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  • 1. Alku, Paavo
    et al.
    Airas, Matti
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    An amplitude quotient based method to analyze changes in the shape of the glottal pulse in the regulation of vocal intensity2006In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 120, no 2, p. 1052-1062Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study presents an approach to visualizing intensity regulation in speech. The method expresses a voice sample in a two-dimensional space using amplitude-domain values extracted from the glottal flow estimated by inverse filtering. The two-dimensional presentation is obtained by expressing a time-domainmeasure of the glottal pulse, the amplitude quotient (AQ), as a function of the negative peak amplitude of the flow derivative (d(peak)). The regulation of vocal intensity was analyzed with the proposed method from voices varying from extremely soft to very loud with a SPL range of approximately 55 dB. When vocal intensity was increased, the speech samples first showed a rapidly decreasing trend as expressed on the proposed AQ-d(peak) graph. When intensity was further raised, the location of the samples converged toward a horizontal line, the asymptote of a hypothetical hyperbola. This behavior of the AQ-d(peak) graph indicates that the intensity regulation strategy changes from laryngeal to respiratory mechanisms and the method chosen makes it possible to quantify how control mechanisms underlying the regulation of vocal intensity change gradually between the two means. The proposed presentation constitutes an easy-to-implement method to visualize the function of voice production in intensity regulation because the only information needed is the glottal flow wave form estimated by inverse filtering the acoustic speech pressure signal.

  • 2. Birch, Peer
    et al.
    Gümoes, Bodil
    Stavad, Hanne
    Prytz, Svend
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Speech, Music and Hearing.
    Sundberg, Johan
    Velum Behavior in Professional Classic Operatic Singing2002In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 16, p. 61-71Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Musical theater and opera singing - Why so different?: A study of subglottal pressure, voice source, and formant frequency characteristics2008In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 22, no 5, p. 533-540Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The considerable voice timbre differences between musical theater (MT) and western operatic singers are analyzed with respect to voice source and formant frequencies in five representatives of each singer group. Audio, subglottal pressure (P(sub)), and electroglottograph (EGG) signals were recorded while the subjects sang a sequence of [pae:] syllables starting at maximal vocal loudness and then gradually decreasing vocal loudness. The task was performed at each of two fundamental frequencies (F(0)), approximately one octave apart. Ten equally spaced P(sub) values were then selected for each F(0). The subsequent vowels were analyzed in terms of flow glottograms derived by inverse filtering the audio signal, which also yielded formant frequency data. Period time (T(0)), peak-to-peak pulse amplitude (U(p-t-p)), and maximum flow declination rate (MFDR) were measured from the flow glottograms while closed quotient Q(closed) (T(cl)/T(0)) was determined in combination with the differentiated EGG signal. Also the relationship between the first and the second harmonic in the spectrum (H(1)-H(2)), the amplitude quotient (AQ), that is, the ratio between U(p-t-p) and MFDR, and normalized AQ, that is, AQ normalized with respect to period time was calculated as well as the sound pressure level. The results showed that both the MT and the opera singers varied their P(sub) systematically, approximately doubling P(sub) for a doubling of F(0). For a given value of P(sub), the MT singers produced higher values of MFDR, U(p-t-p), and Q(closed), and lower values of H(1)-H(2), indicating a weaker fundamental. Further, the MT singers showed higher formant frequencies and did not show the opera singers' characteristic clustering of F(3), F(4), and F(5).

  • 4.
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Why so different? - Aspects of voice characteristics in operatic and musical theatre singing: Aspects of voice characteristics in operatic and musical theatre singing2006Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis addresses aspects of voice characteristics in operatic and musical theatre singing. The common aim of the studies was to identify respiratory, phonatory and resonatory characteristics accounting for salient voice timbre differences between singing styles.

