Vocal Tract and Subglottal Impedance in High Performance Singing: A Case Study
Objectives/Hypothesis: The respiratory process is important in vocal training and in professional singing, the airflow is highly important. It is hypothesized that subglottal resonances are important to the singing voice in high performance singing. Study design: Single subject, prospective. Method: A professional soprano singer shaped her vocal tract to form the vowels [a], [e], [i], [o], and [u] at the pitch d4. We measured phonated vowels and the vocal tract impedance spectra with a deterministic noise supplied by an iPhone buzzer in the range of 200 to 4,000 Hz at closed glottis, during exhalation and during inhalation while maintaining the shape of the vocal tract. Results: Measurements of the phonated vowels before and after the different glottal adjustments were highly reproducible. Vocal tract resonances and the ones resulting during respiration are reported. The impedance spectra show vowel dependent resonances with closed and open glottis. The formants of the vocal spectra are explained by including both, the vocal tract, and the subglottal resonances. Conclusion: The findings indicate that subglottal resonances influence the first formant as well as the singers's formant cluster in high-performance singing. The instrumental setup used for the impedance measurement allows a simple and lightweight procedure for a measurement of vocal tract and subglottal resonances.
Institute of Instrumental and Vocal Music Education, University of Music and Performing Arts Munich