Once upon a time, everyone thought we had vocal cords. I guess this made absolute sense to visualise something we can’t see with the sounds made from strings vibrating that we can see. But we don’t have vocal cords at all. We have vocal folds.
We make sound with 2 tiny muscles about 1 to 1.5 cm long muscles tucked neatly behind your adams apple, they beat together creating sound waves.
It starts with air from the lungs, passing through the vibrating vocal which
create tiny puffs of compressed air which then hit your ear drums. This in turn
transfer sound particles to liquid particles then to neural electrics and then
to the brain….and tadah…. we perceive sound.
Now, for the clever part. The beating of the vocal folds beating together produce a blurting sound….something like a ‘raspberry’, or a ‘brrrr’ on a chilly day, and
the faster they beat the higher the pitch and the lower they beat the
lower the pitch. You sing high or low depending on how fast these two muscles
beat together. And they beat fast. Hundreds of times per second, getting faster the higher you sing.
Now for the really clever part. Everything past the vocal folds, including the
larynx, the tongue, and the mouth create the varied sound sound waves that allow every type of variation of vocal sound there is. (Kind of….but we’ll get to that later) That small pipe of only a 6-7 inches long can create some of the most striking beautiful sounds in the world.
Now for the really really clever part. We are what we think. How does our
psychology play a part in this? How does, where we come from, how we feel, and
what message we are portraying impact on the song? And how the hell does that effect how the audience feels?
So, that’s a small part of how we sing. Of something amazing and complex and natural.
What do you think? What would you like to look at next? Leave a comment and express yourself. Go.