Phonation Flashcards Preview

Speech Science > Phonation > Flashcards

Flashcards in Phonation Deck (24)
Loading flashcards...


The Voice-box

Complex organ in the anterior neck

Cartilage, muscle, fat, connective tissue, bone

Works in concert with lungs & oral/nasal cavities to produce voice


Functions of Respiratory System

Respiration (breathing)
Provision of airway
Protection of airway

Deglutation (swallowing)
Closure of larynx
Cessation of breathing

Phonation (voice)
Vibrating airstream and elements


Laryngeal Muscles

Intrinsic (inside larynx)
Abduction (opening)
Adduction (closing)

Extrinsic (outside larynx)
Position of larynx in neck
Infrahyoid (below)
Suprahyoid (above)



Above vocal folds
Supraglottic vocal tract



Vocal folds
Elastic, pliability properties


Power Source

Below vocal folds
Infraglottic vocal tract



Rapid (vibratory) opening/closing of vocal folds

Interrupts stream of air
Series of air puffs
Rippling displacement of vocal fold cover
(Mucosal wave)

Produces a vocal tone
Myoelastic aerodynamic theory


Bernoulli Effect

When a gas flows through a constricted passage, the velocity increases

Inward pressure is > the outward pressure

Walls are drawn into each other

Controls the closing of VF


Myoelastic Aerodynamic Theory

Drives the vibratory cycle of the vocal folds

The myoelastic theory states that when the vocal cords are brought together and breath pressure is applied to them, the cords remain closed until the pressure beneath them—the subglottic pressure—is sufficient to push them apart, allowing air to escape and reducing the pressure enough for the muscle tension recoil to pull the folds back together again. Pressure builds up once again until the cords are pushed apart, and the whole cycle keeps repeating itself. The rate at which the cords open and close—the number of cycles per second—determines the pitch of the phonation.



Each vibration of the VF allows a brief puff of air to escape producing an audible sound at the frequency of the opening.


Vocal Sound Production Process

Diaphragm action pushes air from the lungs through the vocal folds, producing a periodic train of air pulses.

This pulse train is shaped by the resonances of the vocal tract.

The basic resonances, called vocal formants, can be changed by the action of the articulators to produce distinguishable voice sounds, like the vowel sounds.


VF Vibratory Process

Subglottic air pressure builds up to separate the folds

The sudden drop in pressure pulls the cords together

Air rushes through the glottis at increased velocity

As the top of the folds are opening, the bottom of the folds is closing

This creates a wavelike motion (mucosal wave)


Fundamental Frequency

The number of times the vocal folds are blown apart and come together per second

Directly related to the length, mass and tension of the vocal folds

The repetition rate of a complex periodic wave

When speaking or singing there is always an underlying note to each sound

Pitch is defined as the average rate of vocal fold vibration and is measured in cycles per second or Hertz

For pitch to rise, the VF must vibrate more quickly. They get thinner by being stretched longer.



Equal to Frequency: Number of cycles per second, Measured in hertz (Hz)

Fundamental frequency (F0)
Male: 100-150 Hz
Female: 180-250 Hz
(“middle C” on piano scale = 256Hz; octave higher = 512Hz)

Generally increases as vocal folds are thinned and stretched and pressure increases


Intensity of the Voice

Intensity (loudness) is the size of the sound wave

Increasing subglottal air pressure increases vocal intensity

Increased vocal intensity results from greater resistance by the vocal folds to the increased airflow

The folds don’t open any further than usual, but they stay closed longer, creating more distinct “puffs of air”

The VF are pressed together more firmly

Articulation affects the potential pressure difference


Voice Therapy

Changing vocal behaviors in order to achieve improved vocal function

Identifying vocally abusive behaviors

Implementing a vocal hygiene program

Respiration training

Relaxation exercises

Refocusing vocal tone

Addressing pitch, loudness, and rate

Reducing forceful initiation of speech



There is almost ALWAYS more than one thing going on in the larynx.

The cause of hoarseness is often multi-factorial.

Treatment may be multi-tiered and include medication, voice therapy, surgery.

Therapy Goal: Assist each patient in achieving his or her best possible voice


Vocal Misuses

Speaking in noisy situations
Excessive talking

Telephone use with the handset cradled to the shoulder

Using inappropriate pitch when speaking

Not using amplification when publicly speaking

Using the voice in a hard/harsh manner – forced whisper


Voice Care

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water (64 oz/day)

Stimulate secretions with gum, lozenges, warm drinks

Use a humidifier

Maintain good nutrition with a healthy, well-balanced diet

Check medications for adverse side effects on the mouth or throat

Alcohol, caffeine and tobacco have adverse effects on your voice

Be alert to reflux problems


Voice Tips

Try not to scream or yell

Warm up your voice before heavy use

Don’t smoke

Use good breath support

Use a microphone

Listen to your voice

Limit dairy products


Preventing Reflux

Avoid drinking alcohol, citrus-type juices and carbonated beverages

Avoid reclining for 3 hours after meals

Avoid eating immediately before bedtime

Avoid exercising, singing within 3 hours of eating

Elevate the head of your bed 4 to 6 inches

Avoid overeating

Avoid caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, fat

If overweight, losing weight is helpful


Medications the Affect Voice

Ace inhibitors – may induce a cough or throat clearing

Oral contraceptions- may cause fluid retention in the vocal cords

Testosterone – deepen the voice

Anticoagulants – may increase changes of vocal cord hemorrhage

Herbal medications – are not harmless and should be take with caution

Allergy Medication - can dry out the folds


Voice Don'ts

Don’t clear your throat or cough frequently

Don’t yell or scream

Don’t talk across long distances

Don’t speak or lecture without using a microphone

Don’t talk very much with laryngitis

Don’t laugh or cry out loud aggressively for extended periods

Don’t yell or speak extensively during strenuous physical exercise

Don’t talk beyond the natural breath cycle

Don’t tense the upper body and throat to inhale

Don’t sing beyond comfortable pitch and loudness range

Don’t make unconventional sounds for prolonged periods

Don’t clench your teeth and hold your face tense

Don’t strain when talking


Voice Do's

Do substitute swallowing water or saliva

Do substitute clapping whistling, ringing a bell, blowing a horn

Do adjust the environment to reduce background noise

Do keep your voice relaxed and let the microphone amplify your voice

Do rest your voice like the rest of your body.

Do speak in low-volume, easy and relaxed voice. Be aware of the effect stress and emotion have on your voice

Do be aware of the effects of physical exertion on your voice

Do breath deeply from your diaphragm. Pause often, and replace breath

Do relax neck and jaw muscles, breathing from the diaphragm

Do allow registers to change as pitch rises and drops

Do allow the jaw to relax and “float” as you speak

Do pay attention to soreness or tightness in the throat. Do use a soft-voice tone.

Do organize your day to include voice rest periods. Use an effortless voice and use yawns, sighs, and hums to relax your voice.