational by then. After all, it is not easy to keep a golden voice. The thirteen methods of vocalization are very good methods. It can help to greatly upgrade many singers, but cannot make all singers accomplished artists. Actors differ in aptitude; only those are equipped with all qualifications can succeed. Most people can never be singers, and it is quite normal that we have only one or two really great singers within decades. One cannot be a singer in two or three days. The thirteen methods of vocalization are particularly useful to artists with extremely high singing level and students with excellent aptitude still learning singing in schools. For artists, the thirteen methods can effectively prevent their singing level from declining so that they will not withdraw from the stage too early. For students with excellent aptitude, it can make them promising singers and prevent them from giving up halfway because of inability to voice. Once you have grasped the essence of vocalization, it is right before your eyes; otherwise, it is as difficulty as looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. In some sense, the failure of Duo Mingge’s performance in Shanghai is due to a problem in vocalization. It is quite possible that his knowledge about vocalization is not rational yet. A cold may affect the voice; this is true for sure. But it cannot affect the voice unless it has reached a certain degree. An ordinary cold can only affect the transparence of your voice, not so important as to make you unable to sing. Even when Duo Mingge is in his normal state, his voice is oppressive and not really opened through. This has nothing to do with his timbre, which is completely different from voice. The timbres of the three greatest singers are not and cannot be the same. In a televised statement, Duo Mingge says that in singing he is singing with his heart. In the field of Beijing Opera this is called singing the feeling. What he says is quite right, but it is too abstract. It seems that heart and feeling are all in singing. If so, how comes that Duo Mingge lost his voice in his performance in Shanghai? Has heart lost its function? No, the truth is, neither heart nor feeling can solve this problem. To sing out one’s heart-felt emotion has a premise, a condition; it requires a method, and a skill. Without all these, it is of no point talking about singing with heart or emotion. Mirage in Vocal Music Those singers who in their practice have experienced great turbulence in feeling and seriously hurt will have a long long way to go on their road of practice. Their problem will not be easily solved in a short period. In their practice mirage often occurs. That is to say, on some days their voice is exceptionally good, but after that, that voice is totally lost. The reason is that they haven’t found the gist of vocalization. They do not know how a good sound is produced, and how a bad one comes. Mirage often refers to good feeling or good phenomenon. But because you only have good feeling, your knowledge remains perceptional and you cannot locate the gist. For a seriously hurt singer, no matter how experienced and how smart he is, he cannot escape such doom. Generally speaking, these people will continue their research as their lifeblood. Should they find back their good voice, that is indeed a miracle, as most probably they cannot. The reason is that they do not have a correct principle to guide their practice, so that they cannot check whether a sound is appropriate or not. Their problem lies in vocalization, not the art of singing. Mirage in their practice is useless, for such good feeling will last one month at most and several minutes at least. After that, all return to a troubling state as if your boat came to a windless area and you were helpless at it. It is quite terrible when such things happen, for they can deprive you of confidence, will, courage and psychological support. You become doubtful about your ability. Should such person find back his lost voice and a correct principle, he will become a brilliant star on the stage. He will be a real singer, peerless. His voice will never change again, because he has reached the kingdom of freedom in vocalization. Pitiably, such singer has not appeared by now. But with the birth of the thirteen methods of vocalization, such singer is bound to appear, and the time needed will be substantially shortened. Your time will not be wasted away in aimless practice. end If need to get in touch with us, please try one's best to use Chinese. thank you very!!! connexion me: TEL/FAX:0086(010)84253608 E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] Beijing Opera Institute Xue zhiqing
  2. The senior Beijing opera fiddle player in Beijing Opera House, Beijing, China, Mr. Xue Zhiqing devoted himself for decades in the study of the vocal music and found the theory that is never discovered ancient and modern, Chinese and foreign, i.e. “thirteen ways of vocalization”, of which the key content is the application of “the look being just like the sound” in the singing performance. The mastery of such a method can enable the singer having troubles with vocalization to return to the stage very soon, and recover the youthful vividness in singing. It helps to very quickly uplift the students with born conditions in singing, to rapidly rise into the free kingdom of singing. So far, the bewilderments in articulation have therefore been overcome, the maze of vocalization has been walked out. In the mysterious field of vocal science, ‘the look being just like the sound’ has reached the climax. Thirteen Methods of Vocalization Momentous Findings in the Field of Vocal Music Preface The thirteen methods of vocalization will cause unprecedented changes in the international forum of vocal music. They are new milestones in the vocal music forum, which will soon bring people engaged in vocal music out of plight. Among so many vocal music experts, including so many famous ones, who has developed a theory as clear and precise as the thirteen methods of vocalization? Isn’t that enough to prove their value? If the thirteen methods of vocalization didn’t make their appearance, you wouldn’t be able to buy it at any cost. Only those who are extremely honest and respectful to art are likely to get what they earnestly look for. Otherwise, you may let it slip even if wind brings it to your door. Brief Introduction of Thirteen Methods of Vocalization: The wordings are very simple, so simple that most people who feel so fail to understand. Only those who have engaged in the research of vocal music for many years and grasped its essence can see the significance of these methods. But such people are too few (I mean internationally, not nationally). The introduction is clear for sure, only that you cannot understand it. This is a matter of distance, great distance. It is just like people on the earth looking at UFO: they cannot make anything out of it. The thirteen methods of vocalization is a thing you can get with diligence, patience, infatuation, brainwave, simplicity, frustration and chance. Even a slight fickleness will drive it away (because you may discontinue your research). You do not know when you will feel it. One year, two years, eight years, ten years, twenty years or more? It seems so far away from you. Just like a person contracts a strange disease. He does not know what can cure it, and it may remain a myth till his death. I do not believe that before there have been no vocal music researchers infatuated with his field, but there have been no success. I’m not a smart person; actually even money I can’t count correctly. I haven’t done any great thing, but I love art for all my life. I have spent all my physical and