The Man with the Diapason Voice: TAE Word for the Day


diapason \dahy-uh-PEY-zuhn\, noun:

1. A full, rich outpouring of melodious sound.

2. The compass of a voice or instrument.

3. A fixed standard of pitch.

4. Either of two principal timbres or stops of a pipe organ, one of full, majestic tone (open diapason) and the other of strong, flutelike tone (stopped diapason).

5. Any of several other organ stops.

6. A tuning fork.

The pipe organ of San Giovanni in Laterano courtesy of A magnificent instrument–as is RA’s voice.

When I saw this word and its first definition, I could only think of Mr. Armitage’s marvelous instrument of a voice-that rich, honeyed baritone, like aural chocolate, dark and silky, impossible to forget. 
Whether speaking dialogue, telling a children’s story, performing an audiobook, doing the voice-over for an advertisement, singing a dwarven song, or, as he is in the video below, reciting poetry, Richard Armitage’s voice is always arresting. Its musicality, expressiveness, flexibility and sheer beauty mesmerize us.  It is truly a diapason voice.

Here is an extract of Richard reading The Lords of the North:

And I must include one of the delightful CBeebies stories by Mr. Storyteller himself. I think the true joy he takes in sharing his talents, the pleasure he receives in creating all these characters’ voices shines through in these performances.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

43 responses »

  1. Soon as that “Word of the Day” email appeared in my inbox, I just knew you’d be right on it!
    😀 You’ve chosen great examples of his voice work

    • Yeah, I knew I wanted to use it, I just had to get around to gathering up the examples over on YT. 😉 I figured something swoon-worthy of a poetic nature, some action/adventure re LoTN and the sweetness of the Cbeebies would make a nice combo and showcase his versatility.

        • Exactly. Mr. Storyteller has an exceptional voice and gift for using it to create so many different and distinct character voices. He doesn’t just read–he PERFORMS. I was glad to find the excerpt from LoTN along with the Ted Hughes poem and of course, CBeebies! 😉 I thought more people had probably heard the Heyer novels than LoTN because it’s more expensive/not as accessible as the other audiobooks.

          • LoTN was a good choice because it’s not something I would choose unless Richard were reading it. I can usually take the bloodthirsty sagas of that time period in small doses, but with Richard reading, I can see listening to the whole thing.

            • Exactly, it’s a much bigger contrast with the other stuff he’s done, and not necessarily what a lot of his fans would tend to gravitate to normally (including yours truly). Another case of RA leading you to watch/listen to/read something that you wouldn’t otherwise likely do.

              • You’re right, I never would have bought LoTN if it weren’t for Richard narrating it. Now I just have to hope it won’t get lost in the post!

              • Yeah, if it ever arrives…:( I ordered it exactly 2 weeks ago! They were supposed to send me a link to “track my order” and I never got that! I’m about to send a query about the shipment to AudioGo!

              • I hope you get somewhere with your enquiry. By all accounts Audiogo are good to deal with so you shouldn’t have any problems. My Hobbit annual from Amazon is a week overdue. Every single Amazon order so far has arrived well before the estimated date, but nooo, not this one, the one I’m anticipating with the most eagerness. If it’s not in my post office box today I’ll be getting back to them.

  2. When I read the title of this post over on twitter, I thought Diapason was the name of a painkiller! Because Richard could cure headaches and heartaches and all sorts of aches with his voice! 🙂

    • 😀 Exactly. Or play or your aunt’s many times as a child. 😉 I think what they are doing this week is literally choosing words completely at random–letting dictionary fall open and they put their finger down on a word.

      • I honestly didn’t know this noun had broader metaphorical senses. It’s not on a list of words I’d expect non-musicians to know, really, unless they’d studied for a spelling bee. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a non-musician use it in conversation, either.

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