Mediocrity to artistry: technology and the singing voice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Technology plays a significant role in the shaping and production aesthetics of contemporary vocals. Positioned to map the parameters of contemporary vocal artistry in popular culture musics, the qualitative research discussed in this paper identifies technology as a primary influence on vocal artistry. The experiences and observations of professional singers, aspiring singers, singmg teachers, professional musicians, sound technicians, recording engineers and record producers were used to determine similarities and differences in technological treatments. The findings identify the current types, purposes and applications of technology on the contemporary singing voice and reveal that the purposes and applications are at times complex, conflating and contradictory. With recurring themes of critical listening, effective communication, non-artist manipulations, corrective treatments and artistic applications, the findings imply that technology should be appropriately applied and be reflective of artistic intent and envisioned sound. While contemporary music education faces persistent challenges posed by developments in and applications of technologies, music educators have a responsibility to understand relevant technology and its manifestations in various contexts. This raises challenges for vocal programs centred only on the development of the embodied instrument. The findmgs discussed in this paper are therefore significant for music education, for singers and for musicians. The paper concludes with specific implications for music education in the training of professional singers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician (CEPROM)
EditorsJanis Weller
Place of PublicationAthens, Greece
PublisherInternational Society for Music Education
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780987351142
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician - Athens
Duration: 10 Jul 201213 Jul 2012


SeminarInternational Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician


  • Technology
  • singing
  • listening
  • music education
  • artistry


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