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The Singer’s Voice Range Profile: Female Professional Opera Soloists
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics. (Music Acoustics)
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics. (Music Acoustics)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3362-7518
Royal Conservatory, the Hague/University Utrecht/Voice Quality Systems.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1557-8658, Vol. 24, no 4, 410-426 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This work concerns the collection of 30 Voice Range Profiles (VRPs) of female operatic voice . Objectives: We address the questions: Is there a need for a singer’s protocol in VRP aquisition? Are physiological measurements sufficient or should the measurement of performance capabilities also be included? Can we address the female singing voice in general or is there a case for categorizing voices when studying phonetographic data? Method: Subjects performed a series of structured tasks involving both standard speech voice protocols and additional singing tasks. Singers also completed an extensive questionnaire. Results: Physiological VRPs differ from performance VRPs. Two new VRP metrics: the voice area above a defined level threshold, and the dynamic range independent from F0, were found to be useful in the analysis of singer VRP’s. Task design had no effect on performance VRP outcomes. Voice category differences were mainly attributable to phonation frequency based information. Conclusion: Results support the clinical importance of addressing the vocal instrument as it is used in performance. Equally important is the elaboration of a protocol suitable for the singing voice. The given context and instructions can be more important than task design for performance VRPs. Yet, for physiological VRP recordings, task design remains critical. Both types of VRPs are suggested for a singer’s voice evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 24, no 4, 410-426 p.
Keyword [en]
Voice Range Profile, singers, opera, performance, physiological profile, Speech Range Profile
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9946DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2008.12.008ISI: 000279683500005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77954088355OAI: diva2:160476
Uppdaterad från manuskript till artikel: 20100726 QC 20100726Available from: 2009-02-18 Created: 2009-02-13 Last updated: 2011-02-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Putting the Singing Voice on the Map: Towards Improving the Quantitative Evaluation of Voice Status in Professional Female Singers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Putting the Singing Voice on the Map: Towards Improving the Quantitative Evaluation of Voice Status in Professional Female Singers
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Diagnostic and evaluative methods used in voice care are mostly designedfor the speaking voice, and are not necessarily directly applicable to thesinging voice. This thesis investigated the possibilities of fine tuning, improvingand quantifying the voice status assessment of the singer, focusingespecially on the Western operatic female voice.

In Paper I, possible singer-specific Voice Range Profile (VRP) characteristicsand tasks were explored and VRP data for 30 professional female Western opera singers was collected. Vocal productions were controlled for a physiological VRP (VRPphys) and for a stage performance context (VRPperf) and outcome differences were identified. Task design was critical for the(VRPphys) but had very little effect on the VRPperf. Significant voice category differences (between soprano,mezzo-soprano and contralto) were limited to frequencyrelated metrics. Two new VRP metrics, the area above 90 dB (Perc90dB) and the sound pressure level extent (SPLext), were found to be key metrics to the study of VRPs for singers. Paper II investigated, in conjunction with the VRP, whether the sound pressure level (SPL) or the skin acceleration level (SAL) was more correlated to the subglottal pressure (Ps). SAL was much less F0 dependent than SPL and facilitated the interpretation of VRP data. However, the correlation between SAL and Ps was found to be weaker than that between SPL and Ps. Papers III and IV explored the mapping of self-perceived impairmentrelated difficulties into the VRP. A modified phonetograph was tested first with a healthy singer population and then with a singer-patient group. Subjects used a button device to communicate their self-perceptions while singing, and were consistent in task replications as well as across different tasks. Healthy singers pressed mostly at the extreme limits of the VRP, where loss of vocal control could be expected and their presses were mostly concentrated on the periphery of the VRP area. Singer patient button- press patterns were distinct from patterns observed in healthy singers. Singer patients pressed mainly inside the VRP boundaries, in the higher range and at intermediate intensities. In Paper V, the Voice Handicap Index for singers was translated and adapted to Swedish (Röst Handikap Index för sångare or RHI-s). The questionnaire was found to be a reliable and a valid instrument. High correlations between general perceptual patient VAS ratings and the questionnaire scores underscored the instrument’s internal coherence. Overall, patient scores (including subscales) were significantly higher than healthy singer scores. The results showed implicitly the necessity and usefulness of adapting clinical procedures to specific patient populations.Together, the results of these five papers can ultimately be of value tovoice clinicians who are treating singers. The results obtained also contributeto the understanding of the singing voice and underline the importance ofproperly documenting the singing voice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. 109 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2009:03
Voice Range Profile-Phonetogram-Singing voice-Performance-Clinical assessment-health-voice disorder-self-perception-proprioceptive feedback
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9976 (URN)978-91-7415-218-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-03-06, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH-Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
QC 20100726Available from: 2009-02-19 Created: 2009-02-17 Last updated: 2010-07-26Bibliographically approved

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