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Experimental findings on the nasal tract resonator in singing
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
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2007 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1557-8658, Vol. 21, no 2, 127-137 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many professional operatic singers sing the vowel /a/ with a velopharyngeal opening.(1) Here resonatory effects of such an opening are analyzed. On the basis of CAT scan imaging of a baritone singer's vocal tract and nasal cavity system, including the maxillary sinuses, acoustic epoxy models were constructed, in which velopharyngeal openings were modeled by different tubes. The sound transfer characteristics of this model were determined by means of sine-tone sweep measurements. In an idealized (iron tube) model, the VPO introduced a zero in the transfer function at the frequency of the nasal resonance. In the epoxy models, however, the resonances of the nasal system, and hence the zero, were heavily damped, particularly when the maxillary sinuses were included in the nasal system. A velopharyngeal opening was found to attenuate the first formant in /a/, such that the relative level of the singer's formant increased. A similar effect was observed in a modified epoxy model shaped to approximate the vocal tract of an /u/ and an /i/, although it also showed a substantial widening of the first formant bandwidth. Varying the size of the velopharyngeal opening affected the transfer function only slightly. It seems likely that singers can enhance higher spectrum partials by a careful tuning of a velopharyngeal opening.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 21, no 2, 127-137 p.
Keyword [en]
nasalization, maxillary sinuses, nasal resonance, formants, singer's formant
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-40740DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2005.11.005ISI: 000244973300001PubMedID: 16504472ScopusID: 2-s2.0-33847264877OAI: diva2:443060
31st Annual Voice-Foundation Symposium on Care of the Professional Voice Location: Philadelphia, PA Date: JUN, 2002 Available from: 2011-09-23 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2011-09-23Bibliographically approved

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Sundberg, Johan
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