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The Structure and Physiology of the voice

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1 The Structure and Physiology of the voice
Dr Michael Groombridge BA, MA, PhD, Esq.

2 The Organs of Speech There are many organs that help to create speech and language and these include: Lips, Teeth and Tongue Uvula Glottis Alveola Ridge Hard Palate Velum (Soft Palate)

3 Larynx and Vocal Chords
Layrnx - A tube-shaped organ in the neck that contains the vocal cords. The larynx is about 5 cm long. It is part of the respiratory system and is located between the pharynx and the trachea. Humans use the larynx to breathe, talk, and swallow. Its outer wall of cartilage forms the area of the front of the neck referred to as the Adam's apple. The vocal cords, two bands of muscle, form a V inside the larynx. Each time a person inhales, air goes into the nose or mouth, then through the larynx, down the trachea, and into the lungs. When a person exhales, the air goes the other way. The vocal cords are relaxed during breathing, and air moves through the space between them without making any sound. The vocal cords tighten up and move closer together for speech. Air from the lungs is forced between them and makes them vibrate, producing the sound of a voice. The openings of the esophagus and the larynx are very close together in the throat. When a person swallows, a flap called the epiglottis moves down over the larynx to keep food out of the windpipe. Also known as voice box Vocal Cords -The vocal cords, are composed of twin foldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the larynx. They vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from the lungs during phonation. Open during inhalation, closed when holding one's breath, and vibrating for speech or singing (oscillating 440 times per second when singing A above middle C), the folds are controlled via the vagus nerve. They are white because of scant blood circulation.

4 Lungs and Diaphragm The power for your voice comes from air that you exhale. When we inhale, the diaphragm lowers and the rib cage expands, drawing air into the lungs. As we exhale, the process reverses and air exits the lungs, creating an airstream in the trachea. This airstream provides the energy for the vocal folds in the voice box to produce sound. The stronger the airstream, the stronger the voice. Give your voice good breath support to create a steady strong airstream that helps you make clear sounds.

5 Body and Posture Many people are unaware that speaking and singing involve the whole self, and both these activities are adversely affected by bad posture. If we want to learn to speek or sing effectively and confidently we must first eliminate the voice’s most powerful obstacle, namely muscle tension. The sounds we create will be affected if the body is being pulled out of alignment due to excessive tension in the muscles. When we are relaxed we generally find it easier to breathe, which in turn means the vocal cords aren’t strained working with less air and can produce better vibrations for the speech organs to then create speech with.

6 Conclusions In conclusion it is the whole body that is used in voice production This is because it is vital to create a relaxed posture in order to breathe properly Once you are breathing correctly, the lungs create the power which is then turned into vibrations by the vocal cords in your larynx These vibrations are then turned into consonants, vowels, speech and singing through the use of the speech organs in your mouth and nose

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