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Influence of acoustics on vocal performance of lyric singers

Falzone, Daniela

Influence of acoustics on vocal performance of lyric singers.

Rel. Arianna Astolfi, Alessio Carullo, Stephen Dance. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2013

Questa è la versione più aggiornata di questo documento.


This study is a collaboration between the Polytechnic of Turin and the Acoustic Group of South Bank University of London.

Voice use play a significant role in the causation of many common voice disorders caused by chronic and recurrent conditions, which result from an incorrect use of the voice or from poor acoustic conditions in the environments where the voice is used.

Scientific data in literature show that the singers of classical lyric orchestras are exposed to high risk of damage to the vocal apparatus due to the intense effort they have to face during the artistic performances.

New protectionist laws impose to evaluate all different risk factors in the workplaces.

All categories of workers are included and, among them, workers employed in recreational activities and shows should be considered.

The object of this dissertation is an investigation in singers’ vocal parameters in order to understand how they change under different acoustical conditions. At the beginning the acoustics of 5 different spaces was analyzed: the Sir Jack Lyons Theatre and a rehearsal room, both located at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the anechoic, semi-reverberant and reverberation chamber located at the LSBU.

After the room’s acoustics study, four singers volunteer (3 females and 1 male) were monitored in those different spaces and they were asked to execute some vocal exercises such as scales or arpeggios for 3 minutes.

To take this measurements two battery powered devices were used and during the test an

accelerometer was attached on their throat using a medical secure silicone adhesive wich was

removed at the end of each test by a specific Uni-Solve adhesive remover wipe. During the test in the anechoic chamber they were asked to sing an opera aria too in order to record their voice to make auralizations with the software CATT. The auralization is typically the final stage in a predictive assessment and its aim is to demonstrate of a space’s prospective performance to both experts and non experts in acoustics. At the end of each test they were asked to fill a short questionnaire about their personal perception singing in those different venues.

Relatori: Arianna Astolfi, Alessio Carullo, Stephen Dance
Tipo di pubblicazione: A stampa
Soggetti: S Scienze e Scienze Applicate > SA Acustica
S Scienze e Scienze Applicate > SH Fisica tecnica
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: NON SPECIFICATO
Aziende collaboratrici: London South Bank University (LSBU) - London - United Kingdom
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/3345


Acoustics of spaces

2.1 Room parameters

2.1.1 ISO 3382

2.1.2 Reverberation time [s]

2.1.3 Early Decay Time (EDT) or Early Reverberation Time [ms]

2.1.4 Clarity Factor (C80) [dB]

2.1.5 Definition (D50) [%]

2.2 Equipment and devices

2.3 Measurements in situ

2.3.1 Anechoic chamber, semi-reverberant chamber, reverberation chamber

2.3.2 Results

2.3.3 Royal Academy of Music

2.3.4 T12rehearsal room, Sir Jack Lyons Theatre

2.3.5 Results

2.4 Software and modeling (Sketchup and CATT Acoustics)

Acoustics of singers

3.1 The Voice organ

3.1.1 The formants

3.2 Features of the singing voice

3.2.1 Styles

3.2.2 Registers

3.2.3 Range

3.2.4 Intonation

3.2.5 Vibrato

3.2.6 Choir Sound/Choral Blend

3.2.7 Relative Duration of Vowels and Consonants

3.2.8 Temporal Structure of Sung Syllables

3.2.9 Diction

3.2.10 Intelligibility

3.3 Voice parameters

3.3.1 Primary indicators of voice (FO, SPL)

3.3.2 Vocal vibration doses (Dt, Dc,Dd, De)

3.4 Equipment and devices

3.4.1 Ambulatory phonation monitor (APM)

3.4.2 Voice-Care

3.5 Methods and singers' data collection

3.5.1 Notes and frequencies

3.5.2 Analysis

3.5.3 Results

3.5.4 AMP Vs Voice-Care


6.1 Meaning

6.2 Pleasantness test through auralizations




Appendix 1

Notes and frequencies

Appendix 2

RAD (Relative Average Deviation) all singers in all venues with APM data

Appendix 3

Singers'questionnaire and results

Appendix 4

RAD calculation for the Soprano-Mezzo 2 in all venues with Voice-Care data

Appendix 5

Acoustics test and results

Appendix 6

APM Reports


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