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What Mummy Said, Sort of, 3000 Years Later

This report sounds like it is saying that the authors managed to hear what a person who became a mummy sounded like before he became a mummy.

The report is: “Synthesis of a Vocal Sound from the 3,000 Year Old Mummy, Nesyamun ‘True of Voice’,D.M. Howard [inventor of the Vocal Tract Organ], J. Schofield, J. Fletcher, K. Baxter, G.R. Iball, and S.A. Buckley, Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 45000, 2020. The authors, at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; the University of York, UK; Leeds General Infirmary, UK, and the University of Tübingen, Germany; report:

“The sound of a 3,000 year old mummified individual has been accurately reproduced as a vowel-like sound based on measurements of the precise dimensions of his extant vocal tract following Computed Tomography (CT) scanning, enabling the creation of a 3-D printed vocal tract. By using the Vocal Tract Organ, which provides a user-controllable artificial larynx sound source, a vowel sound is synthesised which compares favourably with vowels of modern individuals.”

The Vocal Tract Organ

What is a Vocal Tract Organ? The Bibliolore blog talked about that, so to speak, in 2015:

“The vocal tract organ is a new musical instrument that consists of three-dimensional (3D)-printed vocal tracts (throat and mouth) for individual vowels sitting on loudspeakers to enable static vowel sounds to be produced. The acoustic excitation from the loudspeakers is a synthesized version of the typical waveform produced by the vibrating human vocal folds during pitched sounds, which enables the instrument to be played from a keyboard….”

BONUS (not necessarily related): Animal squawks squeaks and songs (with helium)

 

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