How do We Sing?

There is no musical instrument made that can compare with the human voice as regards the fineness of its strings or its ability to change range and achieve richness of tonal quality! The human vocal apparatus is quite a complicated mechanism.

First, let us start with the larynx. This contains the vocal apparatus and consists of a framework of cartilages, which you can feel in the front of your neck. Inside the larynx are two “arytenoid cartilages”, to which are attached our “vocal cords”.

To which are attached our “vocal cords”. Sixteen different muscles move these vocal cords, making them tenser slack, just as a violinists controls the tension of his strings. The vocal cords can assume about 170 positions!

When a certain amount of air is blown upwards by the diaphragm and other muscles, the vocal cords begin to vibrate, and this make the column of air in the respiratory passages vibrate, too. We hear the vibration of the column of air as a sound.

If the vocal cords are not too tense, so they vibrate about 80 times per second, the sound waves are heard as deep tones. If the cords are tensed so that they vibrate about 1,000 times per second, we hear the sound waves as high tones.

The pitch of the human voice depends on the length of the vocal cords. The range and quality of a voice depend on the form and size of the resonating spaces. These include part of the vocal cord, and the windpipe, the lungs, the thorax and pharynx, the oral and nasal cavities, and the nasal sinuses. People with beautiful voices have their resonating spaces shaped in such a way that they vibrate “musically”. 

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