Vocal tract and register changes analysed by real-time MRI in male professional singers - A pilot study

Matthias Echternach*, Johan Sundberg, Susan Arndt, Tobias Breyer, Michael Markl, Martin Schumacher, Bernhard Richter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Changes of vocal tract shape accompanying changes of vocal register and pitch in singing have remained an unclear field. Dynamic real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was applied to two professional classical singers (a tenor and a baritone) in this pilot study. The singers sang ascending scales from B3 to G#4 on the vowel /a/, keeping the modal register throughout or shifting to falsetto register for the highest pitches. The results show that these singers made few and minor modifications of vocal tract shape when they changed from modal to falsetto and some clear modifications when they kept the register. In this case the baritone increased his tongue dorsum height, widened his jaw opening, and decreased his jaw protrusion, while the tenor merely lifted his uvula. The method used seems promising and should be applied to a greater number of singer subjects in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalLogopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 14 2008

Keywords

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Register
  • Singing
  • Vocal tract
  • Voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN

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