Elicitation of Minimum and Maximum Fundamental Frequency and Vocal Intensity: Discrete Half Steps Versus Glissando

J Voice. 2020 Mar;34(2):179-196. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2018.09.023. Epub 2018 Oct 30.


Purpose: To investigate the effect of elicitation method, either discrete half steps or glissando, on the minimum fundamental frequency, maximum fundamental frequency, minimum vocal intensity, and maximum vocal intensity.

Method: Fifty-six healthy-voice participants (28 males and 28 females) ranging from 18 to 25 years of age participated in the study. Each participant performed both the discrete half steps and the glissando procedure. The minimum frequency, maximum frequency, minimum intensity, and maximum intensity values elicited by each task were analyzed. A portion of participants (five males and five females) returned within 3 weeks to repeat the whole procedure to determine test-retest reliability.

Result: The results of Pearson's correlation demonstrated all measures were positively significantly correlated. However, the results of paired t tests showed significant difference between elicitation methods, where discrete half steps could elicit maximal vocal performance better than glissando in terms of minimum frequency, maximum frequency, and minimum intensity. Discrete half steps could elicit higher maximum intensity than glissando in males to a greater extent than in females.

Conclusion: The difference in performance elicited by the two procedures may be considered acceptable under some situations (eg, time constraint, patient fatigue). In the clinical setting, the clinician should select the appropriate procedure with the consideration of time and assessment purpose.

Keywords: Fundamental frequency; Glissando; Phonetogram; Sound pressure level; Voice range profile.