References of "Larrouy, Pauline"
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See detailSinging ability is rooted in vocal-motor control of pitch
Hutchins, Sean; Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Peretz, Isabelle

in Attention, Perception & Psychophysics (in press)

The inability to vocally match a pitch can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Although previous studies have tried to examine the relationship between pitch perception and ... [more ▼]

The inability to vocally match a pitch can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Although previous studies have tried to examine the relationship between pitch perception and vocal production, they have failed to control for the timbre of the target to be matched. In the present study, we compare pitch matching accuracy with an unfamiliar instrument (the slider) and with the voice, designed such that the slider plays back recordings of the participant’s own voice. We also measured pitch accuracy in singing a familiar melody (“Happy Birthday”) to assess the relationship between single pitch matching tasks and melodic singing. Our results showed that participants (all nonmusicians) were significantly better at matching recordings of their own voices with the slider than with their voice, indicating that vocal-motor control is an important limiting factor on singing ability. We also found significant correlations between the ability to sing a melody in tune and vocal pitch matching, but not instrumental pitch matching. Better melodic singers also tended to have higher quality voices (as measured by acoustic variables). These results provide important evidence about the ultimate causes of poor singing ability, and demonstrate that single pitch matching tasks can be useful in measuring general singing abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailEffet de l'expertise musicale sur la perception de la justesse vocale
Gosselin, Laura; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Poster (2014, October 17)

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See detailPitch fluctuations in accurate and inaccurate singers: are they the same?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Pfordresher, Peter Q

Conference (2014, June 28)

The research presented here attempts to explore the fine-control of pitch during singing among accurate occasional singers and individuals whose singing reflects a Vocal Pitch Imitation Deficit (VPID ... [more ▼]

The research presented here attempts to explore the fine-control of pitch during singing among accurate occasional singers and individuals whose singing reflects a Vocal Pitch Imitation Deficit (VPID). Most past research addresses individual differences at the level of entire sung notes or melodies. By contrast, in the present research we addressed whether VPID singers differ from accurate singers with respect to the way to reach, maintain, and stop a sung tone. In order to describe the “scoops” at the beginning and ends of tone, as well as other forms of instability, we adapted the model of Large et al. (2002), originally designed to model entrainment of timing during synchronization. This model was applied to 1461 notes performed by 12 VPID and 17 accurate singers from the database of Pfordresher and Mantell (2014). Finally, the parameter values across the VPID and accurate singers were compared. The results showed that the model fits tones performed by accurate and VPID singers similarly well. As expected, the median pitch across the entire sung note deviated from the target to imitate for VPID singers; at the same time, the proportion of these deviations that were overshoots (“sharp”) versus undershoots (“flat”) were the same for VPID and accurate singers (2/3rd under and 1/3rd above). Thus accurate and VPID singers differ in the magnitude but not the type of overall deviation they exhibit. Whereas no difference occurred between the singers regarding the direction of the scoop (up or down) at the start and the end of the tone, the amplitude of the scoops was significantly different between VPID and accurate singers. The present study highlights the difficulty of VPID singers to reach and stop a sung tone, which supports the hypothesis of a fine motor control deficit in this population. Furthermore, the pitch fluctuations described by the model would have to be investigated in research on pitch accuracy perception. [less ▲]

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See detailWorkshop on Pitch Analysis for Singing
Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Conference (2014, June 28)

Two methods are actually used in order to determine if a vocal performance is “in tune” or “out of tune”, to better understand the causes of poor-pitch singing or to evaluate the quality/progression of a ... [more ▼]

Two methods are actually used in order to determine if a vocal performance is “in tune” or “out of tune”, to better understand the causes of poor-pitch singing or to evaluate the quality/progression of a singer. The "subjective" method makes use of judges whereas the "objective" method uses computer tools to perform pitch analysis and to estimate the accuracy of sung performances. While the first method allows a rapid assessment, it lacks precision, which explains that the “objective” method seems currently preferred. However, several computer tools are available and each laboratory has its preference. In addition, the analytical procedure will depend on the purpose and data of the study. This workshop aims to provide an overview of the tools available and to discuss the advantages and limitations of existing methods. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimated Subglottic Pressure Evaluation According to Vocal Pathology. Study on 418 Patients
Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Chareix, Hélène; FINCK, Camille ULg et al

Conference (2014, May 31)

Estimated subglottic pressure (ESGP) is part of the aerodynamic measurements included in the vocal profile. It is an indication of vocal effort and can guide the therapist in his clinical approach. We aim ... [more ▼]

