Perceptual Findings on the Broadway Belt Voice
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The present study required raters (casting directors) to evaluate the belt voice quality of 20 musical theater majors who were proficient in the singing style referred to as belting. Two specified vocalizes and six short excerpts from the belting repertoire were used for rating purposes. The raters were asked to judge the belters on a set of seven perceptual parameters (loudness, vibrato, ring, timbre, focus, nasality, and registration breaks), and then report an overall score for these student belters. The four highest and lowest average scores were used to establish the elite and average student belters. A correlation analysis and linear regression analysis provided insight regarding which perceptual judgments correlated most highly with the elite and average scores. The present study found the perceptual ratings of vibrato and ring to be most highly correlated to the elite student belter. In addition, vibrato and ring were found to highly correlate with perceived loudness.
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