Once one has become familiar with typical resonance patterns in a variety of voices, it is generally possible to interpret the ‘resonance strategies’ used by singers from the sung sound alone, even without having a vocal fry spectrum for comparison. This allows us to examine the recorded literature, observing how both greater and lesser singers cope with the challenge of producing a beautiful sound on a specified pitch and vowel in a given phrase. Figure 3, below, shows the different strategies used by two of our most famous tenors for a difficult and exposed high note.
Fig. 3. Tenors singing the final phrase of aria “Celeste Aida,” taken from commercial recordings. The right panels are power spectra of the final B4-flat (466 Hz), just before the orchestra enters: the cursors mark the singer’s formant dominance (P. Domingo, above), and the second formant dominance (L. Pavarotti, below).