The Human Voice

The Vocal System is made up of different organs of the human body and they are used to emit the voice and the sounds of singing.

The parts of the Vocal System

-          oral and nasal cavities                                                                            

-          vocal cords

-          respiratory system

a)  The respiratory system is formed by the lungs and the diaphragm. When we inhale air it reaches the lungs through the mouth and nasal cavity. By breathing out we release the air that arrives at the vocal chords. The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen. When we breathe in, the lungs swell up and the diaphragm lowers. When we breathe out, the diaphragm rises and the air is released from the lungs.

b)    The vocal cords are two muscles, like two stretched bands, situated along the larynx. The vocal chords vibrate when air is released from the lungs. This vibration produces a sound.

c)     The mouth, cheeks, tongue and nasal cavity. The sound produced by the vibration of the vocal cords arrives at the oral cavity (including the cheeks and the tongue) and the nasal cavity, which are resonant cavities.

 

Singing Techniques

In order to obtain a good interpretation, you must take into account respiration, tuning and phrasing.

 

Respiration

Respiration involves 2 phases: inhaling and exhaling.

With inhaling we take air and store it in the lungs. With expiring the air is gradually removed while we sing.

In order to sing well it is advisable to have a good thoracic capacity, i.e. to be able to store a good quantity of air and administer it correctly while the air is released by singing.

Thoracic capacity can be increased by doing respiratory exercises.

 

Tuning

“To be well tuned” means that the notes are sung correctly. In order to be “well tuned”, vocalization and projection exercises can be done.

If you are "out of tune", you´re not well tuned.

-Vocalization exercises involve singing different notes and sound.

-Projection exercises place the voice at its tessitura ( vocal range).

(tessitura is the range of notes implied by a clef)

In singing it is important to develop auditive memory.

Tuning fork: 

A tuning fork is an acoustic resonator in the form of a two-pronged fork with the prongs (tines) formed from a U-shaped bar of elastic metal (usually steel). It resonates at a specific constant pitch when set vibrating by striking it against a surface or with an object, and emits a pure musical tone after waiting a moment to allow some high overtones to die out. The pitch that a particular tuning fork generates depends on the length and mass of the two prongs. It is frequently used as a standard of pitch to tune musical instruments.

The tuning fork was invented in 1711 by British musician John Shore, Sergeant Trumpeter and Lutenist to the court.