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Title: Analysis of selected factors which influence the voice of the opera singer


Objectives: Presented work aimed to study the relationship between the length of vocal folds and classical voice type among professional opera singers. Also, the paper attempts to assess if individual features such as height and body mass index are associated with the vocal folds length (VFL) and the vocal range. Research compared VFL and voice type by evaluation of neck computed tomography imaging of professional opera singers obtained between 2009 and 2015. Vocal range was measured after scanning procedure by a speech-language pathologist. The results were used to compare VFL with vocal range, voice type, and individual features of every singer. Objectives of another part of study were to assess the most significant morphological changes and acoustic measures for the ageing process of a professional opera singer’s voice. Lastly, the research aimed to estimate the prevalence and characteristic symptoms of vocal fatigue in professional opera singers. Material and methods. In first part of study: the group included 93 opera singers (female: 31 sopranos, 15 mezzos, and 5 contraltos; male: 17 tenors, 16 baritones, 6 basses, and 3 countertenors). Different values such as VFL, vocal range, and individual features (height, weight, body mass index) were analysed statistically. In second part investigation included 58 healthy professional opera singers, who were compared with 42 young ; opera singers from a control group. All participants underwent a voice assessment protocol: an ENT specialist examination and a speech therapist evaluation. Acoustic parameters and subjective observations were obtained, and then analysed. Third part: in the group of 250 professional opera singers who were examined in Clarós Clinic in 10 years period, fifty-five cases of vocal fatigue were reported and evaluated. Among subjects were 21 men and 34 women. Mean age of participants was 46,78y (range 19-72 years old, standard deviation: 12.18 year). Representation of classical voice types was: 14 tenors, 5 baritones, 2 basses, 22 sopranos, 10 mezzos, 2 contralti. Results. In vocal fold measurement study: some significant differences and correlation were found. The VFL was diversified between classical voice types. VFL for soprano, mezzo-soprano, and bass was significantly different from every other type of voice. The vocal range has been shown to have a negative correlation with VFL value, which reflects the narrowest vocal range among bass voices. The analysis confirmed a linear correlation between VFL and individual features of the body such as height and body mass index. Main conclusion from study about ageing changes of singers voice were: the fundamental frequency (F0) level was distinctly decreased in the case of older female singers, but F0 in older male singers had stable ; levels in comparison to that in younger singers. Older singers were found not to have substantially different values of jitter than younger ones. Maximal phonation time (MPT) was longer in the older women group when compared to younger singers, but not relatively different in the men group. Shimmer value presented no age related change. Morphological changes seem to correlate with the age of subjects. The last part of the study was to assess the prevalence of vocal fatigue in 10 years period for singers’ group and was 22%. The three most frequent symptoms observed in the study group were: muscle pain (87.27%), muscle fatigue (76.36%) and diffuse sharp pain in the neck (70.37%). Statistical analysis showed significance only for the relationship between female opera singers and incidence of symptoms such as tremulous voice and muscle pain. All other symptoms were not statistically related to gender. Contradictory to expectations, application of anti-inflammatory drugs was statistically associated with the longer duration of the symptoms. Conclusion. Presented data support the hypothesis that there are significant differences of VFL, vocal range, and body morphology between professional singers of different voice classification. The main characteristic of voice change over age was a decreased F0 level among older female professional singers and rather stable F0 levels in male s ; ingers. This study gives preliminary results on ageing voice in the population of professional opera singers. Vocal fatigue may be underestimated but is one of the most frequent problems encountered in the ENT practice that provides care for professional voice users. In the presented research, administration of anti-inflammatory drugs has not been associated with faster recovery from vocal fatigue.

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Level of degree:

2 - studia doktoranckie

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Degree grantor:

Wydział Lekarski


Składzień, Jacek

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pol; eng

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tylko w bibliotece

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Apr 8, 2024

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May 23, 2022

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Edition name Date
ZB-132334 Apr 8, 2024


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