A Basic Countertenor Method

Peter Giles
Foreword by Barry Rose

Designed for both the teacher and student, this guide provides a complete review of techniques used in countertenor singing. With illustrated diagrams and exercises, the vital aspects of resonance, different registers, breathing, and vocal agility are all explored.






Drawn from his long experience as a cathedral lay clerk and solo singer, Peter Giles provides a comprehensive guide, from the making of the first sounds to acquiring the complete technique. The vital aspects of resonance, different registers, breathing and vocal agility are all carefully explained, in words and also with special drawings created by the author. There are graded vocal exercises to encourage the production of the sounds that have been so thoroughly explained – it is in fact the complete manual for the teacher and the would-be countertenor.



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About the Author

Peter Giles began as a boy chorister in London, later studying voice production and specialist singing with the countertenor John Whitworth. His first professional appointment was at Ely Cathedral, then at Lichfield Cathedral, finally becoming Senior Lay Clerk at Canterbury Cathedral. He also resumed advanced vocal study with Arthur Hewlett, specialising in White’s Technique (Sinus Tone Control). He has written a number of definitive books on the male high voice and articles on the countertenor and falsetto for The New Grove.


Foreword by Barry Rose
Historical note
The steady voice
Some vocal cautions and counsel
Section A: The teaching, or otherwise, of vocal registration and how it affects the countertenor, Historical vocal colour and its implications for the singer today
Section B: The method, The exclusive use of Mode Two, and further development of the through range
Section C: Exercises of greater length
Section D: The voice and its further workings
Section E: Upper Mode Two and small or pipe register
Some final thoughts
Book list for further practical work and study.


This is an excellent book; I purchased it in England four years ago and it has been my teaching mainstay.

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