Assessing the singing voice with the Voice Range Profile
- preview of doctoral thesis
Supervisor: Sten Ternström
Classical singers are particularly dependent on a high-performing voice, and their criteria for a healthy voice are much more stringent than for non-singers. In the health-care sector, expertise is rare on singing voice and its problems, so that singers seeking care often encounter a lack of experience with voice treatment for professional singers. The goal of this thesis is to improve the clinical assessment of the impact on the voice of singer-specific problems such as nodules. This would ultimately be of value to voice clinicians who are treating singers. In this light, work concerning the Swedish adaptation of the Voice Handicap Index for Singers was carried out. There is a body of literature concerning the use of the voice range profile (VRP) with habitual speech and sustained sounds, but very few investigations have explored the singing voice VRP. A primary goal for this work was to explore the singer specific VRP characteristics and tasks while also building VRP normative data. In this way, the effect of singing voice impairments on the voice range profile, as measured by computer-based phonetography, could in turn be examined. Experiments have been performed to investigate whether the sound pressure level or the skin acceleration level is more appropriate in a singer’s VRP. A mapping of self-perceived impairment-related difficulty into the voice range profile, using a modified phonetograph, has also been investigated for healthy and pathological singers. These studies will be presented and their roles within the ongoing thesis work will be discussed.