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Another question about twang.

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MDEW
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I did not want to derail the other thread so I decided to post my own.

Out of curiosity, when was the term "Twang" introduced to convey " epilaryngeal narrowing " in the world of Vocal Techniques ? I had only heard the word twang assosiated with a southern accent and having family throughout the south I had never once noticed the quality of twang that is refered to in singing. I find it odd that being from the south Twang is a part of the puzzle that I always lacked. :)

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I'm with MDEW. When I first came here and heard the term, twang, I thought of the Texas Twang, part of the local accent. In speaking, I just don't have it. People that were born in Texas can tell immediately, the first time I speak a word to them, that I was not born in Texas. (I was born in the city of angels.) And that nasal sound is just a bit different than, for example, the through the nose sound of Chef Paula Deen from Atlanta, Georgia.

But here, twang is meant to mean a narrowing, which sounds like constriction, of the area above the larynx.

From my limited knowledge of anatomy, the epiglottis is a flap controlled by a sphincter. It's job so to close over the larynx while you are swallowing food or drink. When I quack like a duck, my tongue moves up and back and it feels like all the sound goes through my nose.

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Ron ,being that this is my thread I thought I would try to answer your question from the other thread.

I first read the term TWANG as it pertains to singing in Catherine Sadolines book.( I do not have her book. I read portions of it on her web site). After that whenever I looked for singing tips I would read about Twang and the benefits of it. Until then I would hear of the "OPEN THROAT". That confused me. :/

Evidently The epiglottis is connected to the larynx by muscular bands that cross like an X these bands are also connected to the arytenoids. The arytenoids open and close the glottis. When the Epiglottis is twanged or brought over the glottis (not totally) the arytenoids are also moved closer together.The space between the epiglottis and the glottis create another "Pocket" or resonant space that amplifies a certain band of frequencies.

So... you have easier cord closure because the arytenoids are closer together and you have a chamber that amplifies a specific band of frequencies that the human ear is "Tuned to".

There is a little bit of squeezing there. It seems the "Open Throat" refers to the Lifted soft palet, relaxed tongue, lowered larynx and expanded back wall of the throat.

I hope I didn't screw things up too much.

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the one thing about twang is it can easily be misconstrued by a beginning student as tension or constriction. don't you folks agree?

same with leaning in with a cry...it could be avoided out of fear. they are manipulative movements, and not something we are accustomed to doing.

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:) I always heard "Open throat" " No Tension" and Project ( Catherine explained projection as Epiglottis fully open). In my mind before, Twang had no chance of happening. No wonder I always sounded muffled.

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So, M, you are saying that twang creates a vestibule, a primary resonance chamber, as it were?

And I think someone, somewhere, listed what freq's are reinforced by this vestibule.

That seems to be the jist of it. I am not sure the exact Frequencies. I believe around 2800 hrtz. Anyway it is not usually found in other instruments so the human ear can hear it even over an orchestra.

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Judging by Rachsings video it may be the narrowing itself that is responsible for this frequency amplification.

In Catherine Sadolines CVT book Operatic Projection is charaterized by a fully OPEN Epiglottis and twang charaterized by a patially closed epiglottis. But Opera singers use Squillo which is also an amplification of the same frequency band.

There was another thread asking if Squillo and Twang were the same thing. I said it was not even though the experts had said it was. My reason for saying that it was different was because of this( Operatic projection = Fully Open epiglottis....). If it is this narrowing then you can have a fully open epiglottis and a front to back narrowing. The partial closing of the epiglottis may be responsible for the Quacking that some have problems getting rid of when overproducing the "Twang" effect.

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I am not a tearcher or expert of any kind. Having said that it seems that Vowel tuning is a matter of tongue placement and oral chamber. The squillo or singers formant is a seperate band of frequencies.

I can definately be wrong. I have read so many contradictory things that I pretty much have to use my own perception and reasoning. My reasoning has been flawed before and it will again. :)

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mdew, its part of it.

twang and forward placement of vowels are related.

Squillo comes from the combination of forward placement, covering, support and the ajustment of the vocal tract to produce the clustering of the formants, that I know as "impostacao", in english would translate into "imposition", but I dont know if that is the used term.

Here:

Notice the relationship between vowels and the posture of the epiglotis. Notice that the closer the vowel is to the legatto line on EE, the less the epiglottis is closed.

Now notice the mobility of everything, its impossible to try to achieve this by simply trying to manipulate individual coordinations. And singing everything just using the leggato line, with EE focus, is easy but will throw vowel quality away.

The solution is to ajust each vowel at each pitch to be consistant with the legatto line, so that when you reach the passagio, you can shift from one to the other without any perceivable loss of quality.

EE is crucial for this to work.

At a given point, vowel definition starts to decrease and the line becomes more evident. I will let you guess what is in there :P.

Resonance, head and chest voice, legatto and focus are all connected to the concepts of forward placement and twang, its all combined and used with the purpose of bringing homogeneity, projection and vowel quality. If you try to manipulate everything appart, you end up with a voice that is a frankenstein, has a bit of everything, but is plain ugly :P.

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Thanks Felipe.

Everything has to work together in cooperation. You can get focused on one thing and the "Whole" can be collapsed. Also if you have an aversion to something you can also miss out on the benifits. For instance if someone truely does not like the sound of Opera singers he may totally miss out on the quality that a dampened larynx can give. The same if someone has an aversion to a nasal or bratty sound you may end up missing out on the higher frequencies.

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Its not that different from what I am saying Rach.

You know that ballance must exist or problems will happen.

Independent control is, at least to me, very different than independent application and consolidation.