mental energy in developing these thirteen methods of vocalization. That I have obtained it is the greatest favor God has delivered to me. I’m quite satisfied with it. Hereby I solemnly declare that I’m willing to transfer the copyright of “thirteen methods of vocalization” at a price no less than 10 million euros. Only a person with peculiarly intelligent eyes can buy an internationally peculiar artistic theory. The price of this rule passes to increase 1,000,000 euros year by year from 2,005. Thirteen Methods of Vocalization THE sound is word while the word is sound, these two things can never be divided, human beings could pronounce sounds ever before the appearance of written language. Letters/characters have been created by human beings in accordance with different sounds. That is the reason why the written forms of language vary with variable human groups. First comes the vocal sounds and written words are to follow. Though in arias, the singing is based on written words, these words are different from those in the reality of life, the words are restricted by vocal sounds, for all the arias are based mainly on vocal sounds, because it is singing, in case that it is based on words, that can then only be called “rhythmic story-telling” That is the reason why the words are not so clearly expressed in songs/operas than in daily life. Though the written or vocal language of a nationality differs from any other, however talking on the variable sounds that all the human beings pronounced are in the least no difference at all, it is common for the whole of human race. Even for all the living creatures on earth, the sounds they articulate are totally the same. All sounds in the world around are in rhyme, not only of the human beings and animals but the sounds of thunder, gun shots, etc.. No sound is beyond the thirteen rhymes. The heehaw of a donkey is in “Jiangyang rhyme”, the caw of a crow is in “Fahua rhyme”, the chirp of a turtledove is in “Gusu rhyme”, etc. Their cries are all in the rhymes. Therefore, the thirteen rhymes in the ancient Chinese phonology is interchangeable in the world, never taken them as divided by Chinese characters, characters here are nothing but sounds they belong to, in other words, characters are only symbols representing the sounds. ( Xinsi Yin 's meaning be equal the look being just like the sound ) THE art of vocal music is a science. Anything belongs to science has its laws: Xingsi Yin (sound similar in form) Xingsi Yin derives from Thirteen Rhymes (an ancient Chinese folk art form). It comes from the end sound of the words, as each word belongs to the Thirteen Rhymes. For instance, the end sound of “Yang” in “Jiangyang Rhyme” is “Ang,” but there is another sound in “Ang.” This sound is Xingsi Yin. When singing “Ang,” the two sounds will be sung out simultaneously. More emphasis should be laid on Xingsi Yin, so that the voice can move back and forth smoothly and freely. If “Ang” is sung without Xingsi Yin, the voice won’t be strong and will die out once pushed. Strength is of no avail now, as the vocal cords are “closed.” Therefore, the voice will not be open and through. Some actors are quite worried when their voice cannot get through, but they do not know the reason is that there are two sounds. Other actors sing xingsi yin and it turns out well, but their knowledge about xingsi yin is perceptional rather than rational. Although their voice is silvery, they do not know how comes. More often than not an actor may find it easy and comfortable in voicing a sound one day, then another day things are totally different. Time after time such thing happens in actors’ life, so they become extremely alert to their voice lest anything happens. In serious case, such concern has turned a constant anxiety. By Now Xingsi Yin Has Not Yet Been Discovered by Vocal Music Researchers Among the vocal musical experts, there are various opinions concerning vocalization, but none has hit the point. While listening to such kind of abstract and vague theories, students are slow to understand. Even though some have found the way, they are not taught by their teachers. But xingsi yin is different because it can be easily accepted by the singers. Instead of being abstract, it concretely points out why the actors fail to make appropriate sound, which sound is open through and which is not, why it is so and how it should be sung. What’s more, it carefully and clearly marks the sound by word or sound, so that actors are quite clear what they are aiming at, how they should sing, which sound will be focused and which not. As long as their train of thoughts is clear, their progress is obvious. However, the exact date of birth of xingsi yin will remain unknown forever. I have discovered it just till now. But it is a great achievement anyhow, because by now no other man has discovered its existence. It is still a myth why there is no record of xingsi yin in the history of art. Xingsi yin is mostly analyzed in terms of Beijing opera. In fact, such kind of analysis is so numerous that you cannot do without it. Despite its ubiquity, xingsi yin is difficult to find. You may not see it even though it is right before your eyes. But in old Beijing opera, the existence of xingsi yin is quite obvious already. That some actors have used it quite skillfully has well demonstrated its existence prior to Beijing opera. Since there is no record in history concerning xingsi yin, it becomes a myth to people, teasing them now and then. Most actors, including some very successful artists, are at a loss towards it. Eventually they come to this absurd conclusion: “Today my voice is not in place; God is not in my favor.” How to Sing Well Xingsi Yin? Xingsi Yin permeates throughout the whole aria and changes with rhymes. In other words, each word has its own rhyme. Different rhymes make different Xingsi Yin. Even in the same rhyme, there may be different Gui Yin (Converging Sound)because of different words. So there may be several Gui yin in the same rhyme, i.e., several Xingsi Yin should be used in singing. When xingsi yin is prolonged, its role is more important, as it keeps your voice moist, saves your energy and thus makes your voice relaxed and tone sweet. How to Determine Whether the Voice Gets Through ? The key point is to hear whether xingsi yin is sung. If it is, the voice will naturally be through. While practicing, do not sing out gui yin if your voice is not through. Sing xingsi yin first, then add gui yin without any changes in the volume of the former. When gui yin is added, the voice should be more resonant than xingsi yin, otherwise you have made a mistake in singing xingsi yin. Some singers feel that the sound of the word becomes vague when gui yin is added. The feeling is right, because words sung on the stage are different than words spoken in daily life. These are “artistic words. ” How to Use Xingsi Yin in Aria? While using xingsi yin as a transitional sound between sounds, you cannot apply it mechanically disregarding specific situations. You should adjust it according to the volume of the beginning word. Sometimes it may be higher, sometimes it may be lower, and sometimes it may be even lower. If necessary, you may sing it so lightly as if you were not singing at all. In short, you should use it flexibly according to the changes in the mood of the aria. You cannot regard it as dead and unchanging law. There are some Chinese artists who had misused xingsi yin and thus voiced some strange sounds. It is ridiculous that some people classify these artists as one school. It’s all right if you like their voice and want to learn it, but you must note that what you are learning is wrong and cannot be classified into any school. There is no