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The Human Voice: How does it work?

The voice is an incredible instrument that invovles many parts working together in a complicated process. How does it work?
by

Jordan Kolb

on 13 June 2011

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Transcript of The Human Voice: How does it work?

The Human Voice: How does it work? When you breath in, the lungs expand with air. In order to create more space, the diaphragm stretches downward and the ribcage expands. As you exhale, the diaphragm raises and air travels through the trachea to the vocal folds. Next, the vocal folds vibrate together as air is forced through, creating a buzzing sound. As they vibrate, the vocal folds are actually being blown apart by the burst of air and then sucked back together as the pressure between the chords drops. In other words, the vocal folds are separating the air stream into many short, quick puffs of air. This happens hundreds of times every second. The speed of the vocal fold's vibrations determines the pitch. Higher notes require the vocal folds to vibrate more quickly. To do this , the vocal folds stretch out to be thinner. When sound is created by the vocal folds, it is just a buzzing sound. The sound is modified and shaped as it travels through the vocal tract. Parts of the vocal tract include the jaw, soft palate, lips, facial muscles, tongue, and pharynx. Picture Citations

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dukemagazine.duke.edu/issues/050608/images/050608-lg-figure1purves.jpg
http://www.gbmc.org/home_voicecenter.cfm?id=155
http://www.mybwmc.org/library/2/17235 ***Note: The following movie shows a video stroboscopy of a person's actual vocal chords as they are working. In my opinion it is not graphic, but please skip the video if you think it will gross you out. I've taken voice lessons for the last few years, and I've always know a bit about what muscles and body parts are involved in singing. This past fall, I had a small tear in one of my vocal folds and I couldn't sing for like 2 months so that it would heal. Ever since then I have been very interested in how the human voice is produced. If all these parts work together correctly, the result is a beautiful voice that is unique to the individual. lungs diaphragm Thanks for watching!
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