All the sounds we make when we sing are the results of muscles contracting, air passing through the vocal tract, and articulators producing the words we sing. We have a large and complex group of muscles that change the shape of our vocal tract (container of air). Any of the vocal organs above the larynx are used for the purpose of manipulating and generate vocal sound when we singing. The larynx could also be described as an independent and complex articulator. So the articulators are the tools used to produce recognizable words when we sing.

The main articulators are the tongue, the upper and lower lips, the teeth, the upper gum ridge (alveolar ridge), the hard palate, the velum (soft palate), the uvula (free-hanging end of the soft palate), the pharyngeal wall, the glottis (space between the vocal cords) and the pharynx (which is a tube from the larynx to the back of the mouth and nasal cavity). These are the main articulators used to produce recognizable sound when we sing. The jaw could be considered an articulator, especially the lower jaw because we use it to manipulate the sound when we sing. Finally, the nasal cavity is used to influence vocal sound, but not in the same way. It’s amazing how complex our singing voice is and how many components are used to create a beautiful singing voice. Listen to Lily Toreja beautifully singing “Science”!


An actual student quote:

“My favorite classical piece is the bronze lullaby.” (Brahms Lullaby)

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