The Spaces That Speak

When you sing in English, the physics of your own mouth is within your control: the shape of your lips, the timing of your breath, the position of your tongue and the rounding of your cheeks carve an emotional shape into the soundwaves that you sing.

Once the sound has left your mouth, what then? Have you ever thought about the architecture that surrounds you when you perform or record a video for YouTube? The size and shape of the room? The heavy curtains or the bathroom tiles? After listening to this BBC radio programme Sound Architecture: The Spaces That Speak, you might reconsider your choices:

You might not be Wallace Clement Sabine, but it’s worth thinking about choosing your recording space so that the sound you’ve shaped with your mouth reaches your audience’s ears clearly and cleanly.

In the meantime, we can hope that Sound Architecture is used to retrofit open-plan offices so that they offer space for private conversation or to tame the ricocheting soundwaves of railway stations and airports so that public announcements aren’t mangled beyond understanding before they reach our ears.

© Sing Better English, 2015


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