Uncovering the Voice

The Cleansing Power of Song

Valborg Werbeck-Svärdström



The life and work of this Swedish artist is not so much the introduction of a new method… rather, this is the first adequate description in all music history of the western art of singing in terms of the human being’s true nature. And this could only come about once a spiritual scientific view of the human being had developed, enabling us to grasp singing processes that extend far beyond purely physical laws.

—Jürgen Schriefer, Musicologist

This book is pure gold for the singer and singing therapist of today.

—Mary Thienes Schunemann, founder,
Naturally You Can Sing! Productions

Through experiential exercises and careful reasoning, Uncovering the Voice provides a new, spiritually enlivened interpretation of the processes involved in singing. It develops knowledge of the essential nature of song, and summons us to work for the purity and preservation of true singing.

First published in Germany in 1938, Uncovering the Voice disappeared under the weight of political events and the Second World War and was not republished until the 1970s. The new English edition of this classic work includes a biographical account of the author by Jürgen Schriefer, as well as previously unpublished photographs.

Valborg Werbeck-Svärdström was an accomplished and talented opera singer. Rather than following the singing traditions of her time, however, she sought to work from a new perspective that allowed for a profound spiritual understanding of the human voice. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner, with whom she had collaborated for over twelve years, encouraged her to represent the Schule der Stimmenthullung (School for Uncovering the Voice), the first anthroposophical singing school. This was a pioneering task, and she carried it out energetically and faithfully until her death in 1972 at the age of 92.

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