school that is established on the ground of its strange sounds and tones. Despite their special features, all schools have one thing in common: pleasing to the ear. Who will refute that the tones of several current rock music singers is an exact reproduction of Zhou Xinfang, the great master of art whose reputation has extended throughout the whole Shanghai in his time? Zhou Xinfang is different from all Laosheng (an elderly character in Chinese opera), but his voice is pleasing indeed. So tone cannot be monotonous. It is just like birds in the woods. They cannot be the same, and it is impossible that they are the same. This is what nature is. Although Zhou Xinfang differs from other people, his use of xingsi yin and kaoyin zi (words whose pronunciations are close to each other) is the same as that of those famous Laosheng. He has made the best use of xingsi yin and kaoyin zi, except that his tone is different, thus he has formed the school of Lin. Xingsi yin and gui yin of words are mutually restrictive. When singing the prolonged sound of words, xingsi yin should be used. It can ensure the free and smooth transition of gui yin from strength to weakness so that actors can make the best presentation of their artistic competence. Xingsi yin is also a Chinese character. If there is such a word in the song, then its xingsi yin is gui yin of the word. It is called close word because it functions as a chain tying up with open word. Xingsi yin is open word, whereas gui yin is close word. When voicing open word, the throat is open and loose, so the sound of the word is liable to slip. But in voicing gui yin, the throat is closed, so in singing they are mutually restrictive and dependent. Neither Chinese operas and songs nor foreign songs are independent of kaoyin zi and xingsi yin. Even though you do not know foreign language, once you have truly understood xingsi yin, you can clearly determine whether the voice of a foreign singer is through or not. All operas and songs are based on sound. The sound any singer voiced can be precisely classified according to the Thirteen Rhymes and thus the quality of his voice is evident (this applies to xingsi yin only). Kaoyin zi and xingsi yin have no territorial bound. Although language varies from country to country, the phonology is the same. Any good singer must grasp kaoyin zi and xingsi yin. But an ingenious use of kaoyin zi and xingsi yin does not necessarily mean the users have a rational knowledge about them. Xingsi yin is more difficult to discover than kaoyin zi. Some kaoyin zi can be clearly voiced, some vaguely voiced, but they can be easily detected by ear. Xingsi yin is different. It cannot be strongly sung, so it is not easy to be detected by the singers. This is the very reason why some singers suddenly decline in the prime of their career – their knowledge about kaoyin zi and xingsi yin remains perceptional. Kaoyin zi and xingsi yin permeate throughout the whole aria, without which you can not bring your voice into full play no matter how naturally good it is and no matter how high your artistic level reaches. You cannot get to the summit, and even if you have reached, you are bound to fall and never to stand up again. Xingsi yin is determined according to the ancient Chinese rhyme scheme of the Thirteen Rhymes, which divides all words into 13 categories. There are slight variations in a few rhymes. For instance, gui yin has four variations. Therefore, xingsi yin should be changed accordingly. You cannot use one xingsi yin only; instead, you should use them flexibly within the range of Thirteen Rhymes. Xingsi yin of most rhymes, namely, gui yin, can be marked by Chinese characters, but some can only be spoken as there are no such corresponding words for their xingsi yin. Mr. Zhao Yuanren, a modern Chinese phonologist once said: fanqie yu is to be spoken, not written. With the rules of additional sounds, fanqie yu of any words can be plumed out. This is widely different from selecting legible words and marking illegible ones in rhyme books. Although fanqie [a traditional method of indicating the pronunciation of a Chinese character by using two other Chinese characters, the first having the same consonant as the given character and the second having the same vowel (with or without final nasal) and tone] of any words have their corresponding words, that of fanqie yu may not. So it is impossible to mark by words all the rhymes in the Thirteen Rhymes. The problem can be solved by recorders only. Vocalization and the Art of Singing It takes me about thirty years to develop the thirteen methods of vocalization. From these years’ research I conclude that each sound, including half-sound, consists of two sub-sounds. This is true for sure. In any singing, there are two methods, or two firsts, to be considered. The first method is vocalization. How can you sing if your voice does not get through? It is just like trading; you should have capital first. Once vocalization has been solved, the art of singing becomes the first thing, because it is the control center. The quality of artistic realm directly affects the level of the singers. If vocalization is well solved, the art of singing will always be the first thing to be considered. Only those who have mastered these two methods can be regarded as perfect singers. These two cannot be separated. Although they are two different entities, in singing they get united into one. When they are well used, they will mutually complement and make the singer feel like a duck to water. But if either of them is not well used, they cannot help each other. Therefore, we cannot confuse them. In singing, an excellent singer will naturally change himself as the time changes. An unchanging art is a dead one, having no vitality. But vocalization cannot be changed; otherwise one will change for the worse. An ill feeling towards several sounds will probably arouse ripple effect. In serious case it will drive you off the stage never to re-arise. I’m not threatening you. Yu Shuyan, the father of Beijing Opera and the famous Laosheng, together with other artists in his time, has undergone such changes. It is a shame that they withdraw so early. There is a story going like this: a farmer is drugging in his field in hope of finding the gold he always dreams. He has drugged for many years, then one day he gets it at last, and he becomes rich since. But things would be different if we change the farmer into a singer. Although the singer has got a golden voice after many years’ practice, yet he gradually loses it unawares. He does not know how he has lost it because he even does not know how he has got it. His knowledge is not rational by then. After all, it is not easy to keep a golden voice. The thirteen methods of vocalization are very good methods. It can help to greatly upgrade many singers, but cannot make all singers accomplished artists. Actors differ in aptitude; only those are equipped with all qualifications can succeed. Most people can never be singers, and it is quite normal that we have only one or two really great singers within decades. One cannot be a singer in two or three days. The thirteen methods of vocalization are particularly useful to artists with extremely high singing level and students with excellent aptitude still learning singing in schools. For artists, the thirteen methods can effectively prevent their singing level from declining so that they will not withdraw from the stage too early. For students with excellent aptitude, it can make them promising singers and prevent them from giving up halfway because of inability to voice. Once you have grasped the essence of vocalization, it is right before your eyes; otherwise, it is as difficulty as looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. In some sense, the failure of Duo Mingge’s performance in Shanghai is due to a problem in vocalization. It is quite possible that his knowledge about vocalization is not rational yet. A cold may affect the voice; this is true for sure. But it cannot affect the voice unless it has reached a certain degree. An ordinary cold can only affect the transparence of your voice, not so important as to make you unable to sing. Even when Duo Mingge is in his normal state, his voice is oppressive and not really opened through. This has nothing to do with his timbre, which is completely different from voice. The timbres of the three greatest singers are not and cannot be the same. In a televised statement, Duo Mingge says that in singing he is singing with his heart. In the field of Beijing Opera this is called singing the feeling. What he says is quite right, but it is too abstract. It seems that heart and feeling are all in singing. If so, how comes that Duo Mingge lost his voice in his performance in Shanghai? Has heart lost its function? No, the truth is, neither heart nor feeling can solve this problem. To sing out one’s heart-felt emotion has a premise, a condition; it requires a method, and a skill. Without all these, it is of no point talking about singing with heart or emotion. Mirage in Vocal Music Those singers who in their practice have experienced great turbulence in feeling and seriously hurt will have a long long way to go on their road of practice. Their problem will not be easily solved in a short period. In their practice mirage often occurs. That is to say, on some days their voice is exceptionally good, but after that, that voice is totally lost. The reason is that they haven’t found the gist of vocalization. They do not know how a good sound is produced, and how a bad one comes. Mirage often refers to good feeling or good phenomenon. But because you only have good feeling, your knowledge remains perceptional and you cannot locate the gist. For a seriously hurt singer, no matter how experienced and how smart he is, he cannot escape such doom. Generally speaking, these people will continue their research as their lifeblood. Should they find back their good voice, that is indeed a miracle, as most probably they cannot. The reason is that they do not have a correct principle to guide their practice, so that they cannot check whether a sound is appropriate or not. Their problem lies in vocalization, not the art of singing. Mirage in their practice is useless, for such good feeling will last one month at most and several minutes at least. After that, all return to a troubling state as if your boat came to a windless area and you were helpless at it. It is quite terrible when such things happen, for they can deprive you of confidence, will, courage and psychological support. You become doubtful about your ability. Should such person find back his lost voice and a correct principle, he will become a brilliant star on the stage. He will be a real singer, peerless. His voice will never change again, because he has reached the kingdom of freedom in vocalization. Pitiably, such singer has not appeared by now. But with the birth of the thirteen methods of vocalization, such singer is bound to appear, and the time needed will be substantially shortened. Your time will not be wasted away in aimless practice. Brief review of famous Beijing Opera Act(role of Laosheng )--- Yu Shunyan Most actors are liable to confuse vocalization with tempo change and regard them as the same. If a person is good at vocalization or tempo change, they say he is good at singing. Such view prevails even today. It is like a cancer in actors. Those who take it easy may withdraw from the stage, while those who take it seriously may even lose their lives. It seems that I am exaggerating, but it is true. The point is that the person even does not know how he has got the cancer. If a singer cannot obtain a rational knowledge about this, the higher he reaches in his career, the more likely he will get this cancer. In no time he will drop to the bottom, and unless a miracle happens, it is extremely hard to reclaim the former brilliance. Mr. Yu Shuyan has got such a disease and died from it. After him, there are Wang Shaolou and Li Shaochun. These real artists are universally recognized today as artistic genius with supernatural intelligence. In the art of Beijing Opera, all have contributed and accomplished a lot. The tone and voice of Mr Yu Shuyan, in particular, is still developing vigorously now. Then why did he get such disease? The reason is that he failed to regard the two things mentioned above as different. He is a man of enterprise; otherwise he cannot reach that height in art. But it is just because this that he is never satisfied with what he has attained. He always self examines, not knowing he will stumble in the progress. Had he known this, he wouldn’t have taken such a step. He only knows there is no end in art, which is quite right, but he does not know how to proceed. There is only one truth. If you change it, things will go to the opposite. “Art has no end” means that a form of art should change with time. Any stagnant art is doomed to die. Beijing Opera is of no exception. Beijing Opera is a comprehensive form of art, including singing, reciting, acting and doing. These together compose a whole. In terms of aria, it includes vocalization as well as tempo and strength change. These two aspects are voice and emotion. When you find the right voice, you cannot change it. In singing, vocalization is a very important part. There is only one correct voice, and will not change with time. But tempo and strength are different. They should change naturally with time. “Art has no end” refers to this very aspect. The vocal cords of ancient people and modern people have no difference, so they should use the same method to raise their voice. But this is not the case with tempo and strength. The tempo and strength in old Beijing Opera have changed substantially comparing with modern ones. But no change has taken place in the vocalization. The voice of a formerly outstanding artist is still pleasing to the ear today. Yu Shuyan didn’t know this, hence his failure. Judging from the old records, except the last “farewell at Shajiao,” all his records are excellent, or good. When he recorded the last one, he was in his thirties, but already with the fatal disease. At that age, his voice shouldn’t have turned like that. Most people believe he had a good voice, and Mr. Yu himself also believed so. Admittedly his voice was good, and in terms of vocal music, his voice was both smooth and resonant. But he did not know how good his voice was. He only knew that “Art has no end” and he must always proceed forward. His knowledge about vocalization was perceptional, not rational. Driven by the notion that “Art has no end,” he continuously changed his voice till he lost his formerly good one at last. But at the prime of his career, to whom he could talk about his problem? What he could say? I have lost my way? In those years, Mr. Yu would never confide to anyone, because if he did, he would lose all. It was indeed hard to accept such a sudden disaster in the prime of his career. He lost his psychological balance and became ill gradually. Mental illness caused his physical diseases. He was collapsed because he had lost his spiritual support. He died when he was yet 50. It is because he has once really enjoyed the charm of art on stage that he finally suffered so greatly. On the stage, he could do whatever he liked and all his dreams would come to true. The artistic level he has reached is peerless not only in his time, but also in present time. No other disaster would be more fatal and unacceptable to such an artistic genius full of artistic aspirations. It was fortunate enough that he wasn’t mad because of this. His aspiration for art was unimaginable and hard to understand to ordinary actors. He fell into a trap in his sincere pursue of art and earnest aspiration for progress. It is not that his voice was changed in his middle life, as legends say. According to some old people, Mr. Yu has sung for ten years. For the first five years, he sang quite well, but for the next five years, he lost his power. It is said he was in great fury when he decided never to sing again. Evidently he had a heavy heart at that moment. It is understandable that he could not tell the truth at that time. Although he has taken a fatal step, Mr. Yu is still incontestably an excellent artist. In other words, the School of Yu will remain orthodox in Beijing Opera. If he were still alive, the School of Yu might be changed for the better. For a certain school, we cannot simply affirm or deny it. Instead, we should strictly and thoroughly analyze it to find its strong and weak points so that we can inherit and develop it. To analyze, discard the dross and select the essential of a certain school is an extremely hard work demanding high artistic levels. An ordinary actor cannot do this. You should know why a school is good and where the good lies in, then you may make progress and even succeed. Although Yu has taken a lethal step, he is still a mostly respectable master of art. His spirit for art is so inspiring. In order to inherit and develop Beijing Opera, we should correct wrong notions so as to prevent promising actors from making the same mistakes and thus help them to carry forward our Beijing Opera. Unfortunately, no one knows Mr. Yu has taken such a wrong step. Instead, they all believe his voice was changed naturally in his middle years. No one has carried out strict analysis about him, thus leaving a shadow on the artistic road of later comers. More seriously, such tragedy may repeat. end duplicate and propagate this text . If need to get in touch with us, please try one's best to use Chinese. thank you very!!! connexion me: TEL/FAX:0086(010)84253608 E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] Beijing Opera Institute Xue zhiqing
  3. The senior Beijing opera fiddle player in Beijing Opera House, Beijing, China, Mr. Xue Zhiqing devoted himself for decades in the study of the vocal music and found the theory that is never discovered ancient and modern, Chinese and foreign, i.e. “thirteen ways of vocalizationâ€, of which the key content is the application of “the look being just like the sound†in the singing performance. The mastery of such a method can enable the singer having troubles with vocalization to return to the stage very soon, and recover the youthful vividness in singing. It helps to very quickly uplift the students with born conditions in singing, to rapidly rise into the free kingdom of singing. So far, the bewilderments in articulation have therefore been overcome, the maze of vocalization has been walked out. In the mysterious field of vocal science, ‘the look being just like the sound’ has reached the climax. Thirteen Methods of Vocalization Momentous Findings in the Field of Vocal Music Preface The thirteen methods of vocalization will cause unprecedented changes in the international forum of vocal music. They are new milestones in the vocal music forum, which will soon bring people engaged in vocal music out of plight. Among so many vocal music experts, including so many famous ones, who has developed a theory as clear and precise as the thirteen methods of vocalization? Isn’t that enough to prove their value? If the thirteen methods of vocalization didn’t make their appearance, you wouldn’t be able to buy it at any cost. Only those who are extremely honest and respectful to art are likely to get what they earnestly look for. Otherwise, you may let it slip even if wind brings it to your door. Brief Introduction of Thirteen Methods of Vocalization: The wordings are very simple, so simple that most people who feel so fail to understand. Only those who have engaged in the research of vocal music for many years and grasped its essence can see the significance of these methods. But such people are too few (I mean internationally, not nationally). The introduction is clear for sure, only that you cannot understand it. This is a matter of distance, great distance. It is just like people on the earth looking at UFO: they cannot make anything out of it. The thirteen methods of vocalization is a thing you can get with diligence, patience, infatuation, brainwave, simplicity, frustration and chance. Even a slight fickleness will drive it away (because you may discontinue your research). You do not know when you will feel it. One year, two years, eight years, ten years, twenty years or more? It seems so far away from you. Just like a person contracts a strange disease. He does not know what can cure it, and it may remain a myth till his death. I do not believe that before there have been no vocal music researchers infatuated with his field, but there have been no success. I’m not a smart person; actually even money I can’t count correctly. I haven’t done any great thing, but I love art for all my life. I have spent all my physical and mental energy in developing these thirteen methods of vocalization. That I have obtained it is the greatest favor God has delivered to me. I’m quite satisfied with it. Hereby I solemnly declare that I’m willing to transfer the copyright of “thirteen methods of vocalization†at a price no less than 10 million euros. Only a person with peculiarly intelligent eyes can buy an internationally peculiar artistic theory. The price of this rule passes to increase 1,000,000 euros year by year from 2,005. Thirteen Methods of Vocalization THE sound is word while the word is sound, these two things can never be divided, human beings could pronounce sounds ever before the appearance of written language. Letters/characters have been created by human beings in accordance with different sounds. That is the reason why the written forms of language vary with variable human groups. First comes the vocal sounds and written words are to follow. Though in arias, the singing is based on written words, these words are different from those in the reality of life, the words are restricted by vocal sounds, for all the arias are based mainly on vocal sounds, because it is singing, in case that it is based on words, that can then only be called “rhythmic story-telling†That is the reason why the words are not so clearly expressed in songs/operas than in daily life. Though the written or vocal language of a nationality differs from any other, however talking on the variable sounds that all the human beings pronounced are in the least no difference at all, it is common for the whole of human race. Even for all the living creatures on earth, the sounds they articulate are totally the same. All sounds in the world around are in rhyme, not only of the human beings and animals but the sounds of thunder, gun shots, etc.. No sound is beyond the thirteen rhymes. The heehaw of a donkey is in “Jiangyang rhymeâ€, the caw of a crow is in “Fahua rhymeâ€, the chirp of a turtledove is in “Gusu rhymeâ€, etc. Their cries are all in the rhymes. Therefore, the thirteen rhymes in the ancient Chinese phonology is interchangeable in the world, never taken them as divided by Chinese characters, characters here are nothing but sounds they belong to, in other words, characters are only symbols representing the sounds. ( Xinsi Yin 's meaning be equal the look being just like the sound ) THE art of vocal music is a science. Anything belongs to science has its laws: Xingsi Yin (sound similar in form) Xingsi Yin derives from Thirteen Rhymes (an ancient Chinese folk art form). It comes from the end sound of the words, as each word belongs to the Thirteen Rhymes. For instance, the end sound of “Yang†in “Jiangyang Rhyme†is “Ang,†but there is another sound in “Ang.