Orientation is the difference between the frankenstein incomplete result and a trainning towards your goals.

There is only so much you can do to shift the ballance, its not like because you can control a piece independently you can sing just using it.

Neither I think people should sing pop with full resonance placement, it simply does not fit.

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Thanks Rachsing, I've only read portions of the book that I can find on the internet. By the time I get to see a book it is outdated. But that also fuels my distrust of new information also. By the time I read something it is found to be false.

The coordination is governed by the sound that you wish to produce. There is so many subtle differences in coordination from one sound to another. A problem for people like me is not knowing what the correct sound is. Or rather what I hear in my head is not what you hear even if I think I may have the correct sound it is easy to miss the mark.

I agree with you Felipe, You cannot rely on one part of the puzzle but we need a way to discover the different pieces.

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Correct as far as Richness,Softness, more closure, less closure. more nasal, less nasal, brighter tone, darker tone, more forceful, less..........................

When I listen to a recording of myself I can tell that I have what I call a hollow voice ( husky on the bottom end, slight ring in upper frequencies but no mids) . using a three band EQ as example Bass on 4 , Treble on 3, middle on -2. Possibly stronger cord closure and more support may help me.

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I don't know how to put it in words. It's not the sound that I want for me. It is the sound of my voice coordinated and balanced. What I hear of my voice in my head is balanced and coordinated. What comes out on a recording and to you is not. What would be needed is someone who can tell the difference and say to me "your vowels are too far forward or the sound is in your throat or your cords are not adducting enough. And Me adjusting to his or her feedback. And When the balanced sound is reached coordinate to that sound.

I may be hearing my voice muffled so I may add more twang to give it a clearer sound to me. But in reality it may end up way too bright and piercing. I may hear it bright and piercing and think I need to darken it more and in reality my voice is being swallowed in my throat.

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Something I saw in this thread that did not get addressed, perhaps because people have hurt feelings.

M pointed out operatic projection being open throat, and the modern singing using twang, or narrowing the pharynx. Judging from the videos, twang being a narrowing the epiglottic funnel doesn't really sound accurate since you can see the epiglottis and it is doing absolutely nothing, having no part in the phonation or resonance of phonated sound. It's just along for the ride, so to speak.

Anyway, Justin pointed out that the operatic projection would, mostly by the requirement of the craft and sound ideal, be the result of a fully supported note, making twang not needed, at least in an operatic note.

So, is twang something of value outside of opera? Of value to resonate and bolster an under-supported note?

I am just a caveman electrician. Years ago, your scientists thawed me out of glacier ... (borrowed that from the SNL skit for "caveman lawyer.")

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Singing without some degree of twang is like playing a brassinstrument without a mouthpiece.

Being that you brought it up. What is the difference in sound, if any, is changed by using a Larger or smaller mouthpiece on a brass instrument? I do not play. I do not know the answer.

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Anyway, Justin pointed out that the operatic projection would, mostly by the requirement of the craft and sound ideal, be the result of a fully supported note, making twang not needed, at least in an operatic note.

Wrong.

No offense and not trying to start another cult of personality war but, why or how so? I'm not saying that twang does not happen. But what I have seen in the videos so far seems natural, though it might be american singers, and american speach might already have some "twang" in it. But if twang alone is the support of the note, than what need is there of breath management or even avoidance of overt nasal quality.

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Here is another point and yes it just my own musing. If you do not know about twang you may be using it and not realize it.

When someone is engaging in what they consider a supported vowel they may very well be activating "Twang" also.

Someone Like myself who has always spoken soft and low with a "Dull" sound would find using twang as being something foreign to him and it would feel constricted. We are told not to constrict.

Someone who has always spoken with a bright and piercing tember may always be using twang. and twang would feel open and not constricted to him.

I also looked up what difference a smaller mouthpiece would make to a brass instrument. The sound would be brighter and the higher notes would be easier to produce. There is a lot of other things to concider, lenght of tube, shape of mouthpiece thickness of material...... but still over all brighter and higher notes easier to produce and lower notes harder.

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No offense and not trying to start another cult of personality war but, why or how so? I'm not saying that twang does not happen. But what I have seen in the videos so far seems natural, though it might be american singers, and american speach might already have some "twang" in it. But if twang alone is the support of the note, than what need is there of breath management or even avoidance of overt nasal quality.

I believe that Justin was asking the question "Is twang a way to bring squillo to undersupported vowels?"

.Twang itself has nothing to do with support. I least I do not think so.

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Classical singing depends on maximum projection the whole time, not just on spikes of dynamics. Without forward placement, of which twang is part, you simply will not be heard. You can create more sound pressure than all the singers in stage with you, without it, they all will be clearly heard, and you will sound like thin wailing voice on the background.

Its all on ballance, and there are many ways to train the later using air flow and support as the reference. And the other way around too, many teachers train support using phonated exercises. One of the best I know does not even think of support directly.

But the goal is the same, and to peform arias, you need it all. Partial application of concepts will lead just to injury.

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I think the issue here is that a lot of teachers don't ever specifically use the word "twang" to describe what they want their students to do. None of my classical teachers used that term and the first time I heard the term was when I joined this forum. However, I use "twang" and so did all my teachers. We just didn't focus on it in the way we are focusing on it here by specifically narrowing the funnel - directly. We sure did narrow it, but we did it using different kinds of imagary.

Twang is simply a term to describe a dimension in the throat used to amplify the sound. Varying the amount of twang results in a specific frequency band being amplified more or less.

I think it is a really cool to be able to adjust twang and know how to do it. We all use it, and being able to control it is a nice tool in the arsenal.

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