Singer's performance style in numbers and dynamic curves
a case study of "spring waters" by Sergei Rachmaninoff
The paper is devoted to the research of vocalist's individual manners of performance made on audio recordings with use of their acoustic analysis. The research method was tested on recordings of five performances of the famous song "Spring waters' by Sergei Rachmaninoff sung by different vocalists-tenors. Audio recordings were manually segmented into vocal syllables to obtain information on duration of each vocal note. Tabulating data on different performances into a single database allowed to conduct their statistical analysis. As a result, we have obtained time series that reveal tempo dynamics for each singer, composed an averaged profile of all performances under study, and made comparison between tempo characteristics of syllables, vocal lines and performances in whole. It turned out that an average tempo differs significantly for different performers. In "Spring waters", tempo profiles of different individual singers have much in common, going almost in parallel in the beginning of the song, however diverging from each other closer to its end. The greatest variation of tempo was observed in two important points—in the final vocal line and in the point of the golden section, the latter being the break point in the song composition. The proposed method allows to reveal the average style of performance for a particular song and the deviations from it.
Martynenko, G. (2019)., Singer's performance style in numbers and dynamic curves: a case study of "spring waters" by Sergei Rachmaninoff, in P. Eismont, O. Mitrenina & A. Pereltsvaig (eds.), Language, music and computing, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 65-77.
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