Speech, Song, and Emotions

  • Johan Sundberg


Emotions are of course closely related to the sound of the voice. Mostly, ‘we judge from the voice’ rather well in what state of emotion a speaker is. One and the same sentence can be pronounced in a vast number of different ways, and the way it is pronounced reveals among other things the speaker’s state of emotion. Among phoniatrists, it is a general clinical observation that stress may influence a speaker’s use of his voice, sometimes to the extent that a voice problem develops. As regards singing, the main intonation contour, which we may consider ais sort of ‘macro-intonation’, is decided by the composer. Also, we may assume that it is up to the singer to guide, within the framework of this macrointonation, the listeners’ associations to the state of emotion which the text intends to reflect. The singer may achieve this effect by means of voice characteristics and ‘microintonation’. How do these different emotions manifest themselves in speech and singing?


Neutral State Voice Onset Time Emotional Speech Emotional Mode Voice Pitch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Sundberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Speech Communication and Music AcousticsRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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