To share the Excitement of the Voice Phenomenon
with the Public, Scientists and Funding Bodies
The voice is like a gem with facets reflecting multiple scientific disciplines and practical and artistic concerns. Both humans and animals depend heavily on vocal communication, so voice science incorporates physiology, biology and bioacoustics. The voice provides the main tool for both semantic and emotional communication, and is therefore relevant to auditory perception, psychology, neurology, cognition, linguistics and phonetics. It is a crucial tool not only in education but also in the daily work for about 30% of the entire working population. A functioning voice is highly significant to quality of life. The voice is a musical instrument in singing, making it a part of art and culture. Voice science has foundations in various branches of physics, particularly biophysics, aerodynamics, mechanics and acoustics. Voice pedagogy involves vocal development, and artistic expressions of speech and singing are integral to every relationship and culture in the world.
However, both the general public and professionals in many disciplines lack an understanding of the great significance of the voice. In particular, the true inter-disciplinary scope of voice science, pedagogy and art is inadequately recognized by funding bodies, and its potential in the public understanding of the voice disciplines and as an accessible topic for education in physics, mathematics and biology, as well as cultural and personal development remains under-utilized.
An Ad Hoc group has been formed, consisting of the following members: Mario Andrea, Michael Döllinger, Norma Enns, Tecumseh Fitch, Nathalie Henrich, Christian Herbst, Markus Hess, David Howard, Filipa Lã, Dirk Mürbe, Ken-Ichi Sakakibara, Ron Scherer, Johan Sundberg, Jan Svec, Sten Ternström, Ingo Titze, Graham Welch, and Joe Wolfe. The group met in Erlangen on July 4, 2012.
Historical note on the World Voice Day
The World Voice Day was established on April 16th with the main goals of increasing public awareness of the importance of the voice and alertness to voice problems.
This celebration started in Brazil in 1999 as the Brazilian National Voice Day. It was the result of a mixed initiative of physicians, speech-language pathologists and singing teachers that belonged to the former association ‘Sociedade Brasileira de Laringologia e Voz – SBLV’ (Brazilian Society of Laryngology and Voice), under the presidency of Dr. Nedio Steffen. This Brazilian initiative was followed by other countries, such as Argentina and Portugal, and the Brazilian National Voice Day became the International Voice Day. In the United States, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery officially recognized this celebration in 2002 and in that year the event obtained the name ‘World Voice Day’ (Svec, Behlau, 2007; AAORL-HNS, 2012)
Švec JG, Behlau M. April 16th: The World Voice Day. Folia Phoniatr Logop 2007;59:53–54.
Anonymous: World Voice Day: American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (http://www.entnet.org/voiceday), 2002
The mission of the group is to share the excitement of voice science, pedagogy and the vocal arts as an application of all the above mentioned areas with the public and with funding bodies by organizing a global celebration of the World Voice Day on April 16 each year, joining forces with existing groups that have the same goal. More specifically, the group will
- organise a global choral concert, internationally broadcasted in real time, going from country to country, starting in the far East and ending in the far West.
- arrange a global series of talks, internationally broadcasted in real time, as well as videotaped for internet distribution, about the many different facets of the voice.
- identify and ask one person, a “pivot”, in as many countries as possible, who assumes the responsibility to initiate and coordinate various events in that country, on the World Voice Day
- create a web page where all events are listed and that also contains information about voice and voice science, and interactive voice analysis programs.