The Way Out

Science is the way out. Out of what? Out of the quagmire of argument.

Science is going to give us a way to KNOW what goes on in the vocal machine that is grounded in function for whatever kind of sound we make. Only real idiots will argue, then, about whether or not you are vibrating your eyebrows or your forehead and whether it is important to spin the tone or just float it.

This is a very good thing. This will allow people to train for the kind of singing they want to do and to save lots of time (just ask Leischen in the comment below) that is wasted studying something you don’t want, don’t need to know, and would just as soon never deal with at all. Training that is style specific will also allow us to look at maximized function.

In order to know about something science has to have subjects to study. As long as people are busy arguing about whether or not we need better breathing than for normal conversation when we sing (we do) rather than which way of breathing works best, we are wasting time. Is using the body better in a certain way for (a) sturdy folks (b) slim folks (c) flexible folks (d) stiff folks, and whether or not there is a more efficient way to breath for (a) rock (b) gospel (c) country (d) folk, etc.? How can we ever really know? Maybe there are very definable patterns of all kinds that work really well when properly combined. NOW we have to find out which way is best, one person, one voice, one kind of music at a time, exclusively through trial and error. It takes 25 years just to know what you don’t know. What kind of a way is that to learn anything? [Can you hear any frustration in this? Nooooooooooo.]

Sports training has bested singing training by a long distance. So much is known about how the body works in various sports. You have Olympic-level coaches looking at high speed video of arm movements, hand movements, finger movements, or body torque and twist in minute amounts, looking at aerodynamics, and the relationship of movement to the laws of physics. We singing teachers are still deciding if the second formant lines up with the second harmonic, is that the boost you need? For what style? In what kind of voice? The scientists (by and large, men) are just now deciding that the high soprano voice is a separate breed. 35 years into the real research and NOW they say that? Gee whiz! Imagine if we hadn’t been fighting for the past 50 years about whether or not classical singing was the be all and end all and whether or not belting will give you nodes. I can only try to imagine.

If you enjoyed this post please like & share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *