The Human Voice

"The human voice is the organ of the soul" - so says the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” claimed US philosopher and psychologist William James.

“When I sing, I believe. I’m honest…” Frank Sinatra.

The human voice is the only musical instrument just about everyone can play. Every culture in the world has singing as a part of human ritual and celebration. Rebecca Kesby looks at the act of singing itself. What’s happening physiologically and chemically to us when we sing - and why does it make us feel happy - and free. She takes lessons from Beat boxers in South Africa - and acapella choirs in Croatia - and talks to scientists, opera, and throat singers. She meets the midwives who sing before work and the miners who sing after.

(Photo: A woman sings into a microphone. Credit: V von Bonin/BIPs/Getty Images)

Release date:

Available now

29 minutes

Last on

Mon 10 Mar 2014 03:32 GMT

Featured in...

The Compass

The Compass - branding 1920

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are