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AMPS: Past Seminar Series

Past Seminar Series

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2008 Seminar Series

Science and Performance of the Singing Voice
Speaker : John Smith, Mara Kiek and Martenitsa Choir
Date :11th Apr


Following the success of the bassoon and saxophone science evening, we present the second in a series that combines live music performance with music science.

Performance: Bulgarian Traditional Singing

* Members of female Sydney choir "Martenitsa", which specialises in traditional Bulgarian folk music, will perform a selection of choral pieces from the repertoire of the modern Bulgarian female folk choirs, such as "Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares".
* Martenitsa's director and conductor.

This will be preceded by two short talks about the science of singing, from Martenitsa's director and conductor, Mara Kiek, and music scientist John Smith.

Presentation 1: Resonance Tuning in Singing
John Smith, Acoustics Lab, UNSW.

In normal speech, the vibrating vocal folds produce a harmonic rich sound that is filtered by the acoustic resonances of their vocal tract. We will discuss how singers can tune these resonances to match harmonics of the sound produced by the vocal folds. This provides efficient coupling between the flesh of the vocal folds and the surrounding air, thus considerably increasing the sound level.

Presentation 2: The Characteristic Voice of the Bulgarian Female Traditional Singer
Mara Kiek, ACARMP, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

The recognisably penetrating vocal timbre of the Bulgarian female folk singing voice is common to most Bulgarian singers, whether they be village singers performing authentic traditional songs or choristers from a modern folk choir. Research has found that these singers tend to direct more acoustic energy to the second harmonic than to the first or fundamental tone.