Voice source characteristics in Mongolian "throat singing" studied with high-speed imaging technique, acoustic spectra, and inverse filtering

P A Lindestad, M Södersten, B Merker, S Granqvist
Journal of Voice 2001, 15 (1): 78-85
Mongolian "throat singing" can be performed in different modes. In Mongolia, the bass-type is called Kargyraa. The voice source in bass-type throat singing was studied in one male singer. The subject alternated between modal voice and the throat singing mode. Vocal fold vibrations were observed with high-speed photography, using a computerized recording system. The spectral characteristics of the sound signal were analyzed. Kymographic image data were compared to the sound signal and flow inverse filtering data from the same singer were obtained on a separate occasion. It was found that the vocal folds vibrated at the same frequency throughout both modes of singing. During throat singing the ventricular folds vibrated with complete but short closures at half the frequency of the true vocal folds, covering every second vocal fold closure. Kymographic data confirmed the findings. The spectrum contained added subharmonics compared to modal voice. In the inverse filtered signal the amplitude of every second airflow pulse was considerably lowered. The ventricular folds appeared to modulate the sound by reducing the glottal flow of every other vocal fold vibratory cycle.

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