The term “singer” refers to a population of individuals who perform musical songs or related artistic material using their voices. Research has indicated that, as a population, singers’ voice parameters differ from the non-singer population. Given the fact that diagnosed voice pathologies are more prevalent in the singer population, normative speech data in singers are necessary for diagnosis and for outcome analysis.
The purpose of this study was to compare objective voice parameters for the professional opera singer population with KAYPENTAX CSL normative values.
Medical records of students at an elite opera conservatory who came into the senior author's (RTS) office for a baseline evaluation were reviewed retrospectively. All subjects had no voice complaint and had not undergone voice surgery. Subjects with vocal fold mass and scar were excluded. All subjects had undergone objective voice measurements by one of three board certified speech-language pathologists using the KAYPENTAX CSL (computerized Speech Lab) protocol. Mean, standard deviation, median and range were compared with normative values provided by KAYPENTAX CSL.
Twenty-seven elite opera conservatory students (11 females and 16 males, ages 21-29 years) were included in the study. There were significant differences between singers and normative values of KAYPENTAX CSL. Among men, the jitter, relative average perturbation and noise- to- harmonic ratio among singers were significantly lower than KAYPENTAX CSL normative values. Among the females, the shimmer percent of singers was significantly higher than KAYPENTAX CSL normative values.
Our findings indicate that singers may have different normative voice parameters. However, further research is needed to confirm or refute these findings, and similar studies are needed for singers in other genres.
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Published online: March 26, 2021
Accepted: February 5, 2021
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