What is the function of the larynx?
Serves as a valve which keeps food, drink, and other foreign matter out of the lungs and which holds breath in the lungs to assist in the action of lifting and other types of bodily exertion.
Uppermost unit of the trachea or windpipe
The use of the larynx in speaking or singing is ___________________?
a secondary or superimposed function.
The vocal sound originates where?
In the larynx
Two functions of the larynx:
Valve and sound producer
Name of three cartilages that are the framework of the larynx
thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, arytenoid cartileges
Shape and function of the thyroid cartilage
Serves as the protective housing for the vocal folds and forms the visible projection in the front of the throat known as the Adam’s apple. It has two horns above and two below.
Shape and function of the cricoid cartilage
Serves as a base or foundation for the laryngeal framework. Shaped like a signet ring. It sits atop the highest cartilage of the windpipe.
Shape and function of the arytenoid cartilages
They sit on top of the cricoid plate, are attached to the vocal cords, and are vitally related to the position of the cords. They are irregular in shape, with three prongs on each arytenoid that project in different directions. They rock back and forth.
Shape and function of the epiglottis
A leaf-shaped cartilage which assists in the valving function of the larynx and is also active in the production of certain speech sounds. Pulls back and down to keep food from entering the lungs.
Shape and function of the hyoid bone of the throat.
U-shaped bone which is attached to the base of the tongue and opens toward the back of the throat. The thyroid cartilage is suspended from it. Its placement is important in establishing good laryngeal posture for singing.
What are the two categories of musculature in the larynx?
Intrinsic and extrinsic
What are intrinsic muscles?
Both the origin and insertion are in the larynx.
What are extrinsic muscles?
One end is attached to the larynx and the other end to something outside of it.
Name the intrinsic muscles of the larynx.
thyroarytenoid, cricothyroid, cricoarytenoid, arytenoid
When vocal cords move apart, they are said to be:
When vocal cords move together, they are said to be:
What is the glottis?
The space between the vocal folds, triangular in shape when it is open for normal breathing, and a slit when it is closed for phonation.
The thyroarytenoid muscle forms:
the vocal cords and the false vocal cords
Another name for the false vocal cords is:
ventricular bands
The space between the false vocal cords is called:
the ventricle
The ventricle houses:
the lubricating glands for the cords
What is the function of the false cords?
They help close off the airway when lifting something heavy or coughing.
What is the vocalis muscle?
It comprises the front two thirds of the length of each vocal cord and when it contracts, the vocal fold is brought into tension (shortened) and this pulls forward on the arytenoids.
The pulling of the vocalis muscled versus the pulling of the cricothyroid and cricoarytenoid causes the ______________ needed to determine the pitch of a sound.
muscular antagonism
The pulling of this muscle shortens the vocal cords.
The pulling of these muscle lengthens the vocal cords.
cricoarytenoid and cricothyroid
What determines the pitch of a sound?
The length, mass, and tension of the vocal cords.
What is the function of the cricothyroid muscle?
When it contracts, it tends to pull the thyroid forward and down, bringing the two cartilages closer together and stretching the thyroarytenoid muscle.
The amount of tension in the vocal cords is determined by:
the amount of resistance offered by the vocalis muscle.
Shape and position of the cricothyroid muscle
originates at the front of the cricoid cartilage and fans out upward and backward to the lower surfaces of the thyroid cartilage.
Function of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle
They resist the forward pull on the arytenoid by the vocalis muscle and open the vocal cords by pulling the arytenoids out to each side.
Function of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscles
To help adduct the vocal cords
What is the function of the arytenoid muscles?
They connect the arytenoid cartilages and are the primary factor in bringing the back end of the vocal cords together.
What are the extrinsic muscles of the larynx?
supralaryngeal muscles and infralaryngeal muscles
What is the task of the extrinsic muscles of the larynx?
Positioning the larynx by raising, lowering, or stabilizing it.
These extrinsic muscles originate above the larynx.
supralaryngeal muscles
These extrinsic muscles originate below the larynx.
infralaryngeal muscles
The swallowing muscles
The yawning muscles
These muscles line the throat, reduce the size of the throat, and squeeze food down the esophagus. Tightness in these muscles is bad.
Constrictor muscles
Define phonation.
Phonation is the process of producing vocal sound by the vibration of the vocal folds.
Where and how does phonation take place?
It takes place in the larynx when the vocal folds are brought together and breath pressure is applied to them in such a way that vibration ensues.
What is the myoelastic theory?
When the vocal cords are closed and breath pressure is applied to them, the cords remain closed until the pressure beneath them (the subglottic pressure) is sufficient to push them apart, allowing air to escape and reducing the pressure enough for the muscle tension to pull the folds back together again. This cycle repeats itself.
