First Passaggio Transition Gestures in Classically Trained Female Singers

The purpose of this project was to determine the spectral and electroglottograph (EGG) differences exhibited by classically trained female singers when singing through their primo passaggio. The hypotheses were that the singers would exhibit relatively steady EGG levels and minimal changes in speech spectra when singing through their primo passaggio. It also was hypothesized that EGG and spectral measurements at the crest and trough of the vibrato cycles would be similar to each other. Singers at training levels from undergraduate university students through professionals sang an A3-A4 scale using an /?:/ vowel while standing. Contact quotient (CQEGG), amplitudes of the first five harmonics (H1-H5), and the number of the harmonics with greatest energy in the frequency region around 3000 Hz were measured at vibrato crests and troughs for each note. The data at the vibrato crests and troughs exhibited similar patterns across the notes that differed in the percentage CQEGG and harmonic amplitude. The mean CQEGG exhibited a slight decline from the lowest note to the highest, with a few of the singers exhibiting different patterns. The strongest harmonic for the four lowest notes was H3 with a transition to H2 being strongest for the four highest notes. The patterns of all the singers' averaged glottal and vocal tract adjustments through their primo passaggio generally followed what was hypothesized for the CQEGG, harmonic amplitudes, and harmonic of the frequency region around 3000 Hz. However, differences occurred between the measurements at the vibrato peaks and troughs.

Journal Journal of Voice
Year 2016
Volume 30
Issue 3
Pages 377.e21-377.e29

Morris, R. J.; Okerlund, David A.; Craven, Emily A. (2016) First Passaggio Transition Gestures in Classically Trained Female Singers. In: Journal of Voice: Official Journal of the Voice Foundation, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 377.e21-377.e29. Available at


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