How, not what

In the online forums I’m seeing many discussions about voice science – Explanations of “open throat”. Descriptions of sound profiles of ideal (so they claim) vocal attributes. Assumptions about desirable vocal timbre. Incessant chatter about formants. Research papers and books and websites and buzz, buzz, buzz about all the visuals and measurables. The author of […]

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Bile, Leeks, and Vocal Pedagogy

Anglo-Saxon cow bile and garlic potion kills MRSA   What does this have to do with singing? Empiricism! From the article, this quote from Dr. Cristina Lee (no relation) jumped out at me: “We believe modern research into disease can benefit from past responses and knowledge, which is largely contained in non-scientific writings.” The Old […]

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Empirical vs. Theoretical

Empirical: “1. originating in or based on observation or experience” and “2. relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory” – merriam-webster.com It is sometimes written that voice instruction before the advent of “voice science” in the mid 19th century was “empirical”. Based on surviving writings, it seems that […]

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Spectrograms and Learning to Sing

Some classical singers are using audio spectrogram programs to see if they are producing the “singer’s formant”, which is a band of harmonics in roughly the 3000 Hz range. In acquiring these overtones, it is essential to cross-check against function. It can be easy to bring these overtones in with some pretty nasty interfering tensions. […]

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