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J Acoust Soc Am

. 1992 Oct;92(4 Pt 1):1827-36. doi: 10.1121/1.403839.

Acoustics and Perception of Overtone Singing

G Bloothooft  1 E BringmannM van CappellenJ B van LuipenK P Thomassen Affiliations

Abstract

Overtone singing, a technique of Asian origin, is a special type of voice production resulting in a very pronounced, high and separate tone that can be heard over a more or less constant drone. An acoustic analysis is presented of the phenomenon and the results are described in terms of the classical theory of speech production. The overtone sound may be interpreted as the result of an interaction of closely spaced formants. For the lower overtones, these may be the first and second formant, separated from the lower harmonics by a nasal pole-zero pair, as the result of a nasalized articulation shifting from /c/ to /a/, or, as an alternative, the second formant alone, separated from the first formant by the nasal pole-zero pair, again as the result of a nasalized articulation around /c/. For overtones with a frequency higher than 800 Hz, the overtone sound can be explained as a combination of the second and third formant as the result of a careful, retroflex, and rounded articulation from /c/, via schwa /e/ to /y/ and /i/ for the highest overtones. The results indicate a firm and relatively long closure of the glottis during overtone phonation. The corresponding short open duration of the glottis introduces a glottal formant that may enhance the amplitude of the intended overtone. Perception experiments showed that listeners categorized the overtone sounds differently from normally sung vowels, which possibly has its basis in an independent perception of the small bandwidth of the resonance underlying the overtone. Their verbal judgments were in agreement with the presented phonetic-acoustic explanation.

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MeSH terms

  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception
  • Music*
  • Phonetics
  • Pitch Perception*
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Sound Spectrography / instrumentation*
  • Speech Perception
  • Voice Quality*

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Gerrit Bloothooft, Eldrid Bringmann, Marieke van Cappellen, Jolanda B. van Luipen, and Koen P. ThomassenView Affiliations: Acoustics and perception of overtone singing

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Prev Next Published Online: 04 June 1998 Accepted: June 1992

Acoustics and perception of overtone singing

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 92, 1827 (1992); https://doi.org/10.1121/1.403839 Gerrit Bloothooft, Eldrid Bringmann, Marieke van Cappellen, Jolanda B. van Luipen, and Koen P. ThomassenView Affiliations

Abstract

Overtone singing, a technique of Asian origin, is a special type of voice production resulting in a very pronounced, high and separate tone that can be heard over a more or less constant drone. An acoustic analysis is presented of the phenomenon and the results are described in terms of the classical theory of speech production. The overtone sound may be interpreted as the result of an interaction of closely spaced formants. For the lower overtones, these may be the first and second formant, separated from the lower harmonics by a nasal pole‐zero pair, as the result of a nasalized articulation shifting from /c/ to /a/, or, as an alternative, the second formant alone, separated from the first formant by the nasal pole‐zero pair, again as the result of a nasalized articulation around /c/. For overtones with a frequency higher than 800 Hz, the overtone sound can be explained as a combination of the second and third formant as the result of a careful, retroflex, and rounded articulation from /c/, via schwa /E/ to /y/ and /i/ for the highest overtones. The results indicate a firm and relatively long closure of the glottis during overtone phonation. The corresponding short open duration of the glottis introduces a glottal formant that may enhance the amplitude of the intended overtone. Perception experiments showed that listeners categorized the overtone sounds differently from normally sung vowels, which possibly has its basis in an independent perception of the small bandwidth of the resonance underlying the overtone. Their verbal judgments were in agreement with the presented phonetic‐acoustic explanation.

https://asa.scitation.org/doi/10.1121/1.403839

Gerrit Bloothooft, Guus de Krom, Susan Jansen, Allard van der Heijden: Electroglottogram recordings during overtone singing

1994

Electroglottogram recordings during overtone singing

Gerrit Bloothooft, Guus de Krom, Susan Jansen, Allard van der Heijden

Research Institute for Language and Speech (OTS)
Utrecht University
Trans 10, 3512 JK Utrecht, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT

Overtone singing involves careful articulation, resulting in a closely spaced formant pair (F1/F2 or F2/F3) that enhances the amplitude of the intended overtone considerably. Apart from this articulatory explanation it is likely that the glottal sound source plays an important role during overtone singing, but this has never been explicitly investigated so far. To this end we have made electroglottograms (EGG) from an experienced singer from the Tuva Republic and from a Dutch teacher of overtone singing. Khargira and sygyt techniques and some variants were recorded, for the authentic singer during songs, and for the Dutch singer as systematic scales of overtones. Whereas normally sung vowels showed standard shapes of the EGG, the shape of the EGG deviated considerably during overtone singing, for both singers. Instead of a single full wave per period, the EGG showed modulations during a period with higher frequency components. We will present an analysis of these modulations in relation to the frequency of the amplified overtone. A comparison is made between the two singers and the different and comparable overtone singing techniques they recognized.

Contact:

Dr Gerrit Bloothooft
Research Institute for Language and Speech (OTS)
Utrecht University
Trans 10, 3512 JK Utrecht, The Netherlands
Phone: +31.30.536042
Fax: +31.30.536000
Email: bloothooft@let.ruu.nl

http://www.gerritbloothooft.nl/Publications/VoiceConference94overtonesEGG.htm

Gerrit Bloothooft, Eldrid Bringmann, Marieke van Cappellen, Jolanda B. van Luipen, and Koen P. Thomassen : Acoustics and perception of overtone singing

Published Online: 04 June 1998
Accepted: June 1992
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 92, 1827 (1992); https://doi.org/10.1121/1.403839

Overtone singing, a technique of Asian origin, is a special type of voice production resulting in a very pronounced, high and separate tone that can be heard over a more or less constant drone. An acoustic analysis is presented of the phenomenon and the results are described in terms of the classical theory of speech production. The overtone sound may be interpreted as the result of an interaction of closely spaced formants. For the lower overtones, these may be the first and second formant, separated from the lower harmonics by a nasal pole‐zero pair, as the result of a nasalized articulation shifting from /c/ to /a/, or, as an alternative, the second formant alone, separated from the first formant by the nasal pole‐zero pair, again as the result of a nasalized articulation around /c/. For overtones with a frequency higher than 800 Hz, the overtone sound can be explained as a combination of the second and third formant as the result of a careful, retroflex, and rounded articulation from /c/, via schwa /E/ to /y/ and /i/ for the highest overtones. The results indicate a firm and relatively long closure of the glottis during overtone phonation. The corresponding short open duration of the glottis introduces a glottal formant that may enhance the amplitude of the intended overtone. Perception experiments showed that listeners categorized the overtone sounds differently from normally sung vowels, which possibly has its basis in an independent perception of the small bandwidth of the resonance underlying the overtone. Their verbal judgments were in agreement with the presented phonetic‐acoustic explanation.