Performance effects on the voices of 10 choral tenors: Acoustic and perceptual findings Academic Article uri icon


  • Trained choral tenors performed a series of vocal tasks before and after a "live" performance. Acoustic (perturbation, harmonic-to-noise ratio, pitch and amplitude ranges) and perceptual analyses (auditory and proprioceptive/kinesthetic) were undertaken to detect changes from pre- to postperformance. Individuality of response to the performance was revealed, with the majority of subjects showing vocal deterioration after performance. The most sensitive vocal tasks were the comfortably pitched notes, high soft notes, and the bottom notes in scale singing. The most sensitive acoustic measure in detecting change from pre- to postperformance was harmonic-to-noise ratio. In contrast to the demonstrated acoustic changes, no significant differences in perceptual ratings were evident after the performance. Perceptual ratings did not reflect the acoustic analysis results. The present study highlights the need to establish further normative data for the singing voice and to consider individual differences in vocal characteristics in future studies of the singing voice.

publication date

  • January 1996