Symposium introduction


Title of Symposium: The Power of the Voice for Singer and Listener


Symposium Rationale: Using the human voice as a means of musical production has long been recognised as a way of permitting any individual to have immediate access to musical expression. It has also been anecdotally reported to be the most powerful of all musical instruments to elicit emotional responses in both performers and listeners. So, to investigate the voice with all its potentialities is clearly important for the psychologist. However, little systematic study has been undertaken to consider how voice production is achieved and received within a psychodynamic framework. That is, how singers and listeners interpret the singing experience.


Aims The current symposium offers a broad range of research perspectives on the voice as a means of musical expression and communication. The focal point for all presentations is an exploration of the psychodynamics elicited as individuals engage in performing and listening to the voice. In the first presentation, the impact of the singer and his or her stage presence is explored, and criteria are described which encapsulate what makes a moving or beautiful performance. In the second paper (highlighting the impact of stage behaviour and opera house convention) a detailed study of how non-vocal gestures are used to achieve enhanced emotional expression in singing is considered. In the third paper, the role of the voice to monitor degenerative illness is considered in a case study of Music Therapy with a Multiple Sclerosis client. Finally, the fourth paper offers some insight into communication in singing within Christian worship.


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