THE VOICE

1.-Production of the voice
To produce a sound there must be a vibration. In voice production this vibration is produced by the vocal folds. But what is the mechanism that makes the vocal folds work? The air that we breath (inspiration) goes to the lungs where breathing takes place (we take oxygen from the air). Then the air goes the opposite way and it is expelled from our body (expiration). It is at this point when we can produce the voice sound.

PARTS OF THE BODY THAT MAKE POSSIBLE THE PRODUCTION OF THE VOICE:
Lungs: take the air and allow the production of the voice while this air is expelled. Larynx: it is the organ that contains the vocal folds, which are two little folds that produce the vibration that generates the sound. Pharynx: it is the element,that together with other cavities of the body like the mouth, nose cavity, the chest ,amplifies the sound.

1) The lungs make two important functions: a.- To take the air, which is the element that makes the vocal folds vibrate. The size of the lungs and its capability to expand will be essential for the power of the sound. Below the lungs there is a muscle called diaphragm. When the air reaches the lungs, this muscle goes down and makes space to allow them taking the air.

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b.- On the other hand, lungs push the air out, helped by the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm and return to its position. Therefore, the diaphragm is an important element in breathing, it works helping to remove air from the lungs. This is why appropriate breathing to get a good voice is diaphragmatic breathing. A good breath control is essential for the proper use of voice and, therefore, it is necessary for professionals who depend on the voice to do their job (singers, actors…). Diaphragmatic breath can be achieved by practicing properly breathing exercises. • Try to do these exercises:

-Take a deep breath. Try to do it keeping your shoulders down, like if you wanted to fill your stomach with the air. -You can also do it in a resting position, as if you where sleeping. This position helps the diaphragm go down. 2) When the air leaves the lungs through the larynx, where the vocal folds are located these are two muscular folds that vibrate when air passes through them. This vibration is what produces the sound.

vocal folds

larynx

3) Then the air continues going out and arrives to the pharynx. The pharynx is a tube-shaped cavity formed by the base of the skull. The function of the pharynx in voice production is amplify the sound, that with other parts of the body, like the mouth, the nose cavity, the chest (for low notes), produce the amplification of the voice. In a good voice production , the whole body works as a resonator.

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pharynx

2 .- Voice break (BE)/crack(AE)
The voice break is the growth of the vocal cords during puberty. In girls, vocal cords stretch approximately 6mm (from 12mm to 18mm) and in boys about 10 mm (15 mm to 25 mm). Therefore, during the voice break, the girls tend to lower the height of his voice two or three tones, while the boys, lower their voices one octave.

3 .- Classification of the voice.
We can classify the voices in two groups: a) Women (and children voices): -Soprano (high voice ) -Mezzo-soprano (medium voice) -Alto (low voice) b) Men: -Tenor (high voice ) -Baritone (medium voice) -Low (low voice) Women voices are always higher than men voices.

4.-Other uses of the voice:
Jodler: it is a kind of singing from the mountains of Switzerland, Italy and Austria (the Alps). It is an acrobatic kind of singing where the melody suddenly jumps from low to high notes. Scat: is a vocal technic used in jazz. It tries to imitate the sound of the instruments making sillables without any meaning. Difonic Singing: It is a singing technic form the Central Asia ( Mongolia, Tuva) consisting in making two or more sounds at the same time. Canto a tenore: This is a singing way from Sicily. It is usually sang in groups of four people.

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