Jump to content

ring,squillo,cut...twang,pharyngeal,cry

Rate this topic


 Share

Recommended Posts

i find the subject of the narrowing of the laryngopharynx interesting as it does seems the important factor in creating ´´ring`` in the voice regardless of larynx postion (though of course larynx postion affects the overtones and timbre).

in regards to creating ´ring` and some of the techniques that seems to encourage it, i feel that there is a difference in twang and what some people describe as pharyngeal voice. to me twang does indeed narrow the diameter of the laryngopharynx but also tilts the epiglottis, inturn lifting the layrnx up. so you do get a ´´ring`` quality to the sound but you also get unwanted activation of swallowing muscles which is not desirable for singing. its as if twang is the poor mans version of true laryngopharynx narrowing or the easy but ultimately less desirable version (sorry im not trying to open a can of worms and obviously its debateable on personal views of whether a tilted epiglottis, high layrynx is desirable- technically and audibly as a foundation of singing). with some of the so called pharyngeal sounds and the whimpering, cry sounds it seems you can have the narrowing going on and the ´´ring`` but with what ever laryngeal postion you choose. all versions though seem closely linked to tighter fold adduction. i know that Robert has talked about isolation and the AES but then describes a higher layrynx so i would assume there is still some epiglotal tilt going on? though on the other hand i have heard people describe pharyngeal tones as lifting the larynx also but maybe thats because of the interchangeable meanings of vocal terminolgy coming into play? very interesting anyhow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 86
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

this is were it gets confusing due to various interpretations of vocal terminolgy.

those who have actually studied and sing classical/opera such as Darrison and Steven Fraser will have to clarify this but to my knowlege opera singers do use a technique (lets skip on the terminolgy for a mo) that decreases the diameter of a part of the pharynx which creates the ring or squillo but do not use a technique that engages a epiglotal tilt aswell . if the technique that uses this epigltal tilt is indeed twang then opera singer do not use it ( Steven even says the whole concept of twang is knew to him ) coming from the fact that a big epiglotal tilt will raise the larynx and of course as we all all know a high laryngeal postion is not used in the opera/classical world. like i said before it seems that if the technique that uses an epiglotal tilt is indeed true twang then it is linked to/dependant on laryngeal postion where as the other technique (lets just call it pharyngeal at the mo for arguments sake) can be created independantly of larynx postion. for instance if i use a pharyngeal exercises such as doing a an octave and a half scale on a NG sound (like as if your holding on to the last part of the word HUNG) i can do this with a balanced larynx where as if i go for a real twangy sound (like axl rose for instance) i cant control my larygeal position-its not so bad in the lower pitches but as you go high so does the larynx.

i think part of it is to do with what vowel shapes can be created doing each technique?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CentreOfTheUniverse,

Well twang is a narrowing of the epiglottical area. More concrete it's about bringing the area of the arytenoid cartilages closer to the lower part of the epiglottis (also called petiole). The epiglottical cartilage doesn't tilt very much. IF it's tilted then a "growl" is produced.

So there is a difference in narrowing and tilting!

Also th NG or HUNG exercises you are talking about make use of nasal resonance (open velar port). And that can make the voice sound more "pingy" like twang. But twang and an open nasal passage are two different things and can be controlled independently- :)

Also remember on higher pitches the larynx WILL rise! Actually trying to keep it too low will hinder the higher notes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The larynx naturally rises, however we can control it to keep it at a fairly neutral position [since the larynx does not NEED to rise for higher pitch], depending on style. Extremes are to be avoided, i.e. a too low or a too high larynx.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the larynx doesnt really raise for me on higher pitches as i have trained in a balanced larynx coordination though i am working on my 3rd bridge (pitches above high E above tenor high C) . the description of twang from which im familar with is from catherine sadolines work where its based on the a narrowing of the phraynx from a epiglotal tilt. i know estill talk about the AES contraction but i would assume there is also some epiglotal tilt going on as well if the larynx raises. maybe depending on the technique, slightly different areas are contracted aswell?

yes the im sure the nasal quality of the NG does have some influence on the ´pingy` ´ring` sound but the exercise also helps carry the quality into vocalisation that has a closed velor port aswell.

