Acoustic Analysis of Voice of Temple Priests

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Professional voice users include singers, teachers, actors, professional speakers, and other entertainers. There are a group of non-elite voice users such as priests, vendors, bus conductors, etc., who are also dependent on their voice for daily living. Temple priests who chant Vedas and mantras the whole day without any form of amplification are at higher risk. Vedas are the foundational literature of Hinduism and it refers to infinitely large collection of mantras. The acoustical characteristics, in addition to the clear phonetic articulation of chants, have deep impact on the devotees. For the renditions to be clear and for it to have an impact, the priests unknowingly tend to put more effort into it. To assess the voice characteristics, perceptual and objective measures have been used extensively. Acoustic analysis is one of the gold standard measures to quantify the voice parameters. The literature mostly concentrates on the vocal load in elite professional voice users. Studies on priests are predominantly in terms of awareness of their voice problems through the use of questionnaires and have majority involved church priests. There are minimal studies done using quantitative acoustic analysis on voice among temple priests. Hence, this study aimed
  • To investigate variations in acoustic measures across different tasks (reading, monologue, and chanting).

Method: 14 temple priests, in the age range of 35–55 years, who had undergone standard gurukula training, with minimum 5 years of experience were selected. All of them were native speakers of Tamil language. It was made sure that all the participants had only the occupation of being a temple priest, without any other sources of employment, in order to avoid the bias. The participants did the following tasks, namely, reading, chanting, and monologue in their habitual manner. The voice samples were recorded using a digital recorder (Olympus LS) in a quiet environment in the temple. Acoustic analysis was done using real-time pitch software from CSL4500. Results: Findings indicated that the mean frequency range and perturbations were noticeably higher compared to other groups of professional voice users. In general, there was no trend noticed.


Voice Non-elite voice users Vocal load Temple priests Acoustic analysis 



The authors would like to thank all the participants who participated in the study. We also like to thank Director, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing—Mysuru, for providing us with sophisticated instruments to carry out the data collection and analysis part.

Ethical standards

Participants of the study were included only after informed consent. The study protocol has been approved by the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing research committee on human research, Mysore, Karnataka, India.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.All India Institute of Speech and HearingMysoreIndia

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