Vox Humana: Alfred Wolfsohn's Experiments in Extension of Human Vocal Range
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Have you ever considered what the full range of tone and pitch the human voice is? Have you wondered if there was some latent singing ability that all people were capable of achieving?
Alfred Wolfsohn was inspired to explore such questions about vocal range after serving in the World War I. Haunted by cries on the battlefield and suffering from post-traumatic stress, he began experiments as a form of therapy. Alternating between vocal and instrumental (including piano, violin, viola, cello, and double bass) exercises, Vox Humana not only showcases the potential vocal range of the human voice, but also the various expressive timbres and tone qualities that can be utilized. His experiments push the range of the human voice to nine octaves (two more than the piano!) and demonstrate an impressive, avant-garde flexibility. Liner notes include an introduction and track notes.
Year Released1956 Record LabelFolkways Records Source Archive
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Copyright
2004 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / 1956 Folkways Records