Are source-filter interactions detectable in classical singing during vowel glides?

Matthias Echternach, Christian T. Herbst, Marie Köberlein, Brad Story, Michael Döllinger, Donata Gellrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In recent studies, it has been assumed that vocal tract formants (Fn) and the voice source could interact. However, there are only few studies analyzing this assumption in vivo. Here, the vowel transition /i/-/a/-/u/-/i/ of 12 professional classical singers (6 females, 6 males) when phonating on the pitch D4 [fundamental frequency (ƒo) ca. 294 Hz] were analyzed using transnasal high speed videoendoscopy (20.000 fps), electroglottography (EGG), and audio recordings. Fn data were calculated using a cepstral method. Source-filter interaction candidates (SFICs) were determined by (a) algorithmic detection of major intersections of Fn/nƒo and (b) perceptual assessment of the EGG signal. Although the open quotient showed some increase for the /i-a/ and /u-i/ transitions, there were no clear effects at the expected Fn/nƒo intersections. In contrast, ƒo adjustments and changes in the phonovibrogram occurred at perceptually derived SFICs, suggesting level-two interactions. In some cases, these were constituted by intersections between higher nƒo and Fn. The presented data partially corroborates that vowel transitions may result in level-two interactions also in professional singers. However, the lack of systematically detectable effects suggests either the absence of a strong interaction or existence of confounding factors, which may potentially counterbalance the level-two-interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4565-4578
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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