The process of creating musical sounds with the voice is called singing. The tonality and rhythm used in singing is what differentiates singing from speech. A person who is involved with the activity of singing is known as a singer or vocalist. Singers can perform with the help of musical accompaniment or can sing without any accompaniments.
The Human Voice
From the physical point of view, singing requires a well defined technique. Some of the physical attributes which are involved during singing include the larynx, the lungs, the chest, the head cavities, the teeth, palate, and the tongue. The coordination of all these physical components creates a vocal technique which is used to train the rhythm and melody in the voice. During the process of passive breathing, air is inhaled and exhaled without effort. The scalenes, external intercostals, and sternocleidomastoid muscles help in the inhalation while lower pelvic and abdominal muscles help in exhalation.
Singing is rendered during exhalation and the vocal cords aid in altering the pitch of the voice. When the lips are closed during singing, it's called humming. Vocal registration is a series of tones which have the same quality. Each tone is referred to as a register. On the other hand, vocal resonation is the enhancement of the vocal sound in terms of timbre or intensity when the phonation passes through the air cavities. In classical music, voice is classified into seven major categories. The men have four groups, namely, tenor, baritone, bass, and countertenor. The women have three groups, namely, soprano, contralto, and mezzo soprano.
Vocal pedagogy is defined as the study and teaching of singing. The science of vocal pedagogy can be traced back to the time of ancient Greeks. Vocal pedagogy has evolved through the years. Presently, it’s become a highly advanced subject which includes the contribution of opera directors, music educators, choral directors, and vocal coaches.
For developing the vocal technique properly, vocal pedagogy is imperative. Some of the areas which are covered by the subject of vocal pedagogy include human physiology and anatomy, the vocal condition and health of the person who’s interested in singing, the breathing process and air support, the phonation, and the vocal resonation.
The physical processes of singing are coordinated by a sound vocal technique. The four important processes involved in vocal sound are the inhalation process, the initiation of sound in the larynx, the alteration of sound by the vocal resonators, and the shaping of sound by the vocal articulators. When the student is aware of the various processes which are involved in singing, the student can effectively coordinate the processes for better vocal control and modulation during singing.
Some of the essential areas of vocal technique include improving the flexibility and agility of the voice, developing a balanced vibrato, and expending the vocal range. Singing is a skill which doesn’t actually require muscular strength but a high degree of muscle coordination and reflexes. Through continuous practice and proper vocal training, singers can substantially improve their vocal quality while singing.
Resources for Singers