Estimated subglottic pressure (ESGP) is part of the aerodynamic measurements included in the vocal profile. It is an indication of vocal effort and can guide the therapist in his clinical approach. We aim to examine the clinical interest of the ESGP by observing its values according to voice pathology, age, gender and sound pressure level. We also examine the relationships between PSGE, DSI and VHI. Method:The study includes 418 patients (M:118/W:300). Each patient’s file consists of VLS, acoustic, aerodynamic and perceptual measures. The ESGP was collected through the Phonatory Aerodynamic System Model 6600 (KayPentax). Patients produced 3 sequences of / ipipi / at low (IL), conversational (IC) and high (IH) intensity. Patients were grouped according to the ENT’s diagnosis. Results: Patients without vocal lesions (MTD) had a significantly lower ESGP compared to patients with nodules, polyps, inflammation, edema (IL, IC), cysts (IC) or scar (IC). Patients with vocal fold atrophy had a lower ESGP than those suffering from nodules and polyps at conversational and high intensity, but were not differentiated at low intensity. Amongst patients without lesions (MTD), a positive correlation appeared between ESGP and intensity; which was not the case for patients with lesions. At high intensity, men had a significantly higher ESGP than women. At low intensity, we noted a positive correlation between the VHI scores and ESGP levels. At low and conversational intensity, we observed a negative correlation between DSI and ESGP scores. Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of considering ESGP in the vocal profile. As expected, patients with vocal pathology produce high ESGP. However, the correlations between intensity and ESGP vary depending on the patient's pathology. In addition, ESPG values allow the clinician to distinguish MTD and healthy patients and thus could help the therapist in his clinical approach. [less ▲]

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See detailToward a Characterization of Western Operatic Singing Voices
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Magis, David ULg; Nowak, Marion et al

Poster (2014, May 29)

Objective: One can easily recognize the musical style of a singer by listening to his/her sung performance. Several acoustical parameters of the Western operatic singing technique have been studied ... [more ▼]

Objective: One can easily recognize the musical style of a singer by listening to his/her sung performance. Several acoustical parameters of the Western operatic singing technique have been studied. However, the number of parameters could be extended and the effect of melody on these parameters remains unclear. By observing the effects of melody and technique on acoustical and musical parameters of the singing voice, this study aims at further characterizing the Western operatic singing technique. Methods: Fifty professional singers performed two contrasting melodies (popular song and romantic melody) with two vocal techniques (with and without operatic singing technique). The common quality parameters (energy distribution, vibrato rate and extent), perturbation parameters (standard deviation of the fundamental frequency, signal-to-noise ratio, jitter and shimmer) and musical features (fundamental frequency of the starting note, average tempo, and sound pressure level) of the 200 sung performances were analyzed. Results: The results show that the choice of melody had a limited impact on the acoustical and musical parameters observed, whereas a particular vocal profile appeared depending on the vocal technique employed. By examining these parameters in a theoretical model, this study highlights the relevance of vibrato rate, sound level, energy distribution, fundamental frequency of the starting note and tempo in describing the Western operatic singing technique. Conclusions: This study confirms that vocal technique affects most of the parameters examined and that the effect of melody is limited. In addition, the observation of quality and musical parameters contributes to a better understanding of the operatic singing technique. Conversely, the perturbation parameters don’t seem to take part in the characterization of operatic singing voices. Although the suggested theoretical model needs to be further developed in future research, it already generates implications for research and teaching. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of melodic context on the perception of vocal pitch accuracy
Beeken, Manon; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Poster (2014, May 27)

In order to categorize sung performances as “in tune” or “out of tune”, one can measure the deviation between the performance and the musical notation. Depending on the study, a deviation of a semitone ... [more ▼]