from what i have read pharyngeal voice is described more as a vocal fold coordination for the devlopment of mixed voice and passagio crossing where varying vertical depths of mass of fold are engaged (such as caesari describes) rather than for specifically narrowing the pharynx but maybe one engages the other? one thing is for sure and that is whether its purely from a fold coordintion or whether its because of a narrowing of the pharynx or a combo of both, when you are in mixed voiced there is a definate ping or ring to the sound (obviously most noticable in the higher pitches). for me there is also often a feeling of narrowing going on aswell (i dont mean constriction or tension-its a very different feeling) but then maybe im doing it slightly wrong and slipping back into my old metal stylised ways :P

it does seem that views change on the use of pharyngeal voice depending of the personal interpretation and meaning anyhow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i suppose another question that could be raised is whether the ´ring` qualities you get in high, neutral and low larynx are due to three seperate, different coordinations or infact very similar if not the same one, the diffrence being the change of the harmonics,overtones,formants etc from the larynx position then added rather than a change in ´ring` itself in its purest form. i guess it depends on whether the ´ring` is dependant on larynx position and vowel formation ?

man i wish Brett had enough time to put his thoughts across on the ´´ring`` and pharygeal voice topics!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Great discussion! I think this discussion is one of the most important we could be having. "twang" vs "pharyngeal"... well, I tend to agree with Martin, I think its probably the same thing, but to be truthful I believe we are very much on the cutting edge of the definitions here and few people could really tell you the difference if there is... maybe Steve Fraser could chime in here?

"center" I have to correct you on the twang, you do NOT get any activation of the constrictors or "swallowing muscles"... if that was happening I wouldnt be training it. We achieve complete isolation at TVS with twang, when performed properly.

Brett is a great teacher, but I do not think that "twang" & "Pharyngeal" is his forte' or his historical reference... although I heard that the SS language is beginning to now finally open up to configurations that are not always "balanced"... I think in large part, due to the twang discussions that were first seeded at other forums and continuing here at TMV. We pioneered the discussions on pharyngeal and twang singing on these forums...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

i find the subject of the narrowing of the laryngopharynx interesting as it does seems the important factor in creating ´´ring`` in the voice regardless of larynx postion (though of course larynx postion affects the overtones and timbre).

in regards to creating ´ring` and some of the techniques that seems to encourage it, i feel that there is a difference in twang and what some people describe as pharyngeal voice. to me twang does indeed narrow the diameter of the laryngopharynx but also tilts the epiglottis, inturn lifting the layrnx up. so you do get a ´´ring`` quality to the sound but you also get unwanted activation of swallowing muscles which is not desirable for singing. its as if twang is the poor mans version of true laryngopharynx narrowing or the easy but ultimately less desirable version (sorry im not trying to open a can of worms and obviously its debateable on personal views of whether a tilted epiglottis, high layrynx is desirable- technically and audibly as a foundation of singing). with some of the so called pharyngeal sounds and the whimpering, cry sounds it seems you can have the narrowing going on and the ´´ring`` but with what ever laryngeal postion you choose. all versions though seem closely linked to tighter fold adduction. i know that Robert has talked about isolation and the AES but then describes a higher layrynx so i would assume there is still some epiglotal tilt going on? though on the other hand i have heard people describe pharyngeal tones as lifting the larynx also but maybe thats because of the interchangeable meanings of vocal terminolgy coming into play? very interesting anyhow.

Your statement that twang engages the constrictor muscles is erroneous. We train completely isolated intrinsic contractions every week at TVS and if it triggered the constrictors in the least bit, I would not be teaching it nor would it be a success. To state that "twang is the poor mans" laryngopharynx narrowing is or is the easy but less desirable... " is unqualified, opinionated and patently makes no sense. Before you make such statements, please train it, learn to do it and speak from first hand experience.... and learning to twang is anything, but "easy" for some people... :mad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great discussion! I think this discussion is one of the most important we could be having. "twang" vs "pharyngeal"... well, I tend to agree with Martin, I think its probably the same thing, but to be truthful I believe we are very much on the cutting edge of the definitions here and few people could really tell you the difference if there is... maybe Steve Fraser could chime in here?

Robert: I am very interested to listen to (and spectrally analyze) multiple examples from more TMV-ers showing 'twang' and 'non-twang'. I've got a couple, but not nearly enough to make the generalizations we are seeking. In the examples I have heard so far, its not clear whether twang is a phonation effect alone, a resonance effect alone, or a combination of phonation and resonance. Its also quite possible that we have diverging definitions. I am game to help with the discussion.

I'll look to you guys to point out recording artists that are representative as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the description of twang from which im familar with is from catherine sadolines work where its based on the a narrowing of the phraynx from a epiglotal tilt.

The epiglottical cartilage does tilt a bit but not as much as once believed. Are you familiar with the new english edition of Complete Vocal Technique from 2008 by Cathrine Sadolin? Quite a lot have changed since the 2000 edition!

Also the NG exercise will only be beneficial for the "ring" (when we talk about non nasal) if a twang is a part of the production. You can do the NG with or without twang.

