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Apropos a recent thread in voice and pitch

Started by Jerry Avins February 27, 2006
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*Subject:* Choir acoustics at the acoustical society meeting


    4aMU1. Multitrack analysis of amateur and professional choirs.


      Session: Thursday Morning, Oct 20


      Time: 10:05


*Author: Harald Jers*
*Location: Franzstrasse 33, D-50931 Cologne, Germany, harald.jers@gmx.de*

*Abstract:*

Many choir singers in the world know the fascinating phenomenon of choir 
sound, which is the result of multiple voices singing in an ensemble. 
This so-called chorus effect, where the normal mechanisms of auditory 
localization of the single voices are disrupted, may be caused by 
complex interactions between the choir singers, but has not been 
researched in detail. Each singer of an amateur and a professional vocal 
ensemble of 16 singers was recorded on separate tracks while singing in 
the choir. The evaluation of different choir pieces and exercises 
provided information and predictions about F0, SPL, 
timing/synchronization, vibrato behavior, and the produced choir sound. 
The results reveal differences between amateur and professional choirs 
for homophonic and polyphonic choir pieces, and suggest new 
considerations for choir rehearsals and concert performances.

 


    4aMU2. The effects of choir spacing and choir formation on the
    tuning accuracy and intonation tendencies of a mixed choir.


      Time: 10:30


*Author: James F. Daugherty*
*Location: Div. of Music Education and Music Therapy, The Univ. of 
Kansas, 1530 Naismith Dr., Ste. 448, Lawrence, KS 66045, jdaugher@ku.edu*

*Abstract:*

The tuning accuracy and intonation tendencies of a high school mixed 
choir (N=46) were measured from digital recordings obtained as the 
ensemble performed an a cappella motet under concert conditions in N=3 
singer spacing configurations (close, lateral, circumambient) and N=2 
choir formations (sectional and mixed). Methods of analysis were modeled 
on Howard's (2004) pitch-based measurements of the tuning accuracy of 
crowds of football fans. Results were discussed in terms of (a) previous 
studies on choir spacing (Daugherty, 1999, 2003) and self-to-other 
singer ratios (Ternstrm, 1995, 1999); (b) contributions of choir spacing 
to vocal/choral pedagogy; and (c) potential ramifications for the design 
and use of auditoria and portable standing risers for choral performances.

 

 


    4aMU3. Directivity of singers.


      Time: 10:55


*Author: Harald Jers*
*Location: Franzstrasse 33, D-50931 Cologne, Germany, harald.jers@gmx.de*

*Abstract:*

Studies of acoustical balance between singers within a choir by means of 
room acoustical measurements have shown that the directional sound 
propagation of the source is important. For this reason the directivity 
of female and male singers for different vowels has been measured in 
this investigation. Measurements of a pilot study and some first 
measurements in 1998 have been supplemented with new measurements and an 
enhanced setup. A special measurement setup with reference and recording 
microphones was used to collect the directivity data. A resolution of 10 
deg for azimuth and elevation angle was obtained. The results will be 
shown in 3D spherical plots with frequency adjustments in semitones from 
80 to 8000 Hz. The measurements are compared to an artificial singer's 
directivity, and the influence of a sheet music binder in front of a 
singer will be shown. The results give information on the directivity of 
singers and are relevant for the prediction of self-to-other-ratios that 
result from placement and formation aspects within a choir.

 


    4aMU4. Auditorium design for choral performance.


      Time: 11:10


*Author: Timothy Foulkes*
*Location: Cavanaugh Tocci Assoc. Inc., 327F Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, 
MA 01776*
*Author: Christopher Storch*
*Location: Cavanaugh Tocci Assoc. Inc., 327F Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, 
MA 01776*

*Abstract:*

Design for a 500 seat recital hall to support an award winning high 
school choral program is discussed. Acoustic design strategy, important 
acoustic parameters (calculated and measured), and photos of the 
completed project are reviewed.

 


    4pMU1. Choir singing in Subsaharan Africa: Acoustic factors of a
    regional style in southern Mozambique.


      Session: Thursday Afternoon, Oct 20


      Time: 2:05


*Author: Joao Soeiro de Carvalho*
*Location: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Av. de Berna 26c, 1069-061 
Lisboa, Portugal, jsoeiro@fcsh.unl.pt*

*Abstract:*

Choir singing is a most prominent form of expressive behavior in 
Subsaharan Africa. A vast majority of expressive modes involves 
multipart singing, both within the framework of European tonal system as 
well as other structured ways of combining vocal sounds of different 
frequencies. Vocal improvisation stands as an important process for the 
course of performance; individual voice ranges, as well as issues of 
social status and musical competence, determine the ways musicians 
participate in performance. Aesthetic validation is often expressed by 
the use of a nonverbal expressive mode, ``kulungwani,'' a vocal 
technique involving the action of the lower maxillae and tongue in order 
to produce a low-frequency interruption of sound emission. Choral 
singing intonation processes seem to rely on harmonic results, rather 
than melodic. A regional choral style in southern Africa seems to have 
developed, where a particular distribution of formant frequencies and an 
emphasis on low-frequency energy play a significant role.
 