In order to categorize sung performances as “in tune” or “out of tune”, one can measure the deviation between the performance and the musical notation. Depending on the study, a deviation of a semitone (100 cents) or a quartertone (50 cents) is considered as “out of tune”. However, these values are arbitrary and the current study aims to define perceptual thresholds of pitch accuracy in a melodic context. For this purpose, melodic sequences were manipulated, from “in tune” (deviation of 0 cent) to “out of tune” (10 to 80 cents, in 10 cents steps). In a 2x2x2 design we systematically varied the conditions of: melodies (ascending/descending target-interval), type of errors (interval or tonality deviation), and direction of the deviation (enlargement or compression). The sequences were presented to 30 non-musicians using the method of limits procedure, in a test/retest paradigm. For each condition, they were asked to specify whether the presented singing performances were “in tune” or “out of tune”. The results showed that participants were consistent in their evaluation between the test and the retest. The pitch accuracy threshold (M = 29 cents, ES = .75) was not influenced by the melody, the type of errors, and the direction of the deviation. This study highlights the ability of non-musicians to perceive small pitch deviations (less than a quartertone) in a melodic context. This finding elucidates on the concept of pitch accuracy and therefore yields the opportunity to revise objective tools for the evaluation of singer pitch accuracy. [less ▲]

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See detailPerception of melodic accuracy in occasional singers: role of pitch fluctuations?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Pfordresher, Peter Q

Conference (2014, April 26)

When listening to operatic singers performances, our perception of vocal pitch accuracy is influenced by several acoustical parameters such as the fluctuation of the fundamental frequency (i.e vibrato ... [more ▼]

When listening to operatic singers performances, our perception of vocal pitch accuracy is influenced by several acoustical parameters such as the fluctuation of the fundamental frequency (i.e vibrato). In the case of occasional singers, produced pitch is likewise not constant, but the fluctuations in such cases tend not to involve vibrato but to instead involve “scoops” at the beginning and ends of tone, as well as other forms of instability. However, little is known about the fluctuations that characterize occasional singers (including poor-pitch singers) and to what degree these fluctuations influence perception of pitch accuracy. We report results of ongoing research designed to address these issues. First, we describe a descriptive model used to identify perturbations of F0 in occasional singers that differ between accurate and poor-pitch singers. Next, we report results of recent experiments that explore the influence of the pitch fluctuations described by the model on the perception of pitch accuracy. [less ▲]

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See detailDefinition of vocal pitch accuracy in a melodic context
Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Scientific conference (2014, March 28)

If we easily categorize sung performances as “in tune” or “out of tune”, it is not so evident to explicitly describe on which criteria our evaluation is based. This presentation reports recent work on ... [more ▼]

If we easily categorize sung performances as “in tune” or “out of tune”, it is not so evident to explicitly describe on which criteria our evaluation is based. This presentation reports recent work on pitch accuracy perception in a melodic context. The results allow to refine the notion of pitch accuracy and therefore to design objective tools for the evaluation of singer quality. [less ▲]

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See detailHow do we perceive vocal pitch accuracy during singing?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Pfordresher, Peter Q

Conference (2014, March 03)

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See detailEvaluation of pitch accuracy: from occasional to operatic singers
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Nowak, Marion; Roig-Sanchis, Virginie et al

Conference (2014, January 15)

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See detailThe effect of melody and technique on the singing voice accuracy of trained singers
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Magis, David ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

in Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology (2014), 39

A previous study highlighted the effect of vocal technique on the singing voice accuracy of trained singers (1). The intervals' precision between the notes of the tune was altered when the singers used ... [more ▼]

A previous study highlighted the effect of vocal technique on the singing voice accuracy of trained singers (1). The intervals' precision between the notes of the tune was altered when the singers used Western operatic singing technique. In order to better understand these results, we have recorded two different melodies sung with two different vocal techniques. A large panel of trained singers (N = 50) participated in the study. The analytical method described in the reference paper (1) has been applied. The results confirm the effect of vocal technique on the vocal accuracy of trained singers. In addition, these results provide an answer about the melodic effect and guide future work on the perception process of operatic voices. [less ▲]

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See detailThe evaluation of vocal pitch accuracy: The case of operatic singing voices
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Magis, David ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

in Music Perception (2014), 32(1), 1-10

The objective analysis of Western operatic singing voices indicates that professional singers can be particularly “out of tune”. This study aims to better understand the evaluation of operatic voices ... [more ▼]

The objective analysis of Western operatic singing voices indicates that professional singers can be particularly “out of tune”. This study aims to better understand the evaluation of operatic voices, which have particularly complex acoustical signals. Twenty-two music experts were asked to evaluate the vocal pitch accuracy of 14 sung performances with a pairwise comparison paradigm, in a test and a retest. In addition to the objective measurement of pitch accuracy (pitch interval deviation), several performance parameters (average tempo, fundamental frequency of the starting note) and quality parameters (energy distribution, vibrato rate and extent) were observed and compared to the judges’ perceptual rating. The results show high intra- and inter-judge reliability when rating the pitch accuracy of operatic singing voices. Surprisingly, all the parameters were significantly related to the ratings and explain 78.8% of the variability of the judges’ rating. The pitch accuracy evaluation of operatic voices is thus not based exclusively on the precision of performed music intervals but on a complex combination of performance and quality parameters. [less ▲]

