Ken-Ichi Sakakibara,Leonardo Fuks,Hiroshi Imagawa, Niro Tayama : Growl voice in and pop styles

Proceedings of the International Symposium on Musical Acoustics, March 31st to April 3rd 2004 (ISMA2004), Nara, Japan

Ken-Ichi Sakakibara , Leonardo Fuks , HiroshiImagawa , Niro Tayama
NTT Communication Science Laboratories, NTT Corporation, Japan
Department of Otolaryngology, The University of Tokyo, Japan
School of Music, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Department of Speech Physiology, The University of Tokyo, Japan
International Medical Center of Japan, Japan
kis@brl.ntt.co.jp leofuks@serv.com.ufrj.br
imagawa@m.u-tokyo.ac.jp ntayama@imcj.hosp.go.jp

Growl voice in ethnic and pop styles

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  • Department of Speech Physiology, The University of Tokyo, Japan
    International Medical Center of Japan, Japan
    Department of Otolaryngology, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Abstract
Among the so-called extended vocal techniques, vocal growl is a rather common effect in some ethnic (e.g. the Xhosa people in South Africa) and pop styles (e.g. Jazz, Louis Armstrong-type) of music. Growl usually consists of simultaneous vibrations of the vocal folds and supra-glottal structures of the larynx, either in harmonic or sub-harmonic co-oscillation. This paper examines growl mechanism using vide-ofluoroscopy and high-speed imaging, and its acousit-cal characteristics by spectral analysis and model simu-lation. In growl, the larynx position is usually high and aryepiglottic folds vibrate. The aryepiglottic constriction is associated to a unique shape of the vocal tract, includ-ing the larynx tube, and characterizes growl.

1. Introduction

The term growl is originally referred to as low-pitched
sounds uttered by animals, such as dogs, or similar
sounds by humans, and therefore is mainly described
by auditory-perceptual impression. Growl is widely ob-
served in singing as well as in shouting and aroused
speech.
The growl phonation has been also referred to as the
phonation observed in some singing styles, such as the
jazz singing style of Louis Armstrong 1and Cab Cal-
loway, [2, 3]. Many jazz, blues, and gospel singers often
use growl in a similar manner. Besides such pop musics
from North America, growl styles are widely found in
pop music of other areas: in Brazil, samba singers, par-
ticularly in carnival lead voices, pop star Elza Soares, and
country singing duoBruno& Marrone; in Japan, Enka (a
popular emotive style) singers, such as Harumi Miyako,
employ it frequently. Some singers use growl extensively
through a song, while others use it as a vocal effect for
expressive emphasis.
In ethnic music, one of the most prominent use of
growl is found in umngqokolo, which is a vocal tradition
of the Xhosa people in South Africa [11]. In Japanese
theatre, Noh percussionist’s voice, Kakegoe, may present
growl at the beginning of phonation.
Growl may have perceptual similarities with the
rough or harsh voice. In terms of phonetics, growl
is sometimes described as the voiced aryepiglottic trill
[3]. However, there is no clear evidence of its produc-
tion mechanism, such as physiological observation of the
aryepglottic vibration.
In throat singing (Tyvan khoomei and Mongolian
khoomij), ventricular and vocal fold vibration was ob-
served for the two different laryngeal voices (drone and
kargyraa) [4, 9]. In drone, the basic voice in throat
singing with a whistle-like high overtone, the ventricular
fold vibration is at the same frequency as the vocal fold
vibration. In kargyraa, which usually sounds one octave
(or more) lower than the modal register, the ventricular
folds vibrate at when the vocal folds vibrate at .
Moreover, some singers can do triple-periodic kargyraa
in which the ventricular folds vibrate at .
In this paper, the phonation mode with ventricular and vocal fold
vibration is called VVM (vocal-ventricular mode) [4]. In
growl, there is no clear evidence of the ventricular fold
vibration.

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Author: tranquanghai1944

Ethnomusicologist, composer and vietnamese traditional musician

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