Voice Alpha

on reading poetry aloud for an audience

voice: timbre

1 Comment

Noun: The character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity.

Regional or other accent, the timbre/quality/sound of one’s voice and speech impediments such as lisps are three things pretty much out of control of most who read aloud for an audience. They should really be discounted when judging the quality of a reading. Do we discount them? Probably not as much as we should.

And so, thankless and perverse as my character is, I have been focusing, as you will have noticed, on these three elements in listening to the Poetry Foundation poem of the day for the past few weeks.

The voice of the reader of today’s poem is singled out, not for accent or lisp, but for wonderful-soundingness, or great timbre.

Unfortunately (hallo, Poetry Foundation…?) I don’t know whose voice this is. The notes tells us that Håkan Sandell is a Swedish poet who has lived most of his life in Scandinavian countries. They tell us that the English text of the poem is a translation done by Bill Coyle, but nothing tells us who does this particular reading.

Whatever the case, it’s a very nice voice.

Poetry Rejoices by Håkan Sandell
55 secs

Author: Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

One thought on “voice: timbre

  1. Pingback: of speech impediments and reading poetry out loud | Voice Alpha

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