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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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The Role of the Jaw in Singing

The Role of the Jaw in Singing

86 The Role of the Jaw in Singing
On the Art of Singing

Richard Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the role of the jaw in singing. Jaw tension is often a problem for singers. When there is tension in the mandible (jaw) there generally is a corresponding rigidity in the tongue muscles, which subsequently is transferred to the level of the larynx. Exercises to reduce jaw tension are a part of most vocal pedagogies. Many jaw problems result directly from concepts the singer has about arranging ideal resonator “space.” The resonator tube (the vocal tract) extends from the larynx to the lips, and alters its position in reaction to postures of the jaw and tongue. A singer must know how the jaw actually works in phonation if satisfactory solutions to mandibular tension are to be found. Many singers suffering from temporomandibular joint syndrome find that this condition can go away by not hanging the jaw in the hope of “opening” the throat.

Keywords:   jaw, singing, singer, mandible, tongue, larynx, jaw tension, resonator tube, phonation, temporomandibular joint syndrome

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