Crossing in style : an exploration of the vocal and presentational elements to be considered when classical singers cross over into the jazz genre : this thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of NZSM 596
Classical singers of all levels have experimented with genre crossover to jazz for many
years. Many continue to do so today and the position held by genre crossover singers in
the future will most likely be substantial- influencing the worlds of both music education
and performance, and impacting culture and society in general.
Classical to jazz genre crossover singers can be more successful in their endeavors if they
devote time and energy to educating themselves about mechanical (physical mechanics of
the voice) and stylistic performance (presentational facets) aspects of jazz singing. While
there are currently many resources pertaining to classical singing mechanics, there are not
many that address jazz singing mechanics. Additionally, there are many resources that
discuss jazz style (or stylistic performance aspects), but few that discuss classical style.
These gaps in information prove detrimental to the singer attempting classical to jazz
The aim ofthis project is to explore these gaps and offer foundational knowledge
necessary for classically-trained singers attempting genre crossover into jazz, consulting
mainly vocal production books and classical and jazz practitioners. The mechanical
aspects of singing explored are: breathing; register and registration; resonance and
acoustics; timbre. The stylistic performance aspects of singing explored include:
improvisation; non-verbal communication.