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

in Music Perception (in press)

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 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 (in press)

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 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

Scientific 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

Scientific conference (2014, January 15)

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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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See detailPitch analysis workshop
Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Conference (2013, August 13)

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See detailThe evaluation of singing voice accuracy: Are we good judges even if we are not musicians?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Roig-Sanchis, Virginie; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

Conference (2013, August 08)

A previous study highlighted that objective and subjective measurements of vocal accuracy are highly correlated when the rating is done by musicians and that 81% of their variance was explained by the ... [more ▼]

A previous study highlighted that objective and subjective measurements of vocal accuracy are highly correlated when the rating is done by musicians and that 81% of their variance was explained by the pitch interval deviation and the number of tonality modulations (Larrouy-Maestri, Lévêque, Schön, Giovanni, & Morsomme, 2013). However, the general audience is not expert in music. This study aims to observe the vocal accuracy assessment done by non musicians. Eighteen non musicians were asked to rate on a 9-point scale the global pitch accuracy of 166 vocal performances sung by untrained singers. This database was presented two times (T1 and T2) in a random order. The sung performances were objectively analyzed regarding three criteria: pitch interval deviation, number of tonality modulations and number of contour errors. The results show an intraclass correlation coefficient of .89 (p < .01) among the non experts and a mean intra-judges Spearman correlation of .66 (SD = .06) between T1 and T2. There is also a significant correlation between the acoustic measurements and the mean ratings (r(166) = .809; p < .01), with higher scores for accurate performances. Confronted with the music experts of the previous study, the judgment of the non experts correlated with the musicians ratings (r(166) = .840; p < .01). However, a Mann Whitney test showed that the rating of non experts was globally more severe than the experts one (p = 009). In addition, the regression analysis showed that only the pitch interval deviation criterion was considered in their judgment, explaining 66% of the variance of the judges. This study highlights the reliability and the objectivity of non musicians in the vocal accuracy assessment. Moreover, an effect of music expertise is observed concerning the severity of the rating and the vocal accuracy assessment process. [less ▲]

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See detailPitch matching, melodic singing, and vocal-motor control
Hutchins, Sean; Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Peretz, Isabelle

Conference (2013, August 08)

Poor singing ability can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Many prior studies have tried to examine this relationship, but one factor that often fails to be taken into ... [more ▼]

Poor singing ability can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Many prior studies have tried to examine this relationship, but one factor that often fails to be taken into account is the timbre of the target to be matched. Here, we compare accuracy in instrumental and vocal pitch matching paradigms, designed such that each participant’s own voice serves as both the target and the response. Participants (nonmusicians) matched their previously recorded voice on a slider, designed to play back their voice at different pitch levels depending on the location of a finger press on a continuous dimension. They also matched single pitches with their voice, and sang a familiar melody (“Happy Birthday”) for comparison to the single pitch matching tasks. The nonmusicians were significantly better at instrumental pitch matching than vocal pitch matching, indicating that vocal-motor control is an important limiting factor on singing ability. There were significant correlations between the melodic singing ability and vocal pitch matching, but not instrumental pitch matching. People with higher quality voices tended to be more accurate with pitch in melodies. These results demonstrate that single pitch matching tasks can be useful in measuring general singing abilities, and further confirm the importance of vocal-motor control in determining singing ability. [less ▲]

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See detailThe influence of subjective factors on the evaluation of singing voice accuracy
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

Poster (2013, August)

A previous study highlighted the objectivity of music experts when rating the vocal accuracy of sung performances (Larrouy-Maestri, Lévêque, Schön, Giovanni, & Morsomme, 2013). However, in an ecological ... [more ▼]

A previous study highlighted the objectivity of music experts when rating the vocal accuracy of sung performances (Larrouy-Maestri, Lévêque, Schön, Giovanni, & Morsomme, 2013). However, in an ecological context, numerous factors can influence the judges’ assessment of a music performance. This preliminary study aims to examine the effect of the music level of the performers on the evaluation of singing voice accuracy and to explore subjective factors which could influence the assessment. The same sung melody, performed by first and second year students of music conservatory (N = 31), was recorded in the context of their solfeggio examination. The jury, constituted of four music experts, was asked to rate the global pitch accuracy of each student. Two criteria (pitch interval deviation and tonal center deviation) were objectively measured and subjective data about the feeling of the students during the performance (e.g. anxiety level, enjoyment of singing) were collected through questionnaires. The results showed that the criteria used by the jury differed according to the music level of the students. Indeed, while the score of the jury correlated significantly with the vocal accuracy of the second year students, their assessment seemed more subjective concerning the first year students. Interestingly, the score of the jury was significantly correlated with the enjoyment of singing of the first year students and not with the objective measurements (pitch interval deviation and tonal center deviation) anymore. This preliminary work shows the effect of the music level of the performers on the evaluation of singing voice accuracy. Besides the educational implications of these findings, this study describes a promising method for the investigation of subjective factors, which influence the vocal assessment in an ecological context. [less ▲]

