Effects of vocal training on the acoustic parameters of the singing voice

Ana P Mendes, Howard B Rothman, Christine Sapienza, W S Brown
Journal of Voice 2003, 17 (4): 529-43
Vocal training (VT) has, in part, been associated with the distinctions in the physiological, acoustic, and perceptual parameters found in singers' voices versus the voices of nonsingers. This study provides information on the changes in the singing voice as a function of VT over time. Fourteen college voice majors (12 females and 2 males; age range, 17-20 years) were recorded while singing, once a semester, for four consecutive semesters. Acoustic measures included fundamental frequency (F0) and sound pressure level (SPL) of the 10% and 90% levels of the maximum phonational frequency range (MPFR), vibrato pulses per second, vibrato amplitude variation, and the presence of the singer's formant. Results indicated that VT had a significant effect on the MPFR. F0 and SPL of the 90% level of the MPFR and the 90-10% range increased significantly as VT progressed. However, no vibrato or singers' formant differences were detected as a function of training. This longitudinal study not only validates previous cross-sectional research, ie, that VT has a significant effect on the singing voice, but also it demonstrates that these effects can be acoustically detected by the fourth semester of college vocal training.

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