The question whether or not a velopharyngeal opening is advantageous in singing has been discussed for a very long time among teachers of singing. The present investigation analyzes the acoustic consequences of a large, a narrow, and a nonexistent velopharyngeal opening (VPO). A divided flow mask (nasal and oral) connected to flow transducers recorded the nasal and oral DC flows in four female and four male classically trained singers while they sang vowel sequences at different pitches under these three experimental conditions. Acoustic effects were analyzed in three long-term average spectra parameters: (i) the sound level at the fundamental frequency, (ii) the level of the highest peak below 1 kHz, and (iii) the level of the highest peak in the 2–4 kHz region. For a narrow VPO, an increase in the level of the highest peak in the 2–4 kHz region was observed. As this peak is an essential voice component in the classical singing tradition, a narrow VPO seems beneficial in this type of singing.
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Published online: December 23, 2018
Accepted: November 21, 2018
Declarations of interest: None.
© 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.