    The velopharyngeal opening (VPO) was analyzed in professional operatic singers, using nasofiberscopy. Differing shapes of VPOs suggested that singers may use a VPO to fine-tune the vocal tract resonance characteristics and hence voice timbre. A listening test revealed no correlation between rated nasal quality and the presence of a VPO.

    The voice quality referred to as “throaty”, a term sometimes used for characterizing speech and “non-classical” vocalists, was examined with respect to subglottal pressure (Psub) and formant frequencies. Vocal tract shapes were determined by magnetic resonance imaging. The throaty versions of four vowels showed a typical narrowing of the pharynx. Throatiness was characterized by increased first formant frequency and lowering of higher formants. Also, voice source parameter analyses suggested a hyper-functional voice production.

    Female musical theatre singers typically use two vocal registers (chest and head). Voice source parameters, including closed-quotient, peak-to-peak pulse amplitude, maximum flow declination rate, and normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ), were analyzed at ten equally spaced subglottal pressures representing a wide range of vocal loudness. Chest register showed higher values in all glottal parameters except for NAQ. Operatic baritone singer voices were analyzed in order to explore the informative power of the amplitude quotient (AQ), and its normalized version NAQ, suggested to reflect glottal adduction. Differences in NAQ were found between fundamental frequency values while AQ was basically unaffected.

    Voice timbre differs between musical theatre and operatic singers. Measurements of voice source parameters as functions of subglottal pressure, covering a wide range of vocal loudness, showed that both groups varied Psub systematically. The musical theatre singers used somewhat higher pressures, produced higher sound pressure levels, and did not show the opera singers’ characteristic clustering of higher formants.

    Musical theatre and operatic singers show highly controlled and consistent behaviors, characteristic for each style. A common feature is the precise control of subglottal pressure, while laryngeal and vocal tract conditions differ between singing styles. In addition, opera singers tend to sing with a stronger voice source fundamental than musical theatre singers.

  • 5.
    Björkner, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
    Alku, P.
    Subglottal pressure and NAQ variation in voice production of classically trained baritone singers2005In: 9th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal, 2005, p. 1057-1060Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The subglottal pressure (Ps) and voice source characteristics of five professional baritone singers were analyzed. Glottal adduction was estimated with amplitude quotient (AQ), defined as the ratio between peak-to-peak pulse amplitude and the negative peak of the differentiated flow glottogram, and with normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ), defined as AQ divided by fundamental period length. Previous studies show that NAQ and its variation with Ps represent an effective parameter in the analysis of voice source characteristics. Therefore, the present study aims at increasing our knowledge of these two parameters further by finding out how they vary with pitch and Ps in operatic baritone singers, singing at high and low pitch. Ten equally spaced Ps values were selected from three takes of the syllable [pae], repeated with a continuously decreasing vocal loudness and initiated at maximum vocal loudness. The vowel sounds following the selected Ps peaks were inverse filtered. Data on peak-to-peak pulse amplitude, maximum flow declination rate, AQ and NAQ will be presented.

  • 6.
    Björkner, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Sundberg, Johan
    Alku, Paavo
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Subglottal Pressure and Normalized Amplitude Quotient Variation in Classically Trained Baritone Singers2006In: Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology, ISSN 1401-5439, E-ISSN 1651-2022, Vol. 31, no 4, p. 157-165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The subglottal pressure (Ps) and voice source characteristics of five professional baritone singers have been analyzed and the normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ), defined as the ratio between peak-to-peak pulse amplitude and the negative peak of the differentiated flow glottogram and normalized with respect to the period time, was used as an estimate of glottal adduction. The relationship between Ps and NAQ has been investigated in female subjects in two earlier studies. One of these revealed NAQ differences between both singing styles and phonation modes, and the other, based on register differences in female musical theatre singers, showed that NAQ differed between registers for the same PPs value. These studies thus suggest that NAQ and its variation with PPs represent a useful parameter in the analysis of voice source characteristics. The present study aims at increasing our knowledge of the NAQ parameter further by finding out how it varies with pitch and PPs in professional classically trained baritone singers, singing at high and low pitch (278 Hz and 139 Hz, respectively). Ten equally spaced Ps values were selected from three takes of the syllable [pae:], initiated at maximum vocal loudness and repeated with a continuously decreasing vocal loudness. The vowel sounds following the selected PPs peaks were inverse filtered. Data on peak-to-peak pulse amplitude, maximum flow declination rate and NAQ are presented.

