Miika Hyytiäinen: The Voice Map ‒ Helping the communication between a composer and a singer

Miika Hyytiäinen is a doctoral student in the Sibelius Academy DocMus Doctoral school. He is currently working on his doctoral project The Voice Map ‒ Helping the communication between a composer and a singer

The Voice Map is a computer application that makes a graphic analysis of a singer’s voice. In a typical scenario a composer wants to write a vocal piece for a particular singer; together they use the Voice Map analysis to document the dynamic possibilities and timbres of different areas of this unique voice. This analysis makes further important discussions between the artists easier. The application is based on the analytical tool of voice sciences called Voice Range Profile. The usability of the application is tested in different ways. In the final phase the author himself uses the application to analyse five different singers’ voices in order to compose for them. The singers are all classically trained coloratura sopranos, so according to the Fachsystem they should have similar voices, but The Voice Map finds differences between them.The theoretical part also discusses other limitations of the Fachsystem and ends with the conclusion that an inexperienced composer should always compose for a certain singer, not for an example of a Fach or voice type. This claim is supported by examples from the core repertoire. The individuality of the voices is manifested in the limitations and timbres of the different areas of the voice.

Miika Hyytiäinen presented his project during the first ever SibA Research days, organized by the Sibelius Academy doctoral schools.