Global Inventory and Similarity Rating of Singing Voice Assessment Terms Used at English Speaking Academic Institutions

  • Josipa Bainac Hausknecht
    Affiliations
    Department of Musicology, University of Music and Dramatic Arts Mozarteum Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

    Department of Music Acoustics – Wiener Klangstil (IWK), University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Kristen M. Murdaugh
    Affiliations
    Department of Musicology, University of Music and Dramatic Arts Mozarteum Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

    Antonio Salieri Department of Vocal Studies and Vocal Research in Music Education, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Elke Nagl
    Affiliations
    Antonio Salieri Department of Vocal Studies and Vocal Research in Music Education, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Christian T. Herbst
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Christian T Herbst: [email protected]
    Affiliations
    Antonio Salieri Department of Vocal Studies and Vocal Research in Music Education, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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Published:November 09, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.08.020

      Summary

      The choice of terms to describe and assess the singing voice is an essential part of vocal pedagogy. However, previous work suggested that singing terminology used in academia may be somewhat ambiguous. To address this issue, the authors a) compiled a comprehensive inventory of singing voice assessment terms used by English-speaking academic institutions worldwide and b) with the help of 22 highly experienced singing voice teachers, grouped the most prevalent terms based on their conceptual similarity. Only about a fifth of all targeted institutions provided materials and information online. Overall, a total of 292 different terms were found in the 64 available sources. This surprisingly large number of terms could be reduced by approximately 61% through lexical grouping. In the resulting data set, only 24 of the 114 terms occurred in at least 20% of the online sources, suggesting a rather low current density of information as well as little to no systematic and coordinated use of terms across institutions. The singing voice expert's similarity rating of the 24 most prevalent terms revealed a non-uniform distribution, suggesting that only some of these terms can be used interchangeably. Overall, these findings hint at the underlying complexity of voice assessment on a descriptive and qualitative level, highlighting the need for further research in this area.

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