How Does it Work….
The “spoken word” results from three components of voice production: voiced sound, resonance, and articulation.
- Voiced sound: The basic sound produced by vocal fold vibration is called “voiced sound.” This is frequently described as a “buzzy” sound. Voiced sound for singing differs significantly from voiced sound for speech.
- Resonance: Voice sound is amplified and modified by the vocal tract resonators (the throat, mouth cavity, and nasal passages). The resonators produce a person’s recognizable voice.
- Articulation: The vocal tract articulators (the tongue, soft palate, and lips) modify the voiced sound. The articulators produce recognizable words.
Speaking and singing involve a voice mechanism that is composed of three subsystems. Each subsystem is composed of different parts of the body and has specific roles in voice production.
|Subsystem||Voice Organs||Role in Sound Production|
|Air pressure system||Diaphragm, chest muscles, ribs, abdominal musclesLungs||Provides and regulates air pressure to cause vocal folds to vibrate|
|Vibratory system||Voice box (larynx)Vocal folds||Vocal folds vibrate, changing air pressure to sound waves producing “voiced sound,” frequently described as a “buzzy sound”Varies pitch of sound|
|Resonating system||Vocal tract: throat (pharynx), oral cavity, nasal passages||Changes the “buzzy sound” into a person’s recognizable voice|
Key Function of the Voice Box
The key function of the voice box is to open and close the glottis (the space between the two vocal folds).
- Role in breathing: Open glottis
- Role in cough reflex: Close, then open glottis
- Role in swallowing: Close glottis
- Role in voice: Close glottis and adjust vocal fold tension (plus additional functions for singing)
- Vocal folds