The impact of 'open throat' technique on vibrato rate, extent and onset in classical singing

Helen F. Mitchell*, Dianna T. Kenny

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Mitchell, Kenny et al. (2003) identified 'open throat' as integral to the production of an even and consistent sound in classical singing. In this study, we compared vibrato rate, extent and onset of six advanced singing students under three conditions: 'optimal' (O), representing maximal open throat; 'sub-optimal' (SO), using reduced open throat; and loud sub-optimal (LSO), using reduced open throat but controlling for the effect of loudness. Fifteen expert judges correctly identified the sound produced when singers used open throat with 85% accuracy. Having verified the technique perceptually, we used a series of univariate repeated measures ANOVAs with planned orthogonal contrasts to test the hypotheses that frequency modulations associated with vibrato rate, extent and onset would vary outside acceptable or desirable parameters for SO and LSO. Hypotheses were confirmed for vibrato extent and onset but not for rate. There were no significant differences between SO and LSO on any of the vibrato parameters. As vibrato is considered a key indicator of good singing, these findings suggest that open throat is important to the production of a good sound in classical singing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-182
    Number of pages12
    JournalLogopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • Open throat
    • Singing technique
    • Vibrato
    • Vocal pedagogy


    Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of 'open throat' technique on vibrato rate, extent and onset in classical singing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this