Vocal shadowing in singers and nonsingers

Rebecca J Leonard, R. Ringel, Y. Horii, R. Daniloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Five nonsingers and five singers vocally matched the pitches of frequency modulated tones. Subject responses to the shadowing task were analyzed in terms of accuracy, and in terms of duration and speed characteristics of pitch changes. In addition, each frequency change was categorized according to hit, overshoot, undershoot, or oscillate patterns. Singers were found to effect pitch changes in significantly less time than the nonsingers. This finding was attributed to more direct patterns (hits) and faster maximum speeds obtained by the singers. Both groups demonstrated a direct relationship between the size of the pitch change and each of the duration and speed parameters examined. Similarly, for both groups, pitch lowering was faster than pitch raising. Faster speeds and more direct paths in effecting pitch changes were viewed as evidence of a greater vocal proficiency in singers as compared to nonsingers. Implications of the data for mechanical and physiological aspects of voice frequency control are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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