The Voice in Which it is Told: The Importance of the Human Voice in Life Stories and Folktales

By Iris Curteis.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the importance of the human voice in the oral art of storytelling: in the telling of life stories and in the telling of traditional folktales. Every teller’s individualised expression is created through their own voice and their own conscious and unconscious use of paralinguistic elements, and allows the listener, not only to experience the content of a story, but to experience the ‘story of the voice’ itself. I further explore the relationship between the human voice and silence, silence and story, and silence imposed by trauma and the contribution storytelling can make towards positive change.

Keywords: Importance of the Human Voice, Oral Tradition, Life Stories, Folktales, Overcoming Abuse, Social Responsibility Global/Local Exchange, Creative Thinking

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.237-252. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 680.300KB).

Iris Curteis

Storyteller, Writer, PhD Candidate, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Southern Cross University, Dorrigo, NSW, Australia

My background includes studies in visual arts and dramatic arts, undertaken in Europe, and a BA hon. degree in creative writing through Southern Cross University, Australia. I am currently undertaking a PhD focused on storytelling in community building, in relation to social responsibility and participatory learning. I am passionate about community arts and deeply interested in the relationship between community arts and social-health in communities. Over the past seven years I have taught the art of storytelling and folk tale research to adults, held workshops, Ghost Story Nights, participated in several national and one international conference and told stories at community markets to mixed age groups. I am the founder of The Writers Group on Dorrigo Mountain, which held its first public reading of works in August 2008.

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