Resonance strategies used in Bulgarian women's singing style: a pilot study

Logoped Phoniatr Vocol. 2007;32(4):171-7. doi: 10.1080/14015430600891504.


Are the characteristic timbre and loudness of Bulgarian women's singing related to tuning of resonances of the vocal tract? We studied an Australian female singer, who practises and teaches Bulgarian singing technique. Two different vocal qualities of this style were studied. The louder teshka is characterized by a sonorous voice production. The less loud leka has a smoother timbre that is closer to that of the head voice register. Six vowels in each of teshka, leka and the subject's 'normal' (i.e. Western rather than Bulgarian) style were studied. The acoustic resonances of the singer's vocal tract were measured directly during singing by injecting a synthesized, broad-band acoustic current. This singer does not use resonance tuning consistently in her classical Western style. However, in both teshka and leka, she tunes the first tract resonance close to the second harmonic of the voice for most vowels. This tuning boosts the power output in the radiation field for that harmonic. This tuning also contributes to the very strong second harmonic which is a characteristic of the timbre identified as the Bulgarian style.

MeSH terms

  • Bulgaria
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larynx / physiology*
  • Music*
  • Phonation / physiology
  • Phonetics
  • Sound Spectrography*
  • Voice Quality / physiology*