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See detailThe evaluation of singing voice accuracy: How tolerant are we?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Blanckaert, Ellen; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

Conference (2013, May 28)

The evaluation of the singing voice accuracy is partly based on the precision of the intervals between the tones of a sung performance. This study aims to observe the listeners’ tolerance when judging ... [more ▼]

The evaluation of the singing voice accuracy is partly based on the precision of the intervals between the tones of a sung performance. This study aims to observe the listeners’ tolerance when judging melodies in order to properly evaluate the singing voice accuracy in a melodic context For this purpose, an interval contained in familiar and unfamiliar sung performances was manipulated in two directions (compression and enlargement from 10 to 60 cents). This material was presented through the method of limits procedure to 30 non-musicians. They were asked to define whether the melodies proposed were “in tune” or “out of tune” in a test and a retest. The accuracy thresholds for compression and enlargement errors as well as the tolerance zone were computed. The results showed that participants were consistent in their evaluation between the test and the retest. The tolerance zone (M = 42 cents, ES = 1.60) was not affected by the familiarity of the melody. Concerning the accuracy thresholds, participants were more tolerant when the interval was compressed (M = 25.68 cents, ES = .1.34) than when it was enlarged (M = 16.32 cents, ES = .91), for the familiar (t(30) = 4.94, p < .001) and non familiar melody (t(30) = 3.27, p = .003). This study highlights the ability of non-musicians to evaluate familiar and unfamiliar melodies with a similar tolerance. Furthermore, the error direction is relevant in perceptive rating and should be taken into account when defining a sung performance as “in tune” or “out of tune”. [less ▲]

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See detailThe singing voice evaluation
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg

Conference (2013, March 01)

Singing is an activity widely shared. In order to determine whether a vocal performance is “in tune” or not, to understand better the causes of poor pitch singing or to judge the quality of a singer ... [more ▼]

Singing is an activity widely shared. In order to determine whether a vocal performance is “in tune” or not, to understand better the causes of poor pitch singing or to judge the quality of a singer, objective tools are needed. Studies leaded for a PhD validate an objective analysis of the vocal accuracy but also observe the effects to take into account for the singing voice evaluation. Experimental as well as artistic and pedagogical perspectives appear from the conclusions of those studies. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluer la justesse d'une performance vocale mélodique
Larrouy, Pauline ULg

in Cahiers de l'ASELF (2013), 10(4), 3-13

Déterminer si une mélodie chantée est « juste » ou « fausse » ou cibler une difficulté à chanter juste nécessite l’évaluation précise et pertinente de performances vocales. Cependant, la définition de la ... [more ▼]

Déterminer si une mélodie chantée est « juste » ou « fausse » ou cibler une difficulté à chanter juste nécessite l’évaluation précise et pertinente de performances vocales. Cependant, la définition de la justesse est encore imprécise et les méthodes disponibles pour son évaluation sont à ce jour limitées. Dans le cadre de cette thèse de doctorat, nous avons exploré l’évaluation de la justesse vocale d’un point de vue méthodologique et théorique. D’une part, l’objectif de ce travail concernait la mise au point d’outils d’évaluation objectifs permettant de quantifier, à l’aide de programmes informatiques, différentes erreurs de justesse. Ces outils ont été utilisés dans des contextes expérimentaux afin d’en observer la pertinence. D’autre part, la confrontation de cette méthode objective avec l’évaluation effectuée par des experts en musique nous a permis d’analyser leur évaluation de performances chantées, et ainsi de mieux comprendre la notion de justesse. L’ensemble des résultats des études réalisées met en évidence qu’il est possible d’évaluer objectivement une performance mélodique et que la méthode élaborée à l’occasion de cette thèse est pertinente. Alors que notre méthode d’évaluation demande à être améliorée pour être utilisée en clinique logopédique et en pédagogie musicale, les conclusions de nos recherches permettent d’éclairer les cliniciens et pédagogues dans leur évaluation de la justesse vocale en contexte mélodique. [less ▲]

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See detailEst-ce que vous chantez juste?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg

Diverse speeche and writing (2013)

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