Glottal open quotient in singing: measurements and correlation with laryngeal mechanisms, vocal intensity, and fundamental frequency

Nathalie Henrich, Christophe D'Alessandro, Boris Doval, Michèle Castellengo
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 2005, 117 (3): 1417-30
This article presents the results of glottal open-quotient measurements in the case of singing voice production. It explores the relationship between open quotient and laryngeal mechanisms, vocal intensity, and fundamental frequency. The audio and electroglottographic signals of 18 classically trained male and female singers were recorded and analyzed with regard to vocal intensity, fundamental frequency, and open quotient. Fundamental frequency and open quotient are derived from the differentiated electroglottographic signal, using the DECOM (DEgg Correlation-based Open quotient Measurement) method. As male and female phonation may differ in respect to vocal-fold vibratory properties, a distinction is made between two different glottal configurations, which are called laryngeal mechanisms: mechanism 1 (related to chest, modal, and male head register) and mechanism 2 (related to falsetto for male and head register for female). The results show that open quotient depends on the laryngeal mechanisms. It ranges from 0.3 to 0.8 in mechanism 1 and from 0.5 to 0.95 in mechanism 2. The open quotient is strongly related to vocal intensity in mechanism 1 and to fundamental frequency in mechanism 2.

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