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Koeberlein, Marie; Birkholz, Peter; Burdumy, Michael; Richter, Bernhard; Burk, Fabian; Traser, Louisa and Echternach, Matthias (2021): Investigation of resonance strategies of high pitch singing sopranos using dynamic three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging. In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 150, No. 6: pp. 4191-4202

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Resonance-strategies with respect to vocal registers, i.e., frequency-ranges of uniform, demarcated voice quality, for the highest part of the female voice are still not completely understood. The first and second vocal tract resonances usually determine vowels. If the fundamental frequency exceeds the vowel-shaping resonance frequencies of speech, vocal tract resonances are tuned to voice source partials. It has not yet been clarified if such tuning is applicable for the entire voice-range, particularly for the top pitches. We investigated professional sopranos who regularly sing pitches above C6 (1047 Hz). Dynamic three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance imaging was used to calculate resonances for pitches from C5 (523 Hz) to C7 (2093 Hz) with different vowel configurations ([a:], [i:], [u:]), and different contexts (scales or octave jumps). A spectral analysis and an acoustic analysis of 3D-printed vocal tract models were conducted. The results suggest that there is no exclusive register-defining resonance-strategy. The intersection of fundamental frequency and first vocal tract resonance was not found to necessarily indicate a register shift. The articulators and the vocal tract resonances were either kept without significant adjustments, or the f(R1):f(o)-tuning, wherein the first vocal tract resonance enhances the fundamental frequency, was applied until F6 (1396 Hz). An f(R2):f(o)-tuning was not observed.

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