Laryngoscopic, acoustic, perceptual, and functional assessment of voice in rock singers

Marco Guzman, Macarena Barros, Fernanda Espinoza, Alejandro Herrera, Daniela Parra, Daniel Muñoz, Adam Lloyd
Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica 2013, 65 (5): 248-56

OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to vocally assess a group of rock singers who use growl voice and reinforced falsetto.

METHOD: A group of 21 rock singers and a control group of 18 pop singers were included. Singing and speaking voice was assessed through acoustic, perceptual, functional and laryngoscopic analysis.

RESULTS: No significant differences were observed between groups in most of the analyses. Acoustic and perceptual analysis of the experimental group demonstrated normality of speaking voice. Endoscopic evaluation showed that most rock singers presented during singing voice a high vertical laryngeal position, pharyngeal compression and laryngeal supraglottic compression. Supraglottic activity during speaking voice tasks was also observed. However, overall vocal fold integrity was demonstrated in most of the participants. Slightly abnormal observations were demonstrated in few of them. Singing voice handicap index revealed that the most affected variable was the physical sphere, followed by the social and emotional spheres.

CONCLUSIONS: Although growl voice and reinforced falsetto represent laryngeal and pharyngeal hyperfunctional activity, they did not seem to contribute to the presence of any major vocal fold disorder in our subjects. Nevertheless, we cannot rule out the possibility that more evident vocal fold disorders could be found in singers who use these techniques more often and during a longer period of time.

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