Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
VOICEVocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Norie Neumark, Ross Gibson, and Theo van Leeuwen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013901

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013901.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Vox Humana: The Instrumental Representation of the Human Voice

Vox Humana: The Instrumental Representation of the Human Voice

Chapter:
(p.5) 1 Vox Humana: The Instrumental Representation of the Human Voice
Source:
VOICE
Author(s):

Theo van Leeuwen

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262013901.003.0001

The question of authenticity is relevant to writing about instrumental representations of the human voice. This chapter examines “modality theory,” an approach that asks how “authentic” voices have been represented and not whether they actually are “authentic.” It demonstrates that musical representations of the human voice have always been relatively abstract, perhaps seeking to provide a kind of discourse about the human voice, rather than seeking to be heard as realistic representations of human voices. The chapter describes how musical instruments have evolved over time, from mechanical contraptions to modern digital instruments that sound like the human voice. The goal of instrument makers was not to deceive the ear, but to create a discourse of “humanness,” and a sound that would musically express subjectivity, individuality, and emotionality. The chapter also explores how the modern Roland piano imitates the human voice by briefly recapitulating the theory of “modality.”

Keywords:   Roland piano, modality theory, subjectivity, individuality, emotionality, musical instruments, musical representations, human voice, authenticity

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.