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Category Archives: Professional Voice

Joy Reidenberg, Anatomist, Builds a Following on ‘Inside Nature’s Giants’

Inside Nature’s GiantsToday’s New York Times Science section has a fascinating article about an anatomist (Dr. Joy Reidenberg) who studies whale voice boxes. Try humming while closing your mouth and holding your nose–it’s impossible! But whales are able to make powerful sounds underwater with their blowholes and mouths closed. An article in the New York Times, entitled “Discover the secrets of the whale larynx!” tells us more!

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Madonna ‘brassy’ at Super Bowl

Madonna 'brassy' at Super BowlWhat did you think of Madonna’s performance at last night’s Super Bowl? Did you think her voice was up to par or was she lip-syncing? The aging voice can be tricky, but voice specialist Dr. Michelle Yagoda can give you expert advice on how to care for an older voice so that you have excellent vocal health just like Madonna! Check out reviews of her stellar performance.

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Singer’s Take Note!

Singers Take NoteHolidays tend to be a time of overindulgence. Rich foods and “one-too-many” cocktails can cause acid reflux, and lead to vocal problems.  When acid rises up from the stomach, it can land in the voice box, often directly onto the vocal cords themselves.

This can cause swelling of the vocal cords, making it difficult for the cords to close properly, which leads to associated problems such as breathiness, raspiness, or hoarseness.

Here’s what you need to know:

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Kim Kardashian and Christina Aguilera’s Sexy Linguistic Fad

p4Glottal fry. It is about as trendy as the new iPhone 4S. It’s that sultry and almost guttural sound–the low, vibrating one that happens at the end of certain sentences, meant to impart mystery and desire. Kim and Christina do it. So does Britney in her song “Oops, I Did It Again.”

In fact, according to scientists at Long Island University in Brookville, NY, in a soon to be published article in Journal of Voice, more than two-thirds of college-aged women are using the lowest register of their voices to speak in glottal fry.

 Wondering what’s the harm in the “low down?” It’s actually a form of vocal abuse that can lead to vocal cord inflammation, polyps, or even nodules.

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Vocal Aesthetics & the Male Magnet

p1Mufasa of The Lion King. Darth Vader of Star Wars. Lt. Zogg of Dr. Strangelove. James Earl Jones’s famously low, chest resonating rumbles are undoubtedly memorable.  But, it’s now been clinically proven that women tend to remember things better when they’re spoken by deep male voices.  Dr. Yagoda calls this phenomenon the male magnet principle and believes there are strong implications about the role of the voice in attractiveness–or vocal aesthetics.The phrase “vocal aesthetics” might be puzzling to you. After all, we can’t see the voice. But it’s human nature to talk to others, and the sound of your voice can definitely effect the way that others perceive you. Imagine a telephone conversation, for example. The way that the person on the other end of the line speaks allows you to form an image of that person in your mind, which is purely based on his or her voice.

In fact, as it turns out, the pitch of your voice can actually make you more or less attractive to others. The new study, published in the journal Memory & Cognition, suggests that women prefer the sound of a deep male voice more than a higher-pitched voice. In fact, test results show that women are more likely to remember the name of an object when it was spoken by a lower-pitched male voice. So, ladies– when you find yourself irresistibly drawn to a magnetic, deep voice, you’ll know why!