Cepstral Measures in the Fado Voice: Gender, Age and Phonatory Tasks

Published:October 09, 2020DOI:


      Cepstral measures are sensitive to gender, age and phonatory tasks. With a cepstral measure designated as the CPP, it was possible to confirm the vulnerability of the Fado singers’ voice. These were established at the vocal pathological threshold, which suggests a need for a direct clinical approach for these voice users.


      This study aimed to characterize cepstral peak prominence (CPP) and cepstral peak prominence smoothed (CPPS) in the Fado singing voice and to determine if there were significant differences in CPP and CPPS measures between spoken and sung tasks, as well as due to singers’ gender and age.


      Forty seven males and 57 females Fado singers, ranging from 18 to 70 years participated in this study. Spoken voice tasks were sustained [a] and reading aloud the phonetically balanced text “O Sol”. Sung tasks were sustained [a] of the word [ɐfinaɫ] and the Fado chorus song “Nem às paredes confesso”. Acoustic measures included CPP and CPPS. CPP was measured using Analyses of Dysphonia in Speech and Voice software, of Multi-Speech program, Model 3700, by KayPENTAX. CPPS was measured using Praat software (4.2.1/2003). Statistical analysis was performed with an IBM SPSS Statistics version 22 program. CPP and CPPS mean differences of spoken and sung tasks were analyzed using paired samples t-test, with α at .05.


      CPP and CPPS values of singers’ voice changed according to the gender, age and phonatory tasks. There were significant differences between CPP and CPPS measures (P < 0.05). Generally, young male singers, in their sung task, presented the highest CPP and CPPS values. The highest CPP mean was obtained by older males in sustained spoken [a] and the lowest was obtained by younger males in their reading aloud task. For CPPS, the highest mean value was obtained by younger males during sung [a] and the lowest was by younger males in the reading aloud task.


      Males presented higher cepstral measures than females. Young singers presented higher cepstral measures than older. Sung tasks had higher cepstral measures than spoken tasks. CPPS means are overall higher than CPP means. This study reinforces the need for a clinical prevention approach directed at potential vocal disorders in Fado singers.

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