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“Vocal Advantage: Tone (part 3)” by Dina Else

VOCAL ADVANTAGE: TONE (part 3), by Dina Else (no. 22 in a series)
 
This week I’d like to share another excerpt from Diagnosis and Correction of Vocal Faults by James McKinney.  He does an excellent job of helping ‘teachers of singing’ clarify their thoughts and terminology.  I use the below exercise often in my teaching!
 
The Nature of Vocal Sound:
The act of producing vocal sound is made up of four physical processes: respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation.  The processes occur in the sequence given:  1. Breath is taken, 2. Sound is initiated in the larynx, 3. The resonators receive the sound and influence it and 4. The articulators shape the sound into recognizable units.
 
Respiration: Breathing for singing and speaking is a more controlled process than the breathing for sustaining life.  The control applied to exhalation is particularly important.
 
Phonation: Is the process of producing vocal sound by the vibration of the vocal cords.  It takes place in the larynx (voice box) when the vocal cords are brought together (approximated) and breath pressure is applied to them in such a way that vibration ensues.
 
Resonation: is the process by which the basic product of phonation is enhanced in timbre and/or intensity by the air-filled cavities through which it passes on its way to the outside air.  Words associated with this process:  Amplification, enlargement, improvement, intensification, and prolongation….
 
Articulation: is the process by which the joint product of the vibrator and the resonators is shaped into recognizable speech sounds through the muscular adjustments and movements of the speech organs.
 
Exercise to help you differentiate among respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation.
1.  Count out loud from 1 to 5 (employs all 4)
2.  Whisper from 1-5. (employs respiration, articulation)
3.  Whisper the word “Who” and keep holding it until you can hear a rustling sound somewhere inside your head…(employs respiration, resonation)
4.  Count from 1 to 5 without making any sound whatsoever; pretend you are trying to communicate through a thick glass door without anyone else hearing you. (only articulation)
 
The main ‘guides’ of the singer are sensations:  First, vibratory sensations resulting from the closely related processes of phonation and resonation, and second, kinesthetic ones arising from muscle tension and movement, body position, and distribution of weight (kinesthetic responses also are referred to as muscle sense).
on January 20, 2014 8:20am
Dina,
I hope you're going to mention sometime the factor of EMOTION in singing.  For when has adrenalin and passion for something, it affects the body, and technique can be enhanced or improved with it.  How do you think Barbara Streisand can hold such long notes in her singing?  Through a pasion for what she is singing.  However, that doesn't hold too well probably in the more classical genres, so technique is very mportant.