Sandy P. Hinkley
School of Music, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of vibrato and pitch-varied vocal
models on high school and undergraduate singers’ intonation and use of vibrato. The secondary
objective of this research was to examine participants’ perception of vocal models to explore a
possible relationship between perception and production. Participants (N = 76) were undergraduates (n = 40) participating in a choral ensemble at a large university and high school students (n =36) currently enrolled in a nearby choral program. Male (n = 38) and female (n = 38) participants responded to 12 same-gender vocal models, stimuli that varied in melody, vibrato, and intonation conditions. Model singers recorded vocal models without accompaniment on the neutral syllable “tah” in both vibrato and minimal vibrato conditions. Select pitches were mistuned ±25 cents to create the pitch-varied models. High school and undergraduate singers showed differences in vibrato rate, vibrato extent, and intonation in response to vibrato-varied models. Both groups also showed differences in response to pitch-varied models, with fl at models producing the greatest deviation in pitch. Participants indicated on a post-stimuli questionnaire that they perceived differences in vibrato more readily than in intonation.