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Do You Like My Bass-Baritone, Baby?

According to this article (and the podcast of the NPR show linked there), you should like my deep voice. I got it from my Dad. He sang the deepest Bass in many choirs over decades, toured the world and cut records. His voice was absolutely amazing. His best friends’ voices (well, those were all the guys from the bass-baritone section of the choir) were also amazing. So, from very early on I was aware of the power of the human voice.

But, I recently realized that my voice appears to be higher-pitched when I speak and sing in English than when I speak or sing in Serbian, probably due to the way that vowels in Serbian are much more “open” than in English. You can sing in Serbian with your full lungs belting out the note, but not in English which constrains the airflow in almost all of its vowels.

That is why I thought that Kerry’s deep voice should sway people over Bush’s screechy, high-pitched noise of a voice. I guess I was wrong (at least it was less important than some other considerations people put in when they choose who to vote for). Or perhaps conservative sissies felt less threatened by a high-pitch voice? But, they like authority so they should go for the deepest voices, if the hypothesis above is correct! Dunno, but the whole notion of the importance of voice-quality in human communication is intriguing to me.

Added a litle later: Oh, I know this is silly EvoPsych and I assume that my readers know quite well what my stance is on it, so I initially decided not to insert the usual disclaimer. What I am interested in is the neuroscience/cognitive psychology explanations for the emotional responses to different qualities of voice and how that relates to the emotional responses to music. Once we understand that better, we are free to concoct silly evolutionary Just So Stories as much as we want.