Trends in Singing research since 1949

Trends in Singing Voice Research: An Innovative Approach

Pedro Melo Pestana, Susana Vaz-Freitas, and Maria Conceicao Manso, Porto, Portugal.

Journal of Voice, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp.263-268. 2017

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Summary: Objectives. The objectives of this study were to trace and describe research patterns in singing voice, to compare the amount of published research over time, to identify journals that published most papers on “singing voice,” and to establish the most frequent research topics.

Results: Since 1949, 754 papers were published and an increase was noticed. Even through 162 journals were identified by the authors, the Journal of Voice holds the majority of papers, in every analysed period. An evolution of studied topics is descried. Up to 2010 the main theme was professional singers, especially classical and opera interpreters. Since then, voice quality and the effects of training gathered more attention.

Conclusions. The growing interest in singing has been conspicuous since the first indexed paper. However, it has been slightly slowing down. Until 2010, great importance was given to the voice quality of singers and their occupation demands. Acoustic analysis was widely used to study the effects of training. Since 2010 the concern with functionality is increasing, rather than the organic voice structures. Musical perception studies have been a trend, as well as the use of electroglottography.


  • First published research was in 1949
  • In the first 10 years a total of 39 papers were published
  • In the last 10 years 225 papers were published
  • A total of 754 papers
  • Papers written up until 2010. Main topics include:
    • Professional singers
    • Opera singers
    • Voice quality
    • Occupational demands
    • Pitch range
    • Acoustic analysis
    • Singing Characteristics as: Fundamental frequency, vibrato and formants.
  • Papers written after 2010. Main topics include:
    • Voice quality in relation to training i.e. functionality
    • Function rather than Subject
    • Increase in male subjects
    • More clinical in analysis

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