Intonation and Expressivity: A Single Case Study of Classical Western Singing

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Previous studies have shown that singers tend to sharpen phrase-peak tones as compared with equally tempered tuning ( ETT). Here we test the hypothesis that this can serve the purpose of musical expressivity. Data were drawn from earlier recordings, where a professional baritone sang excerpts as void of musical expression as he could (Neutral) and as expressive as in a concert (Concert). Fundamental frequency averaged over tones was examined and compared with ETT. Phrase-peak tones were sharper in excited examples, particularly in the Concert versions. These tones were flattened to ETT using the Melodyne software. The manipulated and original versions were presented pairwise to a musician panel that was asked to choose the more expressive version. By and large, the original versions were perceived as more expressive, thus supporting the common claim that intonation is a means for adding expressivity to a performance.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)391.e1–391.e8
JournalJournal Of Voice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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