Welcome to our series, The Five Senses In Singing! For the next five weeks, we will be examining how the five senses – sound, sight, smell, taste, and touch, are all related to singing!
Sight is a vital sense to the art of singing for several different reasons. Sight allows singers to read the music on the page, and respond to other singers and musicians with whom we are performing. It also allows us to gauge the emotional connection of the audience to the music, as well as to watch the conductor for important musical signals.
An interesting aspect of sight that is not as obvious, is the evocation of imagery. Having text in a piece, adds another layer to the musical interpretation. The poetry often found in vocal music conjures an image in the mind’s eye that allows singers to connect to the music in another way. This kind of ‘sight’ is a wonderful facet of musical interpretation, and really helps singers to communicate musically.
Singers also have to use the sight of their mind’s eye when thinking about vocal technique. Imagining how the muscles of our abdomen regulate the air moving up through our throats and into our mouths; picturing the placement of the tongue, and the nasal passages to ensure great resonance also involves creating an image in our minds. This kind of ‘self sight’, allows singers to use their instruments as efficiently, and musically as possible.
What are some other reasons why sight is an important sense in singing? Tell us in the comments below!