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Comparing the acoustic expression of emotion in the speaking and the singing voice
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1495-7773
2015 (English)In: Computer speech & language (Print), ISSN 0885-2308, E-ISSN 1095-8363, ISSN 0885-2308, Vol. 29, no 1, 218-235 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We examine the similarities and differences in the expression of emotion in the singing and the speaking voice. Three internationally renowned opera singers produced “vocalises” (using a schwa vowel) and short nonsense phrases in different interpretations for 10 emotions. Acoustic analyses of emotional expression in the singing samples show significant differences between the emotions. In addition to the obvious effects of loudness and tempo, spectral balance and perturbation make significant contributions (high effect sizes) to this differentiation. A comparison of the emotion-specific patterns produced by the singers in this study with published data for professional actors portraying different emotions in speech generally show a very high degree of similarity. However, singers tend to rely more than actors on the use of voice perturbation, specifically vibrato, in particular in the case of high arousal emotions. It is suggested that this may be due to by the restrictions and constraints imposed by the musical structure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 29, no 1, 218-235 p.
Keyword [en]
Vocal expression, Emotional interpretation in singing, Comparison between emotion expression in speech and singing, Acoustic analyses of emotion
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics) Signal Processing Music
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-137392DOI: 10.1016/j.csl.2013.10.002ISI: 000345106900014ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84908510789OAI: diva2:678918

QC 20150113. Updated from e-pub ahead of print to published.

tmh_import_13_12_13, tmh_id_3860. QC 20160222

Available from: 2013-12-13 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2016-02-22Bibliographically approved

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Sundberg, JohanSalomão, Gláucia Laís
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