They asked random individuals to sing a verse from a song called "Gens du Pays," which is a common French birthday song. The verse of the song was chosen because it has 32 notes, a vocal range of less than an octave and a stable tonal center, according to the researchers.
What they tested for in each performance was:
- pitch stability
- the number of pitch interval errors
- pitch deviation
- timing errors
- tempo consistency
But there were a small minority of really bad singers, who claimed that they were "tone deaf." It turns out that they were anything but. When tested, they were actually remarkable good at hearing pitch deviations, they just were bad at executing them.
Probably the biggest problem with recording a vocal is pitch. If this study holds true, the simple act of slowing the vocalist down to go over the part might be a quick and easy way to improve a performance.
Anybody care to try this and report back?
If interested, you can check out another similar study here.
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