Glissando: laryngeal motorics and acoustics


      Summary: The objective of this study was to investigate the laryngeal mechanisms and the acoustical signal during a glissando. In particular, glottal length, maximum glottal area, and vibratory amplitudes during a glissando maneuver of a healthy male adult were measured. An endoscopic high-speed system combined with a laser projection device was used to obtain quantitative data both in the time and spatial domains. Simultaneously to the endoscopic investigation, the acoustic signal was recorded. Fundamental frequency and sound pressure level derived from the acoustic recordings were compared to vocal fold length and glottis area derived from the high-speed recordings. Results were used for interpretation of the phonation mechanism during glissando by means of laryngeal and acoustic parameters. The transition between the chest register and the falsetto register was identified by the absence of vocal fold contact. A rather early onset of the falsetto register was observed at 160 Hz. Although fundamental frequency of the vocal folds increased linearly even at the transition point, sound pressure level dropped down.
      These data represent the first ever quantitative description and interpretation of the glissando based on both voice properties and laryngeal motorics. In the presented example of an untrained singer, the falsetto sets in at comparatively low frequencies. Although the chest-falsetto transition is rather smooth for laryngeal motorics and voice pitch, a sudden drop of voice intensity was observed.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Voice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Hollien H
        Some laryngeal correlates of vocal pitch.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1960; 3: 52-58
        • Miller D.G
        Registers in Singing: Empirical and Systematic Studies in the Theory of the Singing Voice.
        Ponsen&Looijen, Wageningen2000
        • Hollien H
        • Brown W.S
        • Hollien K
        Vocal fold length associated with modal, falsetto and varying intensity phonations.
        Folia Phoniatr. 1971; 23: 66-78
        • Titze I
        On the mechanics of vocal fold vibrations.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1976; 60: 1366-1380
        • Wendler J
        J Voice. 1992; 6: 149-154
        • Schneider B
        • Wendler J
        • Seidner W
        The relevance of stroboscopy in functional dysphonias.
        Folia Phoniatr Logop. 2002; 54: 44-54
        • Mergell P
        • Herzel H
        • Wittenberg T
        • Tigges M
        • Eysholdt U
        Phonation onset: Vocal fold modeling and high-speed glottography.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1998; 104: 464-470
        • Eysholdt U
        • Tigges M
        • Wittenberg T
        • Pröschel U
        Direct evaluation of high-speed recordings of vocal fold vibrations.
        Folia Phoniatr Logop. 1996; 48: 163-170
        • Neubauer J
        • Mergell P
        • Eysholdt U
        • Herzel H
        Spatiotemporal analysis of irregular vocal fold oscillations: Biphonation due to desynchronization of spatial modes.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2001; 110: 3179-3192
        • Mergell P
        • Herzel H.P
        • Titze I.R
        Irregular vocal-fold vibration—high-speed observations and modeling.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2000; 108: 2996-3002
        • Schuberth S
        • Hoppe U
        • Doellinger M
        • Lohscheller J
        • Eysholdt U
        High-precision measurement of the vocal fold length and vibratory amplitudes.
        Laryngoscope. 2002; 112: 1043-1049
      1. Schuberth S, Hoppe U, Koester M, Doellinger M, Eysholdt U. Optical measurement of the vocal fold length and elongation during phonation. In: Schutte H, ed. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference Advances in Quantitative Laryngology [CD-ROM]. Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands; 2001.

        • Wittenberg T
        • Moser M
        • Tigges M
        • Eysholdt U
        Recording, processing and analysis of digital high speed sequences in glottography.
        Machine Vision Appl. 1995; 8: 399-404
        • Huang D.Z
        • Lin S
        • O'Brien Dr., R
        Speech User's Guide, Version 3.0.
        Tiger Electronics, Seattle, Washington1997
        • Huang D.Z
        • Minifie F.D
        • Kasuya H
        • Xiao Lin S
        Measures of vocal function during changes in vocal effort level.
        J Voice. 1995; 9: 429-441
        • Hoppe U
        Mechanisms of Hoarseness: Visualization and Interpretation by Means of Nonlinear Dynamics.
        Shaker Verlag, Aachen2001
        • Colton R.H
        Physiology of phonation.
        in: Benninger M.S Jacobson B.H Johnson A.F Vocal Arts Medicine. Thieme, New York1994: 30-60
        • Rubin H.J
        • Hirt C.C
        The Falsetto: A high speed cinematographic study.
        Laryngoscope. 1960; 70: 1305-1324
        • Svec J.G
        • Schutte H.K
        • Miller D.G
        On pitch jumps between chest and falsetto registers in voice: Data from living and excised human larynges.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1999; 106: 1523-1531
        • Schutte H.K
        • Miller D.G
        The effect of F0/F1 Coincidence in soprano high notes on pressure at the glottis.
        J Phonetics. 1986; 14: 385-392