For those interested in the history of singing, the “Singing” article in The New Grove, 2nd ed. is an excellent place to begin.
From 1997-2004 The New Grove had provided Singing Voice a license to reprint their article on “Singing” in its entirety. At that time Macmillan Publishers Ltd. held the copyright. When the New Grove copyright was taken over by Oxford University Press they decided to only allow reprinting a portion of the article. Singing Voice then decided to not reprint any of the New Grove article.
However, an excellent source of online information on the history of singing may be found at John Koopman’s website, A Brief History of Singing.
Koopman, professor emeritus and former chairman of the Voice Department at Lawrence University, has shown how the history of singing follows the history of opera and has divided it into the following chapters:
- Antiquity to 1590
- Opera Develops: 1590-1680
- Opera Becomes Standardized: 1680-1760
- Expressivity: 1760-1850
- Continuous Music: 1850-1920
- Modernism: 1920 Onwards
Professor Koopman also provides a glossary of terms at the end of each chapter as well as an extensive bibliography.