Many online video games nowadays feature voice-chat capabilities that enable players to speak with one another through microphones connected to computers and gaming consoles. Players who speak out via voice-chat telegraph ambiguous bodies and often end up participating (willingly or not) in instances of identity assimilation, repression, deception, and revelation. This chapter examines how voice technologies in online games compel players to negotiate practices of domination, masquerade, and passing through acts of speech and silence. Attempts here to put pressure on voice-body relations speak to a broader effort to reassess conventional theories of the voice as a site of authentic and agentic expression. The chapter will conclude by considering the sexual politics of voice-chat in the audibly male-dominated communities of online first-person-shooter games.
Jan Paul Herzer
The chapter discusses the use of interactive audio concepts and sound installations in built environments such as museums, exhibitions, trade fairs, and points of sale. It collects fundamental design approaches as well as technological basics und tries to describe the advantages of the use of nonlinear audio in architectural space. The chapter delivers a practical view on design processes that include the use of interactive audio, generative sound design, and procedural music. It describes diverse applications in the fields of architecture, interior design, and acoustic scenography. While highlighting the general need for the thought-through design of acoustic environments, it tries to encourage professionals to implement interactive audio concepts in the process of creating and shaping the aural architecture of a built environment.
This chapter reviews several studies of singing in different styles. The studies reveal that the differences concern all the main dimensions of phonation: pitch, loudness, phonation type, and formant frequencies. Most vocal styles differ substantially from normal speech, though in quite different ways. A difficulty in describing the characteristics of the styles of singing, which are typical of different musical genres, is that the same term does not always mean the same to all experts. Some diverging results in voice research on styles of singing emerge from such terminological issues. The author suggests that descriptions of different styles of singing should be related to objective findings on the overall phonatory and articulatory potentials of the voice.
The adult “non-singer” (“NS”) remains a common phenomenon in Western society.This designation includes those who self-perceive as “NS” and those who are perceived by others as “NS”.Over time, this “NS” state has been referenced in the vernacular byterms such as ‘tone deaf’, and untilfairly recently, was accepted as an innate state, reflecting the dominant “can/cannot” view of fixed human singing capacity in Western culture. However, a growing research interest in singing’s developmental nature has challenged this bipolar view. Evidence establishes that humans possess a species-wide facility for singing as a learned musical behavior. The literature reports many adult “NSs” either being told they were “NS” in childhood, or (mis)inferring that identity,resulting in impeded or arrested singing development,which then endured. These attributional events occasioned a re-formed identity as a fixed “NS”with ensuing negative personal and socially-detrimental effects. Research reveals that adult “NS” attributed in childhood may indeed recover/discover singing successfullywith targeted developmental intervention. The “NS” condition is as much a socio-cultural as a musical challenge, and its nature as such is contextualizedherein. A comprehensive discussion of “NS” follows from an experiential stance, revealing the negative implications of the fixed “NS” label. A common “NS” attributional process is described, exposing the needs arising from such a socio-cultural attribution. Enablement strategies and techniques for facilitating “NS” singing re-entry are detailed and explicated. Impediments and challenges underpinning “NS” are discussed and approaches to prevent and/or reverse “NS” are explored.
A considerable amount of study has been devoted to the development of the adolescent male singing voice. By comparison, little attention has been given to the study of the adolescent female singing voice. However, in recent years, there has been increased interest in information regarding the girl’s voice during adolescence. In addition to providing a comparison of male and female adolescent voice change, this chapter reviews the physiological changes as well as symptoms associated with vocal development in the singing voice of adolescent girls. Further, the chapter outlines phases of vocal development as well as criteria for classification according to developmental phase. Finally, the chapter provides a review of research/literature on the topic of the female adolescent singing voice, as well as research regarding self-identity, singing, and adolescent females.
Elizabeth R. Valentine, Judith Kleinman, and Peter Buckoke
The origin of the Alexander Technique (AT) and its concept of “good use” are explained, with its potential for improving function in music practice and performance. The principles of primary control, inhibition, and body mapping are explained, and illustrated by quotes from students and performers. Procedures used to assist the learning of the principles, including semi-supine, hands-on-the-back-of-a-chair, lunge, monkey, and “whispered ah” are illustrated. The application of the AT to performance anxiety is outlined. Attention is drawn to some of the methodological problems involved. Physiological, behavioral, and experiential investigations of the effects of the AT are reviewed. These include electrophysiological studies of string players and singers, respiratory function in wind players, and blood pressure in orchestral players. Behavioral and experiential studies range from pioneering studies on postural faults to later work on bodily misuse and quality of music performance based on ratings of video recordings by relevant experts, as well as self-reports. A number of studies have shown beneficial effects of training in the AT on breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure, posture and bodily use, quality of musical performance, and mental attitude. Practitioners report improved mental attitudes and increased awareness of ability to minimize tension.
