Comparing Sounds of the Singing Voice

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

by Christin Bonin

This experiment shows that classical singing and belting have both different singing qualities but singing with a speaking voice has no singing quality. For this purpose, a female voice was recorded singing the vowel “a” on four different tone pitches using three different kinds of singing – a classical trained voice, a belting voice and a speaking voice. The recordings have been entered in the Software Praat. Then the formants of each recorded tone were compared to each other and put in relationship to the singer’s formant.

The visible results are taken as an indicator of comparable sound qualities of a classical trained female voice and a belting female voice concerning the concentration of overtones near F1 to F5 and a lack of sound quality in the speaking voice for singing purpose. The results also show that classical singing and belting are both valuable sounds due to their richness of overtones and that belting is no shouting or screaming as it is often classified. Singing with a speaking voice in contrast should not be called singing due to the lack of overtones which means by definition that there is no musical tone.

Further research might go in different directions, as for example: Can the belting sound be trained to reach the quality of a classical tone without producing the classical sound? Is it possible to teach people with a lack of musical hearing through a visual technique to sound musically better and to lose their “ugly” voice? Is there a chance to develop a method to teach singing through visible results even to persons with hearing problems or full deafness? This study can only be an example and a lot of questions remain unanswered. This experiment would like to invite you to discuss further studies and experiments.

Index Terms: formants, overtone, singer’s formant, singing voice, belting, classical singing, singing with the speaking voice

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