Veel mensen hebben zich duidelijk uitgesproken over het gebruik van (continue)vibrato. Zie Mozart in de tekst hiernaast in de zijbalk.



The tremolo, that is, the trembling voice, is the crue gate to enter the passages and to

become proficient in the gorgia.... The tremolo should be short and beautiful, for if

it is long and forceful, it tires and bores.

(Zacconi, 1596)


A singer must have a pleasantly vibrating voice (not, however, as some are trained to

do in schools, but with particular moderation) . he must be able to maintain a steady long tone.

(Praetorius, 1619)


Fermo or the maintenance of a steady voice, is required on all notes, except where a

trilloor ardire is applied. lt is regarded as a refinement mainly because the tremulo is

a defect.... Elderly singers feature the tremulo, but not as an artifice. Rather it creeps

in by itself, as they no longer are able to hold their voices steady.

(Bernhard, 1649)


The quality of a singer's cadence is a gift of nature, and yet it can be acquired or at

least corrected and perfected through good training and good exercise. Therefore,

there are many people who have an acceptable voice without having a cadence at all.

Others have ir, but it is too slow for certain places where the tremblementought to be

compact and compressed; others have cadences chat are too fast or sometimes too

coarse, a quality which is commonly called chevrotante.

(Bacilly, 1668)

(Caswell translates cadence as "vibrato," and chevrotante as "wobbly, tremulous, bleating."


Der Tremolo oder das Beben der Stimme ist... die allergelindeste Schwebung auf einem eintzigen festgesezten Ton, dabey meins Erachtens das Oberzünglein des Halses (epiglotta) durch eine gar sanffte Bewegung oder Mässigung des Athems zu weichen , gewisser Maassen eben das blosse Lenkung der Fingerspitzen, ohne von der Stelle zu weichen, gewisser Maassen eben das ausrichtet, absonderlich auf Lauten, Geigen, Clavichordien

(Johan Mattheson 1739)


Moens-Haenen's evaluation of the original sources leads her to these 

basic conclusions: (1) intentional vibrato was a type of ornament, narrower than a half step in width, and used for expression; (2) various types of ornamental vibrato existed, with many ways of producing it; (3) a continuous instrumental vibrato was not deemed acceptable; and (4) a "natural" vocal vibrato possibly existed, but was very narrow and unobtrusive. 

Frederick Kent Gable in: "Some Observations Concerning Baroque and Modern Vibrato"


"Vibrato? It is worse than cholera"

Marcel Moyse, fluitspeler


"If you've got a good vibrato, you can get away with a lot."

 Sonny Terry, musicus