Vocology is the science and practice of vocal habilitation. Its concerns include the nature of speech and language pathology, the defects of the vocal tract (laryngology), the remediation of speech therapy and the voice training and voice pedagogy of song and speech for actors and public speakers.
In its broadest sense, vocology is the study of voice, but as a professional discipline it has a narrower focus: the science and practice of voice habilitation, which includes evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention. It is not yet its own professional degree thus only assist superficially to the voice medicine team. Usually a person practicing vocology is a voice coach with additional training in the voice medical arts, or a speech pathologist with additional voice performance training—so they can better treat the professional voice user.
The study of vocology is recognized academically in taught courses and institutes such as the National Center for Voice and Speech, Westminster Choir College at Rider University, The Grabscheid Voice Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Vox Humana Laboratory at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and the Regional Center for Voice and Swallowing, at Milan's Azienda Ospedaliera Fatebenefratelli e Oftalmico, and recently at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The National Center for Voice and Speech and the University of Iowa offer a 8 week intensive course (9 graduate level university credits) and a Certificate in Vocology.
Also reflecting this increased recognition is that when the Scandinavian Journal of Logopedics & Phoniatrics and Voice merged in 1996 the new name selected was Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology.
Vocology was invented (simultaneously, but independently) by Ingo Titze, and an otolaryngologist at Washington University, Prof. George Gates. Titze defines Vocology as "the science and practice of voice habilitation, with a strong emphasis on habilitation". To habilitate means to “enable”, to “equip for”, to “capacitate”; in other words, to assist in performing whatever function that needs to be performed". He goes on that this "is more than repairing a voice or bringing it back to a former state ... rather, it is the process of strengthening and equipping the voice to meet very specific and special demands".
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