The Influence of Fundamental Frequency and Sound Pressure Level Range on Breathing Patterns in Female Classical Singing Purpose This study investigated the influence of fundamental frequency (F0) and sound pressure level (SPL) range on respiratory behavior in classical singing. Method Five trained female singers performed an 8-s messa di voce (a crescendo and decrescendo on one F0) across their musical F0 range. Lung volume (LV) ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2008
The Influence of Fundamental Frequency and Sound Pressure Level Range on Breathing Patterns in Female Classical Singing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sally Collyer
    National Voice Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
  • C. William Thorpe
    National Voice Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Jean Callaghan
    National Voice Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Pamela J. Davis
    National Voice Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Contact author: Sally Collyer, who is now a private singing teacher, P.O. Box 156, Box Hill, Victoria 3128, Australia. E-mail: sallycollyer@yahoo.com.au.
  • C. William Thorpe is now at the Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Jean Callaghan is now a private voice consultant in Sydney, Australia. Pamela J. Davis is now at the School of Communication Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Australia.
    C. William Thorpe is now at the Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Jean Callaghan is now a private voice consultant in Sydney, Australia. Pamela J. Davis is now at the School of Communication Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Australia.×
  • Sections of these findings were presented at the Sixth Voice Symposium of Australia, held in October 2002 in Glenelg, South Australia.
    Sections of these findings were presented at the Sixth Voice Symposium of Australia, held in October 2002 in Glenelg, South Australia.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2008
The Influence of Fundamental Frequency and Sound Pressure Level Range on Breathing Patterns in Female Classical Singing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 612-628. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/044)
History: Received December 29, 2006 , Accepted September 5, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 612-628. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/044)
History: Received December 29, 2006; Accepted September 5, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose This study investigated the influence of fundamental frequency (F0) and sound pressure level (SPL) range on respiratory behavior in classical singing.

Method Five trained female singers performed an 8-s messa di voce (a crescendo and decrescendo on one F0) across their musical F0 range. Lung volume (LV) change was estimated, and chest-wall kinematic behavior (dimensional change in ribcage [RC] and abdominal [AB] wall) was recorded using triaxial magnetometry.

Results The direction of F0 influence on LV excursion (LVE) varied among singers, but SPL range appeared to be less important than duration to LVE. LVE was generally evenly divided between crescendo and decrescendo. Kinematic patterns differed markedly among singers, despite task consistency, and RC and AB paradoxing was widespread.

Conclusion Each singer maintained her characteristic kinematic pattern regardless of F0 or SPL range, although these did influence aspects of RC and AB behavior. Given the essential role of breathing in classical singing, further work is needed to understand how singers develop their highly individual respiratory strategies and the principles by which each singer’s breathing strategy can be optimized.

Acknowledgments
The study was supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council to the second and fourth authors. We would like to express our thanks to the participants in the study.
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