    4pMU2. Listener perception of and acoustic differences between girl
    and boy choristers in an English cathedral choir.


      Session: Thursday Afternoon, Oct 20


      Time: 2:30


*Author: David Howard*
*Location: Dept. of Electron., Univ. of York, Heslington, York, YO10 
5DD, UK*
*Author: Graham Welch*
*Location: Dept. of Electron., Univ. of York, Heslington, York, YO10 
5DD, UK*
*Author: Graham Welch*
*Location: Univ. of London, London, WC1H 0AL, UK*

*Abstract:*

For centuries, boy choristers have been singing the top (treble) line in 
English cathedrals. Girl choristers were first admitted in 1991, and 
there is a long-running debate as to whether they can carry out this 
role appropriately. This paper will detail the results from two 
listening experiments designed to establish whether or not listeners can 
tell the difference between girl and boy choristers singing the top line 
in cathedral music. In the first experiment, 189 listeners took part and 
on average they were able to tell the difference 60% of the time; this 
was statistically significant over chance. The results suggested that 
repertoire played a significant part in this ability, and the second 
experiment was carried out in which the boys and girls sang the same 
repertoire. Nearly 170 listeners have completed this experiment and, on 
average, they are making guesses (correct 52% of the time). The paper 
will discuss the acoustic differences between the stimuli with respect 
to the singing of boy and girl choristers, while placing the discussion 
in the context of the English cathedral tradition.** 

** 


    4pMU3. Making an anechoic choral recording.


      Session: Thursday Afternoon, Oct 20


      Time: 2:55


*Author: Ron Freiheit*
*Location: Wenger Corp., 555 Park Dr., Owatonna, MN 55050, 
ron.freiheit@wengercorp.com*
*Author: John Alexander*
*Location: 3M Ctr., St. Paul, MN 55144-1000*
*Author: John Ferguson*
*Location: St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN 55057*

*Abstract:*

The utilization of auralization as a tool for acoustic analysis 
continues to grow and develop. An important element for successful 
auralization listening experiences is the selection of anechoic source 
material. In researching the current library of anechoically recorded 
source material, it was discovered that choral material was not readily 
available. The Wenger Corporation, St. Olaf College, and 3M undertook a 
joint project to create an anechoic choral recording. The paper 
describes the challenges of this recording project---from the 
technological, logistical, and musical standpoints---and the solutions 
that were successfully implemented.

 

*The session will continue with a panel discussion "Acoustical issues 
relevant to choral singing" with Drs. Anton Armstrong and John Ferguson, 
who direct the St. Olaf Cantorei, and the ASA session organizers.*

*It will end with a short concert by the St. Olaf Cantorei from St. Olaf 
College in Northfield, Minnesota. The 90-voice liturgical choir will be 
accompanied by organ, brass quartet, handbells, and percussion. The 
performance, at Central Lutheran Church, which is also open to the 
public, will feature a hymnsing in which the audience will be invited to 
participate.*

*The St. Olaf Cantorei, which regularly performs in the very reverberant 
St. Olaf College Chapel, recently made an anechoic recording under the 
sponsorship of the Wenger Company.*


