How Does The Larynx Produce Sound?

The larynx is located in the neck and performs several important functions in the body.

Also known as the voice box, this mechanism sits at the top of the trachea (the windpipe). The trachea is a tube made of cartilage that allows air to travel to and from the lungs. Your vocal chords rest inside the larynx protecting the airway from unwanted particles escaping into the lungs. When the chords close, they also phonate. This is the act of making sound – speaking, singing, and so on. Pressure heightens in the torso and builds more resistance when the body is completing difficult task. You may grunt after an heavy lifting because the air escapes in a large burst after being constricted below the vocal chords.

Sound is produced when the air which passes through the vocal cords causes them to vibrate and create sound waves in the pharynx and then the nose and mouth. The pitch of sound is determined by the amount of tension on the vocal folds. Most of your neck muscles are designed to keep the larynx high. This prevents singers from making a full, open sound. The art of singing is learning how keep the larynx in a more neutral position. Singing occurs when we work the vocal chords. Our larynx is versatile. It can vibrate up to 3,000 times per second and even faster!

Read more about the science of the larynx and controlling it for singing. 


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