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Why so different? - Aspects of voice characteristics in operatic and musical theatre singing: Aspects of voice characteristics in operatic and musical theatre singing
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This thesis addresses aspects of voice characteristics in operatic and musical theatre singing. The common aim of the studies was to identify respiratory, phonatory and resonatory characteristics accounting for salient voice timbre differences between singing styles.

The velopharyngeal opening (VPO) was analyzed in professional operatic singers, using nasofiberscopy. Differing shapes of VPOs suggested that singers may use a VPO to fine-tune the vocal tract resonance characteristics and hence voice timbre. A listening test revealed no correlation between rated nasal quality and the presence of a VPO.

The voice quality referred to as “throaty”, a term sometimes used for characterizing speech and “non-classical” vocalists, was examined with respect to subglottal pressure (Psub) and formant frequencies. Vocal tract shapes were determined by magnetic resonance imaging. The throaty versions of four vowels showed a typical narrowing of the pharynx. Throatiness was characterized by increased first formant frequency and lowering of higher formants. Also, voice source parameter analyses suggested a hyper-functional voice production.

Female musical theatre singers typically use two vocal registers (chest and head). Voice source parameters, including closed-quotient, peak-to-peak pulse amplitude, maximum flow declination rate, and normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ), were analyzed at ten equally spaced subglottal pressures representing a wide range of vocal loudness. Chest register showed higher values in all glottal parameters except for NAQ. Operatic baritone singer voices were analyzed in order to explore the informative power of the amplitude quotient (AQ), and its normalized version NAQ, suggested to reflect glottal adduction. Differences in NAQ were found between fundamental frequency values while AQ was basically unaffected.

Voice timbre differs between musical theatre and operatic singers. Measurements of voice source parameters as functions of subglottal pressure, covering a wide range of vocal loudness, showed that both groups varied Psub systematically. The musical theatre singers used somewhat higher pressures, produced higher sound pressure levels, and did not show the opera singers’ characteristic clustering of higher formants.

Musical theatre and operatic singers show highly controlled and consistent behaviors, characteristic for each style. A common feature is the precise control of subglottal pressure, while laryngeal and vocal tract conditions differ between singing styles. In addition, opera singers tend to sing with a stronger voice source fundamental than musical theatre singers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006.
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2006:23
Keyword [en]
operatic singing, musical theatre singing, voice source, subglottal pressure, flow glottogram, inverse filtering, formant frequencies, amplitude quotient (AQ)
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4198ISBN: 987-91-7178-518-3 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4198DiVA: diva2:11182
Public defence
2006-12-08, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20100812

Available from: 2006-11-29 Created: 2006-11-29 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Velum Behavior in Professional Classic Operatic Singing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Velum Behavior in Professional Classic Operatic Singing
Show others...
2002 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 16, 61-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6458 (URN)
Note
QC 20100812Available from: 2006-11-29 Created: 2006-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Throaty voice quality: Subglottal pressure, voice source, and formant characteristics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Throaty voice quality: Subglottal pressure, voice source, and formant characteristics
2006 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 20, no 1, 25-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

"Throaty" voice quality has been regarded by voice pedagogues as undesired and even harmful. This study attempts to identify acoustic and physiological correlates of this quality. One male and one female subject read a text habitually and with a throaty voice quality. Oral pressure during p-occlusion was measured as an estimate of subglottal pressure. Long-term average spectrum analysis described the average spectrum characteristics. Sixteen syllables, perceptually evaluated with regard to throaty quality by five experts, were selected for analysis. Formant frequencies and voice source characteristics were measured by means of inverse filtering, and the vocal tract shape of the throaty and normal versions of the vowels [a,u,i,ae] of the male subject were recorded by magnetic resonance imaging. From this material, area functions were derived and their resonance frequencies were determined. The throaty versions of these four vowels all showed a pharynx that was narrower than ill the habitually produced versions. To test the relevance of formant frequencies to perceived throaty quality, experts rated degree of throatiness in synthetic vowel samples, in which the measured formant frequency values of the subject were used. The main acoustic correlates of throatiness seemed to be all increase of F1, a decrease of F4, and in front vowels a decrease of F2, which presumably results from a narrowing of the pharynx. In the male Subject, voice Source parameters suggested a more hyperfunctional voice in throaty samples.

