"Compensatory falsetto": Effects on vocal quality

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9 Scopus citations


The term "compensatory falsetto", for the purpose of this investigation, refers to the development of an abnormally high-pitched voice in the presence of laryngeal pathology where more socially acceptable lower pitched voice production is possible. The purpose of this investigation was to compare laryngeal compensations and their effects on objective measures of vocal function during production of compensatory falsetto voice. Eighteen patients with abnormally high-pitched voice in the presence of underlying laryngeal pathology were evaluated in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Miami School of Medicine from January 1988 through December 1992 and were diagnosed with "compensatory falsetto". Vocal fold paralysis (n = 11) was the most common laryngeal pathology. Vibratory characteristics were evaluated through videostrobolaryngoscopic examination. Acoustic and aerodynamic parameters assessed included fundamental frequency, jitter rate, harmonic-to-noise ratio, glottal air flow, and maximum phonation time. Production of a higher-pitched voice appeared to improve glottic closure and decrease the amount of air loss during phonation. A corresponding increase in maximum phonation time and improvement in acoustic characteristics of jitter and harmonic-to-noise ratio was also observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-442
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • "Compensatory falsetto"
  • Laryngeal pathology
  • Vocal quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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