Comparative Study of Voice Emission


This study focuses the different vocal approaches in three means of communication: theatre, television and cinema. Findings are based on questionnaires and interviews conducted with students and actors from a federal university and from two preparatory courses. Research focused on the difficulties in mastering techniques for vocal emission and loudness, and pitch control. Results found these difficulties become worse as communication factors vary.

The voice applied in theatre differs from that in cinema and TV, mainly in terms of intensity.

Theatre demands more vocal effort in accordance with the space where the voice is being projected.

The projection must suit the type of theatre (arena or traditional), the type of space (closed room or outdoors) and the size of the space. It must also vary according to the kind of stage used, whether Italian, arena or half-arena. As well, there are variations according to the set-up of the auditorium, such as whether it is one level or more, and if there are balconies.

Above all else, projection must suit the character: its composition, posture, age, the actor’s interpretation, and the method required by the director. For instance, a realistic style requires different vocal emissions to the characteristic distance of the German Brechtian method, which opposes itself to the vocals used in a protest play directed at the audience.

A classical play performed outdoors cannot be treated as it would inside a theatre or on cinema, or TV. The vocal equilibration required to express the emotion of an intimate scene with more intensity causes the actor a lot of difficulty: he must either direct his voice to the audience to convey his emotion satisfactorily, or he expresses emotion more subtly, but the audience cannot hear his words.

On television and in cinema this interpretation becomes easier with the use of microphones.

They require less vocal effort, but they pick up and amplify any buccal respiration noise, and require clearer articulation of words, and phonemes. If alveolars or dentilinguals are produced in the interdental position, the projection of the tongue is captured by the camera in the same way that the shrilling or sibilant phoneme is captured by the microphones.

This study concludes that the preparatory course and university students and actors should be aware of the differences between the three means of communication. They should then understand the vocal emissions required to suit their performance, the space and the audience, so they can make the adjustments necessary for each situation. By doing this, they avoid vocal-wear and the development of laryngeal pathologies.
BRITO, Marly. Comparative Study of Voice Emission In Theater, Tv end Cinema. In: Laringologia e Voz Hoje. Co-authors: Guberfain, Jane; GOULART, Marcella. Org.: BEHLAU, Mara. Rio de Janeiro: Livraria e Editora Revinter Ltda, 1998.508 p. ISBN 85-7309- 249-1. p.283. Brasil. All rights reserved.