Neumann, K., Gall, V., Schutte, H., Miller, D.G.
A New Method to Record Subglottal Pressure Waves: Potential Applications
Journal of Voice, 2003, 17, 140-159
Abstract: Rapid subglottal pressure changes related to the glottal cycles influence the aerodynamics of phonation. Various methods to measure these have been developed, but are not practical for routine phoniatric use. For that reason, a noninvasive measurement tool is necessary. This article presents a technique that uses a microphone positioned at the skin of the jugular fossa to record the signal which arises in the subglottal spaces and is transmitted through the soft tissue to the surface of the skin. Using the program Glottal Segmentation of Voice and Speech, jugular microphone recordings from two healthy subjects were compared with simultaneously recorded direct intratracheal measurements during the same phonation. A systematic error arising from the transmission properties of the microphone and the soft tissue leads to phase and amplitude deviations. These must be taken into account and require correction. This correction procedure leads to high correlations and a good agreement between the two signals. Even without this correction the jugular microphone measurements proved to be useful as a diagnostic and a therapeutic tool in cases where chest resonance specific processes appear affected. In addition, they offer material for research purposes. Although based on a small number of subjects, the new method shows a good validity; testing on a larger number of subjects will probably strengthen the validity.

Neumann, K., Schunda, P., Hoth, S., Euler, H. A.
The Interplay between Glottis and Vocal Tract during the Male Passaggio
Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 2005, 57, 308-327
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Abstract: The transition between 'chest' and 'head' register is essential for male opera singers in order to reach the higher pitches. The 'passaggio', which is a scale passage where this transition takes place, but also a maneuver of register equalization, is typically difficult to learn. Studies on parameters for a definition of this transition are restricted to a small number of singers so far. Audio, electroglottographic, and equivalent subglottic pressure signals of 11 male opera singers were recorded while singing scales on open back vowels and passing the register transition. A spectrum analysis of the audio signal revealed that the second harmonic (H 2) dominates in 'chest', resonated by the first formant (F 1), together with the fourth harmonic (H 4), supported by the second formant (F 2). During the passaggio, H 2 level decreases because it loses the resonance of F 1, while the third harmonic (H 3) gains the resonance of F 2. At this point the H 4 level drops because that harmonic is no longer supported by F 2. The transition from 'chest' to 'head' register is marked by characteristic changes in the amplitude patterns of the partials H 2, H 3, and H 4, and the frequency progressions of the first two formants, defining an objective distinction between the two registers.

Neumann, K., Schunda, P., Lehmann, C., Euler, H. A.
Attractiveness of the high male speaking and singing voice
2008 Conference Choice for the Voice of the British Voice Association, London, July 10-12
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Abstract: Studies on judgement of attractiveness of human voices to the opposite sex have shown female preferences for low voice pitch of the male speaking voice which is associated with dominance. The singing voice, however, seems to convey specific biological information which seems to be a reproductively relevant adaptation in its own right. This pilot study was performed with 33 naïve females and 13 males who rated voice attractiveness of 32 voice recordings from different musical styles from different historical backgrounds of the high a deep male singing voice range. Because no significant differences between the attractiveness judgments of high or low voice segments were found neither for females nor for males, and because the study design contains confounders, a replication with other voice samples is planned (no falsetto, unknown voices and pieces). Furthermore, a rating of simple musical phrases generated by a synthetic voice with male spectral characteristics for deep, middle, and high pitches, and of (3) four male voices, singing a short musical phrase in their low, middle, and high range is planned.

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