The Acoustic Characteristics of Professional Opera Singers Performing in Chorus Versus Solo Mode Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, members of a professional opera chorus were recorded using close microphones, while singing in both choral and solo modes. The analysis included computation of long-term average spectra (LTAS) for the two song sections performed and calculation of singing power ratio (SPR) and energy ratio (ER), which provide an indication of the relative energy in the singer's formant region. Vibrato rate and extent were determined from two matched vowels, and SPR and ER were calculated for these vowels. Subjects sung with equal or more power in the singer's formant region in choral versus solo mode in the context of the piece as a whole and in individual vowels. There was no difference in vibrato rate and extent between the two modes. Singing in choral mode, therefore, required the ability to use a similar vocal timbre to that required for solo opera singing.


  • Reid, Katherine LP
  • Davis, Pamela
  • Oates, Jennifer
  • Cabrera, Densil
  • Ternström, Sten
  • Black, Michael
  • Chapman, Janice

publication date

  • January 2007