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<div><b>Subject:</b> Choir acoustics at the acoustical society meeting</div>
</div>
<div><br>
</div>
<div><font face="Arial" size="2"><span class="548035419-12102005">
<h2>4aMU1. Multitrack analysis of amateur and professional choirs.</h2>
<h3><SESSION>Session: Thursday Morning, Oct 20</SESSION></h3>
<h3><TIME>Time: 10:05</TIME></h3>
<br>
<ABSTRACT><b>Author: Harald Jers</b> <br>
<b>Location: Franzstrasse 33, D-50931 Cologne, Germany,
harald.jers@gmx.de</b> <br>
</ABSTRACT>
<p><b>Abstract:</b> </p>
<p>Many choir singers in the world know the fascinating phenomenon of
choir sound, which is the result of multiple voices singing in an
ensemble. This so-called chorus effect, where the normal mechanisms of
auditory localization of the single voices are disrupted, may be caused
by complex interactions between the choir singers, but has not been
researched in detail. Each singer of an amateur and a professional
vocal ensemble of 16 singers was recorded on separate tracks while
singing in the choir. The evaluation of different choir pieces and
exercises provided information and predictions about F0, SPL,
timing/synchronization, vibrato behavior, and the produced choir sound.
The results reveal differences between amateur and professional choirs
for homophonic and polyphonic choir pieces, and suggest new
considerations for choir rehearsals and concert performances. </p>
<p>&nbsp;<!--StartFragment --> </p>
<h2>4aMU2. The effects of choir spacing and choir formation on the
tuning accuracy and intonation tendencies of a mixed choir.</h2>
<h3><TIME>Time: 10:30</TIME></h3>
<p><br>
<ABSTRACT><b>Author: James F. Daugherty</b> <br>
<b>Location: Div. of Music Education and Music Therapy, The Univ. of
Kansas, 1530 Naismith Dr., Ste. 448, Lawrence, KS 66045, jdaugher@ku.edu</b>
<br>
</ABSTRACT></p>
<p><b>Abstract:</b> </p>
<p>The tuning accuracy and intonation tendencies of a high school mixed
choir (N=46) were measured from digital recordings obtained as the
ensemble performed an a cappella motet under concert conditions in N=3
singer spacing configurations (close, lateral, circumambient) and N=2
choir formations (sectional and mixed). Methods of analysis were
modeled on Howard's (2004) pitch-based measurements of the tuning
accuracy of crowds of football fans. Results were discussed in terms of
(a) previous studies on choir spacing (Daugherty, 1999, 2003) and
self-to-other singer ratios (Ternstrm, 1995, 1999); (b) contributions
of choir spacing to vocal/choral pedagogy; and (c) potential
ramifications for the design and use of auditoria and portable standing
risers for choral performances. </p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><!--StartFragment -->&nbsp;<!--StartFragment --> </p>
<h2>4aMU3. Directivity of singers.</h2>
<h3><TIME>Time: 10:55</TIME></h3>
<p><br>
<ABSTRACT><b>Author: Harald Jers</b> <br>
<b>Location: Franzstrasse 33, D-50931 Cologne, Germany,
harald.jers@gmx.de</b> <br>
</ABSTRACT></p>
<p><b>Abstract:</b> </p>
<p>Studies of acoustical balance between singers within a choir by
means of room acoustical measurements have shown that the directional
sound propagation of the source is important. For this reason the
directivity of female and male singers for different vowels has been
measured in this investigation. Measurements of a pilot study and some
first measurements in 1998 have been supplemented with new measurements
and an enhanced setup. A special measurement setup with reference and
recording microphones was used to collect the directivity data. A
resolution of 10 deg for azimuth and elevation angle was obtained. The
results will be shown in 3D spherical plots with frequency adjustments
in semitones from 80 to 8000 Hz. The measurements are compared to an
artificial singer's directivity, and the influence of a sheet music
binder in front of a singer will be shown. The results give information
on the directivity of singers and are relevant for the prediction of
self-to-other-ratios that result from placement and formation aspects
within a choir. <br>
</p>
<p><!--StartFragment -->&nbsp;<!--StartFragment --> </p>
<h2>4aMU4. Auditorium design for choral performance.</h2>
<h3><TIME>Time: 11:10</TIME></h3>
<p><br>
<ABSTRACT><b>Author: Timothy Foulkes</b> <br>
<b>Location: Cavanaugh Tocci Assoc. Inc., 327F Boston Post Rd.,
Sudbury, MA 01776</b> <br>
<b>Author: Christopher Storch</b> <br>
<b>Location: Cavanaugh Tocci Assoc. Inc., 327F Boston Post Rd.,
Sudbury, MA 01776</b> <br>
</ABSTRACT></p>
<p><b>Abstract:</b> </p>
<p>Design for a 500 seat recital hall to support an award winning high
school choral program is discussed. Acoustic design strategy, important
acoustic parameters (calculated and measured), and photos of the
completed project are reviewed. </p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<h2>4pMU1. Choir singing in Subsaharan Africa: Acoustic factors of a
regional style in southern Mozambique.</h2>
<h3><SESSION>Session: Thursday Afternoon, Oct 20</SESSION></h3>
<h3><TIME>Time: 2:05</TIME></h3>
<p><br>
<ABSTRACT><b>Author: Joao Soeiro de Carvalho</b> <br>
<b>Location: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Av. de Berna 26c, 1069-061
Lisboa, Portugal, jsoeiro@fcsh.unl.pt</b> <br>
