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The purpose of this study was to investigate listeners' tone quality preferences in a child's singing voice. Research questions were: a) Do musicians have expectations regarding the ideal tone quality for a child's voice? b) Will bright and dark manipulations change the listener's perception of the child's singing tone? Several experts in the field of children's choruses with over 22 years of experiences assessed a recorded sample of a child singing which was manipulated to produce enhanced or reduced upper and lower partials thus creating darker and brighter tone qualities relative to the original recorded child voice. Random orders were used to present the original sample, dark sample, and bright versions to participants. Participants were randomly selected graduate and undergraduate music majors (N = 78). Raw data for the tonal preference measure consisted of individual's ratings for each version on a 5-point scale. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to test differences between the participants groups and the participants' perception of the three tone quality versions. Results showed no significant difference in ratings between participant groups (undergraduate vs. graduate). A significant difference was found among the tone quality conditions: Differences were found between the bright tone and the dark tone as well as the bright and original tone, but no difference was found between the dark tone and normal tone.
Children Singing, Vocal tone, Tone Quality Preference
Date of Defense
March 30, 2010.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music Education.
Includes bibliographical references.
Clifford K. Madsen, Professor Directing Thesis; Kevin Fenton, Committee Member; Judy Bowers, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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