Discussions, Interviews & Lectures Detail
:: Description :: Alan Lomax interviews Hank Trubey in California about how to look at spectrographs of the human voice
:: Project :: Cantometrics
:: Date Range :: 11-27-1963 to 11-27-1963
:: Particpants ::
Lomax, Alan
Truby, Hank
:: Subjects ::
Vocal resonance chambers
Tremolo versus vibrato
Vocal damping of harmonic series
Ray Birdwhistell on redundancy in communication
Spectrograph of the human voice - interpretation of
Spectrograph - resonance distortion on
Spectrograph - harmonics on
Nasality - nine recognizable categories of vocal nasality
Spectographic analysis of European opera shows minimal vowel differentiation
:: Cultures ::
:: Holdings ::
Media not yet available
:: Notes :: T1324: Spectrograph displays vertical striations to represent pitch of vocal chords. Narrow and wide spectrographs are used for different purposes. Different resonance chambers are excited by different fundamental frequencies. The introduction of new resonance chambers requires adjustments on part of singer based on feedback. Articulation habits must vary with pitch. The spectrograph also shows breathiness patterns and harmonics. Resonance distortion or reverberation from the room in which the recording takes place also shows up on the spectrograph. Trubey notes that there are at least nine recognizable categories of nasality; these include the alveolar nasality of French and Portuguese, the open nasality of a singer in a mosque, and nasality in which the tongue is thrust up into the nasal cavity and nostrils are contracted, as in some Asian classical singing. Pop singers such as Al Jolson employed nasality for added resonance (to hit the galleries). Clear enunciation takes place in the front of the mouth. In opera singing intelligibility is minimal. On a spectrograph vowel sounds sung by opera singers are sometimes scarcely distinguishable from each other. T1325: Hank Trubey recommends journal articles in the fields of otolaryngology, voice production, and the physiological basis of language. Redundancy in communication. Birdwhistell notes that one out of 3,000 signals are used for communication, the others take a supporting role. Role of emotion in producing nasal congestion of the sinuses that results in changes of resonance. Discussion of tremolo versus vibrato (regular, systematic tremolo) and their use as expressive devices. Vibrato is an attempt to maintain pitch regularity, always 7 beats per second, whether a bass or soprano. Trained singers can do things that untrained singers cannot, modifying volume of breath, etc., maintaining even pressure from diaphram so they don't run out of breath. Damping: voices that leave out partials in a harmonic series acquire a kind of ringing sound. Voices that employ full series sound harsh. Trubey describes his own research in consonant blend production.



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