†This sound is Xingsi Yin. When singing “Ang,†the two sounds will be sung out simultaneously. More emphasis should be laid on Xingsi Yin, so that the voice can move back and forth smoothly and freely. If “Ang†is sung without Xingsi Yin, the voice won’t be strong and will die out once pushed. Strength is of no avail now, as the vocal cords are “closed.†Therefore, the voice will not be open and through. Some actors are quite worried when their voice cannot get through, but they do not know the reason is that there are two sounds. Other actors sing xingsi yin and it turns out well, but their knowledge about xingsi yin is perceptional rather than rational. Although their voice is silvery, they do not know how comes. More often than not an actor may find it easy and comfortable in voicing a sound one day, then another day things are totally different. Time after time such thing happens in actors’ life, so they become extremely alert to their voice lest anything happens. In serious case, such concern has turned a constant anxiety. By Now Xingsi Yin Has Not Yet Been Discovered by Vocal Music Researchers Among the vocal musical experts, there are various opinions concerning vocalization, but none has hit the point. While listening to such kind of abstract and vague theories, students are slow to understand. Even though some have found the way, they are not taught by their teachers. But xingsi yin is different because it can be easily accepted by the singers. Instead of being abstract, it concretely points out why the actors fail to make appropriate sound, which sound is open through and which is not, why it is so and how it should be sung. What’s more, it carefully and clearly marks the sound by word or sound, so that actors are quite clear what they are aiming at, how they should sing, which sound will be focused and which not. As long as their train of thoughts is clear, their progress is obvious. However, the exact date of birth of xingsi yin will remain unknown forever. I have discovered it just till now. But it is a great achievement anyhow, because by now no other man has discovered its existence. It is still a myth why there is no record of xingsi yin in the history of art. Xingsi yin is mostly analyzed in terms of Beijing opera. In fact, such kind of analysis is so numerous that you cannot do without it. Despite its ubiquity, xingsi yin is difficult to find. You may not see it even though it is right before your eyes. But in old Beijing opera, the existence of xingsi yin is quite obvious already. That some actors have used it quite skillfully has well demonstrated its existence prior to Beijing opera. Since there is no record in history concerning xingsi yin, it becomes a myth to people, teasing them now and then. Most actors, including some very successful artists, are at a loss towards it. Eventually they come to this absurd conclusion: “Today my voice is not in place; God is not in my favor.†How to Sing Well Xingsi Yin? Xingsi Yin permeates throughout the whole aria and changes with rhymes. In other words, each word has its own rhyme. Different rhymes make different Xingsi Yin. Even in the same rhyme, there may be different Gui Yin (Converging Sound) because of different words. So there may be several Gui yin in the same rhyme, i.e., several Xingsi Yin should be used in singing. When xingsi yin is prolonged, its role is more important, as it keeps your voice moist, saves your energy and thus makes your voice relaxed and tone sweet. How to Determine Whether the Voice Gets Through ? The key point is to hear whether xingsi yin is sung. If it is, the voice will naturally be through. While practicing, do not sing out gui yin if your voice is not through. Sing xingsi yin first, then add gui yin without any changes in the volume of the former. When gui yin is added, the voice should be more resonant than xingsi yin, otherwise you have made a mistake in singing xingsi yin. Some singers feel that the sound of the word becomes vague when gui yin is added. The feeling is right, because words sung on the stage are different than words spoken in daily life. These are “artistic words. †How to Use Xingsi Yin in Aria? While using xingsi yin as a transitional sound between sounds, you cannot apply it mechanically disregarding specific situations. You should adjust it according to the volume of the beginning word. Sometimes it may be higher, sometimes it may be lower, and sometimes it may be even lower. If necessary, you may sing it so lightly as if you were not singing at all. In short, you should use it flexibly according to the changes in the mood of the aria. You cannot regard it as dead and unchanging law. There are some Chinese artists who had misused xingsi yin and thus voiced some strange sounds. It is ridiculous that some people classify these artists as one school. It’s all right if you like their voice and want to learn it, but you must note that what you are learning is wrong and cannot be classified into any school. There is no school that is established on the ground of its strange sounds and tones. Despite their special features, all schools have one thing in common: pleasing to the ear. Who will refute that the tones of several current rock music singers is an exact reproduction of Zhou Xinfang, the great master of art whose reputation has extended throughout the whole Shanghai in his time? Zhou Xinfang is different from all Laosheng (an elderly character in Chinese opera), but his voice is pleasing indeed. So tone cannot be monotonous. It is just like birds in the woods. They cannot be the same, and it is impossible that they are the same. This is what nature is. Although Zhou Xinfang differs from other people, his use of xingsi yin and kaoyin zi (words whose pronunciations are close to each other) is the same as that of those famous Laosheng. He has made the best use of xingsi yin and kaoyin zi, except that his tone is different, thus he has formed the school of Lin. Xingsi yin and gui yin of words are mutually restrictive. When singing the prolonged sound of words, xingsi yin should be used. It can ensure the free and smooth transition of gui yin from strength to weakness so that actors can make the best presentation of their artistic competence. Xingsi yin is also a Chinese character. If there is such a word in the song, then its xingsi yin is gui yin of the word. It is called close word because it functions as a chain tying up with open word. Xingsi yin is open word, whereas gui yin is close word. When voicing open word, the throat is open and loose, so the sound of the word is liable to slip. But in voicing gui yin, the throat is closed, so in singing they are mutually restrictive and dependent. Neither Chinese operas and songs nor foreign songs are independent of kaoyin zi and xingsi yin. Even though you do not know foreign language, once you have truly understood xingsi yin, you can clearly determine whether the voice of a foreign singer is through or not. All operas and songs are based on sound. The sound any singer voiced can be precisely classified according to the Thirteen Rhymes and thus the quality of his voice is evident (this applies to xingsi yin only). Kaoyin zi and xingsi yin have no territorial bound. Although language varies from country to country, the phonology is the same. Any good singer must grasp kaoyin zi and xingsi yin. But an ingenious