Robert Toft


RILM: "Examines the role that action played in the performance of vocal music in the late 18th and early 19th c., through descriptions in writings from the period. Gilbert Austin's Chironomia, or, A treatise on rhetorical delivery (London, 1806) provided instruction in elocution and described such topics as standing, using the hands and arms, and making gestures in relation to the text. Austin's notation of action is applied to Thomas Gray's poem An elegy written in a country church-yard--which was set to music by Stephen Storace--to illustrate how action might have been employed by singers in the late 18th c."