Vocal intensity is studied as a function of fundamental frequency and lung pressure. A combination of analytical and empirical models is used to predict sound pressure levels from glottal waveforms of five professional tenors and twenty five normal control subjects. The glottal waveforms were obtained by inverse filtering the mouth flow. Empirical models describe features of the glottal flow waveform (peak flow, peak flow derivative, open quotient, and speed quotient) in terms of lung pressure and phonationthresholdpressure, a key variable that incorporates the F0 dependence of many of the features of the glottal flow. The analytical model describes the contributions to sound pressure levels SPL by the vocal tract. Results show that SPL increases with F0 at a rate of 8–9 dB/octave provided that lung pressure is raised proportional to phonation threshold pressure. The SPL also increases at a rate of 8–9 dB per doubling of excess pressureoverthreshold, a new quantity that assumes considerable importance in vocal intensity calculations. For the same excess pressure over threshold, the professional tenors produced 10–12 dB greater intensity than the male nonsingers, primarily because their peak airflow was much higher for the same pressures. A simple set of rules is devised for predicting SPL from source waveforms.

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