Academic/Voice Map

Voice Map method
Discussion with Julia Mihály for Darmstadt Ferienkurse 2018
Opera lecture Voice Box
Lecture in Venice Biennale with Eleonora Claps
Lecture in Venice Biennale with Eleonora Claps
Soap Operas - A series of workshops at the UdK 2017 - 2019
New Vocal workshops with Lisa Fornhammar at the Sibelius Academy
Thrid place in the Falling Walls Lab Turku 2016

Academic work and teaching

Because of his multidisciplinary experience in music, music theatre, voice, sciences and mathematics, Hyytiäinen is a sought after teacher. He has been teaching composers, singers and musicians of other fields at the Sibelius Academy, Universität der Künste – Berlin, in secondary schools and privately. He has spoken among others at the University of Sussex, London City University *** and MusicTechFest London. He is known for being an inspiring, creative and approachable teacher with wide technical and artistic understanding.

Some academic works:

The Voice Map Method

The Voice Map method helps the singers and composers communicate with each other. Miika Hyytiäinen has created it in his artistic doctoral studies in Sibelius Academy, University of Arts, Helsinki, DocMus.

Voice Map by Miika Hyytiäinen

Abstract (version 7.8.2020)

The Voice Map is a method that helps the composer and singer to communicate. 

Since the Second World War this kind of communication has become more and more problematic and this method provides an effective solution that assists artists today. It consists of two parts: a computer application that makes a graphic analysis of a singer’s voice and an extensive list of questions. The two artists create a common ground, forming the basis of further communication to create new vocal music.  The analysis programme is based on the Voice Range Profile, an analytical tool used in voice sciences

A typical scenario would be an inexperienced composer who wants to write a vocal piece for a certain singer. The Voice Map method is applied. by first doing a computer-aided analysis, which documents the dynamic possibilities and timbres of different areas of the singer’s unique voice and its penetrative quality (singer’s formant). These results are discussed and elaborated with the help of the formulated questionnaire, which then leads to casual conversation and enables the creative process. 

The usability of the application is tested in an artistic context. As the developer of the method, I have composed three musical theatre pieces in different phases of development: Voice Box (2017), the general functionality of the program for one singer; Nomictic Solutions (2018), one singer with untypical timbres; and Voice is Voices (2021), the four singers whose voices have subtle differences and similarities. In this study, the main test group comprises classically trained coloratura sopranos, the singers in the first and third projects belong to this group. In the classical Fachsystem, it is seen as a homogenous group, but the Voice Map finds differences between them that can be important for the composer. Also, technical testing with different voice types is crucial. It validated the technical aspect of the analysis program and helped to optimize the [musical] details.

The theoretical section discusses the importance of this kind of communication as well as other limitations of the Fachsystem. In short,  an inexperienced composer should compose for a specific singer, not for a Fach or voice type. This claim is supported by examples from the core repertoire. 

This doctoral study is part of the Applied Study Programme of DocMus Doctoral School of Classical Music, at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki.