Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Maren Blair Vocal Analysis

The first short conversation is between an old acquaintance and I shortly after we recognized each other. My two grandmothers are trailing behind me as we walk into my old high school and I happen to bump into the violinist who filled in the concertmaster position after I left. Only a couple of people were around, none of who knew me or Derrel (the old aqaintence). Derrel and I carried on the conversation as if I had never left. We discussed the socks I gave him a couple years ago for a class sock exchange. I hoped they gave him good luck. My average pitch was 63 units and my loudness was -18 units. In comparison, Derrel’s (male) average pitch was 62 units and -7 units for loudness. He was quite a ways from me during the recording (30 feet) which explains the softness.

The second conversation is between my two grandmothers and I in the car after watching my brother’s concert. I gave Grandma Blair a tour of DU the past Friday and Grandma Toren fed me dinner before the concert. I am close with both of them, but before this week, I had not seen either of them for a while. My average pitch was 65 units with loudness of -15 units while both of my grandmother’s pitches were 64 units. Grandma Blair who was sitting closer to me had a loudness of -9 units and Grandma Toren, in the back seat, had a loudness of -7 units. 

According to these numbers, my pitch raises as the formal context decreases. I seem to be loud when I want to, but drop back into a quieter sense after my contribution. My grandmother’s voices have a higher pitch than Derrel because they are female. They are also more soft spoken perhaps because of age. In the conversation with Derrel, I instantly raise my voice when I speak loud enough for him to hear me across the hall. I easily match his enthusiastic attitude. We both talk with confidence and the power dynamics sound pretty equal. In the conversation with my grandmothers, the discourse has a slower pace. I match their calm attitudes and talk with respect that is portrayed in a lower pitch. It sounded as if I mimicked the pitch and loudness of the Other person’s voice. I constantly switched back and forth between speaking slowly and calmly to my grandparents and speaking enthusiastically with others at the concert such as Derrel. When I am speaking with people not of my family, in a more formal manner, my pitch and volume increase. My natural tone/flow builds up and then comes back down at the end of a sentence. With a more intimate audience, I vary the flow of my voice. Interacting with old students brought excitement as I miss high school. The nostalgia I was feeling instantly translated into delight when I met and talked with old friends. As a granddaughter, I am expected to care for my grandparents with the upmost respect. I am expected to accommodate their possible loss of hearing, only discuss neutral topics, and not overwhelm them. In future speeches, I should speak louder. I can be heard, but it would not hurt to speak up. At the end of my sentences, I tend to fade or drop into a low register that is hard to hear. I need to end with confidence. To practice, I could over exaggerate the endings of sentences by giving the volume a little kick.

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