Understanding Intonation Trajectories and Patterns of Vocal Notes

  • Jiajie DaiEmail author
  • Simon Dixon
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11296)


Unlike fixed-pitch instruments hold the same pitch over time, the voice requires careful regulation during each note in order to maintain a steady pitch. Previous studies have investigated singing performance which takes single note as an element, such as intonation accuracy, pitch drift while the note trajectory within the notes has hardly been investigated. The aim of this paper is to study pitch variation within vocal notes and ascertain what factors influence the various parts of a note. We recorded data which including five SATB groups (four participants each group) singing two pieces of music in three listening conditions according to whether can hear other participants or not. After extracting fundamental frequency and analysing, we obtained all the notes by relative time and real-time duration, then observed a regular pattern among all the notes. To be specific: (1) There are transient parts in both the beginning and end of a note which is about 15–20% of the whole duration; (2) The shapes of transient parts differ significantly according to adjacent pitch, although all singers tend to have a descending transient at the end of a note.


Intonation accuracy Pitch trajectories Note pattern 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Digital MusicQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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