Bass-baritone Chadley Ballantyne is Assistant Professor of Music, Voice at Stetson University. Dr Ballantyne is a frequent guest speaker on the topic of applying vocal acoustic pedagogy for both classical and CCM techniques. He joins Alexa this week on Singing Teachers Talk to discuss acoustics, formants, and resonances. Think of this episode as your guide to getting to grips with vocal acoustics.
- Within voice pedagogy, there is no consistency in the use of terms formant and resonance. Chadley explains that the vocal tract is a resonator with multiple resonances. Those resonances create formants in the radiated sound. So the formant is the thing that we hear and affects timbre, and the resonance is the thing in the vocal tract that causes that formant.
- The F1 and F2 formants are known as the vowel formants, they’re impacted quite a lot by the movement of the mouth. We can create favourable matchups for certain vocal techniques by lining up a vowel with a harmonic.
- One of the articulation problems Chadley runs into is that a lot of singers don’t use their tongue in an open space, but instead crimping that open space to meet the tongue. We want our tongue to be active and precise.
- The vowel E needs high frequency energy to stand out in contrast to the low frequency energy in your tone.
‘If I can move a formant I can do something with it and get better at it’
‘You use language every day so you use formants all day long’
‘We don’t even realise our body is reacting to that oncoming change’
‘This R that I’ve been given so much grief about in my classical singing is actually so cool’
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- Pan-American Vocology Association Symposium: pavavocology.org
- NATs (National Association of Teachers of Singing): nats.org
- Vocology in Practice: vocologyinpractice.org
- The Evolving Singing Voice: Changes Across the Lifespan by Karen Brunssen
- Ken Bozeman: kenbozeman.com
- Justin Stoney & New York Vocal Coaching: newyorkvocalcoaching.com
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast: Ep. 48 Getting Started as A Teacher, Creating Content & Vocal Versatility with Justin Stoney
- Overtone Singing
- Ian Howell: ianhowellcountertenor.com
- Voce Vista & Bodo Maas: vocevista.com
- Practical Vocal Acoustics & Kinesthetic Vocal Pedagogy by Ken Bozeman
- The work of Donald Gray Miller
ABOUT THE GUEST
Bass-baritone Chadley Ballantyne is Assistant Professor of Music, Voice at Stetson University. Dr Ballantyne is a frequent guest speaker on the topic of applying vocal acoustic pedagogy for both classical and CCM techniques. He has presented his work at the 2017 Pan-American Vocology Association Symposium in Toronto, Canada, the 2017 West Central and Central Regional NATS Conferences, the 55th NATS National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the VASTA/PAVA 2018 Joint Conference in Seattle, Washington, the 2020 National Opera Association Southeastern Regional Conference, and at the 56th NATS National Virtual Conference. He is a co-instructor at the Acoustic Vocal Pedagogy Summer Workshop held at the New England Conservatory of Music. Chadley is a contributing author to The Evolving Singing Voice: Changes Across the Lifespan, by Prof. Karen Brunssen.