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pan european voice conference 2009

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Workshop: A Finnish Vocal Exercise Series by Niilo Kuukka
A Finnish Vocal Exercise Series by Niilo Kuukka:Exercises to give the voice a ‘ringing quality’ and to improve economy and efficiency
1 A Finnish Vocal Exercise Series by Niilo KuukkaExercises to give the voice a ‘ringing quality’ and to improve economy and efficiency 
Elina Kankare 1 , Jaana Tyrmi 1 , Anne-Maria Laukkanen 1
1 University of Tampere, Department of Speech Communication and Voice Research, Tampere

This workshop will give an introduction to a Finnish exercise series developed by the late theater voice trainer and theater director Niilo Kuukka. The tradition of this exercise series has been past on from teacher to teacher with the aid of a handout from the year 1973. They have been used in theatre education and after that by actors and also by voice and speech trainers educated in the Department of Speech Communication and Voice Research at the University of Tampere. The exercise series suits actors to develop a ringing, well-projecting voice and all voice users who desire to learn efficient and economic voice production, i.e. to achieve maximum acoustic outcome with minimum effort.

Both breathing exercises and voicing exercises are included.  Voiced fricatives and nasals are used in a well-balanced series. According to subjective and perceptual evaluation, voice gets louder and brighter relatively soon after exercising. A special ringing voice quality takes a longer time to develop and requires determination and clear knowledge of the goal. It has been shown that the series leads to a more gently tilting spectrum (stronger overtones) and formation of an actor's formant, i.e. a strong sound energy concentration at about 3.5 kHz (Leino & Kärkkäinen 1995; Leino & Laukkanen 1997; Laukkanen et al. 2004; Laukkanen et al. Madrid 2009). On the basis of research it seems that voiced fricatives, nasals and other semi-occlusions, which increase the input impedance of the vocal tract, are prone to improve phonation balance, i.e. avoidance of a breathy and pressed phonation (Laukkanen 1996; Titze et al. 2002). They may also change the lower vocal tract setting leading to the formation of the actor's formant (see e.g. Titze et Story 1997).

 

References:

Laukkanen, A-M.,Lindholm-P., Erkki Vilkman, E.,Haataja, K. & Alku, P. 1996. A physiological and acoustic study on voiced bilabial fricative /β:/ as a vocal exercise. Journal of Voice, 10: 67-77.

Laukkanen, A-M., Syrjä, T., Laitala, M. & Leino, T. 2004. Effects of two-month vocal exercising with and without spectral biofeedback on student actors' speaking voice. Logoped Phoniatr Vocol, 29: 66-76.

Laukkanen, A-M., Radolf, V., Horáček, J. & Leino, T. 2009.  Estimation of the origin of a speaker's and singer's formant cluster using a 1 D Fe optimization. Advanced Voice Function Assessment (AVFA) International Workshop 18th May - 20th May 2009, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.

Leino & Kärkkäinen, 1995. On the effects of vocal training on the speaking voice quality pf male student actors. Proceedings of The XIIIth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

Leino, T. & Laukkanen, A-M. 1997. On the formation of the actor's/speaker's formant. Voice Foundation's Symposium Care of Professional Voice, Philadelphia, USA.

Titze IR, Story BH. 1997.Acoustic interactions of the voice source with the lower vocal tract. Journal of Acoust Soc Am, 101(4), 2234-2243.

Titze IR, Finnegan EM, Laukkanen A-M, Jaiswal S. Raising. 2002. Lung Pressure and Pitch in Vocal Warm-ups: The Use of Flow-Resistant Straws. Journal of Singing, 58 (4):329-338.