</ABSTRACT></p>
<p><b>Abstract:</b> </p>
<p>Choir singing is a most prominent form of expressive behavior in
Subsaharan Africa. A vast majority of expressive modes involves
multipart singing, both within the framework of European tonal system
as well as other structured ways of combining vocal sounds of different
frequencies. Vocal improvisation stands as an important process for the
course of performance; individual voice ranges, as well as issues of
social status and musical competence, determine the ways musicians
participate in performance. Aesthetic validation is often expressed by
the use of a nonverbal expressive mode, ``kulungwani,'' a vocal
technique involving the action of the lower maxillae and tongue in
order to produce a low-frequency interruption of sound emission. Choral
singing intonation processes seem to rely on harmonic results, rather
than melodic. A regional choral style in southern Africa seems to have
developed, where a particular distribution of formant frequencies and
an emphasis on low-frequency energy play a significant role.<br>
&nbsp;</p>
<p><!--StartFragment --></p>
<h2>4pMU2. Listener perception of and acoustic differences between girl
and boy choristers in an English cathedral choir.</h2>
<h3><SESSION>Session: Thursday Afternoon, Oct 20</SESSION></h3>
<h3><TIME>Time: 2:30</TIME></h3>
<p><br>
<ABSTRACT><b>Author: David Howard</b> <br>
<b>Location: Dept. of Electron., Univ. of York, Heslington, York, YO10
5DD, UK</b> <br>
<b>Author: Graham Welch</b> <br>
<b>Location: Dept. of Electron., Univ. of York, Heslington, York, YO10
5DD, UK</b> <br>
<b>Author: Graham Welch</b> <br>
<b>Location: Univ. of London, London, WC1H 0AL, UK</b> <br>
</ABSTRACT></p>
<p><b>Abstract:</b> </p>
<p>For centuries, boy choristers have been singing the top (treble)
line in English cathedrals. Girl choristers were first admitted in
1991, and there is a long-running debate as to whether they can carry
out this role appropriately. This paper will detail the results from
two listening experiments designed to establish whether or not
listeners can tell the difference between girl and boy choristers
singing the top line in cathedral music. In the first experiment, 189
listeners took part and on average they were able to tell the
difference 60% of the time; this was statistically significant over
chance. The results suggested that repertoire played a significant part
in this ability, and the second experiment was carried out in which the
boys and girls sang the same repertoire. Nearly 170 listeners have
completed this experiment and, on average, they are making guesses
(correct 52% of the time). The paper will discuss the acoustic
differences between the stimuli with respect to the singing of boy and
girl choristers, while placing the discussion in the context of the
English cathedral tradition.<strong></strong>&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong></strong>&nbsp;</p>
<p><!--StartFragment --></p>
<h2>4pMU3. Making an anechoic choral recording.</h2>
<h3><SESSION>Session: Thursday Afternoon, Oct 20</SESSION></h3>
<h3><TIME>Time: 2:55</TIME></h3>
<p><br>
<ABSTRACT><b>Author: Ron Freiheit</b> <br>
<b>Location: Wenger Corp., 555 Park Dr., Owatonna, MN 55050,
ron.freiheit@wengercorp.com</b> <br>
<b>Author: John Alexander</b> <br>
<b>Location: 3M Ctr., St. Paul, MN 55144-1000</b> <br>
<b>Author: John Ferguson</b> <br>
<b>Location: St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN 55057</b> <br>
</ABSTRACT></p>
<p><b>Abstract:</b> </p>
<p>The utilization of auralization as a tool for acoustic analysis
continues to grow and develop. An important element for successful
auralization listening experiences is the selection of anechoic source
material. In researching the current library of anechoically recorded
source material, it was discovered that choral material was not readily
available. The Wenger Corporation, St. Olaf College, and 3M undertook a
joint project to create an anechoic choral recording. The paper
describes the challenges of this recording project---from the
technological, logistical, and musical standpoints---and the solutions
that were successfully implemented. <br>
</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><span class="548035419-12102005"><strong>The session will continue
with a panel discussion "Acoustical issues relevant to choral singing"
with Drs. Anton Armstrong and John Ferguson, who direct the St. Olaf
Cantorei, and the&nbsp;ASA session organizers.</strong></span></p>
<p><span class="548035419-12102005"><strong>It will end with a short
concert by the St. Olaf Cantorei from St. Olaf College in Northfield,
Minnesota. The 90-voice liturgical choir will be accompanied by organ,
brass quartet, handbells, and percussion. The performance, at Central
Lutheran Church, which is also open to the public, will feature a
hymnsing in which the audience will be invited to participate.</strong></span></p>
<p><span class="548035419-12102005"><strong>The St. Olaf Cantorei,
which regularly performs in the very reverberant St. Olaf College
Chapel, recently made an anechoic recording under the sponsorship of
the Wenger Company.</strong></span></p>
</span></font></div>
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