Noam Sagiv, Roger T. Dean, and Freya Bailes
This article presents a remarkable form of perception labeled synesthesia. Synesthesia is usually defined as a condition in which stimulation in one sensory modality also gives rise to a perceptual experience in other modalities. This article distinguishes between the involuntary psychological phenomenon and synesthesia in art involving intentional intermedia experimentation. No doubt, technology has made it easier to create multimedia today (e.g., the simple visualization one encounters using a media player), but the central question is not how to implement it but what to implement. This article discusses different approaches to real-time algorithmic synesthesia, in particular sharing features between simultaneously produced sound and image. It begins with the “genuine” synesthetic experience naturally occurring in a minority of individuals. The remainder of its discussion of the psychological phenomenon of synesthetic perception focuses predominantly on auditory-visual interactions.
With its roots in psychological writings of the twentieth century, the subject of the uncanny provides ways of critically analyzing why some objects appear eerie or make us feel uncomfortable. For researchers building on this appraisal, the uncanny is now associated with realistic, human-like characters featured in film and video games. Such characters may fall into an “Uncanny Valley” as their increased realism evokes a negative affective response in the viewer. This chapter presents a possible psychological explanation of the uncanny in virtual characters, based on a perception of a lack of empathy in a character. Aspects such as a lack of facial mimicry and a belief that there is an inability to forge an attachment with a character may lead to an abnegation of self and evoke the uncanny. An assessment is also made of how old and new definitions of the virtual may be applicable or untenable to the uncanny.
This essay examines how undergraduate composition teachers assess growth in their students’ work, and shows how assessment frameworks (such as rubrics) can be useful for college composition students and professors alike. The essay presents interviews with university composition faculty to establish the assessment strategies generally used in lessons. Next, it looks critically at existing frameworks and assessment philosophies, considering their strengths and shortcomings for departments whose students are growing ever more diverse in musical style and voice. Finally, it considers the composer’s task of designing an assessment framework for his or her studio, including areas of concern and possible starting points for organization.
Christopher D. Azzara and Alden H. Snell, II
This article provides an overview of research on assessment of improvisation in music and offers suggestions for increasing its centrality in music teaching and learning. With listening, improvising, reading, and composing as context for music teaching and learning, it covers historical and philosophical foundations for, and research on, creativity and improvisation. The article’s synthesis of the literature focuses on assessment of ability to interact, group, compare, and anticipate and predict music while improvising. Six elements (repertoire, vocabulary, intuition, reason, reflection, and exemplars) contribute to a holistic and comprehensive creative process that inspires spontaneous and meaningful music making. The article concludes with recommendations for replication and extension of research to provide insight for improvisation assessment.
James K. Scarborough and Jeremy N. Bailenson
The explosive growth and dissemination of internetworking technology has changed what we may consider community, culture, and society. A major part of this movement toward the virtual is the use of self-representative avatars. Studies have demonstrated that interactions between humans while they are embodied in avatars have distinct psychological implications both for the user and for others who may interact with the virtual representation. Social scientists are beginning to study avatars as a way of understanding people. This chapter explores research on the effects of human avatar interaction as well as effects found to occur when people interact via technology-mediated environments. It will cover the concepts of presence (the feeling of being there) and social presence (the feeling that others are there as well) and detail the theories of transformed social interaction and the social influence model. Several practical applications and examples will be discussed as well.
This chapter considers the role of technology in recording, processing, and archiving the singing voice. It challenges the predominant theory that the recording chain is deterministic and free of context and suggests that those who use technology in the recording process often have different needs in technological solutions to problems as well as the scientific understanding required for effective practice. This chapter defines sound, how it is captured and the tools used, the differences between analog and digital methods of recording, as well as frequencies, compression, and file size. It attempts to offer readers from different backgrounds a somewhat broader understanding about the recorded voice and reveal and challenge proximate worlds and practices. It emphasizes that outside the highly specialized worlds of research and scholarship in electronics, engineering, and physics, successful recordings are possible when using a systematic approach.
Keysha I. Gamor
This chapter discusses observations about the common pitfalls when embarking upon a project to design and implement a virtual world. These include the omission of a front-end analysis, the failure to recognize the unique affordances of virtual learning environments (VLEs), the reusing rather than re-engineering of content, and the failure to contain expectations of what VLEs can accomplish. This chapter suggests that while virtual worlds are not the answer to all training, education, business, collaboration, and analytical problems, it highlights the fact that immersive learning environments have the ability to provide a whole new dimension, indeed, to open a whole new world to an organization.
