7 research outputs found

    Which Sung Pitch Range is Best for Boys During Voice Change?

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    The question of how and what boys should sing during adolescent voice change has challenged educators and choir leaders for the last century. As the larynx enlarges during adolescence, most boys will follow the descending pitch of their speaking voice and move to singing vocal parts with a lower pitch range. Occasionally a boy may continue to sing in his treble (soprano) range while his larynx is growing and his speaking pitch is lowering. There is much opinion on the wisdom of such practices, but until now there has been no quantifiable evidence to illustrate the discussion. The established historic and cultural practices can now be reassessed in the light of quantitative analyses of vocal function. This longitudinal case study used electroglottographic measures from one boy over a 3-year period to investigate the efficiency of vocal fold adductory behavior in both prechange and midchange singing. In the first recording, he is aged 10 years old and has an unchanged voice. In the second recording, he is aged 13 years old and has a speaking voice in the Cooksey Stage III of voice change. Up to and including the time of the second recording, he had chosen to remain singing exclusively in his treble (soprano) range. The comparison between the two recordings of the observed regularity and efficiency of vocal fold adduction suggests that singing in this pitch range has become less healthy and effective; this is also represented in the overall perceived vocal comfort levels heard in the recordings. The implications for educators are that the longitudinal development of singing habits will be enhanced for boys who move to singing with their new baritone range as their larynx grows, rather than remaining in a treble range

    The implications of intensive singing training on the vocal health and development of boy choristers in an English cathedral choir

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    Boy choristers who sing in UK cathedrals and major chapels perform to a professional standard on a daily basis, with linked rehearsals, whilst also following a full school curriculum. This research will investigate the impact of this intensive schedule in relation to current vocal health and future development.\ud This research reports the findings of a longitudinal chorister study, based in one of London's cathedrals. Singing and vocal behaviour have been profiled on a six-monthly basis across three years using data from a specially designed perceptual and acoustic assessment protocol. The speaking and singing voice data have been analysed using a selection of techniques in current usage in both laboratory and clinical settings. Evaluation and comparison of these methods has enabled a range of effective assessment protocols to be suggested. The behaviour of the voice at the onset of adolescent voice change has been observed using electroglottogram data. The boarding choristers numbered thirty-four in total, eleven of whom were selected for longitudinal analysis. Similar acoustic data have also been collected from three other groups of boys, a total of ninety individuals, for comparative purposes. \ud It has been possible to quantify the possible influence of both school environment and vocal activity on overall vocal health. Significant differences have been noted between the vocal health of the boys in the chorister group and the non-choristers; the boarding choristers, although having the highest vocal loading, have the lowest incidence of voice disorder. This would in itself suggest that either the voice is being athletically conditioned to support such activity, or that the chorister group employs some self-regulation with regard to overusing the voice. The comparison with various other groups of boys implicates the cultural and social influences of peer groups in voice use.\ud The longitudinal observations of the choristers illustrate the development of vocal skills and the impact of increased choral responsibility on the vocal health of the individuals. It has also provided insights into the vocal behaviour during the onset of adolescent voice change with particular information about the vocal skills employed in the upper pitch range; the nature of phonation in the upper pitch range of trained boy singers entering voice change \u

    Are Real-Time Displays of Benefit in the Singing Studio? An Exploratory Study

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    Summary: This article reports on an exploratory research project to evaluate the usefulness or otherwise of real-time visual feedback in the singing studio. The primary purpose of the work was not to optimize the technology for this application, but to work alongside teachers and students to study the impact of real-time visual feedback technology use on the students' learning experiences. An action research methodology was used to explore the benefit of real-time displays over an extended period. The experimental phase of the work was guided by a Liaison Panel of teachers and academics in the areas of singing, pedagogy, voice science, speech therapy, and linguistic science. Qualitative data were collected from eight students working with two professional singing teachers. The teachers and students acted as co-researchers under the action research paradigm. Teachers and students alike kept journals of their teaching and learning experiences. Singing lessons were observed regularly by the research team, coded for teacher and student behaviors, and all co-researchers were interviewed at the mid- and endpoint of the project. The use of technology had a positive impact on the learning process, and this is evidenced through case study data

    A Baseline Study on Male Chorister Vocal Behaviour and Development in an Intensive Professional Context

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    An exploratory baseline study of boy chorister vocal behaviour and development in an intensive professional context

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    Currently, there is no existing published empirical longitudinal data on the singing behaviours and development of choristers who perform in UK cathedrals and major chapels. Longitudinal group data is needed to provide a baseline against which individual chorister development can be mapped. The choristers perform to a professional standard on a daily basis, usually with linked rehearsals, whilst also following a full school curriculum. The impact of this intensive schedule in relation to current vocal behaviour, health and future development requires investigation. Furthermore, it is also necessary to understand the relationship between the requirements of chorister singing behaviour and adolescent voice change. The paper will report the initial findings of a new longitudinal chorister study, based in one of London's cathedrals. Singing and vocal behaviours are being profiled on a six-monthly basis using data from a specially designed acoustic and behavioural instrument. The information obtained will enable us to understand better the effects of such training and performance on underlying vocal behaviour and vocal health. The findings will also have implications for singing teachers and choral directors in relation to particular methods of vocal education and rehearsal

    WinSingad: a real-time display for the singing studio

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    This paper describes the nature and implementation of a specially-designed integrated real-time display that is undergoing evaluation as part of a recently funded innovative pilot project to investigate the relative usefulness of computer displays in the singing studio. Following previous work that suggests that simple displays of a small number of analysis parameters are generally likely to be the most effective, the system makes available a range of complementary analyses that are plotted against time. These relate to: fundamental frequency, spectrum, spectral ratio, and vocal tract area. These can be viewed singly, multiply or in combination using a panel based design within the PC Windows environment, known as WinSingad. The algorithms used are described and the displays themselves are illustrated with results gained from the pilot phase of the research to indicate their potential usefulness
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