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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The highly complex nature of voice quality is discussed, and elements that contribute toperceived vocal output are identified. Samples of acoustic products of speech and singingare examined by means of computerized spectrographic analysis, and physicaldevelopment changes and gender differences are described. The “source-filter” model isused to discuss the way in which the waveform of the laryngeal output is modified by theconfiguration and resonance characteristics of the vocal tract and oral cavities to producethe phonemes of spoken and sung words. A developmental trajectory is traced, describingthe ontogenesis of voice quality, and the way in which patterns of normal human growthand development and sociological issues during the years of childhood from birth topuberty contribute to the emergence of a personal voice characteristic is illustrated byexamples of Long Term Average Spectra (LTAS) drawn from analysis of young trained andnaive singers.

Keywords: speech, singing, spectrograph, physical development, puberty, sociological issues

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