Affective responses to singing voice in different vocal registers and modes

Yingyi Wu, Hyun Ju Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to investigate listener’s affective responses to different vocal registers and modes in terms of valence (i.e., negative to positive affect) and arousal (i.e., low to high energy level). The data were collected from four different conditions (i.e., higher and lower registers paired with major and minor modes). A total of 188 female college students participated in the survey online and rated their perceived valence and arousal levels on a visual analogue scale after listening to each excerpt. The two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was administered for data analysis. The results revealed that there were significant differences in the affective responses to the two vocal registers, showing that the arousal was more affected by the register than the valence. Secondly, mode had statistically significant impact on both valence and arousal while weighing more on valence. Further, there was significant interaction effect of vocal register and mode on valence, but not on arousal. Results also displayed that listeners had the most negative valence when listening to the excerpt of minor mode in higher register, while having the lowest arousal when listening to the excerpt of minor mode in lower register. These findings imply that it is important to consider the vocal range as well as the musical mode when selecting music for appreciation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of Korea
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 The Acoustical Society of Korea. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Affective response
  • Arousal
  • Musical elements
  • Valence
  • Vocal music
  • Vocal register


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