Clinical Measurement of Fundamental Frequency in Normal and Dysphonic Voices Using Electronic Tuners The purpose of this study was to determine whether fundamental frequency measurements made with two portable electronic tuners, relatively inexpensive devices used by musicians for fast-tuning their instruments, were comparable to those made with the Visi-Pitch (Model 6097) when analyzing both normal and dysphonic voices. Voice recordings of vowel prolongations ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1994
Clinical Measurement of Fundamental Frequency in Normal and Dysphonic Voices Using Electronic Tuners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Larry C. Solberg
    Dept. of Communication Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI 54702
  • Linda A. Hoag
    Kansas State University, Manhattan
  • Laura Beals
    Sundance Rehabilitation Corporation, Irving, Texas
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1994
Clinical Measurement of Fundamental Frequency in Normal and Dysphonic Voices Using Electronic Tuners
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1994, Vol. 3, 96-104. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0303.96
History: Received February 16, 1993 , Accepted March 15, 1994
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1994, Vol. 3, 96-104. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0303.96
History: Received February 16, 1993; Accepted March 15, 1994

The purpose of this study was to determine whether fundamental frequency measurements made with two portable electronic tuners, relatively inexpensive devices used by musicians for fast-tuning their instruments, were comparable to those made with the Visi-Pitch (Model 6097) when analyzing both normal and dysphonic voices. Voice recordings of vowel prolongations and connected speech (oral reading) of 40 adult subjects (10 normal females, 10 dysphonic females, 10 normal males, 10 dysphonic males) were analyzed. Results indicated that measurements of connected speech samples made with the tuners correlated very highly with those made by the Visi-Pitch. The measurements of vowel samples made with the tuners also correlated very highly with those made with the Visi-Pitch with the exception of the dysphonic female voices. Measurement differences of approximately one octave for two severely dysphonic female voices contributed to the lower but nevertheless significant correlations for dysphonic female voices. Regression analyses indicated that the tuners underestimated the measurements made with the Visi-Pitch by approximately 4 Hz or less. The results support the use of the tuners for clinical measurement of fundamental frequency when more sophisticated equipment is unavailable and when users are aware of the devices’ limitations.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by an equipment grant from Korg USA, Inc. and a Faculty Development Award to the first and second authors from Kansas State University. We wish to express our appreciation to Caroline Salva Romero, Mary Ann Scheneman, and Deborah Thomas, who served as the perceptual judges for the study. We are also grateful to Dallas Johnson for his statistical consulting and to Ann Smit, Harry Rainbolt, R. E. Stone, Jr., and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions, comments, and technical assistance.
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