  • 7.
    Björkner, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Cleveland, T
    Stone, E
    Voice source differences between registers in female musical theater singers2006In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 20, no 2, p. 187-197Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Musical theater singing typically requires women to use two vocal registers. Our investigation considered voice source and subglottal pressure P-s characteristics of the speech pressure signal recorded for a sequence of /pae/ syllables sung at constant pitch and decreasing vocal loudness in each register by seven female musical theater singers. Ten equally spaced P-s values were selected, and the relationships between P-s and several parameters were examined; closed-quotient (Q(closed)), peak-to-peak pulse amplitude (Up-t-p), amplitude of the negative peak of the differentiated flow glottogram. ie, the maximum flow declination rate (MFDR), and the normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ) [Up-t-p/(TO*MFDR)], where TO is the fundamental period. P, was typically slightly higher in chest than in head register. As P, influences the measured glottogram parameters, these were also compared at an approximately identical P-s of 11 cm H2O. Results showed that for typical tokens, MFDR and Q(closed) were significantly greater, whereas Up-t-p and therefore NAQ were significantly lower in chest than in head.

  • 8.
    Björkner, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Speech, Music and Hearing.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Speech, Music and Hearing.
    Cleveland, T.
    Stone, R. E.
    Voice source register differences in female musical theatre singers2004In: Proc Baltic-Nordic Acoustics Meeting 2004, BNAM04, Mariehamn, 2004Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Björkner, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Sundberg, Johan
    Cleveland, Tom
    Stone, Ed
    Voice Source Differences between Registers in Female Musical Theatre Singers2006In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 20, p. 187-197Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Björkner, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
    Cleveland, Tom
    Vanderbilt Voice Center, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville.
    Stone, R E
    Vanderbilt Voice Center, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville.
    Voice source characteristics in different registers in classically trained female musical theatre singers2004In: Proceedings of ICA 2004 : the 18th International Congress on Acoustics, Kyoto International Conference Hall, 4-9 April, Kyoto, Japan: acoustical science and technology for quality of life, Kyoto, Japan, 2004, p. 297-300Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Musical theatre singing requires the use of twovocal registers in the female voice. The voice source and subglottal pressure Pscharacteristics of these registers are analysed by inverse filtering. The relationship between Psand closed quotient Qclosed, peak-to-peak pulse amplitude Up-t-p, maximum flow declination rate MFDR and the normalised amplitude quotient NAQ were examined. Pswastypically slightly higher in chest than in head register . For typical tokens MFDR and Qclosed were significantly greater while NAQ and Up-t-p were significantly lower in chest than in head.

  • 11. Laukkanen, Anne-Maria
    et al.
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
    Throaty voice quality: Subglottal pressure, voice source, and formant characteristics2006In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 25-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    "Throaty" voice quality has been regarded by voice pedagogues as undesired and even harmful. This study attempts to identify acoustic and physiological correlates of this quality. One male and one female subject read a text habitually and with a throaty voice quality. Oral pressure during p-occlusion was measured as an estimate of subglottal pressure. Long-term average spectrum analysis described the average spectrum characteristics. Sixteen syllables, perceptually evaluated with regard to throaty quality by five experts, were selected for analysis. Formant frequencies and voice source characteristics were measured by means of inverse filtering, and the vocal tract shape of the throaty and normal versions of the vowels [a,u,i,ae] of the male subject were recorded by magnetic resonance imaging. From this material, area functions were derived and their resonance frequencies were determined. The throaty versions of these four vowels all showed a pharynx that was narrower than ill the habitually produced versions. To test the relevance of formant frequencies to perceived throaty quality, experts rated degree of throatiness in synthetic vowel samples, in which the measured formant frequency values of the subject were used. The main acoustic correlates of throatiness seemed to be all increase of F1, a decrease of F4, and in front vowels a decrease of F2, which presumably results from a narrowing of the pharynx. In the male Subject, voice Source parameters suggested a more hyperfunctional voice in throaty samples.

