How to describe a voice

How do you describe someone’s voice? I don’t mean a writer’s “voice.” I mean an actual voice…how do you describe the timbre, the pitch, the texture of a person’s VOICE???

My mother had our home movies put on a CD for my brother and me for Christmas. My brother and I talked over the weekend and he commented that it’s too bad there was no sound on these movie (hey, they’re OLD movies!) because he can’t remember two of our grandparents’ voices. He sees these grandparents on the CD, but he can’t hear them.

I never really thought about it until my brother told me he didn’t have those memories, but I remember our grandparents’ voices. (I’m almost 9 years older than my brother, so I was 12 when these grandparents died…he was only 3.) I can still hear the voices of all my grandparents in my head very clearly. I tried to describe them for my brother (as a writer, I SHOULD be able to describe someone’s voice), but I’m not sure I succeeded.

How do you describe a person’s voice?

3 thoughts on “How to describe a voice

  1. I started thinking about this myself . . . imagining my parents/grandparents’ voices. I can hear them, but describe? That’s hard!

    What comes to mind: gravelly voice, a ‘lilt’ to her voice, smooth as silk, hesitant, etc. But still, that doesn’t really describe all the nuances of a voice, does it? Let me know if you figure it out!

  2. You were very brave to do this interview, Dori, and you handled it well.

    What’s wrong with people that they have to send nasty-grams? They need to find something useful to do.

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