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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
July 23, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS)

Project Summary: Dr. Annabel Cohen, Project Director, University of Prince Edward Island

The human voice and mind together support two natural expressive abilities, speaking and singing. Each ability serves distinct through sometimes overlapping functions. Speech conveys explicit, denotative information in everyday situations, while singing conveys emotional and connotative information, making situations special. The acquisition and nature of speech has been the focus of a vast research enterprise. In contrast, less scholarly inquiry has been directed to singing, to its social roots, its manifestations across cultures, or its structural relations. Linked to social, cultural, and biological development, singing draws on many disciplines and submits to many forms of analysis and specific explorations. Recognizing a need for a comprehensive framework for such investigations, an international collaboration of over 70 scholars in the humanities and social sciences is motivated to Advance Interdisciplinary Research in Singing, its origins and implications. Together, the AIRS collaborators will integrate new multidisciplinary knowledge about singing from the perspectives of psychology, music, education, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, folklore, assisted by computer science and audio engineering. This unique team of world experts working with students at all levels and with community and non-academic partners will address three research problems centred on Development, Education, and Well-being.

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