use of kaoyin zi and xingsi yin does not necessarily mean the users have a rational knowledge about them. Xingsi yin is more difficult to discover than kaoyin zi. Some kaoyin zi can be clearly voiced, some vaguely voiced, but they can be easily detected by ear. Xingsi yin is different. It cannot be strongly sung, so it is not easy to be detected by the singers. This is the very reason why some singers suddenly decline in the prime of their career – their knowledge about kaoyin zi and xingsi yin remains perceptional. Kaoyin zi and xingsi yin permeate throughout the whole aria, without which you can not bring your voice into full play no matter how naturally good it is and no matter how high your artistic level reaches. You cannot get to the summit, and even if you have reached, you are bound to fall and never to stand up again. Xingsi yin is determined according to the ancient Chinese rhyme scheme of the Thirteen Rhymes, which divides all words into 13 categories. There are slight variations in a few rhymes. For instance, gui yin has four variations. Therefore, xingsi yin should be changed accordingly. You cannot use one xingsi yin only; instead, you should use them flexibly within the range of Thirteen Rhymes. Xingsi yin of most rhymes, namely, gui yin, can be marked by Chinese characters, but some can only be spoken as there are no such corresponding words for their xingsi yin. Mr. Zhao Yuanren, a modern Chinese phonologist once said: fanqie yu is to be spoken, not written. With the rules of additional sounds, fanqie yu of any words can be plumed out. This is widely different from selecting legible words and marking illegible ones in rhyme books. Although fanqie [a traditional method of indicating the pronunciation of a Chinese character by using two other Chinese characters, the first having the same consonant as the given character and the second having the same vowel (with or without final nasal) and tone] of any words have their corresponding words, that of fanqie yu may not. So it is impossible to mark by words all the rhymes in the Thirteen Rhymes. The problem can be solved by recorders only. Vocalization and the Art of Singing It takes me about thirty years to develop the thirteen methods of vocalization. From these years’ research I conclude that each sound, including half-sound, consists of two sub-sounds. This is true for sure. In any singing, there are two methods, or two firsts, to be considered. The first method is vocalization. How can you sing if your voice does not get through? It is just like trading; you should have capital first. Once vocalization has been solved, the art of singing becomes the first thing, because it is the control center. The quality of artistic realm directly affects the level of the singers. If vocalization is well solved, the art of singing will always be the first thing to be considered. Only those who have mastered these two methods can be regarded as perfect singers. These two cannot be separated. Although they are two different entities, in singing they get united into one. When they are well used, they will mutually complement and make the singer feel like a duck to water. But if either of them is not well used, they cannot help each other. Therefore, we cannot confuse them. In singing, an excellent singer will naturally change himself as the time changes. An unchanging art is a dead one, having no vitality. But vocalization cannot be changed; otherwise one will change for the worse. An ill feeling towards several sounds will probably arouse ripple effect. In serious case it will drive you off the stage never to re-arise. I’m not threatening you. Yu Shuyan, the father of Beijing Opera and the famous Laosheng, together with other artists in his time, has undergone such changes. It is a shame that they withdraw so early. There is a story going like this: a farmer is drugging in his field in hope of finding the gold he always dreams. He has drugged for many years, then one day he gets it at last, and he becomes rich since. But things would be different if we change the farmer into a singer. Although the singer has got a golden voice after many years’ practice, yet he gradually loses it unawares. He does not know how he has lost it because he even does not know how he has got it. His knowledge is not rational by then. After all, it is not easy to keep a golden voice. The thirteen methods of vocalization are very good methods. It can help to greatly upgrade many singers, but cannot make all singers accomplished artists. Actors differ in aptitude; only those are equipped with all qualifications can succeed. Most people can never be singers, and it is quite normal that we have only one or two really great singers within decades. One cannot be a singer in two or three days. The thirteen methods of vocalization are particularly useful to artists with extremely high singing level and students with excellent aptitude still learning singing in schools. For artists, the thirteen methods can effectively prevent their singing level from declining so that they will not withdraw from the stage too early. For students with excellent aptitude, it can make them promising singers and prevent them from giving up halfway because of inability to voice. Once you have grasped the essence of vocalization, it is right before your eyes; otherwise, it is as difficulty as looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. In some sense, the failure of Duo Mingge’s performance in Shanghai is due to a problem in vocalization. It is quite possible that his knowledge about vocalization is not rational yet. A cold may affect the voice; this is true for sure. But it cannot affect the voice unless it has reached a certain degree. An ordinary cold can only affect the transparence of your voice, not so important as to make you unable to sing. Even when Duo Mingge is in his normal state, his voice is oppressive and not really opened through. This has nothing to do with his timbre, which is completely different from voice. The timbres of the three greatest singers are not and cannot be the same. In a televised statement, Duo Mingge says that in singing he is singing with his heart. In the field of Beijing Opera this is called singing the feeling. What he says is quite right, but it is too abstract. It seems that heart and feeling are all in singing. If so, how comes that Duo Mingge lost his voice in his performance in Shanghai? Has heart lost its function? No, the truth is, neither heart nor feeling can solve this problem. To sing out one’s heart-felt emotion has a premise, a condition; it requires a method, and a skill. Without all these, it is of no point talking about singing with heart or emotion. Mirage in Vocal Music Those singers who in their practice have experienced great turbulence in feeling and seriously hurt will have a long long way to go on their road of practice. Their problem will not be easily solved in a short period. In their practice mirage often occurs. That is to say, on some days their voice is exceptionally good, but after that, that voice is totally lost. The reason is that they haven’t found the gist of vocalization. They do not know how a good sound is produced, and how a bad one comes. Mirage often refers to good feeling or good phenomenon. But because you only have good feeling, your knowledge remains perceptional and you cannot locate the gist. For a seriously hurt singer, no matter how experienced and how smart he is, he cannot escape such doom. Generally speaking, these people will continue their research as their lifeblood. Should they find back their good voice, that is indeed a miracle, as most probably they cannot. The reason is that they do not have a correct principle to guide