Yves Ormezzano

A Guide to the Voice Publication date : April 1, 2000

In the tradition of the “Guides” series published by Editions Odile Jacob, Le Guide de la Voix is a thorough reference work, covering all that is now known about the voice. But it is also a practical guide for readers who wish to improve their vocal performance. Not everyone feels equally happy or comfortable with their own voice: some people like their voices, others don’t. This book will interest “voice professionals” such as teachers (teachers consult ear, nose and throat specialists more frequently than any other profession), actors, singers, lecturers, and politicians, as well as anyone wishing to understand or alter this basic personal tool, which is also the medium of speech, of emotions, and even of personal identity.
Le Guide de la Voix presents several stages:
— What is the nature of the voice and how are sounds produced? How should one breathe, make sounds vibrate, or articulate them? What are the characteristics of the voice (timbre, pitch, etc.)? What is the difference between the sung and the spoken voice?
— The evolution of the voice during a lifetime: the voice of an baby and a child; the breaking of a teenage boy’s voice; the effects of pregnancy and menopause; the voice in old age.
— How to feel comfortable with one’s own voice. Various voice problems, including the effects of stage fright and fatigue; a broken voice; a “catch” in the throat.
— How to use one’s voice to the best of one’s ability: public speaking, training one’s voice; how to avoid voice fatigue when one has to speak for long periods of time; how to project one’s voice as far as possible.
— The voice and daily problems: pollution, air conditioning, smoking, nutrition, sleep, medication, and allergies.
— The voice from a phylogenetic and cultural point of view: the voice viewed by the historian, the poet, and the psychoanalyst, among others.

Yves Ormezzano is a otorhinolaryngologist and speech therapist at the Hôpital Avicenne in Bobigny, near Paris, and holds a tenured position at the Fondation Rothschild, in Paris.