Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

William Boehle


The acclaim and recognition attributed to the musical performers of the eighteenth century are reflected in the title Bel Canto ascribed to this period. The contemporary musical scene reveals performances attempting to perpetuate the virtuosity of the performers of this period and to recapture their style. Unfortunately, the aura of legend and mystery surrounding the performance of music of this period frequently leads to confusion and frustration of both teacher and performer rather than to understanding. This study addresses itself to that problem.

Tosi and Mancini were active participants in this period and their theory, technique of performance, and pedagogical format have been compiled in their texts. The following emphases have been extracted and a comparison and evaluation of these variables constitute the body of this study. Emphases are: Messa Di Voce, Appoggiatura, Trill, Passages and Cadenzas. The theories of Tosi and Mancini are expostulated, compared and conclusions drawn and applied to the contemporary style and emphases in vocal music performance. Applications and examples of these emphases appear in the text.

This study is designed to enable the serious student to grasp the concern for artistic excellence, the diligent dedication of these men to perfection of performance, and a methodology to apply and perpetuate the performance of eighteenth century music with knowledge and skill. Time has not eroded the beauty of the music of this period, nor has time detracted from the genius and skill of Tosi and Mancini as recorded .i.n their texts. Understanding of their theory and the proper utilization of their rules and advice should enable contemporary performers to inject into their performance a measure of the genius of these men.

Included in

Music Commons