Predicting Mutational Change in the Speaking Voice of Boys

Published:February 14, 2006DOI:


      The authors investigated whether acoustic speaking voice analyses can be used to predict the beginning of mutation in 21 male members of a professional boys' choir. Over a period of 3 years before mutation, children were examined every 3 months by ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and phoniatric specialists. At the same time, the voice was evaluated acoustically using analysis features of the Goettingen Hoarseness Diagram (GHD). Irregularity component and noise component, jitter, shimmer, mean waveform correlation coefficient, and fundamental frequency were determined from recordings of the speaking voice. Significant changes of acoustic features appeared 7 and 5 months before mutation onset, which indicates that vocal function is already restricted 6 months before mutation onset. This acoustic voice analysis is therefore suitable to support the care of the professional singing voice.

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