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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lindsey Rhodes, B.A.(George Washington University)
Description: This book provides a thorough overview of the physical and physiological principles of voice and speech, as well as information on current theory in these areas. The detail provided allows readers to fully understand concepts that are often glossed over in other works. It is written in such a way that makes difficult concepts easy to understand. Undergraduate students may find the content overwhelming for their purposes, but graduate students and practicing clinicians who are interested in specializing in voice and speech will find this to be a very accessible reference.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide students and practicing clinicians with detailed information on the mechanics of speech and voice production. This book is useful to the profession because it allows students and clinicians to fully understand concepts that may not be reviewed as explicitly in other books. The author meets her objective of providing scientific information on speech and voice production and the book can be useful at the graduate and clinical levels. However, it may provide a bit too much information to be used at the undergraduate level.
Audience: According to the author, this book is written primarily for undergraduate and graduate students, though she also believes it will serve as a good reference for doctoral students and research scientists. The author is a professor, clinician, researcher, lecturer, and founding member of the International Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing.
Features: This book begins by covering physics concepts that relate to speech and voice production. It continues on to discuss physiological aspects of speech and voice, and finally presents current theories on the topics. This book is very thorough yet easy to read. The conversational tone, combined with the sidebar information, makes the text pleasant and interesting and helps the reader maintain attention even when the topic is somewhat dry. The illustrations are one of the book's strongest features, which go a long way to helping the reader understand tough concepts. The anatomical illustrations are some of the best I've seen and make it easier to understand the anatomy and physiology. If reader is not interested in detailed scientific information about the speech mechanism, this book might seem to go into too much detail. However, if the reader is interested in having a detailed understanding of voice and speech, this is a useful reference.
Assessment: This comprehensive book will serve as a valuable and accessible reference for students, clinicians, and researchers in the field of speech-language pathology who are interested in voice and speech. It is easier to read than some books and provides excellent illustrations of concepts as well as anatomy. Readers should note that it does not provide information on assessment and treatment of individuals with voice disorders, nor does it provide information on specific disorders. Clinicians who wish to use this book as a reference will need alternative sources of information on these topics.