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Introduction to the Art of Singing by Johann Friedrich Agricola



An English translation with commentary of an important first treatise on singing by Agricola.

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£ 75.00

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Johann Friedrich Agricola, Edited and translated by Julianne C. Baird

Agricola published Introduction to the Art of Singing in Germany, in 1757, consisting of the 1723 treatise of the Italian singing teacher and castrato, Tosi, to which Agricola added his own running commentary. The Introduction was recognized as invaluable not only for teachers and their pupils but also for advanced singers and professionals. This present edition, translated with introduction and annotations by the celebrated singer Julianne Baird, makes Agricola’s work available in English. Tosi’s work was the first basic treatise on singing: Agricola, a pupil of J. S. Bach at the court of Frederick the Great, brought Tosi’s work ‘up to date’. His commentaries are so extensive that the Introduction stands on its own as an important document in the history of performance practice.

Bibliographic Details

250 music examples


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Agricolas treatise
  • Introduction to the art of singing
  • Translators preface
  • Foreword of the author
  • Introduction of the author
  • 1. Observations for the use of the singing teacher
  • 2. Concerning appoggiaturas
  • 3. Concerning trills
  • 4. Concerning divisions
  • 5. Concerning recitative
  • 6. Remarks intended especially for the music student
  • 7. Concerning arias
  • 8. Concerning cadenzas
  • 9. Remarks for the use of the professional singer
  • 10. Concerning improvised variations of melodies
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index.

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