The singer's voice range profile: female professional opera soloists

Anick Lamarche, Sten Ternström, Peter Pabon
Journal of Voice 2010, 24 (4): 410-26
This work concerns the collection of 30 voice range profiles (VRPs) of female operatic voice. We address the questions: Is there a need for a singer's protocol in VRP acquisition? Are physiological measurements sufficient or should the measurement of performance capabilities also be included? Can we address the female singing voice in general or is there a case for categorizing voices when studying phonetographic data? Subjects performed a series of structured tasks involving both standard speech voice protocols and additional singing tasks. Singers also completed an extensive questionnaire. Physiological VRPs differ from performance VRPs. Two new VRP metrics, the voice area above a defined level threshold and the dynamic range independent from the fundamental frequency (F(0)), were found to be useful in the analysis of singer VRPs. Task design had no effect on performance VRP outcomes. Voice category differences were mainly attributable to phonation frequency-based information. Results support the clinical importance of addressing the vocal instrument as it is used in performance. Equally important is the elaboration of a protocol suitable for the singing voice. The given context and instructions can be more important than task design for performance VRPs. Yet, for physiological VRP recordings, task design remains critical. Both types of VRPs are suggested for a singer's voice evaluation.

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