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.
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".
It is not yet its own professional degree, thus it only assists the voice medicine team. Usually a person practicing vocology is a voice coach with additional training in the voice medical arts, a prepared voice/singing teacher, 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 by courses and institutes in India, Italy and the United States.
Reflecting the increased recognition of vocology, the Scandinavian Journal of Logopedics & Phoniatrics and Voice merged in 1996 with the new name Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology. Additionally, a new association bearing the name of vocology (Pan-American Vocology Association) has also been started.