Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Speech and Hearing Science

Major Professor

Molly Erickson

Committee Members

Mark Hedrick, Ilsa Schwarz, Marjorie Bennett Stephens


The use of hard-walled narrow tubes, often called resonance tubes, for the purpose of voice therapy and voice training has a historical precedent and some theoretical support, but the mechanism of any potential benefit from the application of this technique has remained poorly understood. Fifteen vocally untrained male participants produced a series of spoken /Ψ/ vowels at a modal pitch and constant loudness, followed by a minute of repeated phonation into a hard-walled glass tube at the same pitch and loudness targets. The tube parameters and tube phonation task criteria were selected according to theoretical calculations predicting an increase in the acoustic load such that phonation would occur under conditions of near-maximum inertive reactance. Following tube phonation, each participant repeated a similar series of spoken /Ψ/ vowels. Electroglottography (EGG) was used to measure the glottal closed quotient (CQ) during each phase of the experiment. A single-subject, multiple-baseline design with direct replication across subjects was used to identify any changes in CQ across the phases of the experiment. Single-subject analysis using the method of Statistical Process Control (SPC) revealed statistically significant changes in CQ during tube phonation, but with no discernable pattern across the 15 participants. These results indicate that the use of resonance tubes can have a distinct effect on glottal closure, but the mechanism behind this change remains unclear. The implication is that vocal loading techniques such as this need to be studied further with specific attention paid to the underlying mechanism of any measured changes in glottal behavior, and especially to the role of instruction and feedback in the therapeutic and pedagogical application of these techniques.

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