Reference : Singing ability is rooted in vocal-motor control of pitch
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Theoretical & cognitive psychology
Singing ability is rooted in vocal-motor control of pitch
Hutchins, Sean [> >]
Larrouy-Maestri, Pauline mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Psychologie : cognition et comportement > Logopédie des troubles de la voix >]
Peretz, Isabelle [> >]
Attention, Perception and Psychophysics
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] Perception ; Production ; Singing ; Pitch matching ; Timbre
[en] The inability to vocally match a pitch can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Although previous studies have tried to examine the relationship between pitch perception and vocal production, they have failed to control for the timbre of the target to be matched. In the present study, we compare pitch matching accuracy with an unfamiliar instrument (the slider) and with the voice, designed such that the slider plays back recordings of the participant’s own voice. We also measured pitch accuracy in singing a familiar melody (“Happy Birthday”) to assess the relationship between single pitch matching tasks and melodic singing. Our results showed that participants (all nonmusicians) were significantly better at matching recordings of their own voices with the slider than with their voice, indicating that vocal-motor control is an important limiting factor on singing ability. We also found significant correlations between the ability to sing a melody in tune and vocal pitch matching, but not instrumental pitch matching. Better melodic singers also tended to have higher quality voices (as measured by acoustic variables). These results provide important evidence about the ultimate causes of poor singing ability, and demonstrate that single pitch matching tasks can be useful in measuring general singing abilities.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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