What is the aerodynamic theory?
Based on the Bernouilli Effect. The theory states that breath is flowing through the glottis while the arytenoid cartilages are being pulled together by the action of the interarytenoid muscles. Due to the Bernouilli Effect, the breath flowing past the vocal folds cuases them to be sucked into vibration before the arytenoids are fully together. When the arytenoids have been pulled together this same air flow sucks the glottis closed, thus cutting off the air flow until breath pressure pushes the folds apart and the flow starts up again, causing the cycle to repeat.
What is the difference between the myoelastic theory and the aerodynamic theory?
The myoelastic theory gives credit for the cords closing to muscle tension while the aerodynamic theory gives credit to the Bernouilli effect.
What are some characteristics of good vocal sound?
Freely produced, pleasant to listen to, loud enough to be easily heard, rich, ringing, resonant, energy flows smoothly from note to note, consistently produced, vibrant, dynamic, alive, flexibly expressive.
What are some negative characteristics of vocal sound?
Constricted, forced, strained, strident, rasping, too loud, resembling shouting or yelling, hoarse, breathy, weak, colorless, devitalized, inconsitently produced, shaky, wobbly.
Where does beautiful sound start?
In the mind of the singer.
Why is it important to have beautiful sound in mind when one sings?
Because if you cannot think of a beautiful sound, it is an accident if you make one.
What is pre-phonatory tuning?
Imagining the sound before you make it.
What is the best way to achieve a proper mental image of beautiful sound?
Listen to a sizable number of artist singers.
Why shouldn’t a singer model himself after one singer?
Your physical attributes may be so different that you cannot achieve the same kind of sound without forcing or sounding artificial. Professional singers can demand a lot more out of their voices than those starting out, and imitating them may result in overworking the voice. It also will lead to no individuality.
What are the three phases of a musical tone?
The attack phase, the sustention phase, and the release phaWe.
Which phase of a musical tone is most important?
The attack phase, because as you start it is as it will be.
Where does a good attack originate?
In the mind of the singer. The singer must imagine the correct pitch, the correct tone quality, and the correct dynamic level.
Describe a perfect attack.
A perfect attack occurs when the breath support mechanism and the vocal folds are brought into action simultaneously and efficiently, without unnecessary tension or wasted breath.
How does a singer practice a perfect attack?
1. Breathe as if beginning a yawn. 2. Feel your body expand around the middle. 3. Suspend your breath just as you are comfortably full of air. 4. Start the sound by merely thinking to do so, without conscious physical effort.
Why isn’t it necessary to start out a sound with any local effort, such as pulling in or pushing out the abdomen?
If the breath has been properly taken and good posture has been maintained, you have already established enough support to sing most of your vocal range without any conscious readjustment.
What should happen with the jaw in a perfect attack?
It should drop freely open just as the sound starts or very shortly before.
What is the correct motion of the jaw?
The correct motion of the jaw is down and back, and it should never be forced down, pushed forward, or locked. It should always be free to move.
True or false: You should think about the action of the vocal cords while singing.
Describe the sustention phase of a tone.
It lasts from the instant of attack to the instant of release. Its duration is determined by the note or notes to be sung. The energy used to start a sound must be kept going, the breathing must support the sound from below, and the sound should be kept vital, with direction. It should be steady with no wavering.
Describe the breath energy needed for sustention.
It should be steady and consistent, should not waver. It should not come in spurts or surges.
Describe the sound during proper sustention.
It should not waver and not change in quality or dynamic level except in response to expressive demands of the music.
What two factors will help insure a steady supply of energy?
Maintain expansion around the middle of your body for as long as the sound lasts and maintain good posture by standing tall and stretching your spine.
Good posture and proper breathing set up this between breathing in and breathing out muscles.
A balanced tension.
This is essential to the proper sustaining of sound.
Breath support.
When sustaining sound, it is helpful to imagine this:
The sound is flowing freely out of your body, but that your breath is staying inside your body.
How should the throat feel during sustention?
It should feel relaxed and open from the top to the bottom, maintaining the beginning-of-a-yawn feeling. The roof of your mouth should vibrate much as it does when you hum.
Why is the feeling of a hum in the roof of your mouth important during sustention?
This hummy feeling will affect both the quality of the sound and the efficiency of the vocal fold action.
Are the articulators active during the sustention phase?
No, they are only active in the attack and release of sound. The moving of the articulatory posture while sustaining sound is a mark of an inexperienced singer. It creates unnecessary tension and can adversely affect the vowel being sustained.
Describe a good release.
