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From Air to Aria. Relevance of Respiratory Behaviour to Voice Function in Classical Western Vocal Art.
KTH, Superseded Departments, Speech Transmission and Music Acoustics.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

While previous studies of opera singers’respiratorybehaviour have focused on kinematic or dynamic aspects mainly,this thesis attempts to adopt a broader perspective. Not onlylung volumes, rib cage and abdominal wall kinematics areconsidered, but also the effects of lung volumes and respiratorybehaviour on phonation characteristics. Also, we attempted to payparticular attention to musically related factors.

Statistical data on opera singers’initiation andtermination lung volumes, breath group volumes and flow rates,all related to vital capacity, were gathered. Consistency ofphonatory and inhalatory respiratory behaviour was estimated, aswell as rib cage and abdominal wall influence on lung volumechange. The singers were found to perform songs from theirrepertoire in aquasi-realistic concert situation. Further, theeffect of lung volume on voice function was studied in non-singersubjects and professional male opera singers’habitualbehaviour and non-habitual inhalatory behaviour. Comparisonsbetween high and low lung volume of vertical laryngeal position,subglottal pressure, and voice source characteristics were made.In addition, the effect of two polar inhalatory behaviours on thesame voice function parameters was examined.

When performing songs and arias from their repertoire, theprofessional opera singers used the full range of lung volumes,likely to affect all lung volume dependent mechanisms involved inrespiratory control. Even though displaying different behaviours,they were highly consistent within their individual breathingpatterns, especially so with regard to rib cage movement and lungvolume change. Lung volume was found to affect voice function innon-singer subjects, such that the overall glottal adduction wassmaller at high than at low lung volume. When using anon-habitual inhalatory behaviour, the singers’voicefunction was qualitatively affected in a similar manner as thatobserved in non-singers. However, the singers’habitualbreathing behaviour seemed to include a strategy that eitherinhibits or minimises the influence of lung volume dependentmechanisms, such that these effects are reduced and presumablyperceptually irrelevant. The polar inhalatory abdominal wallbehaviours had no effect on voice function.

Keywords:Abdominal wall, breathing, consistency,inhalation, lung volume, respiratory behaviour, phonation, ribcage, singers, singing, subglottal pressure, tracheal pull,vertical laryngeal position, voice source.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för talöverföring och musikakustik , 2003. , 51 p.
Trita-TMH, 2003:5
Keyword [en]
Abdominal wall, breathing, consistency, inhalation, lung volume, respiratory behaviour, phonation, rib cage, singers, singing, subglottal pressure, tracheal pull, vertical laryngeal position, voice source.
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3513ISBN: 91-628-5703-7OAI: diva2:9327
Public defence
NR 20140805Available from: 2003-05-12 Created: 2003-05-12Bibliographically approved

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