Tara delves into some basic definitions and terms that make up parts of the vocal tract and the sound. She breaks down each part to give singers more confidence in exploring their own voice and the physical parts of their body that make up their vocal tone.
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The vocal tract is a resonator tube that includes the throat, mouth and nose.
Johann Sundberg “The Acoustics of the Singing Voice” (Scientific American):
“The vocal tract is a resonator whose shape, which determines vowel sounds, is modified by changes in the position of the articulators.”
“The vocal tract can change shape.”
Pharynx—throat. Anything from where the vocal folds are housed on up to your neck.
Oral pharynx—mouth. The space in your mouth and includes your your articulators, your hard palate, your soft palate (velum) and your uvula.
Nasal pharynx—nose. Your nasal cavity and the area that goes down to your throat.
All three of these parts can change shape and thus can make the sound of your vocal tract different depending on each of the shapes of these parts.
The articulators are: lips, tongue, jaw
The hyoid bone is connected to the back of the tongue but it also sits right above the larynx so it can affect the voice box itself.
“As the parts of the vocal tract work together, combined with great breath support and going through those vocal folds themselves, that’s what is producing our glorious unique sounds that each of us possess.”
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