Dr. Lã is a Music Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication and Arts at Aveiro University, where she is responsible for Teaching Singing, Singing Pedagogy, Music Psychology Education and Musician’s Medicine courses. Her main research interests have been the effects of sex steroid hormones on aspects of voice production in female opera singers, developing singing performance optimization strategies, and voice function and acoustics. She gained Researcher’s Award from the “Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (2005)”, from the “European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (2007)”, and from “The Voice Foundation (2011)”. As a singer, she has performed several singing recitals, oratorio and opera roles in Portugal, Spain, Australia and in the U.K. Dr. Lã was a founding member of “Opera Norte”, in Portugal, the “Associação Portuguesa de Artes Performativas” and the “Asociación de Ciencias del Habla”, Spain.
Long overdue, this is the first truly comprehensive book to cover the female singing voice. Filipa Lã, a singer, teacher and university professor, has invited some of the world’s authorities in voice and singing pedagogy and practice to contribute their collective knowledge on all issues related to training female voices, particularly within clinical and performing contexts.
Divided into four main sections, the book provides a brief overview of the evolution of sexual dimorphism in human voice. Moreover, it presents in detail the female vocal apparatus and implications in vocal training, including breathing, voice source, articulation and resonance and brain control. The second section examines the impacts of the reproductive endocrine system on voice production and training. An overview of the complexity underlying the endocrine female system is discussed, followed by the impacts of puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy and aging and the menopause. The third section focuses on voice perception, assessment and classification, and concludes with the choice of appropriate repertoire. The final section provides practical information on building up and maintaining a healthy vocal instrument, including practice routines, the use of pedagogical tools to develop specific abilities, and features to take into account in the care of the female voice.
This coverage of the theoretical and practical aspects of anatomy, physiology, aerodynamics, biomechanics, acoustics and psychoacoustics of the female voice which are key elements to its training, development and maintenance, combines to provide a truly practical resource, for singers, actresses, voice teachers, vocal coaches, voice students, laryngologists and speech pathologists – as well as students of singing and vocal pedagogy.
Section one: Particularities of the female vocal apparatus
1. The evolution of sexual dimorphism in human voice, David Reby and Valentina Cartei
2. Practical considerations of the female breathing system in vocal performance, Johan Sundberg
3. Female voice acoustics, Johan Sundberg
4. The assessment of the female voice in speech and singing: important considerations
Section two: Developmental and cyclical hormonal variations on female voices: implications for vocal training and performance
5. The underlying complexity of the female reproductive endocrine system, William Ledger and May Wong
6. The female voice at puberty, Graham Welch
7. The menstrual cycle and oral contraception, Filipa M. B. Lã
8. Auditory female voice control, Dirk Mürbe
9. Pregnancy and the voice, Filipa M. B. Lã, and Johan Sundberg
10. Menopausal voice and aging: preventive and therapeutic strategies, Jaime Eaglin Moore, Mary J. Hawkshaw, and Robert T. Sataloff
Section three: Characterizing female vocal performance
11. Female vocal registers, Matthias Echternach
12. Female voice classification, Filipa M. B. Lã and Johan Sundberg
13. Choosing repertoire: A world of possible choices, Brian P. Gill and Filipa M. B. Lã
14. The female choir voice, David Howard
15. Female attitudes towards music making, Jane Davidson
16. Training the female voice: Effective and affective strategies, Sarah Khatcherian Milo and Filipa Lã
Section four: The development and maintenance of a healthy instrument
17. Discussing a vocal daily practice regime for female professional voices, Stephen Robertson
18. The care of the female voice, Milan Amin
19. Managing career demands, Bernhard Richter