It is instantaneous, should be executed with firmness and precision. It should not be ignored, slighted, or exaggerated, but should take place at an exact time and in a definite manner. There should be no doubt that the sound has ended. It should not just fave away or die from lack of energy. Your support shoudl not sag before the sound is completed, as pitch and quality will be adversely affected.
True or false: A release should be anticipated.
When is a good release made?
At the last possible second, cleanly and precisely.
What is a major cause of poor releases?
Insecure musicianship.
This is one of the most important abilities a singer can have.
To count time accurately.
Why is it important for a singer to be able to count time accurately?
Only then can the singer know when to attack a tone, how long to sustain it, and when to release it.
How should a singer execute a final consonant?
It should be performed quickly, firmly, and at exactly the right time. It should be delayed until the last possible instant. Think of the consonant as the release of the sound. Don’t anticipate it while on the preceding vowel.
True or false: A proper release means stopping the breath to cut off the sound.
True or false: The sound should never be stopped by pinching it in the throat.
It is best for a singer to imagine that these have the primary responsibility for releasing the sound.
The articulators.
What is flow phonation?
The breath pressure and the vocal cord tension are so perfectly balanced that the desired vibration can take place without unnecessary tension or leakage of breath.
Good phonation is heavily based on these two factors:
Good breathing and good posture.
Good phonation is based on:
Coordinated action.
What is hypofunctional phonation?
The failure to demand enough appropriate activity of the laryngeal mechanism, the prime cause of which is incomplete or inadequate closure of the glottis.
This is one of the most prevalent vocal faults, especially with young singers.
Hypofunctional phonation
What is the biggest sign of hypofunctional phonation?
Breathy sound
How is hypofunctional phonation fixed?
The singer must be trained to close their cords completely, thereby minimizing excess escaping breath. This can be achieved through humming, calling loudly, singing staccato, using front vowels and/or nasal consonants, or simply asking the student to sing with more energy.
What causes hypofunctional phonation?
Poor posture, shallow breathing, lack of the suspension phase in breathing, singing too softly, modeling singing after bad vocal models, failure to recognize good vocal quality, lack of involvement in the music, or a timid personality.
Why might lifting something help with hypofunctional phonation?
It encourages the vocal cords to close.
Wasted air is:
wasted tone!
What is the mutational chink?
Adolescents go through a period in which the back third of the glottis does not close completely, resulting in breathy sound.
Imitating a hillbilly is a remedy for what fault?
Hypofunctional phonation
What is forced breathiness?
A type of hypofunctional phonation, forced breathiness is when hypofunctional phonation is accompanied by hyperfunctional breath support.
How is forced breathiness corrected?
The support should be corrected first, followed by the phonation.
What is hyperfunctional phonation?
Demanding too much of the laryngeal mechanism, resulting in a tense, hard, pressed, edgy, or strained sound.
When hyperfunctional phonation is accompanied by this fault, the result is an even more harsh, strident sound.
Hyperfunctional breath support
This fault can cause severe vocal issues if not corrected.
Hyperfunctional phonation
What is the most common symptom of vocal misuse?
These are symptoms of hyperfunctional phonation, which can lead to serious vocal problems.
Hoarseness, loss of range (especially in the extremes of the voice), lack of vibrato
True or false: No amount of vigorous vocalization can damage the edge of the vocal folds if the voice is properly used.
____________ acts as an inhibitor of normal vibrato.
Laryngeal tension
Some of the specific factors contributing to hyperfunctional phonation and its related vocal problems are:
Singing in the wrong fach (especially too high), speaking above or below the optimum pitch, singing or speaking in a noisy environment, habitually singing or speaking too loudly (with too much force), screaming or yelling, wrong concept of breath support, incorrect breathing techniques, postural tension and rigidity, wrong vocal models, and tension resulting from personality problems (feelings of inferiority, insecurity, ear, embarrassment, and so forth).
What is the main goal in all corrective measures for hyperfunctional phonation?
Elimination of excess laryngeal tension.
This causes hyperfunctional phonation.
Laryngeal tension
What is a good first step in relieving hyperfunctional phonation?
Relaxation of general tension in the body as a whole.
These are frequent concomitants of laryngeal tension.
Incorrect breathing and oversupport
What kind of attack do people with hyperfunctional phonation usually make?
A hard or tight attack.
What is the secret of a balanced attack?
The synchronization of breath pressure with the closure of the glottis. The breath and cords arrive simultaneously, starting the sound clearly without any evidence of strain or wasted breath.
What happens in a breathy attack?
The breath flows out before the cords start to close.
Why is maintaining a beginning-of-a-yawn position helpful in correcting hyperfunctional phonation?
It creates relaxation and tends to put the larynx in its best position for singing.