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See detailCriteria and tools for objectively analysing the vocal accuracy of a popular song
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

in Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology (2014), 39

This study aims to validate our method for measuring accuracy in a melodic context. We analysed the popular song “Happy Birthday” sung by 63 occasional and 14 professional singers thanks to AudioSculpt ... [more ▼]

This study aims to validate our method for measuring accuracy in a melodic context. We analysed the popular song “Happy Birthday” sung by 63 occasional and 14 professional singers thanks to AudioSculpt and OpenMusic (Ircam, Paris, France). In terms of evaluation of the pitch interval deviation, we replicated the profile of occasional singers described in the literature (the slower the performance, the more accurate it is). Our results also confirm that the professional singers sing more accurately than occasional singers but not when a Western operatic singing technique is involved. These results support the relevance of our method for analysing vocal accuracy of occasional and professional singers and led us to discuss adaptations to be implemented for analysing the accuracy of operatic voices. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of melody and technique on acoustical and musical features of Western operatic singing voices
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Magis, David ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

in Journal of Voice (2014)

Objective: The operatic singing technique is frequently employed in classical music. Several acoustical parameters of this specific technique have been studied but how these parameters combine remains ... [more ▼]

Objective: The operatic singing technique is frequently employed in classical music. Several acoustical parameters of this specific technique have been studied but how these parameters combine remains unclear. This study aims to further characterize the Western operatic singing technique by observing the effects of melody and technique on acoustical and musical parameters of the singing voice. Methods: Fifty professional singers performed two contrasting melodies (popular song and romantic melody) with two vocal techniques (with and without operatic singing technique). The common quality parameters (energy distribution, vibrato rate and extent), perturbation parameters (standard deviation of the fundamental frequency, signal-to-noise ratio, jitter and shimmer) and musical features (fundamental frequency of the starting note, average tempo, and sound pressure level) of the 200 sung performances were analyzed. Results: The results regarding the effect of melody and technique on the acoustical and musical parameters show that the choice of melody had a limited impact on the parameters observed, whereas a particular vocal profile appeared depending on the vocal technique employed. Conclusions: This study confirms that vocal technique affects most of the parameters examined. In addition, the observation of quality, perturbation and musical parameters contributes to a better understanding of the Western operatic singing technique. [less ▲]

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See detailThe effects of stress on singing voice accuracy
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

in Journal of Voice (2014), 28(1), 52-58

Objective: The quality of a music performance can be lessened or enhanced if the performer experiences stressful conditions. In addition, the quality of a sung performance requires control of the ... [more ▼]

Objective: The quality of a music performance can be lessened or enhanced if the performer experiences stressful conditions. In addition, the quality of a sung performance requires control of the fundamental frequency of the voice, which is particularly sensitive to stress. The present study aimed to clarify the effects of stress on singing voice accuracy. Methods: Thirty-one music students were recorded in a stressful condition (i.e., a music examination) and a non-stressful condition. Two groups were defined according to the challenge level of the music examination (first and second music levels). Measurements were made by self-reported state anxiety (CSAI-2R questionnaire) and by observing heart rate activity (electrocardiogram) during each performance. In addition, the vocal accuracy of the sung performances was objectively analyzed. Results: As expected, state anxiety and heart rate were significantly higher on the day of the music examination than in the non-stressful condition for all the music students. However, the effect of stress was positive for the first-year students but negative for the second-year students, for whom the music examination was particularly challenging. In addition, highly significant correlations were found between the intensity of cognitive symptoms and the vocal accuracy criteria. Discussion: This study highlights the contrasting effects of stress on singing voice accuracy but also the need to consider the challenge level and perception of the symptoms in experimental and pedagogical settings. [less ▲]

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See detailStress et voix: le cas de la justesse mélodique
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

Scientific conference (2013, November 14)

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See detailPerception de la justesse en voix chantée
Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Scientific conference (2013, October 16)

Si nous catégorisons aisément une performance en « juste » ou « fausse », il n’est pas évident d’expliciter les critères qui guident notre évaluation. Nous rapportons ici les travaux récents menés sur la ... [more ▼]

