Lyrics provide a small benefit for singing accuracy

Simin Soleimanifar, Hannah E. Staisloff, Justin M. Aronoff

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Pilot data in our laboratory suggest that when individuals are asked to combine different recordings of a sung vowel, they are not able to accurately recreate a familiar song such as Happy Birthday. This could indicate that lyrics play a key role in producing familiar songs. This study aimed to determine if lyrics helped individuals produce accurate pitch contours. Eight young normal hearing listeners participated in this research. Participants were recorded singing Happy Birthday once with lyrics and once when the lyrics were replaced with the vowel/a/. The preliminary results indicated a small but significant improvement in the accuracy of the produced contour when singing Happy Birthday with lyrics. The results suggest that lyrics have a modest effect on accurately producing familiar songs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035001
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 29 2021
Event181st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, ASA 2021 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Nov 29 2021Dec 3 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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