Singing requires exquisite coordination between the respiratory and phonatory system to efficiently control glottal airflow. Our study determines both pulmonary function and vocal aerodynamics in classically trained professional singers and compares the data obtained from singers with normal female subjects who had had no professional vocal training.
Pulmonary function and vocal aerodynamic tests were carried out on six professional singers and seven female subjects who had had no professional vocal training. All singers had at least 15 years of formal classical vocal training and were active professional sopranos. Mean flow rates were obtained from all the subjects to assess glottal efficiency. Additionally, maximum phonation time and phonation quotients were obtained.
No differences were found in physical characteristics between sopranos and non-singers. We also found no significant differences between groups in FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, TLC, VC, and FRC. There was a trend for sopranos to exhibit an increment in inspiratory capacity than the nonsingers. In addition, respiratory muscle power was strengthened in singers compared to non-singers, as shown by increased MIP and MEP. The sopranos exhibited higher maximum phonation time and lower phonation quotient than do the nonsingers, while no differences were found in vital capacity between the groups. The sopranos exhibit higher mean flow rate in low pitch (C3) than do the nonsingers. When the pitch changes to high (C4), singers did not show any change in MFR levels, whereas a higher MFR levels were found for the nonsingers.
The result suggested that classically trained professional sopranos did not have exceptional pulmonary function, but compartment of lung volume related to singing might be changed.
Singers have strengthened their respiratory muscle power through vocal training and use air more efficiently in high-pitched sound than do the non-singers.
C. Ahn, None.