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On the Art of Singing$
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Richard Miller

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195098259.001.0001

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Taming the Terrible Triplets of the Vocal Tract

Taming the Terrible Triplets of the Vocal Tract

Tongue/Hyoid Bone/Larynx

74 Taming the Terrible Triplets of the Vocal Tract
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how the three parts of the vocal tract—tongue, hyoid bone, and larynx—can be prevented from disrupting the singing voice. Much of the vocal tract is occupied by the tongue, which is composed of a bundle of muscles and attached to the hyoid bone, from which the larynx is suspended by a membrane. When not properly tamed, these three instruments can become the terrible triplets of the vocal tract and cause problems in the singing voice. Voice timbre is primarily determined by three factors: how the motor source delivers air, what happens at the level of the larynx, and how sound is modified as it passes from the larynx through the resonator tube. It is clear that phonation is the result of myoelastic (muscular) and aerodynamic (moving air) events involving subglottic pressure, airflow, and vocal-fold approximation. An aim of vocal pedagogy should be to avoid complex conscious maneuvers that must be learned by the throat, tongue, and mouth.

Keywords:   vocal tract, tongue, hyoid bone, larynx, singing voice, singing, voice timbre, resonator tube, phonation, vocal pedagogy

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