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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 detailThe evaluation of singing voice accuracy: A comparison between subjective and objective methods
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Lévêque, Yohanna; Schön, Daniele et al

in Journal of Voice (2013), 27(2), 2591-5

Objective: Vocal accuracy of a sung performance can be evaluated by two methods: acoustic analyses and subjective judgements. Acoustic analyses have been presented as a more reliable solution but both ... [more ▼]

Objective: Vocal accuracy of a sung performance can be evaluated by two methods: acoustic analyses and subjective judgements. Acoustic analyses have been presented as a more reliable solution but both methods are still used for the evaluation of singing voice accuracy. This paper presents a first time direct comparison of these methods. Methods: 166 untrained singers were asked to sing the popular song « Happy Birthday ». These recordings constituted the database analyzed. Acoustic analyses were performed to quantify the pitch interval deviation, the number of contour errors and the number of tonality modulations for each recording. Additionally, eighteen experts in singing voice or music rated the global pitch accuracy of these performances. Results: A high correlation occurred between acoustic measurements and subjective rating. The total model of acoustic analyses explained 81% of the variance of the judges’ scores. Their rating was influenced by both tonality modulation and interval deviation. Conclusions: This study highlights the congruence between objective and subjective measurements of vocal accuracy within this first time comparison. Our results confirm the relevance of the pitch interval deviation criterion in vocal accuracy assessment. Furthermore, the number of tonality modulations is also a salient criterion in perceptive rating and should be taken into account in studies using acoustic analyses. [less ▲]

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See detailVocal Impact of a Prolonged Reading Task in Dysphonic Versus Normophonic Female Teachers
Remacle, Angélique ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Berrué, Elise et al

in Journal of Voice (2012), 26(6), 8201-82013

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluates the impact on voice of a 2-hour reading task between 70-75 dB(A) in 16 normophonic and 16 dysphonic female teachers with vocal nodules. METHODS: Objective measurements ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluates the impact on voice of a 2-hour reading task between 70-75 dB(A) in 16 normophonic and 16 dysphonic female teachers with vocal nodules. METHODS: Objective measurements (acoustic analysis, voice range measurements, aerodynamic measurements) and subjective self-ratings were collected before the task and every 30 minutes during the reading to determine the voice evolution in both groups. RESULTS: Fundamental frequency, lowest frequency, highest frequency (F-High), highest intensity and intensity range increase through the reading, whereas Shimmer decreases. Maximum phonation time decreases after 30 minutes. Estimated subglottal pressure (ESP) and sound pressure level increase during the first hour. Afterwards, ESP decreases. Self-ratings worsen through time. When comparing the normophonic and the dysphonic teachers, self-ratings reveal more complaints in the dysphonic group. Few differences in objective measurements are found between both groups: normophonic teachers show lower ESP, higher F-High and greater frequency range. CONCLUSIONS: Frequency modifications from acoustic analysis and voice range measurements suggest an increased laryngeal tension during vocal load, while subjects perceive a worsening of voice. Aerodynamic parameters depict first a deterioration of voice efficiency and then an adaptation to the prolonged reading. The comparison between both groups shows a discrepancy between objective measurements and self-ratings, suggesting that both approaches are necessary to have a complete view of vocal load effects. Surprisingly, both groups behave similarly through vocal load, without more or quicker deterioration of voice in the dysphonic group. [less ▲]

