Thanks and Greetings

Thanks to “old” and “new” friends, colleagues, scientists, students but also curious people that came to this tenth edition of the MAVEBA, attracted by the topic of the Workshop: our voice. Therefore, I take the opportunity to explain in few words the meaning of this Workshop to the curious “new” guests.


The MAVEBA Workshop
The quite long title of the Workshop refers to the study of our voice from the “technical” point of view, but at the same time to biomedical applications: therefore, rigor, methodology, devices, as a link with the “real” complex world of the human being and related clinical applications.
Many years ago, I asked myself: why not discuss all of this in a specialized meeting? Outside large conferences, that inevitably concern broader research fields. At that time, I never imagined the thousand shades of this increasingly fascinating field of research that over the years became my main scientific activity.
That is why the lucky series of these international workshops was born in 1999 and is proposed every two years as a multidisciplinary meeting for researchers to share their knowledge and recent results with anyone who is interested in this multifaceted subject that involves bioengineering, medicine, psychology, linguistics, singing and related fields, with applications ranging from the infant to the elder.


Models and analysis concerns objective measures of voice quality, that is the measure, assessment and classification of voice irregularities, also thanks to developments in smartphone technology and software for the possibility of remote patient-clinician interaction. Voice quality assessment is closely related to a deep understanding of the dynamics of the vocal folds, one of the most complex and varied mechanisms of the human body, not yet fully exploited: our vocal folds are the source of the infinite range of sounds that make each of us unique and unrepeatable.


Our voice is in fact something whose use is so obvious that we never think about it unless “something wrong” occurs. If we consider it for a moment, we immediately realize that the quality of our voice is of fundamental importance in our daily life and relationships: “hoarseness” might also heavily compromise our working day: be it introducing a meeting, but most important giving a talk, teaching, defending a lawsuit in a courtroom, singing, acting, playing wind instruments, and so on…
Not only physical diseases but also stress, depression, lack of confidence, fear, joy, happiness, psychological and psychiatric conditions and in general any emotional state influences our voice. During this 10th Workshop methods were proposed for the study of relationships between voice and emotional or pathological states in adults and the elderly. Also, the new-born cry of premature infants and language development at birth were addressed.


What has changed since the first MAVEBA? Not the curiosity nor the enthusiasm, mine and obviously of my historical friends in this venture, but I believe also of new ones. Certainly, the progress of joint and interdisciplinary research has deepened and widened the field of investigation!


The 10th MAVEBA Workshop
On December 13th I was especially pleased to welcome you in the Aula Magna of the Rectorate of the University of Firenze. I am proudly part of this University since more than 30 years.Thanks to our guest, the Rector Professor Luigi Dei, who is also a keen connoisseur of music and singing, that gave us a friendly but deeply felt welcoming address.


My sincere thanks also to the President of the Regional Council of Tuscany, Dr. Eugenio Giani, who generously hosted the Workshop in the beautiful ballroom of Palazzo Bastogi on December 14th and 15th.


The 10th Workshop MAVEBA was organized into seven Session, devoted to topics that have been debated over the years, but over the years enriched by new scientific findings and technological innovations. As usual the subject of all Session was inherently multidisciplinary, promoting increasing collaboration between specialists from different disciplines.


As evidenced by the list of participants, the scientific community that met in Firenze comes from all over the world, confirming that the study of the human voice, our main means of communication, has no geographical boundaries. There were colleagues coming from Europe (Spain, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Cech Republic, UK, The Netherlands) but also from United States, Canada, Argentina, Russia, Mexico, … and other exotic countries like Italy!


I hope that participants share my positive evaluation that the round tables organized at the end of the Sessions were the most appropriate way for a real exchange of opinions, not only on individual work but globally on the issues addressed during the Workshop.


Thanks and greetings
As for past editions, part of the success of the Workshop comes from the generous participation of artists and experts of the voice, that I would like to thank:

  • The director Paolo Zampini, the vice-director Leonardo De Lisi and the coordinator of events Donata Bertoldi of the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory that on December 13th hosted the welcome cocktail and offered us a high quality performance of its Orchestral training class and the Singing classes directed by M° Paolo Ponziano Ciardi.
  • The actor Ugo Donato and the flute player Gianluigi Nuccini that offered us pleasant artistic breaks with recitative-musical performance on December 14th.
  • M° Rodolfo Alessandrini, that on December 14th guided us with great professionalism and pleasantness through the fascinating history of the fortepiano and piano at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori, showing us (and playing for us!) a collection of instruments of historical interest. The dinner was held inside the Accademia, where we could enjoy the special warm atmosphere of that historical site.

Last but not least:

  • I wish to thank participants, chairpersons, RT moderators. A special thanks to Philippe Dejonckere for his availability and usual precision in the RTs organization.
  • I also thank my young collaborators, all biomedical engineers: Sara Sarhan, Maria Sole Morelli (our photographer!), Alessandro Capo and Gianandrea Pieraccini, who have worked and work with dedication on the themes of the Workshop. I hope that they found this experience useful!
  • A special thanks to Eng. Alice Cavaliere, the website administrator who took (and is still taking) care of the MAVEBA website, replying quickly and with great precision to my requests even at prohibitive late time.

My sincere thanks to the staff of the congress agency Scaramuzzi with whom I share this experience for several years: I consider them part of our family of curious people!

Pictures of the Workshop are now in the website!

And now: ARRIVEDERCI to 2019!

The date will be announced as soon as possible.
Any suggestion about moving the Workshop to another month/date are welcome.

Please disseminate information and the link of MAVEBA to anyone who may be interested.

Thanks again for being here.

I hope that you could enjoy a nice weekend or at least a few hours strolling around Firenze!

Claudia Manfredi
MAVEBA2017 Chair