Human Voice: The Story of a Remarkable Talent
- Publish Date: 2006-06-30
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Anne Karpf
We live in an age when a hi-tech gadget that could reveal a person's size, height, weight, gender, sexual orientation, social class and race in less than sixty seconds sight unseen is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Yet, as Anne Karpf's engrossing book reveals, this amazing instrument already exists and has done for centuries. It is the human voice - the key to communication and our ability to read between the emotional lines. Beginning with a description of how the voice actually works, Anne Karpf goes on to investigate its vital role in the bonding of mothers and children, and eventually in all social interaction. She then opens the story out to explore the voice's psychological, social, emotional and cultural significance, investigating and challenging received wisdom of all kinds, from the stereotype of silent men and talkative women and the theory that only 7 per cent of our meaning is carried in the words we use, to the fascinating insight that children who have difficulty decoding voices are likely to be less popular with other children as early as kindergarten, and that we can recognize the emotion in another person's voice with in sixty milliseconds of first hearing them speak. Whether revealing the evocative power of famous voices or facing the fear that modern technology may render the human voice redundant, this fascinating book makes it clear that today, more than ever, the voice is the most important sound in our lives.