lecture7 - The singing voice Why study singing in this...

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The singing voice
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Why study singing in this class? More evidence for vocal plasticity Interesting extension of many concepts we’ve studied so far Resonance F0/pitch Patterns of vocal fold vibration An appreciation for how talented singers really are
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Biomedical applications
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A few issues in the study of singing Conflicting terminology Demands of teaching vs. scientific study Describing the way singing “feels” vs. what is actually happening Imagery, metaphor Classical western singing much more studied than popular or nonwestern singing
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Part I: Classical style Western singing (operatic voice)
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Kinds of singers Classification is partly based on F0 range Soprano, alto, tenor, bass… Range for most trained singers is about 2.5 octaves BUT… Singers in all classifications have overlapping ranges, so classification also depends on where in range best quality is produced
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Kinds of singers Formant frequencies are also important in voice classification Lower pitched voices naturally tend to coincide with longer vocal tracts/lower resonant frequencies. Interesting vocal effects may occur when vocal fold size and vocal tract length do not covary as expected. For example, a singer who has a long neck but short vocal folds may produce a voice that is pitched high but sounds “dark”. Some subclassifications of voices in opera (lyric baritone, e.g.) may be based on this kind of hybrid case.
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Resonances and voice type
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How does singing voice differ from speaking voice? For classically-trained singers, large differences occur between singing and speech. A good operatic singing voice should have: a large overall intensity range stable vibrato an efficient voice source, so that H2 is larger than H1 (low frequency resonance) a prominent high frequency resonance, or singer’s formant Operatic singers also need the ability to keep quality constant while varying pitch and loudness, and to keep pitch constant while varying loudness.
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Characteristic 2: Vibrato Usually described as nearly-periodic modulations of the fundamental frequency about its mean value, so that the pitch of the voice varies slowly but regularly around the singer’s target pitch. Rate is typically 4-7 Hz The pitch differential in vibrato usually extends about 6% above and below the mean F0. Amplitude changes may occur as well, but seemingly occur because of the F0 changes.
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Where does vibrato come from? Vibrato occurs naturally, but it is much less frequent in untrained than in trained voices Vibrato develops quasi-automatically during singing training, and occurs in popular singing as well as in classically trained voices.
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