Macquarie University
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Vocal resonance and musical style

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posted on 2022-11-18, 01:15 authored by Wei YI

This research considers vocal resonance and musical style. A growing body of literature considers vocal resonance, particularly its association with pitch, loudness, and timbre. However, the relationship between vocal resonance and musical style needs further investigation.  

Research of vocal resonance is primarily based on acoustic properties. Acoustic software visualises audio information (formants, intensity, and vibrato) and provides objective results. However, findings of aural perception and subsequent analysis of vocal sound are less explored. To gain a complete understanding of vocal resonance and musical style, comprehensive research is required. The research design includes both acoustic and perceptual analyses of the singing voice, and employs a mix-method approach, using both qualitative and quantitative measures. To aid in the consistency of voice samples, the researcher is also the singer in the study, and autoethnography is utilised. To allow for additional perceptions to be considered, an expert listening panel also participated. Also, included are reliability, validity, and ethics considerations.  

Through the collection of audio and visual recordings, data on the resonance alterations across musical styles were collected. The diverse range of musical styles included classical, musical theatre, popular and Chinese folk/traditional. The subsequent analyses were performed from four perspectives: audio recordings (acoustics), video recordings (mouth shape), self-perception and ratings by expert listeners. The findings of this stage determined the characteristics related to the identification of vocal resonance in each style. Finally, self-perception and the expert panel’s results were compared and discussed. In conclusion, the individual singer’s relationship between vocal resonance and musical style was determined. Models were developed that demonstrate vocal resonance across musical styles, where the vocal features of singing were comprehensively considered. It was identified that a singer’s multifaceted self-awareness, including their individual sound, training, singing techniques and aspects of musical style, determines effective vocal resonance for singing multiple styles. 


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 -- Chapter 2 -- Chapter 3 -- Chapter 4 -- Chapter 5 -- Chapter 6 -- Chapter 7 -- References -- Appendices


A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Research on February 18, 2022

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Diane Hughes

Additional Supervisor 1

Andrew Robson


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




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