A preliminary investigation into the association between body movement patterns and dynamic variation in western contemporary popular singing

Gemma Turner*, Dianna T. Kenny

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study assessed the presence of body movements that may be common to all western contemporary popular (WCP) singers that may be integral to both the physical production of the sung sound and to acoustic output, in this case sound pressure level variation. Since torso movement appears to be closely linked with dynamic variation in this style of singing, the study focused on the activity of the torso. 3-D video footage of the body movements of six professional WCP singers singing the same R & B song was collected. Antero-posterior (AP) torso movement direction frequency and characteristics at the point of maximum sustained SPL and f0 (peak note) on the vowel /π/ were analysed. The most common movement of the torso was in a posterior direction, reaching its point of maximum displacement from the starting position on the peak note. Strong anterior torso movement on the peak note, which took the torso forward of its anatomical position was associated with the head forward position and vocal distortion, indicating that this movement at a point of high SPL may present a vocal health risk. These results indicate that the AP torso movement of WCP singers has a function in voice production and that not only body posture but the manner of movement from one body position to another is significant to vocal health and sound production, especially in styles where high sound levels must be achieved and where a high level of body movement is required in performance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-164
    Number of pages22
    JournalMusicae Scientiae
    Volume14
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Keywords

    • Body movement
    • Dynamic variation
    • Sound pressure level
    • Subglottal pressure
    • Western contemporary popular singing

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