On the Nose: Nasality as Percept and Physical Reality
Thursday 9th May 2024, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (London Time)
Nasality has a long history of consideration in singing teaching. Even early voice treatise author Pierfrancesco Tosi addressed nasality in his writing, stating: “…the voice of the scholar… whether it be di petto or di testa, should always come forth neat and clear, without passing through the nose, or being choked in the throat; which are two of the most horrible defects in a singer". Tosi’s quote reveals an obvious stylistic aesthetic preference, but one that was likely based on tone or timbre, rather than any physical reality.
Empirical studies that have sought to ascertain whether expert listeners agree on the timbral quality of 'nasality' have historically fallen short of finding listener agreement on the sound of perceptual nasality. Still, if you inquired of voice teachers whether they could perceptually identify nasality, most often they would claim that they could.
There have been other studies which have measured velopharyngeal opening by means of acoustic or aerodynamic signal through the nasal cavity during singing. Most of these have focused on the use of nasal airflow near passaggi.
This course will address three perspectives on nasality:
1) Distinctions between nasal airflow and audio signal (velopharyngeal opening) and perception;
2) Deciphering between the two timbral qualities commonly related to nasality - twang and honk - and which are related to velopharyngeal opening;
3) The pedagogic usefulness of velopharyngeal opening to reduce laryngeal instabilities near points of registration shifts.
Tenor Nicholas Perna is Associate Professor of Voice and Producer for Lyric Stage at Mississippi College, Vice President for Outreach for NATS, the creator and co-host of the VocalFri Podcast, and has presented research on four continents. His voice has been hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “an impressive sound", and the South Florida Sun Sentinel praised his “emotionally driven performance".
Attend this course for as little as £22 as part of the Voice Professional Training CPD Award Scheme.Learn More