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Acoustical Study of Classical Peking Opera Singing
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1557-8658, Vol. 26, no 2, 137-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Acoustic characteristics of classical opera singing differ considerably between the Western and the Chinese cultures. Singers in the classical Peking opera tradition specialize on one out of a limited number of standard roles. Audio and electroglottograph signals were recorded for four performers of the Old Man role and three performers of the Colorful Face role. Recordings were made of the singers' speech and when they sang recitatives and songs from their roles. Sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, and spectrum characteristics were analyzed. Histograms showing the distribution of fundamental frequency showed marked peaks for the songs, suggesting a scale tone structure. Some of the intervals between these peaks were similar to those used in Western music. Vibrato rate was about 3.5 Hz, that is, considerably slower than in Western classical singing. Spectra of vibrato-free tones contained unbroken series of harmonic partials sometimes reaching up to 17 000 Hz. Long-term-average spectrum (LTAS) curves showed no trace of a singer's formant cluster. However, the Colorful Face role singers' LTAS showed a marked peak near 3300 Hz, somewhat similar to that found in Western pop music singers. The mean LTAS spectrum slope between 700 and 6000 Hz decreased by about 0.2 dB/octave per dB of equivalent sound level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 26, no 2, 137-143 p.
Keyword [en]
Singing, Classical Peking opera, Long-term-average spectrum, Scale tone intervals, Singer's formant cluster, Vibrato, Spectrum slope
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-52248DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2011.01.001ISI: 000301881800002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84858160876OAI: diva2:465544
QC 20120416Available from: 2011-12-14 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2012-04-16Bibliographically approved

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