Relating objective measurements to expert evaluation of voice quality in Western classical singing: critical perceptual parameters

E Ekholm, G C Papagiannis, F P Chagnon
Journal of Voice 1998, 12 (2): 182-96
Communication between voice pedagogues and voice scientists is often impeded by reliance on colorful and sometimes seemingly contradictory descriptions of vocal production and voice quality. A recent study identified perceptual criteria which are generally used by voice experts for the assessment of voice quality in classical singing. In the present study, performances by singers of various voice types and levels of accomplishment were rated by panels of expert voice teachers according to four perceptual criteria: "resonance/ring," "color/warmth," "clarity/focus," and "appropriate vibrato." Subjective ratings were related to objective measurements taken from acoustic analysis of the voice signal. Possible acoustic correlates of critical perceptual parameters influencing judgments of voice quality were thus identified. Results could help bridge the terminology gap between vocal artists and scientists, and help to promote understanding of the way in which acoustic stimuli influence perception of voice quality.

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