The spectra of six tenors were analyzed at high pitches, F4 to B4. Because of the wide separation between harmonics, formant frequencies could not be extracted in the traditional way. Rather, an analysis‐by‐synthesis technique was used to match the spectra of a model to the measured spectra, using parameter optimization. Results suggest that tenors maintain their first formant frequencies well above the fundamental for all vowels except [u]. The purpose of this seems to be to distribute the acoustic energy between harmonics 2, 3, and 4 rather than to boost the fundamental. Tuning the first formant to the fundamental is a technique used effectively by sopranos but seems to be deliberately avoided by tenors in order to preserve a male quality.

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