The Effects of Three Singer Gestures on Acoustic and Perceptual Measures of Solo Singing
Melissa C. Brunkan

The purpose of this investigation was to assess the potential effects of three singer gestures on performances of solo singers (N = 35). Each song (“Over the Rainbow” with low, circular arm gesture; “Singin’ in the Rain” with pointing gesture; “Hawaiian Rainbows” with arched hand gesture) was sung seven times: Baseline (without singer gesture), five iterations of each song paired with a singer gesture, and a posttest (without singer gesture). This investigation measured acoustic (Fo, amplitude, formant frequency) and perceptual (expert panel ratings and participant perceptual questionnaire) differences of solo singers. Major findings indicated acoustic changes in intonation, timbre, and relative amplitude. Solo singers were more in tune when singing with gestures. Both the low, circular and arched hand gestures changed singer timbre indicated by lowered formant frequencies for the majority of participants. When performing with the low, circular and the pointing gestures, singers sang with increased amplitude, whereas, the arched hand gesture led to decreased amplitude. Expert ratings were highest for the posttest of low circular gestures and arched hand gestures, and the gestural iterations of pointing. The majority of participant comments related to intonation and timbre when using gestures. Results were discussed in terms of singing pedagogy, limitations of the study, and suggestions for further research.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijmpa.v3n1a4