July 7, 2014

Technology in the Voice Studio


THE CAMERA AND THE LARYNGOSCOPE AS AIDS TO A NATURAL VOCAL METHOD. 

PROF. PHOTO-LARYNGOSCOPICUS (to pupil after adjusting apparatus): 'Now sing with freedom and expression the opening bars of "Free as a bird." 

Werner's Magazine, Vol 19, 1897, 74. 


*****

Ok, I won't be a bore and assert that there is nothing to be learned from technology. That would be stupid. However, the cartoon does illustrates the belief that the art of singing will be advanced (even saved) by machines. My ready reply is: what's wrong with the technology in your ears? 

Would-be voice teachers have been using technology since it became available, when a gentleman in New York by the name of Floyd S. Muckey—a doctor no less—took the first photographs of the vocal folds in action. His work became a method, and approach that is still used today. 

In speaking with my fellow wizards recently, it's been pointed out that the geeks in the crowd (I count myself one), find voice analysis equipment such as voce vista (which is a direct descendent of Muckey's efforts) an interesting endeavor. It's fun to see what is happening when you are singing. However, it was also pointed out that use of such technology is no substitute for the exercises and scales which singing teachers have used for centuries.

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