Archival recordings of the human voice are a relatively untapped resource for both longitudinal and cross-sectional research into the aging voice. Through the availability of collections of old sound recordings, speech pathologists and voice scientists have access to a wealth of data for research purposes. This article reports on the use of such archival data to examine the changes in speaking fundamental frequency (SFF) in a group of Australian women's voices over the past 50 years, and discusses the benefits and problems associated with using archival data. Recordings made in 1945 of women were compared with recordings of the same women made in 1993 to investigate the changes in SFF with age. The results demonstrate a significant lowering of SFF with age in this group of Australian women. The implications for the interpretation of cross-sectional data on the aging voice, the use of archival data in voice research, and the need for further research using archival data are discussed.
KEY WORDS: speaking fundamental frequency, aging, women, longitudinal, archival recordings
Submitted on February 28, 1994
Accepted on August 1, 1994