  • 12. Lehto, Laura
    et al.
    Airas, Matti
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Alku, Paavo
    Comparison of two inverse filtering methods in parameterization of the glottal closing phase characteristics in different phonation types2007In: Journal of Voice, ISSN 0892-1997, E-ISSN 1873-4588, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 138-150Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inverse filtering (IF) is a common method used to estimate the source of voiced speech, the glottal flow. This investigation aims to compare two IF methods: one manual and the other semiautomatic. Glottal flows were estimated from speech pressure waveforms of six female and seven male subjects producing sustained vole /a/ in breathy, normal, and pressed phonation. The closing phase characteristics of the glottal pulse were parameterized using two time-based parameters: the closing quotient (C1Q) and the normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ). The information given by these two parameters indicates a strong correlation between the two IF methods. The results are encouraging in showing that the parameterization of the voice source in different speech sounds can be performed independently of the technique used for inverse filtering.

  • 13. Patel, Sona
    et al.
    Scherer, Klaus R.
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Sundberg, Johan
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.
    Mapping emotions into acoustic space: The role of voice production2011In: Biological Psychology, ISSN 0301-0511, E-ISSN 1873-6246, Vol. 87, no 1, p. 93-98Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on the vocal expression of emotion has long since used a "fishing expedition" approach to find acoustic markers for emotion categories and dimensions. Although partially successful, the underlying mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. To illustrate that this research can profit from considering the underlying voice production mechanism, we specifically analyzed short affect bursts (sustained/a/vowels produced by 10 professional actors for five emotions) according to physiological variations in phonation (using acoustic parameters derived from the acoustic signal and the inverse filter estimated voice source waveform). Results show significant emotion main effects for 11 of 12 parameters. Subsequent principal components analysis revealed three components that explain acoustic variations due to emotion, including "tension," "perturbation," and "voicing frequency." These results suggest that future work may benefit from theory-guided development of parameters to assess differences in physiological voice production mechanisms in the vocal expression of different emotions. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 14.
    Sundberg, Johan
    et al.
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
    Patel, S.
    Björkner, Eva
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics.
    Scherer, K.R.
    Interdependencies among voice source parameters in emotional speech2011In: IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, ISSN 1949-3045, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 162-174Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emotions have strong effects on the voice production mechanisms and consequently on voice characteristics. The magnitude of these effects, measured using voice source parameters, and the interdependencies among parameters have not been examined. To better understand these relationships, voice characteristics were analyzed in 10 actors' productions of a sustained/a/vowel in five emotions. Twelve acoustic parameters were studied and grouped according to their physiological backgrounds, three related to subglottal pressure, five related to the transglottal airflow waveform derived from inverse filtering the audio signal, and four related to vocal fold vibration. Each emotion appeared to possess a specific combination of acoustic parameters reflecting a specific mixture of physiologic voice control parameters. Features related to subglottal pressure showed strong within-group and between-group correlations, demonstrating the importance of accounting for vocal loudness in voice analyses. Multiple discriminant analysis revealed that a parameter selection that was based, in a principled fashion, on production processes could yield rather satisfactory discrimination outcomes (87.1 percent based on 12 parameters and 78 percent based on three parameters). The results of this study suggest that systems to automatically detect emotions use a hypothesis-driven approach to selecting parameters that directly reflect the physiological parameters underlying voice and speech production.

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