I started to play the piano as a little child and became interested in all music classical forever. Then I worked as an English teacher for 30 years, mostly in Hungary, where I also taught trainee teachers for over a decade, and also in China. I met and started to accompany my friend, soprano Zhong Jun Shen there. After she had moved to the Netherlands, we resumed work again, and after careful planning and research, we wrote this book. She had studied and worked in China and in the Netherlands. We are both freelance now, giving concerts when possible. I have been working with other singers for a while too.
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Where to buy in print
Comparison of Learning Classical Singing between European and Chinese Singers
by Peter Simon
Published: April 11, 2011.
This new book compares East-West learning styles in classical singing. Even if there are language barriers, the common denominator of song has always knocked down the walls of cultural differences to bring about the enjoyment of music. The book is for singers and music teachers who grapple with differences in singing techniques, languages and cultures.
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Smashwords book reviews by Peter Simon
- Smashwords Book Marketing Guide
on April 13, 2011
This book made it very easy for me to re-format my manuscript into a doc required by smashwords, and to understand what happens after uploading. Special thanks for info about how to check the different formats. One thing is missing, though, for me, which is a mention of the behaviour of book-marks and internal hyperlinks: these don't seem to work in HTML or in Java, and in Java even illustrations don't show. Now I must be sitting on edge waiting for what'll be accepted and in which formats. Besides, no apostrophes, quotation marks and the like work in plain text or .rtl either, which we have to be warned about too. But I'll see how it'll pan out. Even then, great many thanks to Mark Coker!
- Elizabeth Bathory: Evil Beauty
on May 01, 2011
Basic factual inaccuracies: Báthory Erzsébet lived in the "Felvidék" of earlier Hungary, which is now Slovakia, whereas Transylvania is the territory of earlier "Erdély", now part of Romania. Báthory Erzsébet is mostly linked to Čachtice, on the river Vah (now Slovakia), and it never was “the heart of Hungary”. She spent her childhood in Ecsed, Szatmár, which is not part of Transylvania either. She was engaged at age 11, not 9 as in the script. Her husband, Nádasdy Ferenc died in 1604, she was arrested in 1610, so her legendary crimes might only have been committed in the 16th century. The mother of her husband was called Kanizsai Orsolya, not Lucrecia (the author may have wanted to make an allusion to Lucrecia Borgia … ). She was tried but without hearing, and no verdict was ever made, most possibly to cover up the intention of procuring the wealth of the aging widow. Her cousin was called Thurzo, not Thorzo, and was not “a leading member of the local government” (there were no governments in such a country in the 16th century - a dumb American mistake), but was the “nádor” (palatine, or governor) appointed by the Habsburg king of the country. The pronunciation guide of the characters contains numerous errors. The basis of the legend was written nearly a hundred years later. Anyone can follow the description and links for a start in Hungarian at http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Báthory_Erzsébet if he can't get into the original historical sources, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Báthory_Erzsébet, or get to similar sources in Slovakian.
On the other hand, the Dracula legend was born around the castle of Bran in South-Transylvania and "Havasalföld" in the middle 14th century and is linked to a local warlord, Vlad Țepeș, famous for his successes against the early advances of the Turkish-Ottoman empire into Middle-Europe. He may have inspired the writer to create the figure of Vlad Dracul, but beside the wrong name, the real person lived nearly a hundred and fifty years before Báthory Erzsébet. Research on his life could be started at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_tepes. He died in 1476, so he couldn’t have met Báthory István (Stephen), who was Anna’s brother, not her husband and was born in 1555. Báthory Erzsébet’s real father was Báthory György (a different branch of the Báthory family). Báthory Klára (Clara) was Erzsébet’s younger sister, which means that she can’t have nursed Erzsébet and that their mother didn’t die when Erzsébet was born.
Another dumb idea expressed in the book concern love - “Love does not come as it does in your books, my dear.” The printing press was but a hundred years old at the time and books didn’t concern love at all back then. Love is an invention of romanticism, a few hundred years later.
The only fact that remains is that Anna was Erzsébet’s mother and the names of the servants are also historical. Other than that, the essence of this script is sheer fiction, the result of imagination. How can anyone claim it is a true account of the historical figures and that his work is non-fiction when he posts such utter nonsense about it? A tale, perhaps - no more in the face of historical findings.
- Smashwords Book Marketing Guide
on May 22, 2011
With the brand-new grinder, the process of submitting our work only takes a few minutes and we can see the different versions of our e-book to check how it works. This book and the staff at smashwords work really well! I wish more symbols could work in more formats, but for most people, it doesn't matter.
- Elizabeth Bathory: Evil Beauty
on Jan. 27, 2013
I'm still surprised that the author of this "true account" which is "More accurate than any script about Bathory thus far" is still in place to describe this piece ... as having "inspired the Dracula legend" ... the one which saw its origins more than a century earlier as inspiration to 'Bram' Stoker's horror story from 1897. Stoker at least based his story on something like real history and didn't temper with factual circumstances, however sparse they could have been.
I do hope that Mr. Montgomery soon publishes a similarly 'fact-based' book telling anyone who cares to listen how African people discovered and colonized North-America in the 18th century, dragged people from Europe to be slaves in their gold mines, then were given a Constitution by their great President Martin Luther King who abolished slavery in the middle of the 19th century, he only to be driven away by the vicious Mexican Indian war-lord Abraham Lincoln who drove everybody from outside Mexico back to slavery. The actual words could only be the result of the author's unparalleled imagination of course, but would nevertheless show the extent how "true" this Báthory-story is.