Vocal mechanisms in singing: Laryngological and phoniatric aspects

  • Minoru Hirano
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Minoru Hirano, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kurume University, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume, Japan.
    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kurume University, Kurume, Japan
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      Singers can produce great varieties of vocal quality, pitch, and intensity, despite the fact that they have only one pair of vocal folds as their sound generators. Comprehensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the vocal folds and the muscles that control them reveals that humans exhibit remarkably complex control over the characteristics of their vocal folds. Alterations in the length, stiffness, shape, and other characteristics combine with changes in air flow, resonance, and other activities to permit such extraordinary diversity. The vocalis, cricothyroid, and lateral cricoarytenoid muscles are of particular importance. Additional interdisciplinary studies are needed to clarify further the mysteries of the human singing voice.
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