The impact of vibrato usage on the perception of pitch in early music compared to opera

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Previous studies on the pitch of long-duration vibrato tones have typically used synthesised modulator tones to assess the perceived pitch in relation to its arithmetic or geometric mean fundamental frequency. In this study a listening test was conducted with expert listener subjects matching recorded vibrato tones sung by professional singers using a method of adjustment and free response paradigm as employed by van Besouw et al. Example tones selected from recordings by 16 singers were used in the test, 8 of whom were employed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the remaining singers specialised in Early Music Performance. A previous study by Daffern (2008) in the vibrato usage by these singers shows a noticeable use difference in the use of vibrato between these performance groups, particularly in extent throughout long tones. The impact of these differences in vibrato will be assessed in terms of the perception of fundamental frequency in long tones as performed by the two groups of singer, and the effectiveness of using real recordings to assess listener perception of vibrato tones will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2012
EventProceedings of the Acoustics 2012 - Nantes, France
Duration: 23 Apr 201227 Apr 2012


ConferenceProceedings of the Acoustics 2012


  • vibrato
  • acoustics
  • Perception
  • singing analysis
  • singing vocal performance

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