Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Resonance in Singing: Voice Building through Acoustic Feedback

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Resonance in Singing: Voice Building through Acoustic Feedback

Article excerpt

Donald Gray Miller, Resonance in Singing: Voice Building through Acoustic Feedback. Princeton, NJ: Inside View Press, 2008. Paper, viii, 130 pp., $70.00 plus $7.50 shipping and handling. ISBN 978-0-9755307-5-7 www.VoiceInsideView.com

In 1996, Donald Gray Miller introduced the software VoceVista, a program that made real time spectrum analysis of the human voice accessible to anyone with a personal computer. Now, Miller offers a guidebook to the program and its practical application with Resonance in Singing: Voice Building through Acoustic Feedback. He roots the rationale for this type of study in the role of language; the world of singing is fraught with terminology that is, in the author's words, opaque. The lack of precision bewilders newcomers, and inhibits the exchange of ideas among veteran singers and teachers. Acoustic feedback is objective and quantifiable-and a useful tool in achieving the optimal resonance that is an important element of great singing.

Resonance in Singing is a primer in acoustic feedback. Using the displays found in VoceVista, Miller explains the lexicon, from amplitude and bandwidth, through formants and fundamental frequency, to waveform and wired master class. (The latter is a master class in which the singer's audio and electroglottograph waveform signals are displayed to those present; one such session was part of the program at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference in Nashville in 2008.) Nearly half of the book's chapters are devoted to the thorny pedagogic issue of registration. The author systematically discusses registers in both female and male voices, with special attention to the male upper extension and the female middle voice. (Pedagogues versed in Berton Coffin's theories will recognize familiar ground, even if the notion of wiring students for feedback is new territory.)

None of the chapters are long, and the corresponding sound files are invaluable in assimilating the language. …

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