If you received today’s Chicago Tribune [on line or on paper] you noticed the front cover features two professional voices. One, 87 year old singer Tony Bennett, and the other, 34 year old actress Lake Bell. Like you I’ve been aware of Tony for years…perhaps unlike you, I never heard of Lake. But here’s what they have in common to put them on the front page: The power and beauty of the human voice.
Listening to a PBS Masterpiece Theater, you experience the human voice in all its rich colors, timbers and shadings. Very much what even the Millennial Generation hears when they attend a Tony Bennett concert. However…! I submit that if we track the popular singing and speaking voices of our time, we will find a glut of alternative sounds which range from rock&roll guttural to screeching nasal, enough to drive the sensitive ear to madness.
At least so begs this sensitive ear.
Seriously, compare the textured sounds of a Lauren Bacall, Kathleen Turner, judi dench or Rachel Maddow to that of a squeaky Kristin Chenoweth, Fran Dresher or Anne Coulter. On the other hand, we sensitive ears just may be nothing more than purists of our own making. What do you think….? Speak up, kid, pronounce your words!
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