Development of an auditory-perceptual rating instrument for the operatic singing voice

Jennifer M. Oates*, Belinda Bain, Pamela Davis, Janice Chapman, Dianna Kenny

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Although considerable progress has been made in the development of acoustic and physiological measures of operatic singing voice, there is still no widely accepted objective tool for the evaluation of its multidimensional features. Auditory-perceptual evaluation, therefore, remains an important evaluation method for singing pedagogues, voice scientists, and clinicians who work with opera singers. Few investigators, however, have attempted to develop standard auditory-perceptual tools for evaluation of the operatic voice. This study aimed to pilot test a new auditory-perceptual rating instrument for operatic singing voice. Nine expert teachers of operatic singing used the instrument to rate the singing voices of 21 professional opera chorus artists from a national opera company. The findings showed that the instrument has good face validity, that it can be legitimately treated as a psychometrically sound scale, and that raters can use the scale consistently, both between and within judges. This new instrument, therefore, has the potential to allow opera singers, their teachers, voice care clinicians, and researchers to evaluate the important auditory-perceptual features of operatic voice quality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-81
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Voice
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


    • Auditory-perceptual voice analysis
    • Classical singing voice
    • Opera
    • Western operatic voice


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