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Practical Vocal Acoustics

Pedagogic Applications for Teachers and Singers.

Kenneth W. Bozeman
September 4, 2013

156 pp.

7 illustrations

ISBN: 978-1576472408

Paperback 6X9 $52.00

Out-of-Print. This book is no longer available from Pendragon Press.


Voice teachers have been addressing vocal acoustics in some manner for as long as there has been voice instruction. Given the history of excellence in singing, singers, and teachers, the historic empirical approach clearly has had success. However, our scientific knowledge about and understanding of vocal acoustics has grown exponentially in the last sixty to eighty years, and will certainly continue to be refined by the growing number of ongoing collaborations between voice scientists and voice teachers interested in voice science. With sophisticated yet inexpensive sound analysis technology now widely available, more voice teachers are curious about its potential value for the studio, and are seeing the need to understand and be well-informed about the acoustics of vocal registration�at the very least, as a means to more efficient pedagogy, but also as an essential element of voice pedagogy courses.

This book represents an attempt to distill from the science of vocal acoustics those factors that are essential for teachers at the beginning of the twenty-first century to understand, that are most likely to be productive for improving our pedagogic efficiency, and to present them in language that is generally accessible. It also aspires to contribute to more productive, mutually respectful and beneficial conversation between the pedagogic and scientific communities.


Kenneth W. Bozeman:

Tenor, Frank C. Shattuck Professor of Music at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, (1977-present) holds performance degrees from Baylor University and the University of Arizona. He subsequently studied at the State Conservatory of Music in Munich, Germany on a fellowship from Rotary International. He is chair of the voice department at Lawrence, where he teaches voice, and voice science and pedagogy. Mr. Bozeman has received both of Lawrence University's Teaching Awards (Young Teacher Award, 1980; Excellence in Teaching Award, 1996). He was awarded the Van Lawrence Fellowship by the Voice Foundation in 1994 for his interest in voice science and pedagogy and is the chair of the editorial board of the NATS Journal of Singing. His students have sung with Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Colorado, Washington Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Seattle Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and Santa Fe Opera. He has both been a frequent presenter at voice science conferences (Voice Foundation; Physiology and Acoustics of Singing; Pan European Voice Conference) and universities and has written several articles on the topics of voice acoustics, especially as applied to male passaggio training. Mr. Bozeman presented on the acoustics of male passaggio at the 2012 NATS convention in Orlando and was a master teacher for the 2013 NATS Intern Program at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Bozeman was an active recitalist and performer of oratorio, singing the tenor roles in the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, the Christmas Oratorio, the B Minor Mass, the Magnificat, and various cantatas of Bach, Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Creation, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Vaughn Williams� Hodie. He has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Green Lake Music Festival, the Purgatory Music Festival of Colorado, the Louisville Bach Society, the Historical Keyboard Society of Wisconsin, and on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Live from the Elvehjem.


December 9, 2013

Bozeman (voice and voice science and pedagogy, Lawrence U.) synthesizes insights and principles from voice research regarding the acoustics of vocal registration and details their pedagogic implications for voice teachers and students. He explains harmonics, theories of vocal resonance, the basics of formants, harmonic/formant interactions, female/treble voice resonance strategies, male passaggio training, perceptions of when a voice turns over, the pedagogic implications of vocal tract acoustics, pedagogic strategies that encourage stability and a convergent resonator, the acoustics of belting, terminology, and vocal explorations and exercises for vowel turning and first formant/first harmonic (F1/H1) tracking, as well as supplemental strategies. He also discusses laryngeal registration and the use of the Madde voice synthesizer and the VoceVista sound analysis program in instruction. He does not address non-acoustic aspects of singing, and focuses on the Western classical singing tradition. The DVD contains 12 sample explorations of vowel turning and F1/H1 tracking with undergraduate students.

“Reference � Research Book News”
Book News Inc.

November 21, 2013

Practical Vocal Acoustics: Pedagogic Applications for Teachers and Singers (Vox Musicae: The Voice, Vocal Pedagogy, and Song Series No. 9) is an excellent technical vocal tutorial compendium that includes state of the art vocal acoustic findings in an accessible format. Using a companion DVD in which Lawrence University vocal undergraduate students demonstrate vocal acoustic phenomena such as vowel turning, stepwise ascent and descent, different forms of repeated notes and more, Professor Bozeman completes demonstration of current vocal acoustics applied theory, also incorporating user-friendly instructional technology including the Madde Voice synthesizer and the Voce Vista for spectography assistance. With an introduction including harmonics primer vocal concepts, Practical Vocal Acoustics adds a brief overview of three main models of changing theory of vocal resonance. Additional material on formants and harmonic formants interactions is concisely presented, along with treble voice resonance strategies and male passaggio training. Further chapters on perceptions of turning over, implications of tube acoustics, strategies to encourage tube stability, and acoustic belting and explorations present new informed teaching approaches to vocal acoustics. Finally, a number of appendices offer additional clarification on madde explorations, F1 location by voice (approximate), events surrounding the male passaggio, a listing of DVD contents and YouTube examples, plus definitions. Practical Vocal Acoustics had been described as a key to demystifying vocal pedagogy in its enlightened analysis and use of current vocal acoustic technology. It is a highly recommended asset to vocal pedagogy, teachers and singers.

Nancy Lorraine
“Lorraine's Bookshelf”
MBR Bookwatch

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