their practice, so that they cannot check whether a sound is appropriate or not. Their problem lies in vocalization, not the art of singing. Mirage in their practice is useless, for such good feeling will last one month at most and several minutes at least. After that, all return to a troubling state as if your boat came to a windless area and you were helpless at it. It is quite terrible when such things happen, for they can deprive you of confidence, will, courage and psychological support. You become doubtful about your ability. Should such person find back his lost voice and a correct principle, he will become a brilliant star on the stage. He will be a real singer, peerless. His voice will never change again, because he has reached the kingdom of freedom in vocalization. Pitiably, such singer has not appeared by now. But with the birth of the thirteen methods of vocalization, such singer is bound to appear, and the time needed will be substantially shortened. Your time will not be wasted away in aimless practice. Brief review of famous Beijing Opera Actrole of Laosheng --- Yu Shunyan Most actors are liable to confuse vocalization with tempo change and regard them as the same. If a person is good at vocalization or tempo change, they say he is good at singing. Such view prevails even today. It is like a cancer in actors. Those who take it easy may withdraw from the stage, while those who take it seriously may even lose their lives. It seems that I am exaggerating, but it is true. The point is that the person even does not know how he has got the cancer. If a singer cannot obtain a rational knowledge about this, the higher he reaches in his career, the more likely he will get this cancer. In no time he will drop to the bottom, and unless a miracle happens, it is extremely hard to reclaim the former brilliance. Mr. Yu Shuyan has got such a disease and died from it. After him, there are Wang Shaolou and Li Shaochun. These real artists are universally recognized today as artistic genius with supernatural intelligence. In the art of Beijing Opera, all have contributed and accomplished a lot. The tone and voice of Mr Yu Shuyan, in particular, is still developing vigorously now. Then why did he get such disease? The reason is that he failed to regard the two things mentioned above as different. He is a man of enterprise; otherwise he cannot reach that height in art. But it is just because this that he is never satisfied with what he has attained. He always self examines, not knowing he will stumble in the progress. Had he known this, he wouldn’t have taken such a step. He only knows there is no end in art, which is quite right, but he does not know how to proceed. There is only one truth. If you change it, things will go to the opposite. “Art has no end†means that a form of art should change with time. Any stagnant art is doomed to die. Beijing Opera is of no exception. Beijing Opera is a comprehensive form of art, including singing, reciting, acting and doing. These together compose a whole. In terms of aria, it includes vocalization as well as tempo and strength change. These two aspects are voice and emotion. When you find the right voice, you cannot change it. In singing, vocalization is a very important part. There is only one correct voice, and will not change with time. But tempo and strength are different. They should change naturally with time. “Art has no end†refers to this very aspect. The vocal cords of ancient people and modern people have no difference, so they should use the same method to raise their voice. But this is not the case with tempo and strength. The tempo and strength in old Beijing Opera have changed substantially comparing with modern ones. But no change has taken place in the vocalization. The voice of a formerly outstanding artist is still pleasing to the ear today. Yu Shuyan didn’t know this, hence his failure. Judging from the old records, except the last “farewell at Shajiao,†all his records are excellent, or good. When he recorded the last one, he was in his thirties, but already with the fatal disease. At that age, his voice shouldn’t have turned like that. Most people believe he had a good voice, and Mr. Yu himself also believed so. Admittedly his voice was good, and in terms of vocal music, his voice was both smooth and resonant. But he did not know how good his voice was. He only knew that “Art has no end†and he must always proceed forward. His knowledge about vocalization was perceptional, not rational. Driven by the notion that “Art has no end,†he continuously changed his voice till he lost his formerly good one at last. But at the prime of his career, to whom he could talk about his problem? What he could say? I have lost my way? In those years, Mr. Yu would never confide to anyone, because if he did, he would lose all. It was indeed hard to accept such a sudden disaster in the prime of his career. He lost his psychological balance and became ill gradually. Mental illness caused his physical diseases. He was collapsed because he had lost his spiritual support. He died when he was yet 50. It is because he has once really enjoyed the charm of art on stage that he finally suffered so greatly. On the stage, he could do whatever he liked and all his dreams would come to true. The artistic level he has reached is peerless not only in his time, but also in present time. No other disaster would be more fatal and unacceptable to such an artistic genius full of artistic aspirations. It was fortunate enough that he wasn’t mad because of this. His aspiration for art was unimaginable and hard to understand to ordinary actors. He fell into a trap in his sincere pursue of art and earnest aspiration for progress. It is not that his voice was changed in his middle life, as legends say. According to some old people, Mr. Yu has sung for ten years. For the first five years, he sang quite well, but for the next five years, he lost his power. It is said he was in great fury when he decided never to sing again. Evidently he had a heavy heart at that moment. It is understandable that he could not tell the truth at that time. Although he has taken a fatal step, Mr. Yu is still incontestably an excellent artist. In other words, the School of Yu will remain orthodox in Beijing Opera. If he were still alive, the School of Yu might be changed for the better. For a certain school, we cannot simply affirm or deny it. Instead, we should strictly and thoroughly analyze it to find its strong and weak points so that we can inherit and develop it. To analyze, discard the dross and select the essential of a certain school is an extremely hard work demanding high artistic levels. An ordinary actor cannot do this. You should know why a school is good and where the good lies in, then you may make progress and even succeed. Although Yu has taken a lethal step, he is still a mostly respectable master of art. His spirit for art is so inspiring. In order to inherit and develop Beijing Opera, we should correct wrong notions so as to prevent promising actors from making the same mistakes and thus help them to carry forward our Beijing Opera. Unfortunately, no one knows Mr. Yu has taken such a wrong step. Instead, they all believe his voice was changed naturally in his middle years. No one has carried out strict analysis about him, thus leaving a shadow on the artistic road of later comers. More seriously, such tragedy may repeat. end duplicate and propagate this text . If need to get in touch with us, please try one's best to use Chinese. thank you very!!! connexion me: TEL/FAX:0086(010)84253608 E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] Beijing Opera Institute Xue zhiqing
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