Talking of Singing - David Howard, 2nd August, 5-6.30pm


David will be talking us through the bases of human hearing and pitch perception. Singing ‘in tune’ is not trivial and it turns out that there is more to it than simply fundamental frequency. That alone is probably not what one might expect – other factors are important and can vary perceived pitch including the timbre of the sound, the intensity of the sound and vibrato. To top it all, the tuning system used is at the heart beautiful in-tune choral singing and can become a differential focus amongst singers that causes overall pitch shifts. 

Professor David M Howard FREng has a long-standing background in engineering voice science in the context of speech and singing. He researches aspects of speech and singing including human and computer voice production, singing tuning and pitch perception. He recently demonstrated with partners from York and Leeds the sound of the voice of the Egyptian Mummy: Nesyamun to worldwide acclaim, which made use of his Vocal Tract Organ; an instrument that makes use of 3-D printed vocal tracts based on MRI images. 

For BBC4, David presented the programme Voice and co-presented Castrato and he acted as an Expert Forensic Audio witness in the R v. Ingram (Who wants to be a millionaire) trial. He conducts Feltham Choral Society and is organist in his local parish church. He co-authored Acoustics and Psychoacoustics with Professor Jamie Angus which is now in its 5th Edition (2017) in English and Chinese, and co-authored Voice science acoustics and recording with Professor Damian Murphy (2008). and is the author of Choral singing and healthy voice production (2015).

Event fee:

£20 for each conversation booked individually, 10% discount for two, 15% for four and 20% for six in one basket