Keyword
voice source, articulation, hyperfunctional voice, voice quality, area function, MR
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6459 (URN)10.1016/j.jvoice.2004.11.008 (DOI)000236057700004 ()15990272 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-33344465360 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100812Available from: 2006-11-29 Created: 2006-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Voice Source Differences between Registers in Female Musical Theatre Singers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Voice Source Differences between Registers in Female Musical Theatre Singers
2006 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 20, 187-197 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6460 (URN)
Note
QC 20100812Available from: 2006-11-29 Created: 2006-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Subglottal Pressure and Normalized Amplitude Quotient Variation in Classically Trained Baritone Singers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subglottal Pressure and Normalized Amplitude Quotient Variation in Classically Trained Baritone Singers
2006 (English)In: Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology, ISSN 1401-5439, E-ISSN 1651-2022, Vol. 31, no 4, 157-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

The subglottal pressure (Ps) and voice source characteristics of five professional baritone singers have been analyzed and the normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ), defined as the ratio between peak-to-peak pulse amplitude and the negative peak of the differentiated flow glottogram and normalized with respect to the period time, was used as an estimate of glottal adduction. The relationship between Ps and NAQ has been investigated in female subjects in two earlier studies. One of these revealed NAQ differences between both singing styles and phonation modes, and the other, based on register differences in female musical theatre singers, showed that NAQ differed between registers for the same PPs value. These studies thus suggest that NAQ and its variation with PPs represent a useful parameter in the analysis of voice source characteristics. The present study aims at increasing our knowledge of the NAQ parameter further by finding out how it varies with pitch and PPs in professional classically trained baritone singers, singing at high and low pitch (278 Hz and 139 Hz, respectively). Ten equally spaced Ps values were selected from three takes of the syllable [pae:], initiated at maximum vocal loudness and repeated with a continuously decreasing vocal loudness. The vowel sounds following the selected PPs peaks were inverse filtered. Data on peak-to-peak pulse amplitude, maximum flow declination rate and NAQ are presented.

Keyword
Baritone singers; Flow glottogram; Glottal adduction; Inverse filtering; Normalized amplitude quotient NAQ; Singing voice; Subglottal pressure; Voice source
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6461 (URN)2-s2.0-33751253471 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100812Available from: 2006-11-29 Created: 2006-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Musical theater and opera singing - Why so different?: A study of subglottal pressure, voice source, and formant frequency characteristics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Musical theater and opera singing - Why so different?: A study of subglottal pressure, voice source, and formant frequency characteristics
2008 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 22, no 5, 533-540 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The considerable voice timbre differences between musical theater (MT) and western operatic singers are analyzed with respect to voice source and formant frequencies in five representatives of each singer group. Audio, subglottal pressure (P(sub)), and electroglottograph (EGG) signals were recorded while the subjects sang a sequence of [pae:] syllables starting at maximal vocal loudness and then gradually decreasing vocal loudness. The task was performed at each of two fundamental frequencies (F(0)), approximately one octave apart. Ten equally spaced P(sub) values were then selected for each F(0). The subsequent vowels were analyzed in terms of flow glottograms derived by inverse filtering the audio signal, which also yielded formant frequency data. Period time (T(0)), peak-to-peak pulse amplitude (U(p-t-p)), and maximum flow declination rate (MFDR) were measured from the flow glottograms while closed quotient Q(closed) (T(cl)/T(0)) was determined in combination with the differentiated EGG signal. Also the relationship between the first and the second harmonic in the spectrum (H(1)-H(2)), the amplitude quotient (AQ), that is, the ratio between U(p-t-p) and MFDR, and normalized AQ, that is, AQ normalized with respect to period time was calculated as well as the sound pressure level. The results showed that both the MT and the opera singers varied their P(sub) systematically, approximately doubling P(sub) for a doubling of F(0). For a given value of P(sub), the MT singers produced higher values of MFDR, U(p-t-p), and Q(closed), and lower values of H(1)-H(2), indicating a weaker fundamental. Further, the MT singers showed higher formant frequencies and did not show the opera singers' characteristic clustering of F(3), F(4), and F(5).

Keyword
musical theater singing, opera, subglottal pressure, inverse filtering, EGG, voice source, formant frequencies, closed quotient, H-1-H-2
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6462 (URN)10.1016/j.jvoice.2006.12.007 (DOI)000259313800003 ()2-s2.0-50249117740 (Scopus ID)
Note
35th Annual Symposium on Care of the Professional Voice Location: Philadelphia, PA Date: MAY 31-JUN 04, 2006 Available from: 2006-11-29 Created: 2006-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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