Know your vocal cords and play your voice chords

Voice for Speaking and Singing

 The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, etc. Human voice is specifically that part of human sound production in which the vocal folds (vocal cords) are the primary sound source. Generally speaking, the mechanism for generating the human voice can be subdivided into three parts; the lungs, the vocal folds within the larynx, and the articulators. The lung (the pump) must produce adequate airflow and air pressure to vibrate vocal folds (this air pressure is the fuel of the voice). The vocal folds (vocal cords) are a vibrating valve that chops up the airflow from the lungs into audible pulses that form the laryngeal sound source.

The muscles of the larynx adjust the length and tension of the vocal folds to ‘fine tune’ pitch and tone. The articulators (the parts of the vocal tract above the larynx consisting of tongue, palate, cheek, lips, etc.) articulate and filter the sound emanating from the larynx and to some degree can interact with the laryngeal airflow to strengthen it or weaken it as a sound source.

The vocal folds(cords), in combination with the articulators, are capable of producing highly intricate arrays of sound. The tone of voice may be modulated to suggest emotions such as anger, surprise, or happiness.Singers use the human voice as an instrument for creating music.

Speaking and singing involve a voice mechanism that is composed of three subsystems. Each subsystem is composed of different parts of the body and has specific roles in voice production.

Air Pressure System
The ability to produce voice starts with airflow from the lungs, which is coordinated by the action of the diaphragm and abdominal and chest muscles.
Vibratory System
The voice box (larynx) and vocal folds (sometimes called vocal cords) comprise the vibratory system of the voice mechanism.
Resonating System
The vocal tract is comprised of resonators which give a personal quality to the voice, and the modifiers or articulators which form sound into voiced sounds.

The sound of each individual's voice is entirely unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual's vocal cords but also due to the size and shape of the rest of that person's body, especially the vocal tract, and the manner in which the speech sounds are habitually formed and articulated. (It is this latter aspect of the sound of the voice that can be mimicked by skilled performers.)

Human beings have vocal folds(cords) that can loosen, tighten, or change their thickness, and over which breath can be transferred at varying pressures. The shape of chest and neck, the position of the tongue, and the tightness of otherwise unrelated muscles can be altered. Any one of these actions results in a change in pitch, volume, timbre, or tone of the sound produced. Sound also resonates within different parts of the body, and an individual's size and bone structure can affect somewhat the sound produced by an individual.

Singers can also learn to project sound in certain ways so that it resonates better within their vocal tract. This is known as vocal resonation. Another major influence on vocal sound and production is the function of the larynx, which people can manipulate in different ways to produce different sounds. These different kinds of laryngeal function are described as different kinds of vocal registers. The primary method for singers to accomplish this is through the use of the Singer's Formant, which has been shown to be a resonance added to the normal resonances of the vocal tract above the frequency range of most instruments and so enables the singer's voice to carry better over musical accompaniment.


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