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See detailVocal Impact of a Prolonged Reading Task in Dysphonic versus Normophonic Female Teachers
Remacle, Angélique ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Berrué, Elise et al

in Journal of Voice (2012, November), 26(6), 8201-82013

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluates the impact on voice of a 2-hour reading task between 70-75 dB(A) in 16 normophonic and 16 dysphonic female teachers with vocal nodules. METHODS: Objective measurements ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluates the impact on voice of a 2-hour reading task between 70-75 dB(A) in 16 normophonic and 16 dysphonic female teachers with vocal nodules. METHODS: Objective measurements (acoustic analysis, voice range measurements, aerodynamic measurements) and subjective self-ratings were collected before the task and every 30 minutes during the reading to determine the voice evolution in both groups. RESULTS: Fundamental frequency, lowest frequency, highest frequency (F-High), highest intensity and intensity range increase through the reading, whereas Shimmer decreases. Maximum phonation time decreases after 30 minutes. Estimated subglottal pressure (ESP) and sound pressure level increase during the first hour. Afterwards, ESP decreases. Self-ratings worsen through time. When comparing the normophonic and the dysphonic teachers, self-ratings reveal more complaints in the dysphonic group. Few differences in objective measurements are found between both groups: normophonic teachers show lower ESP, higher F-High and greater frequency range. CONCLUSIONS: Frequency modifications from acoustic analysis and voice range measurements suggest an increased laryngeal tension during vocal load, while subjects perceive a worsening of voice. Aerodynamic parameters depict first a deterioration of voice efficiency and then an adaptation to the prolonged reading. The comparison between both groups shows a discrepancy between objective measurements and self-ratings, suggesting that both approaches are necessary to have a complete view of vocal load effects. Surprisingly, both groups behave similarly through vocal load, without more or quicker deterioration of voice in the dysphonic group. [less ▲]

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See detailVocal Impact of a Prolonged Reading Task at Two Intensity Levels: Objective Measurements and Subjective Self-Ratings
Remacle, Angélique ULg; FINCK, Camille ULg; Roche, Anne et al

in Journal of Voice (2012), 26(4), 177-186

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to evaluate the impact on voice of both duration and intensity level of 2 hours of continuous oral reading. Voice modifications accompanying changes in ... [more ▼]

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to evaluate the impact on voice of both duration and intensity level of 2 hours of continuous oral reading. Voice modifications accompanying changes in intensity level during prolonged reading tasks are analyzed. Methods: Fifty normophonic women undergo two sessions of voice loading in which the required intensity level of voice varied between 60–65 dB(A) for the first session and 70–75 dB(A) for the second session. The effects of loading on objective data (average fundamental frequency [F0], jitter%, shimmer%, noise-to-harmonic ratio, maximum phonation time, lowest frequency [F-Low], highest frequency [F-High], frequency range [Range], lowest intensity [I-Low] level, and highest intensity level) and self-ratings (voice quality, phonation effort, vocal fatigue, and laryngeal discomfort) are assessed every 30 minutes during the loading tasks. Results: Results indicate that average F0, F-Low, I-Low, maximum phonation time, feeling of phonation effort, vocal fatigue, and laryngeal discomfort increase during prolonged reading, whereas shimmer% and self-rating of voice quality decrease. Average F0, F-High, and Range are the only parameters influenced by the required intensity of vocal load; they are significantly higher in the 70- to 75-dB session compared with the 60- to 65-dB session. Concerning the subjective self-ratings, similar results for the four ratings used suggest that only one would suffice in future studies. Conclusions: These results confirm the importance of both duration and intensity level as loading factors, even if intensity level affects fewer variables than duration. [less ▲]

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See detailVoice related complaints in the pediatric population
Verduyckt, Ingrid; Remacle, Marc; Jamart, Jacques et al

in Journal of Voice (2011), 25(3), 373-380

Subjective evaluation of the voice by the patient is routinely assessed in the adult dysphonic population; this Q6 is, however, not the case in the pediatric population. There were three objectives of ... [more ▼]

