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What is Bel Canto Singing Technique?

Bel Canto Singing

It has been my observation that singers and singing teachers alike often use terminology to confound the uninitiated. One term that gets thrown around a lot is Bel Canto. What is Bel Canto singing and is it something that contemporary singers need to know about?

Bel Canto is an Italian term which translates as “Beautiful Singing.” But this is not how the term is always used. You see the name Bel Canto has also come to represent a school of singing teaching that is most closely aligned with an International Italian School.

Many singing teachers present themselves as Bel Canto teachers, a few of which also describe themselves as contemporary teachers. And I think this is where the confusion sets in for many of us. Firstly, is Bel Canto singing a technique per se and if so, what are the key aspects of a Bel Canto method? And perhaps more importantly, can a technique born out of the eighteenth-century Italian opera appropriately serve the singer interested in contemporary genres such as 21st-century rock, pop and country?

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