These vowels can be used to combat a tight sound.
Back vowels.
Preceding back vowels with these consonants will help reduce jaw tension and encourage a free sound.
M or Y
In extreme cases, laryngeal tension can be reduced by asking the student to make an intentionally _______________ sound.
Name some corrective procedures for hyperfunctional phonation.
Exercises for relaxation of general body tension, studio atmosphere conducive to relaxation, reducing excess tension in the support mechanism, maintaining the beginning-of-a-yawn position, exercises for balanced attacks, making students aware of desired tonal goals, vocalizing on back vowels, vocalizing with consonants that help free the jaw, and deliberately using breathy sound as a means to an end.
Where do registers originate?
They originate in laryngeal function.
Why do different registers occur?
They occur because the vocal folds are capable of producing several different vibratory patterns, each of which appears with a particular range of pitches and produces certain characteristic sounds.
Three constituent elements of each register:
A certain vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, a certain series of pitches, and a certain type of sound.
What is the definition of the word register?
A register in the human voice is a PARTICULAR series of tones, produced in the same manner (by the same vibratory pattern of the vocal folds), and having the same basic quality.
Why are the terms “head register” and “chest register” meaningless?
Because all registers originate in laryngeal function. Head and chest voice are resonance sensations, not registers.
What are the four distinct vibratory forms (registers)?
modal voice, vocal fry, falsetto, and whistle
What is the purpose of the use of the vocal fry register?
To access extreme low notes
What is vocal fry?
The use of a loose glottal closure, which permits air to bubble through with a popping or rattling sound of very low frequency.
What can occur with excessive use of vocal fry?
The upper extension of the modal voice can be limited.
What is modal voice?
The normal register for speaking and singing.
What determines the frequency of vibration of the vocal folds?
Length, tension, and mass
As pitch rises, the vocal folds are ____________, tension _____________, and their edges become ______________.
lengthened, increases, thinner.
What happens to the vocal folds as a singer sings higher and higher pitches?
Length increases, tension increases, and thickness decreases.
If a singer interferes with the progressive state of change in tension, length, or thickness, what happens?
The laryngeal function becomes static and eventually, breaks occur with obvious changes of quality.
On lower pitches, the vocal cords are what shape?
How does the glottis open?
It opens from the bottom first before it opens at the top, imparting a fluid, wave-like motion to the cords.
When is it necessary to change registers?
When you reach a pitch at which producing sound is limited by the strength of the muscles involved.
A well trained singer can sing at least this many octaves with consistently beautiful tone in modal register.
The upper voice is known as these two things, causing semantic problems.
Head voice and falsetto.
What are the two faults related to register?
Hyperfunctional phonation and hypofunctional phonation.
What is the falsetto register?
It lies above modal register and overlaps it, and is inherently breathy and flute-like with few overtones present.
What is the difference between modal register and falsetto?
In modal register, the entire vocal cord is involved in the vibratory pattern. This is not so in falsetto.
In falsetto, only the ___________ _________ of the vocal cords are employed in the vibratory pattern.
ligamentous edges
Falsetto needs more or less breath than modal voice?
Most singers have at least _________ worth of range that they can sing in either modal or falsetto.
one octave
What is damping?
The amount of glottal opening becomes less and less as the pitch rises, until only a slit appears on the highest pitches.
These two things are more limited in falsetto than in modal voice.
dynamic variation and tone quality
What are common uses for falsetto?
Used in male choirs to enable first tenors to maintain the very demanding tessitura, in yodeling, for comic effect, by some lyric (Irish) tenors and folk singers, by falsettists, for pitches which are above the range of the modal register, for pianissimo tones that would be difficult in modal register, and for vocal development.
True or false: Castrati sang in falsetto.
False, they sang in modal voice.
Women who sing exclusively in falsetto are often identified as:
Coloratura sopranos
True or false: Falsetto should be used anytime the music calls for a singer to sing soft and high.
False. Modal voice can be used softly if the technique is good.
The essential element for singing pianissimo:
Faith. A singer must believe that he can sing softly and allow his voice to do so by getting out of its way.
How do many teachers advocate the use of falsetto?
They use falsetto exercises to aid in the development of the upper portion of the modal voice. It is not a substitute, but a means to an end.
What is whistle register?
It is the highest phonational register, occupying the frequency range just above female falsetto, beginning above the soprano high C.
What are some other names for whistle register?
flageolet, flute, small, and superfalsetto.
Describe the sound of whistle register.
Simple sinusoidal wave form with no prominent overtones similar to a whistle.
How is sound made in the whistle register?
The passage of air through a triangular opening between the arytenoid cartilages.