15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Singing vs. Reading. Parameters of Intonation in Comparison

Tatyana M. Nikolaeva

Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

The study presents an investigation of prosodic differences between singing and speaking and focuses on prosodic parameters of intonation, on its functional differences. It is based on the recordings of signals of three young singers who have read and have sung the same fragments from Russian popular songs. These singers (females) are professionally educated and are at the age 16-18.
   The first stage of the experiment included only singing. The singers were required to sing some short fragments from Russian romances, folk songs and schlagers of to-day.
   WINCECIL programme's analysis has been used.
   The second stage of experiment consisted of reading just the same fragments in the randomized order.
   There were 180 examples under consideration: [30 (Singing) + 30 (Reading)] x 3 = 180.
   Criterium 1. The F0 changing in fragments analysed. The most preferable notation were marks: + and -. The + functioned as the sign of great changing, and the - as the sign of insignificant change.
   Criterium 2. The movement of Intensity in the same fragment. The + here designated the sharp change in the intensity curve, the - signified the slow change in the I-movement.
   Criterium 3.The coincidence (marked by YES) vs. uncoincidence (marked by NO) between F0 movement (changing) and Intensity curve at the same fragment.
   Results and Data analysis.

  1. The F0 minimized number of variations by singing, it was nearly monotone. But by reading the melodic range was larger, as it used by active speech processes.
  2. The intensity curves varied very much, equally both by singing,and by reading.
  3. Yes/No criterium demonstrated that the coincidence of I and F0 was observed to a greater degree by reading than by singing. It might be that it is a common fault to consider F0 variations to be the dominant parameter in singing. As we see, Intensity plays its own role.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nikolaeva, Tatyana M. (2003): "Singing vs. reading. parameters of intonation in comparison", In ICPhS-15, 2139-2140.