Think Afresh book cover

Arthur D. Hewlett

Think Afresh About the Voice: A General Theory and a Guide to Practice
(Third revised and enlarged edition: Classical Music Consultants, London, 1981, ISBN 0-9507260-0-1)

This is a guide to the theory and practice of White’s Technique written by personal student of E.G.W.’s.

Chapters: 1, Voice: a general theory; 2, The vocal instrument; 3, Vocal practice; 4, In choirs and classes; 5, Could White be right? 6, Thinking round the subject; Appendixes (E.G.W.: a biographical note; The EGWS; Teaching material; Songs for teaching; Papers presented to the AOTOS 1977 and 1978)

Second-hand copies are usually available from Amazon and other online booksellers.

Ernest George White’s books

Ernest George White wrote a series of three books in which, he said, “I have set down my discoveries on the subject of voice, and explained as clearly as I am able the principles of Sinus Tone Production [now known as White’s Technique]”.

His books – Science and Singing, Light on the Voice Beautiful and Sinus Tone Production – are not currently in print but second-hand copies are usually available from Amazon and other online booksellers.

Science and Singing
(This book was first published as Science and Singing in 1909. It was then revised and reprinted three times as The Voice Beautiful. The 5th edition was revised and reset as Science and Singing in 1938, and published by J.M. Dent, London.)

In this, his first book, E.G.W. puts forward his theory that the head sinuses are “the seat of vocal tone production” and gives an account of the researches which led him to that conclusion.

Chapters: 1, Introduction; 2, Sinus tone production; 3, Vocal cord tone production; 4, The vocal mechanisms of lower animals; 5, Nerves; 6, Ventricular bands; 7, Inhalation and enunciation; 8, The artist; 9, Summary.

Light on the Voice Beautiful
(Published in 1930 by James Clarke & Co., London)

The second of E.G.W.’s books recapitulates and replies to the controversies that Science and Singing caused, and collects together the arguments as they appeared in the newspapers and journals of the time.

Sinus Tone Production
(Published in 1938 by J.M. Dent, London)

In his third and final book E.G.W. gives a fuller treatment of the theories behind his Technique and also explains how to use his ideas in practice.

Chapters: 1, The truth of sinus tone production; 2, The technique of sinus tone production; 3, The curative functions of sinus tone production; 4, The challenge of sinus tone production; 5, The artist; 6, Conclusion.

Peter Giles

Dr Peter D. Giles is both a Registered Teacher of White’s Technique and the author of the acknowledged standard full-length works of reference on the countertenor voice.

A Basic Countertenor Method: For Teacher and Student
(First edition: Thames Publishing, 1987; Revised edition: Kahn & Averill, 2005, ISBN 1-871082-82-X)

A complete manual for the teacher and the would-be countertenor, based on the principles of White’s Technique. The vital aspects of resonance, different registers, breathing and vocal agility are all carefully explained, together with graded vocal exercises.

The revised, second edition is available via the publisher for £16.95 + P&P. Mint condition copies of the first edition are available from the author for £14.95 plus P&P.

The History and Technique of the Counter-Tenor
(Scolar Press/Ashgate, 1994, ISBN 0-85967-931-4)
A uniquely comprehensive survey of the countertenor. The first part covers the history of the voice from the early application of the pure head register/frontal sinus usage through to the present day. The second part describes the mechanisms and techniques of the voice.  

Les Contre-ténors: Mythes et Réalitiés
(Harmonia Mundi, 1999, ISBN 0-94881-47832; in French)
A useful concise introduction to the countertenor voice covering its history, physiology and technique, controversies and future. The 48-page book is highly illustrated, both pictorially and with two CDs compiled by the author that feature nearly 50 tracks by well-known countertenors.

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