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The Ear and the Voice

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Preface Part 3 To the Reader Part 4 How to Use This Book Part 5 Acknowledgments Part 6 Part I: Some Reflections on Singing Chapter 7 1 Treating the Voice Chapter 8 2 Singing, the Source of Energy Chapter 9 3 What is a Beautiful Voice? Chapter 10 4 Singing and the Right Ear Chapter 11 5 About Singers Chapter 12 6 The Art of Singing Part 13 Part II: How the Ear Works Chapter 14 7 About Listening Chapter 15 8 Anatomy and Physiology Chapter 16 9 The Ear and the Nervous System Chapter 17 10 The Ear's Control of the Voice Part 18 Part III: Vocal Technique Chapter 19 11 How to Sing Chapter 20 12 Listening Posture: Ear and Body Chapter 21 13 Bone Conduction Chapter 22 14 Breathing Chapter 23 15 Vowels Chapter 24 16 Falsetto Chapter 25 17 What is Needed to Sing Well? Chapter 26 18 Conclusion Part 27 Selected Bibliography Part 28 Index Part 29 About the Authors

About the Author

Alfred A. Tomatis (1920-2001) practiced as an ear, nose, and throat doctor in Paris, and specialized in the treatment of singers. Contralto Roberta Prada is president of Vox Mentor, LLC and is an active concert and recital performer. Baritone Francis Keeping is a performing and graphic artist, who teaches voice in New York. Pierre Sollier trained with Dr. Tomatis in Paris and is a family counselor in Oaxaca, Mexico. More information can be found at the author's webpage,


The concept of the listening posture in Chapter 12 is a remarkable one involving both the posture of the whole body and the posture of the ear itself. I was astounded to read the step-by-step instructions on how to attain the listening posture in the ear by positioning the head and moving various facial muscles. I was even more surprised when I tried the method and found my body responding to the change...The Ear and the Voice is a wonderful introduction to the work and indeed the mind of Alfred Tomatis. Learning from 'his master's voice' is enough to recommend this book to anyone interested in the role of the ear in singing and anyone who isn't afraid of their own ideas being challenged. Australian Voice ...summarizes [Tomatis's] understanding of the principle role of the ear in listening, in dispensing energy to the nervous system, and in controlling the act of singing. Scitech Book News As a close collaborator of Dr. Alfred Tomatis for more than 30 years, I am in a good position to know how difficult it is to present his work in English in a way, which is both easy to read and truthful to his thinking. The writing of Tomatis needs more than a translator; it needs a total rewriting by people who are familiar with his work. This is what Roberta Prada and her collaborators have been able to accomplish and they have done it with great talent. Bravo! The Ear and the Voice offers precious insights and practical tips to singers, teachers in singing and other voice professionals. But it is not just another book on vocal technique. It sheds an entirely new light on many important subjects such as listening, language, learning and communication. If you've never heard of or read Tomatis' work, be ready for a drastically new experience! -- Paul Madaule, Director of The Listening Centre, Toronto, Canada and author of When Listening Comes Alive This is the best of the books of Professor A. Tomatis. Translation by Roberta Prada is very well done, precise, with some improvements to the original text. I recommend to everybody, especially singers and musicians to read and reread it! -- Dr. Bernard Auriol, Psychiatrist Finally available in English, this is a scientific book about singing which contains important neurological insights and is both practical and eminently readable. -- Thomas Hemsley, International Concert and Opera Singer, Professor at the Guildhall School of Music, London This is an evocative read for every musician. From the visionary science and wisdom of Tomatis, The Ear and The Voice provides us with a waterfall of provocative ideas and insights. Long awaited, long overdue, this book is essential for the creative understanding of speech, listening and music making. -- Don Campbell, Musician, Lecturer, Author of The Mozart Effect

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