Our body is provided with a natural instrument that allows us to communicate with other human beings through the production of sounds with sense and sensitivity. The voice is the product of the implementation of this complex system of perfectly synchronized organs that through something as basic as the air is able to create messages as complex as a melody or the combination of phonemes that make up a word.
How does your voice work
When we approach the voice as a natural instrument that is part of our body, we do not really refer to it as a single instrument but to two: one of wind and one of string. From an anatomical point of view, the voice is the product of a structure, the speech apparatus, which, although functioning as a unit, is divided into three parts:
Respiratory elements (correspond to the wind instrument). They are the trachea, the bronchi, the lungs, the diaphragm, the rib cage, the intercostal muscles ... All those organs that intervene in the entrance and exit of air of our organism.
Vocal elements (correspond to the string instrument). They are the elements responsible for producing the voice. Strictly, the voice is generated at a single point in the larynx: the vocal cords. And, in particular, in the space between them (the glottis) and through which the air will have to pass on its way back to the outside, exerting more or less pressure and causing the vocal cords to vibrate in its path.
Articulating elements (correspond to the soundboard of these instruments). Just before going outside, the air, which has already been transformed into sound thanks to the intervention of the vocal cords, acquires one of its most characteristic features: the timbre, something that makes different each voice. In addition, ake advantage of these supraglottic cavities (above the glottis) to increase their resonance. The palate, tongue, lips and even teeth are involved in this process.
The Anatomy of Sound
The production of sound is the consequence of a specific organic predisposition of our anatomy. The breathing elements, the voices and articulators are equipped with very specific characteristics so that, thanks to its perfect synchronization, we can print to the sound its three characteristic features: tone, volume and timbre.
Each part of the vocal apparatus is prepared so that the singer, having become aware of his functions, can come to dominate them from a physical point of view. If there is something that you must assimilate from the beginning is that in the case of the voice, instrument and instrumentalist are one and the same thing.
In our speech apparatus, especially in the respiratory part, there are numerous organs that are nothing more than mere air conduction tubes like the trachea, containment bellows like the diaphragm or muscles that allow a greater capacity of content in our lungs. In strict terms, they are a tool. However, it is part of us, we can not detach ourselves from it and, therefore , we must learn to use it accurately from the inside.
Other parts of the anatomy of sound, however, offer much more room for work and will have to be taken into account when practicing exercises to improve vocal technique. If the breathing domain is important, control over the articulating elements of the speech apparatus also deserves special mention.
Is the case, for example, of the oral cavity. This is the main resonator of the human body and two of its protagonists are the lips and the jaw. They are, to a large extent, responsible for the definition of voice timbre or the production of more serious or more acute sounds depending on their placement and their degree of openness. Thus, for example, we know that to emit acute sounds we will necessarily have to open our mouth more than to emit low sounds, something that will also happen if we want to give a greater intensity (volume) to the voice.
An almost magical transformation
In our daily lives we emit sounds constantly. We talk, laugh, cry, groan, communicate, relate and very rarely we are aware of the process that is being developed to make this possible.