Si nous catégorisons aisément une performance en « juste » ou « fausse », il n’est pas évident d’expliciter les critères qui guident notre évaluation. Nous rapportons ici les travaux récents menés sur la perception de la justesse de performances chantées par des chanteurs occasionnels et lyriques. La première étape de nos recherches consistait à mettre au point une méthode objective, pertinente et fonctionnelle qui tienne compte des différentes erreurs mélodiques dictées par le système tonal occidental (respect des contours, de la taille des intervalles et de la tonalité). Dans un deuxième temps, nous avons comparé cette méthode avec l’évaluation effectuée par des experts en musique. Ces comparaisons nous permettent d’observer l’évaluation effectuée par ces juges, et ainsi de mieux comprendre la notion de justesse et sa perception. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation de la justesse vocale en contexte mélodique
Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Doctoral thesis (2013)

In order to determine if a vocal performance is “in tune” or “out of tune”, to better understand the causes of poor-pitch singing or to evaluate the quality of a singer, tools are necessary. Two methods ... [more ▼]

In order to determine if a vocal performance is “in tune” or “out of tune”, to better understand the causes of poor-pitch singing or to evaluate the quality of a singer, tools are necessary. Two methods are actually used to evaluate the vocal accuracy of a sung performance. The "subjective" method makes use of judges whereas the "objective" method uses computer tools. While the first method allows a rapid assessment, it lacks precision. The “objective” method seems currently preferred but shows limits that our research aims to overcome. The first step was to develop a functional and objective method, which takes into account the different melodic errors we encounter when using the Western tonal system (i.e. respect of the melodic contours, the pitch intervals, and the tonal center). We then applied this method to sung performances of occasional and professional singers. These first studies confirmed the functionality and legitimacy of our method. However, some limits occurred regarding the evaluation of Western operatic singers. In a second step, we observed the relevance of this method and more specifically the interest to evaluate complete melodies (compared to pitch matching tasks) and the interest to differentiate the possible melodic errors. Finally, the comparison of our method with the evaluation made by music experts has enabled us to examine their perception and definition of vocal accuracy. Through seven studies, we explored the theoretical and methodological aspects of vocal accuracy in a melodic context. Taken together, the results of these studies allow us to clarify the definition of vocal accuracy and to consider the several clinical and experimental perspectives of our objective method for evaluating singing voice accuracy. [less ▲]

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See detailHow do music experts and non-experts evaluate the vocal accuracy of operatic singing voices?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Nowak, Marion; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

Conference (2013, August 22)

Professional singers are expected to sing in tune. However, when an operatic singing technique is employed, the objective measurement of the vocal accuracy (i.e. pitch interval deviation) shows ... [more ▼]

Professional singers are expected to sing in tune. However, when an operatic singing technique is employed, the objective measurement of the vocal accuracy (i.e. pitch interval deviation) shows particularly low scores, whatever the melody performed. This study focuses on the perceptual judgment of operatic voices in order to observe the evaluation process of singing voice accuracy by music experts and non-experts. In addition, this study aims to better understand the relationship between the subjective and objective measurements of operatic singing voices. 22 music experts and 22 non-experts paired in age and gender participated in a test and a retest (8 to 15 days in between). Fourteen sung performances performed by professional operatic singers were presented with a pairwise comparison paradigm. The participants were asked to indicate the most “in tune” melody for each pair (N = 91). The performances obtained thus a ranking by each judge. In addition, the 14 sung performances were objectively analyzed in order to confront the objective measurement of singing voice accuracy with the perceptual rating of the judges. Computing the variances of rank differences between the test and the retest, we observed that 20 music experts and 16 non-experts were consistent in their judgments. Among each group, the correlations between consistent raters were positive. However, 67.38% of these correlations were significant (p < .05) for the music experts whereas only 42.10% were significant for the non-experts. In addition, no relationship occurred between the objective measurements (from 9.5 to 115.5 cents, M = 40.57, SD = 34.42) and the perceptual ratings, except for two music experts. This study highlights the consistency of a judge when rating operatic singing voices and the difference between music experts and non-experts concerning the inter-judges reliability. Despite the fact that the majority of the music experts used similar strategies to evaluate the vocal accuracy of operatic voices, their judgment was obviously not linked with the objective measurement of vocal accuracy. This finding supports the tolerance of music expert listeners regarding the singing voice accuracy of operatic singers. Furthermore, this study provides some directions about the perception of operatic singing voices, which are particularly complex. [less ▲]

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