Amplification vs The Natural Ear: A Test on The Effectiveness of The Natural Ear on Adults Ability to Match Pitch in Song

Celeste Orozco, University of Texas at El Paso


Background: Singing is a natural enjoyment of life; however, individuals tend to isolate themselves from this enjoyment due to their inability to match pitch accurately. A new technology, the Natural Ear provides altered auditory feedback to the user while singing. It is hypothesized that this feedback may aid in the user’s ability to match pitch. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of the Natural Ear to amplification and no amplification conditions on pitch matching accuracy in song. Study Design: This study used a complex counterbalance within-subjects design. Methods: 50 adults from the El Paso Metropolitan area were recruited to participate in the following study. Each participant was surveyed for their experience and emotions surrounding singing. They then were instructed to sing Happy Birthday or an original melody on /la/ with three different forms of auditory feedback. Results: Inconsistent results were found regarding the effectiveness of the Natural Ear in increasing pitch matching accuracy in melodies in adults. This study found that utilization of any auditory feedback could assist adults in increasing pitch matching accuracy. Additionally, results indicated that practice is necessary when using the Natural Ear as significant improvements were seen in notes that were in the middle and end of the songs. Conclusion: This study found that the Natural Ear is effective in increasing pitch matching accuracy in song. Furthermore, this study revealed that amplification of natural voice can cause an increase in pitch matching accuracy in song. These findings indicate that altered auditory feedback, such as the Natural Ear and amplification of natural voice, can assist in pitch matching accuracy when compared to natural auditory feedback.

Subject Area

Speech therapy|Computer science|Music|Music theory|Music education|Disability studies|Educational evaluation|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Orozco, Celeste, "Amplification vs The Natural Ear: A Test on The Effectiveness of The Natural Ear on Adults Ability to Match Pitch in Song" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13884701.