Subjective evaluation of the voice by the patient is routinely assessed in the adult dysphonic population; this Q6 is, however, not the case in the pediatric population. There were three objectives of this study: the first goal was to study the ability of children aged 5–13 years to express themselves about physical, emotional, and sociofunctional aspects of their voice. The second goal was to explore if specific voice-related complaints were expressed by dysphonic children as compared with normophonic children. The third goal was to compare the dysphonic children’s voice-related complaints with those of their mothers. The overall objective was to set the grounds for the elaboration of a standardized questionnaire in French concerning subjective evaluation of voice in children. Twenty-five dysphonic children with vocal complaint (15 nodules, one polyp, one microweb, eight unspecified) and 55 normophonic children aged 5–13 years were interviewed. The interviews were semistructured based on a canvas of voice-related questions. The dysphonic children’s mothers were interviewed with the mean of a written questionnaire and were invited to discuss their answers orally with the examiner. The results were analyzed ualitatively and statistically.AChi-square test and the Fisher’s test were used to analyze the differences between the complaints expressed by the dysphonic and the normophonic children, and a binomial test was used to compare the children’s answers with their mothers’ answers. The qualitative analysis of the interviews suggests that children are capable of reflecting over their ownvoice and of giving autonomous information about different aspects of their voice. It also appeared that voice is a complex phenomenon and that it needs to be clearly and cautiously defined to the children.We identified 27 different complaints related to the voice, out of which 17 were significantly more expressed by dysphonic than by normophonic children (P < 0.05). Three of the 27 identified complaints show significant discordances between the mothers and the dysphonic children. The results suggest that children are capable of making a subjective and autonomous evaluation of their voice and that dysphonic children experience significantly more voicerelated discomfort than nondysphonic children. The complaints expressed by the dysphonic children and their mothers are not all in concordance. The main conclusion is that a standardized subjective evaluation of the voice, not only by the parents but also by the child itself, would be relevant in the assessment of pediatric dysphonia. [less ▲]

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See detailGlottoplasty for Male-to-Female Transsexualism: Voice Results
Remacle, Marc; Matar, Nayla; Morsomme, Dominique ULg et al

in Journal of Voice (2010), 25(1), 120-3

Summary: Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the objective voice results ofWendler’s glottoplasty in male-to-female transsexuals. Method. We retrospectively reviewed our patients treated ... [more ▼]

Summary: Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the objective voice results ofWendler’s glottoplasty in male-to-female transsexuals. Method. We retrospectively reviewed our patients treated with Wendler’s technique with minor modifications. Glottoplasty consisted in CO2-laser epithelial ablation of the anterior commissure and the two vocal folds in anterior third, suturing of the two vocal folds with two stitches of 3.0 resorbable thread, and application of fibrin sealant to strengthen the suture. Voice assessment was based mainly on fundamental frequency (F0), frequency range, jitter, maximum phonation time, phonation quotient, estimated subglottic pressure (ESGP) grade of dysphonia (G), and voice handicap index (VHI). These measures were taken before surgery and on the last follow-up visit. Results. Our series included 15 patients with a mean age of 36 years. The mean follow-up period was 7.2 months.We did not observe any early complications related to the technique. The comparison between the preoperative and the postoperative measurements, using Wilcoxon signed rank test, showed a significant improvement of median F0 from 139 to 191 Hz (P ¼ 0.006) with an increase in the grade of dysphonia (Gpre ¼ 0.2, Gpost ¼ 1, P ¼ 0.013) and ESGP (ESGPpre ¼ 8.1 ± 3.2, ESGPpost ¼ 12.0 ± 3.8, P ¼ 0.002). Other measurements, including VHI, did not show any significant differences pre- and postoperatively. Conclusion. Wendler’s glottoplasty can contribute to feminize the voice. [less ▲]

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See detailImplantation of esterified hyaluronic acid in microdissected Reinke's space after vocal fold microsurgery
FINCK, Camille ULg; Harmegnies, Bernard; Remacle, Angélique ULg et al

in Journal of Voice (2010), 24(5), 626-635

laryngeal and vocal results obtained after microflap excision of benign vocal fold lesions and immediate implantation of esterified hyaluronic acid(EHA) in the surgical wound are described in this study ... [more ▼]

laryngeal and vocal results obtained after microflap excision of benign vocal fold lesions and immediate implantation of esterified hyaluronic acid(EHA) in the surgical wound are described in this study. Prospective and comparative study on 83 patients ( 33 implanted with EHA and 50 not implanted). Longest follow up is 4 years. The objectives are to confirm the innocuity of the technique, to demonstrate the laryngeal and vocal evolution at short and long term, and to evaluate the eventual positive impact of EHA implantation on the pliability of the superficial layer of the lamina propria (SLLP) and on voice. The use of EHA implant in microdissected SLLP is safe and leads to good laryngeal and vocal outcomes in the treated patients. [less ▲]

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See detailVoice Feminization in case of gender reassignment: effect of Wendler glottopasty
Remacle, Marc; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Lawson, George

in Journal of Voice (2009, July 04)

Summary: Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the objective voice results ofWendler’s glottoplasty in male-to-female transsexuals. Method. We retrospectively reviewed our patients treated ... [more ▼]

Summary: Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the objective voice results ofWendler’s glottoplasty in male-to-female transsexuals. Method. We retrospectively reviewed our patients treated with Wendler’s technique with minor modifications. Glottoplasty consisted in CO2-laser epithelial ablation of the anterior commissure and the two vocal folds in anterior third, suturing of the two vocal folds with two stitches of 3.0 resorbable thread, and application of fibrin sealant to strengthen the suture. Voice assessment was based mainly on fundamental frequency (F0), frequency range, jitter, maximum phonation time, phonation quotient, estimated subglottic pressure (ESGP) grade of dysphonia (G), and voice handicap index (VHI). These measures were taken before surgery and on the last follow-up visit. Results. Our series included 15 patients with a mean age of 36 years. The mean follow-up period was 7.2 months.We did not observe any early complications related to the technique. The comparison between the preoperative and the postoperative measurements, using Wilcoxon signed rank test, showed a significant improvement of median F0 from 139 to 191 Hz (P ¼ 0.006) with an increase in the grade of dysphonia (Gpre ¼ 0.2, Gpost ¼ 1, P ¼ 0.013) and ESGP (ESGPpre ¼ 8.1 ± 3.2, ESGPpost ¼ 12.0 ± 3.8, P ¼ 0.002). Other measurements, including VHI, did not show any significant differences pre- and postoperatively. Conclusion. Wendler’s glottoplasty can contribute to feminize the voice. [less ▲]

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See detailSubjective evaluation of the long-term efficacy of speech therapy on dysfunctional dysphonia.
Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Faurichon de la Bardonnie, Marie; Verduyckt, Ingrid et al

in Journal of Voice (2009)

The objective of the study was to measure the subjective long-term effects of vocal therapy (more than 6 months) in 29 patients suffering from dysfunctional dysphonia. Four subjective measurements were ... [more ▼]

The objective of the study was to measure the subjective long-term effects of vocal therapy (more than 6 months) in 29 patients suffering from dysfunctional dysphonia. Four subjective measurements were used: one visual analog scale ranging from 0 (not efficient at all) to 100 (very efficient); one question "Is the speech therapy still efficient?," answered by yes or no; the GRB parameters of the GRBAS scale (evaluated by the patient); and the VHI-10. The results show that 76% of the patients consider that the vocal therapy they received is still efficient. On the vocal quality (G), roughness (R), and breathiness (B) parameters, we observe a high degree of satisfaction on the G parameter (median=77). The scores on the R and B parameters are lower (median R=12, S=5). Roughness is significantly correlated to the Grade (Spearman coefficient r=0.516, P=0.004), whereas breathiness is not (P=0.251, NS). The comparison of the results on the VHI-10 pre and post treatment shows a significant decrease in the grade of perceived handicap (medians 15 vs 11, P=0.017). The correlations between the judgment of the treatment's efficacy and the vocal quality is significant (r=0.623, P<0.001) as well as the correlation between the VHI-10 and the length of the treatment (r=0.416, P=0.035). The conclusion can be made that speech therapy plays an important role in long-term treatment of dysfunctional dysphonias. [less ▲]

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