Celebrating 20 years of advancements in voice analysis!
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 any possible application: therefore, methodology and devices as a link with the “real” complex world of the human being.
Twenty years ago, I asked myself: why not discuss all of this in a specialized meeting? 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.
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!
That is why the lucky series of these international workshops was born in 1999 and is proposed every two years as a multidisciplinary meeting to share knowledge and recent results with anyone who is interested in this multifaceted subject that involves bioengineering, otolaryngology, neurology, surgery, psychiatry, psychology, speech therapy, linguistics, singing, acting and any related field, with applications ranging from the new-born to the elder.
Models and analysis concern objective measures of voice quality, that is the measure, assessment and classification of voice characteristics and its irregularities, also thanks to increasingly fast developments in smartphone technology and software for remote monitoring and 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 in daily life is so obvious that we never think about it unless “something wrong” occurs. However, 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 or any dysphonia might heavily compromise our working day, be it 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. The MAVEBA Workshop stimulates and promotes methods for the study of relationships between voice and emotional or pathological states in adults and the elderly. Also, linguistic aspects are of interest, such as, but not limited to, the new-born cry and its relationship with language development. Last but not least, I mention sung and acted voice: MAVEBA aims at exploring the links between the charm and the technical ability of the artist.
Those mentioned above are just a few examples. A more detailed list of topics is proposed in the Topics section of the menu. Based on the previous MAVEBA, I feel that round tables organized at the end of each Sessions would be the most appropriate way for a real exchange of opinions, not only on individual work but globally on the issues addressed during the Workshop. Please disseminate information and the link of MAVEBA to anyone who may be interested. I look forward to meeting you in Firenze next December!