La Bella Voce e la Macchina

(The Beautiful Voice and the Machine)

A History of Technology and the Expressive Voice

By Perry R. Cook

Chapter Overview

With Artwork by Grady Klein

Technology: Any human-fashioned tool, technique,
method, law, surgery, notation, enhancement, etc.

Expressive Voice: Singing, acting, preaching,
rapping, praying, etc.

Part the First: Voice, Speech and Singing, Bolts to Nuts

Chapter 1
The Voice

Voice physiology, acoustics, and neurology.
Vowels, consonants, and nasals.
A touch of phonetics, linguistics, and phonology.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)


Chapter 2
The Articulated Voice

The motions of tongue, jaw, etc. that make
linguistic communication and singing possible.
Gesture in production and perception.
Fast and slow talking, singing, and chanting.


Chapter 3
The Pitched Voice

Vocal pitch control and perception. Pitch and
emotion in speech and singing. Pitch contour plots.
Pitch modulation, vibrato. Music in speech.
Speech in music. A little on loudness too.


Chapter 4
The Visual Voice

Sight vs. sound. Facial expression and emotion.
Lip reading. Sign language and other hand signs.
Graphing and displaying vocal (and other) sounds.
Visualizing the vocal tract, and vocal sound.


Chapter 5
The Singing Voice

Singing vs. speech. Voices vs. instruments.
The basic voice parts (bass, tenor, etc.).
Vocal pitch deviation, controllable and not.
Vibrato, ornaments. The "Singer's Formant"


Chapter 6
The Biomedical Voice

Surgery as vocal enhancement (Castrati singers),
The aging voice. Unintentional and intentional damage
to the voice. Stuttering and other disphonias.
Artificial larynx, speech synthesizers.
Other Therapies and devices to aid the voice.


Chapter 7
The Noisy Voice

Vocal noise, both normal and abnormal.
Perturbations of periodicity, pitch, and timbre.
Expressive burps, coughs, braps, toots, and more.
Noise as expression.

Part the Second: Architectures of Intent: Sound/Voice Technologies

Chapter 8
The Delayed
Delayed Voice

Acoustic echo and delay, caves to concert halls.
Space and echo in musical composition. Tape echo,
delay, other effects. Electronic reverberation,
artificial chorus, flanging, pitch shifting.


Chapter 9
The Notated Voice

A history of writing, paper, alphabets, shorthand, etc.
Music notation, ancient to modern. Scales and modes.
Guido's hand, Kodaly's hand signs. Musical conducting.
Printing, music printing, some on computers in music.


Chapter 10
The Broadcast Voice

History of broadcasting from smoke signals
to drums to wireless telegraph to
telephone to radio to television to the web.


Chapter 11
The Microphonic Voice

Microphone types, technologies, and pickup patterns.
The "Perfect Microphone?" Microphones for effect.
Mic, stand, and cable as instruments and fetish.


Chapter 12
The Recorded Voice

Sound recording in myth, lore, and pre-history.
Music boxes, player pianos, and other musical machines.
Mechanical, electrical, and digital recording/playback.
The "Record Biz" Sonic sculpture. Studio as instrument.


Chapter 13
The Amplified Voice

Collecting/directing sound, earhorns and megaphones.
Mechanically amplified instruments. Electric guitars.
Home, theater, and studio speakers through history.
Loudspeakers and amplifiers. Hearing aids.

Part the Third: The Culture of Voice

Chapter 14
The Holy Voice

Praying machines. Instruments/voice
and the church.
much more


Chapter 15
The Silent Voice

Vows of silence. Silence as protest.
Pauses in speech, rests in music.
Silence in expression. Sign Language.


Chapter 16
The Anonymous Voice

Voices from nowhere or otherwhere. Spirits,
Radio/Airport Announcers, Ventriloquists,
Disembodied voices in fiction, myth,
and religion, ancient to present day.


Chapter 17
The Instrumental Voice

Voice as Instrument, Instruments "singing."
Vocalize, patter, scat, diddling, etc.
Voice-controlled instruments.
Controllers for vocal models


Chapter 18
The Legal Voice

Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets
The man and music. Plagiarism, sampling, quoting,
Identity and Image. Some famous musical cases.

Part the Fourth: Beautiful Machines With Voices

Chapter 19
The Mechanical Voice

Early and pre-history of speaking and
singing machines. From ancient, through the
Mechanical Era up to electricity


Chapter 20
The Synthesized Voice

Voice/Speech/Singing synthesis from electricity
through electronics through digital era.


Chapter 21
The Fictional
Robotic Voice

Describe it here  

Chapters 22/23
The Compositional Voice

Describe it here  

Chapter 22
The Voice of the Future

Describe it here  

Appendix A
The Billboard #1 Hits

Describe it here