JOURNAL ARTICLE

The effect of an artificially lengthened vocal tract on estimated glottal contact quotient in untrained male voices

Christopher S Gaskill, Molly L Erickson
Journal of Voice 2010, 24 (1): 57-71
19135851
The use of hard-walled narrow tubes, often called resonance tubes, for the purpose of voice therapy and voice training has a historical precedent and some theoretical support, but the mechanism of any potential benefit from the application of this technique is not well understood. Fifteen vocally untrained male participants produced a series of spoken /a/ vowels at a modal pitch and constant loudness, before and after a minute of repeated phonation into a 50-cm hard-walled glass tube at the same pitch and loudness targets. Electroglottography was used to measure the glottal contact quotient (CQ) during each phase of the experiment. Single-subject analysis revealed statistically significant changes in CQ during tube phonation, but with no discernable pattern across the 15 participants. These results indicate that the use of resonance tubes can have a distinct effect on glottal closure, but the mechanism behind this change remains unclear. The implication is that vocal loading techniques such as this need to be studied further with specific attention paid to the underlying mechanism of any measured changes in glottal behavior, and especially to the role of instruction and feedback in the therapeutic and pedagogical application of these techniques.

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