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Prevalence of Dysphonia in Metal Singers and the Impact of Vocal Education: A Subjective Analysis

  • Author Footnotes
    ⁎ These authors contributed equally.
    Carmen Unterhofer
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Carmen Unterhofer, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, University hospital rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany.
    Footnotes
    ⁎ These authors contributed equally.
    Affiliations
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, University hospital rechts der Isar, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
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  • Author Footnotes
    ⁎ These authors contributed equally.
    Judith Marscheider
    Footnotes
    ⁎ These authors contributed equally.
    Affiliations
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, University hospital rechts der Isar, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
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  • Sophie Auer
    Affiliations
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, University hospital rechts der Isar, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
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  • Olivia Jeleff-Wölfler
    Affiliations
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, University hospital rechts der Isar, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
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  • Simone Graf
    Affiliations
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, University hospital rechts der Isar, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    ⁎ These authors contributed equally.
Published:January 18, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2022.12.004

      Summary

      On average, the prevalence of subjectively indicated dysphonia in singers is higher than in the general population. When using extreme vocal techniques supraglottic structures are involved to protect the vocal folds. Most of the metal singers learn this specific singing style autodidactically. Vocal training can have a positive effect on the voice and prevent voice problems. The aim of the study was to find out the prevalence of dysphonia in metal singers and the impact this has on the profession or the vocal education.
      The subjects had to fill out an online questionnaire including two validated and standardized questionnaires about the speaking and singing voice: The short version of the Voice Handicap Index (VHI 12) and the Singing Voice Handicap Index (SVHI).
      The prevalence of dysphonia in metal singers is 12.2%. 9 out of 74 participants showed an increased (S)VHI score. 6 of these participants learned singing autodidactically. No dysphonia was found in any singer who sings full-time or studied singing. The correlation between education or profession and dysphonia was statistically not significant. More women than men studied or took singing lessons. This difference was statistically significant.
      The prevalence of 12.2% in our study is quite low and contrary to our assumption. We can assume, that a vocal education for the metal singing style is useful but not mandatory and the number of persons with dysphonia through metal singing is low. A healthy vocal technique does not necessarily have to be the result of voice lessons.

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