The Measurement and Effects of Vocal Load in Singing Performance. How Much Singing Can a Singer Sing if a Singer Can Sing Songs? Singing as both an art form and physical activity demands a level of health and skill fitness to meet performance demands. The determination of performance fitness relies on performers' self-evaluations of their vocal capacity for performance, based, amongst other factors, on the current vocal status and ability to manage the ... Article
Article  |   June 30, 2017
The Measurement and Effects of Vocal Load in Singing Performance. How Much Singing Can a Singer Sing if a Singer Can Sing Songs?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Debra Phyland
    Department of Surgery, Faculty Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
    Department Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Debra Phyland has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Debra Phyland has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Debra Phyland has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Debra Phyland has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Part 2
Article   |   June 30, 2017
The Measurement and Effects of Vocal Load in Singing Performance. How Much Singing Can a Singer Sing if a Singer Can Sing Songs?
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, June 2017, Vol. 2, 79-88. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG3.79
History: Received January 21, 2017 , Revised February 13, 2017 , Accepted March 16, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, June 2017, Vol. 2, 79-88. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG3.79
History: Received January 21, 2017; Revised February 13, 2017; Accepted March 16, 2017

Singing as both an art form and physical activity demands a level of health and skill fitness to meet performance demands. The determination of performance fitness relies on performers' self-evaluations of their vocal capacity for performance, based, amongst other factors, on the current vocal status and ability to manage the associated vocal load. Measurement of load and the impact on the vocal mechanism is complex and influenced by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Researchers have attempted to quantify vocal load effects by measuring physical impact stress on the vocal folds, self-reported perceived exertion, and/or clinical evaluation of physiologic, acoustic, or perceptual changes. Most studies have been conducted in laboratory rather than in performance contexts and studies on singers are substantially lacking. Heavy vocal load has been causally associated with the development of voice disorders, although the exact relationship and thresholds for acquiring laryngeal pathology require further elucidation, and little is also known about the development of voice disorders among singers. Further understanding of the short-term and cumulative effect on the vocal folds of performing as a singer and the nature and prevalence of voice problems among singers is crucial to the determination of appropriate prevention and therapeutic management.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
All Perspectives articles & archives
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.