Singing Performance

David M Howard FREng
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK


The world of singing is a human endeavour that is universal; we all like to sing and/or listen to singing at various times in life. Singing takes place in a variety of forms both vocally and musically depending, for example, on cultural background, tradition, location, event, mood, audience reaction and time of day or night. Much singing tradition is well-established with a long history of pedagogical and health support. Increasingly over the past 50 years or so, there has been a dramatic increase in the knowledge gained about the function of the human singing voice due to the ubiquity of computing resources capable of analysing aspects of voice production and available on the office and home desk.

Presenting a list of papers is not easy given the catalogue of publications in Journal of Voice over the last few decades relating to the human singing voice and I know that the list below is not fully exhaustive. But what I have tried to do is to provide a potentially valuable selection that are organised under the following headings:

  • pedagogy
  • breathing for singing
  • singing styles
  • MRI studies
  • singing voice measurements
  • singing vocal health
  • pitch in singing
  • vocal warm-up
  • choral ensemble singing.

I hope the list provides a way in to singing research for readers and those wishing to find out more about work that has been done in the analysis of the human singing voice. There is still plenty that we do not know and the future for research in the area is great and we look to welcome new research talent into the pool of those interested in pushing the bounds of human knowledge in the area.