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La voix, l'expo qui vous parle

An interactive tour of the human voice, with examples from art, science and technology.

The human voice is our primary means of communicating with others. It is the medium of language, a vehicle for our emotions, and our oldest musical instrument.
But do you know how it works?
How it reveals our personality, our mood, our origins?
Do you know about different vocal styles and techniques? The variety of different voices?

A selection of familiar items and topics are here for you to discover. Stop on by and enjoy the chance to transform, explore, and play around with your own voice.

The human voice relies on a host of physical, acoustic and cognitive processes.

Our voice conveys our feelings, our mood, as well as our physical and mental health. Its characteristics reveal our identity. The human voice has always been a source of fascination. Seduction, persuasion and the quality of communication are all dependent on it.
Famous voices—actors, singers, politicians, radio and television presenters—have endured across time, and continue to charm and haunt us.

An exhibition in three parts

Body and voice: how the voice is produced

This first part will describe how the voice works, from an anatomical and acoustic perspective. Exhibits will explain how the voice is produced, as well as the mechanisms and organs used to produce it. In addition to this anatomical exploration of vocal production, visitors will enjoy the chance to transform their own voices, along with a number of famous ones. Finally, a phonetogram will reveal what type of voice they have (alto or soprano for women, bass or tenor for men).

Expression and voice: what the voice can communicate

The exhibition is particularly concerned with what our voice reveals about our personality, our origins, and our physical, psychological or emotional state. A variety of vocal techniques from around the world are demonstrated. In addition, a hands-on exhibit will showcase the latest advances in speech synthesis. In just a few minutes, any voice can be recorded and reproduced on a computer, then manipulated to say whatever the user wants.

Art and voice: different techniques and styles

In this part, visitors will discover a variety of different voices and vocal styles. A 20-minute film will showcase a selection of voices from opera, jazz, blues, rock, pop and rap, from the 1950s to the present. Visitors will also be introduced to various vocal transformation techniques, and will be prompted to test their memory and reflexes by identifying famous voices.

This exhibition was designed and produced by the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, in partnership with the INA and the IRCAM