André Nusselder’s chapter references the work of philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Badiou to argue for an ethical framework to regulate the excess of virtuality brought about by the computer and Internet revolution. Virtuality is approached from the perspective of the signs and symbolic representations that humans use, and the virtual condition is seen as one of exceeding physical limitations: a breach of the natural condition. Because of this freedom, the human self is characterized by a fundamental instability: it hovers between sophistication and greediness. Nusselder concludes by calling for a framework to protect humankind from the nihilism we are at risk of suffering through the excesses brought about by the freedom implicit in virtuality.
Giuseppe Riva and John A. Waterworth
This chapter examines the concept of presence in a virtual world. It discusses recent findings of cognitive sciences research to offer a broader definition of presence. It suggests that presence is not the same as consciousness and discusses the three critical features of presence that cannot be explained by other cognitive processes. These include the ability of presence to allow the evolution of the self through the incorporation of tools and the role of presence in providing feedback to the self about the status of its activity. This chapter also explains that presence is an intuitive process.
This chapter identifies and discusses key emergent trends associated with the development of music software. The implications of these trends and priorities are discussed in relation to the end use of the software. Specific case studies of DAW (digital audio workstation) software are used as exemplars of software trends in the wider music field. Topics explored include: interfaces, commercial pressures, software bloat, hardware emulation, software design paradigms, technical developments, intelligent assistance and programming priorities. The chapter concludes with some speculation on the future extrapolation of these emergent music software trends.
Jane W. Davidson and Mary C. Broughton
Abstract: Understanding the central role of body movement in the production and perception of musical performances is necessary for any musician committed to enhancing their skills. This chapter considers relevant research on motor learning and instrumental skill development, musical expression, and expressive movement. It also draws on research from speech and nonverbal communication and on studies that have employed these analytical frameworks to explain gestures and postures found in the body movements of musicians. Examples from studies of solo singers, instrumentalists, ensembles, and conductors highlight the various styles and functions of movement used for musical and extra-musical outcomes. These works include discussion of key historical treatises and individuals of world renown. In addition to performance-enhancing aspects of well-assembled bodily movement, skilled performances inhibited by physical and psychological tensions are also explored, along with techniques commonly used to alleviate such problems. Material is also offered to enable musicians to reflect upon their own performances and consider techniques they may apply to improve the functional, artistic, and communicative uses of body movement in musical performances.
Jenevora Williams and Scott Harrison
This chapter addresses boys’ voice change in adolescence. It begins with a summary ofphysiological changes that take place. This leads to a discussion of challenges andpossibilities for singing through the change, focusing on impediments to full involvementwith singing in adolescence. The chapter employs a mixed method approach. Initially,measurement and documentation of the physical characteristics of the voice in stages ofchange are presented. This provides a foundation for the second part, qualitativeaccounts of boys’ engagement with singing in adolescence. Knowledge areas coveredinclude attributes of the male changing voice, factors impacting boys’ participation insinging, and documentation of effective practice in addressing challenges andpossibilities of singing through this life-cycle stage. Implications for the assessmentpractices of voice health professionals are put forward and the roles of singing teachers,choral directors, and class music teachers in training adolescent males are discussed.
Perceiving and producing music is one of the most complex human accomplishments, involving almost all brain regions. The first part of this chapter covers the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological foundations of music perception, performance, and learning. These three functions rely on individually variable, widely distributed neuronal networks in cortical and subcortical structures of the brain. Subsequently, the functional and structural adaptations of brain networks—brain plasticity—will be explained, with particular attention to their role in music skill acquisition. For example, learning to play an instrument initially results in temporary expansion of sensory-motor and auditory neuronal networks, which then shrink with increasing automation and lead to stable, highly functionally optimized neuronal cell assemblies and connections. Structural brain adaptations are observed following long-term practice in professional musicians, in particular enlargements of brain regions involved in auditory and sensory-motor skills. Maladaptive brain plasticity can be caused by overuse, trauma, and other triggering factors and lead to degradation of sensory-motor skills including specific conditions such as musician’s dystonia, a loss of motor control of long-term practiced movement patterns. Finally, practice strategies based on neuroscientific findings are briefly summarized.
The fourth wall is a term borrowed from dramatic theory that considers the theatrical stage as having three walls (two sides and a rear) and an invisible fourth-wall boundary between the actors and audience. This chapter considers the experience of user-generated sonic content in virtual worlds in terms of the concept of the fourth wall, situating this content in regards to the dynamic between audience and virtual space. While much of the work on user-generated content in virtual worlds has focused on this relationship between developers and players, there are many interesting aspects of user-generated content that have been neglected, particularly when it comes to sound. The chapter argues that user-generated sound is in a unique position with regards to breaking the fourth wall, presenting an overview of user-generated content in virtual worlds, and exploring how user-generated content contributes to the social interactions that occur and to the breakdown of the fourth wall. The chapter then focuses on the types of auditory content that are generated and shared between players, situating the use of sound as a mediator between the virtual and the real world spaces.