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Title:The Effects of Pitch, Vowel, Dynamic Level, and Gender on Nasalance in Amateur and Classically Trained Singers
Author(s):Jennings, Jori Johnson
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):David Kuehn
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Speech Pathology
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to ascertain the effects of frequency range, vowel, dynamic level, and gender in amateur and classically-trained singers. Nasalance scores were obtained for 21 amateur singers and 25 classically-trained singers while singing an ascending 5-tone scalar passage in low, mid, and high ranges at both piano and mezzo-forte dynamic levels on each of the five cardinal vowels (/a/,/e/,/i/,/o/,/u/). A repeated mixed-model analysis indicated a significant main effect for the amateur/classically-trained distinction, dynamic level, and vowel, but not for range or gender. The amateur singers had significantly higher nasalance scores than classically trained singers on all vowels except /o/ when collapsed for all three ranges. The amateur singers also had significantly higher nasalance in each of the three ranges when scores for all vowels were combined for each range. Dynamic level had a significant effect on nasalance for the female subjects. For both amateur and classically-trained females, there was a significant difference between passages sung piano versus those sung forte. In the low and mid ranges, nasalance scores for female subjects were significantly higher in the passages sung piano. In the high range for female subjects, mezzo-forte passages received higher nasalance scores. In addition to vocal training and dynamic level, vowel had a significant effect on nasalance scores overall. For all subjects combined, /i/ received significantly higher nasalance scores when collapsed over all three ranges than all of the other vowels. The vowels /a/ and /e/ were not significantly different from each other, but were both significantly higher than /o/ or /u/. No significant difference existed between /o/ and /u/. Although results of this study show that certain variables in classical singing, such as vowel, range, and dynamic level, have a significant effect on nasality, it is important to note that only six of the subjects, all of whom were amateur singers, had average nasalance scores that could be considered hypernasal (i.e., a nasalance average above 22). This finding and the fact that classically trained singers consistently had less nasalance than amateur singers suggest that nasality does not play a prominent role in classical Western singing.
Issue Date:2005
Description:134 p.
Thesis (A.Mus.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3182289
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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