KES Transactions on Innovation in Music

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 1 No. 1 Special Edition - Innovation in Music 2013
 
Article TitleThe Vocal Tract Organ
Primary AuthorDavid Howard, Department of Electronics, University of York
Pages 7 - 19
Article ID im13bk-001
Publication Date 17-May-15
AbstractThis paper describes an innovative musical instrument known as the Vocal Tract Organ that has arisen out of research into the acoustics of singing to promote understanding and enable a new performance paradigm of the human singing voice in performance. A fundamental aspect of the research side of this endeavour is to investigate individual elements of the singerís craft, such as intonation, vibrato, voice quality, vocal fold vibration, tongue position, jaw position, setting of the lips, vowel production, consonant production, posture, breath control, in terms of the physiological settings, acoustic outputs and their uses and roles in the context of musical performance. The Vocal Tract Organ consists of 3-D printed life-size vocal tracts that are excited by an electronically synthesised larynx source via small loudspeakers and the instrument is played via a standard piano-style keyboard. The Vocal Tract Organ offers the potential for a novel approach to both performance and composition as it brings together the performance opportunities offered by on of the oldest musical instruments, the pipe organ, in the context of one of the most expressive musical instruments that is basic to human life, the human singing voice.
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