LINGUIST List 3.527

Tue 23 Jun 1992

Disc: Voice Projection

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Kathleen Hubbard, 3.517 Voice Projection
  2. Michel Jackson, Voice projection

Message 1: 3.517 Voice Projection

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 92 10:27:26 -03.517 Voice Projection
From: Kathleen Hubbard <>
Subject: 3.517 Voice Projection

In a recent stint with a voice coach I noticed that following her instructions
to "open the [pharynx]" resulted in a resonance that seemed like it had to
be detectable acoustically as different from normal singing. Then I found
this article:
Sundberg, Johan. 1977. The Acoustics of the Singing Voice. Scientific
	American (reprinted in W.S-Y. Wang, ed. _The Emergence of Language_,
	1991 W.H. Freeman & Co., pp. 104-116).
Turns out, professional singers produce an additional formant that the rest of
us usually don't, one that's located precisely where an orchestra does not
resonate (that's why they're audible over full orchestra). I checked this
briefly on spectrograms of my own voice, and it's quite visible.

The references from this article (p.174 of the anthology) may be useful to
anyone interested in this; Sundberg had a 1974 JASA article that's listed

Kathleen Hubbard
U.C. Berkeley
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Voice projection

Date: Tue, 23 Jun 92 09:13:58 EDVoice projection
From: Michel Jackson <>
Subject: Voice projection

Music & voice have many terms which indicate something real but have
more or less implausible denotations for a subjective impression.

As Peter Ladefoged remarked in another context, we use physiological
fantasy to denote auditory (or other sensory) impressions.

A good basic discussion of voice projection and the physiological
and acoustic properties of singing voice is in Chapter 17 of
T. Rossing _The Science of Sound, 2nd Ed_ (New York: Addison-Wesley).
The best detailed sources are probably in J. Sundberg's papers
from the Speech Communication & Music Acoustics groups in Stockholm.
He has numerous papers in the Speech Tech. Lab. Quarterly Status
Reports from the Royal Inst. of Technology in Stockholm. The two
most accessible publications are probably

Sundberg, J. 1977. "The acoustics of the singing voice", Scientific
American, v. 236 n. 3.

___. 1987. _The Science of the Singing Voice_, DeKalb IL: Northern
Illinois University Press.

I believe that the 1987 book is a translation of a book published
in Sweden a year or two earlier entitled _Ro:stla:ra_ (o: and a:
are umlauted).
	---michel jackson (
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue