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Can genre be “heard” in scale as well as song tasks? An exploratory study of female singing in Western Lyric and Musical Theater Styles

Kayes, G; Welch, GF; (2017) Can genre be “heard” in scale as well as song tasks? An exploratory study of female singing in Western Lyric and Musical Theater Styles. Journal of Voice , 31 (3) 388.e1-388.e12. 10.1016/j.jvoice.2016.09.015. Green open access

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Abstract

OBKECTIVES: Using an empirical design, this study investigated perceptual and acoustic differences between the recorded vocal products of songs and scales of professional female singers of classical Western Lyric (WL) and non-legit Musical Theater (MT) styles. METHODS: A total of 54 audio-recorded samples of songs and scales from professional female singers were rated in a blind randomized testing process by seven expert listeners as being performed by either a WL or MT singer. Songs and scales that were accurately perceived by genre were then analyzed intra- and inter-genre using long-term average spectrum analysis. RESULTS: A high level of agreement was found between judges in ratings for both songs and scales according to genre (P < 0.0001). Judges were more successful in locating WL than MT, but accuracy was always >50%. For the long-term average spectrum analysis intra-genre, song and scale matched better than chance. The highest spectral peak for the WL singers was at the mean fundamental frequency, whereas this spectral area was weaker for the MT singers, who showed a marked peak at 1 kHz. The other main inter-genre difference appeared in the higher frequency region, with a peak in the MT spectrum between 4 and 5 kHz—the region of the “speaker's formant.” CONCLUSIONS: In comparing female singers of WL and MT styles, scales as well as song tasks appear to be indicative of singer genre behavior. This implied difference in vocal production may be useful to teachers and clinicians dealing with multiple genres. The addition of a scale-in-genre task may be useful in future research seeking to identify genre-distinctive behaviors.

Type: Article
Title: Can genre be “heard” in scale as well as song tasks? An exploratory study of female singing in Western Lyric and Musical Theater Styles
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2016.09.015
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2016.09.015
Language: English
Additional information: Crown Copyright © 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Voice Foundation. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Female singing; Genre differences; LTAS; Perception; Classical; Musical Theater
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1528646
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