The larynx WILL rise on higher pitches - mainly because of the acoustics - higher ptches requires smaller spaces to resonate the best and vice versa. And a high larynx is just as healthy as a lowered or neutral larynx. The "neutral" larynx or "speech level" larynx is old news and actually the theory that the larynx must not rise is preventing a lot of singers from reaching high and loud notes. I believe Robert can vouch for that! And also Cathrine Sadolin and Jo Estill etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Martin as you are well aware there are many ways to create a smaller resonance space other then a high larynx alone. that can happen whether the larynx is high low back to front or upside down lol. I would agree that high larynx on it's own is not necc. evil, however like you said, the larynx WILL rise naturally, but not in a controlled manner for the starting vocalist, yet in a constricted way. I remember reading passages from Catherina's work where she incrementally worked the larynx up with an opera singer who locked her larynx way too low. She didn't say, hey just let that larynx do it's thing!

Locking your larynx at a very low position seems to be the hobby of some opera singers these days and it produces an ugly, overdark, unatural sound. However saying that the larynx must be really high for your really high notes is just as much a fallacy as that your larynx must be really low in order for you to sing healthily, or that your larynx must be neutral. Remember, the vocal folds stretch to change pitch along a horizontal axis, the ct contracts, tilts the thyroid cartilage and the vocal folds stretch.

However for the staring vocalists, training your larynx to stay released and at a +- homebase level, gives you a nice situation to choose up and down from.

Also, maybe some classical trained singers can jump in on this topic, to discuss the importance of covering, while taking tons of chest up.

This will prove a very interesting discussion for me. I allready discussed it with some doctors I know, and they gave me alot of info [they could actually sing too hehe, allbeit classical, but still :P]. It might help to get some prejudice out of the way.

We can discuss here about what is most benificial to teach for a student, telling them to sing high larynx, or middle, or low, but we must also try to ban out any wrong theories that the larynx must do this or that while it must not, and it's not cse you prefer that way, that it must, it's what is actually needed to produce a given sound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brett is a great teacher, but I do not think that "twang" & "Pharyngeal" is his forte' or his historical reference... although I heard that the SS language is beginning to now finally open up to configurations that are not always "balanced"... I think in large part, due to the twang discussions that were first seeded at other forums and continuing here at TMV. We pioneered the discussions on pharyngeal and twang singing on these forums...

I have to disagree with this. He teaches constantly the use of the pharyngeal, aswell in my opinion he teaches twang too, however he names it differently. And yeah you are correct, SS evolved, doing alot of things that Seth would fire them for, that's why Brett left the organisation. However they will still always come from homebase, safe and good technique. There is safe technique and there is things that can be safe, but when you miss, they can do alot of hurt. If you sing with alot of compression on high notes and let your squeeze go in the middle or drop your support, that can hurt, I felt it :P [it's what im trying to balance now :>]. SS will teach the homebase first and then will look to the persons specific wishes, and teach growl to distortion to what have you. One of the last lessons w Billy Duval featured growl, however Brett chooses to only teach these kind of things privatly, instead of inserting it in a course. Those then, who never had private lessons w Brett, or his assoc., and just have his way outdated program, might get the wrong impressions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you elaborate? A Classical sound high larynx? :P And how high a larynx are we talking here?

(ofcourse I realise the hint of sarcasm in your post as usual, however it's not because someone isn't a great vocalist yet, that he can't be right - it's like the doctor in training tells the doctor he says something wrong and then the doctor looks at dismay at him and says: what would you know young boy, however at home he studies the topic and sees the student was right. - related to your example: You say that Brett is full of it for saying that he needs to lower his larynx in order to get his whistle, yet you can't even make whistle, or at least you couldn't, who knows maybe you can now - as you see totally irrelevant)

I'm glad you agree with me, since you didn't say anything about it and rather chose to therefore talk about me :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elrathion,

Well just a high larynx and a low larynx with a classical sound color would be fine.

About whistle:

http://www.box.net/shared/nzpjtajf9g

I'm not that great at it....haven't been training that register..do you have any suggestions how to imporove it?? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you elaborate? A Classical sound high larynx? :P And how high a larynx are we talking here?

Elrathion: Yes, a classical sound high larynx is quite doable, and if you watch videos of singers, and look in detail at the level of the larynx in the throat, it happens quite often, especially in tenors and females with high voices. It is not as common with lower male voices, as the relationship of the lower harmonics to the resonances is different.

Acoustically, it comes down to the decision about the tone quality ideal, and then how that vocal tone quality will be produced. In the classical singer, there is a high value placed on chiaroscurro, which means a combination of strength in both the lower and upper harmonics. When its possible to do so, the classical singer shapes the vowels so that the lowest formant (F1) aligns with the lowest harmonic that is possible for that note, while still maintaining intelligibility. The reason this is done is that the lower harmonics of the phonated tone have more energy- they are louder at the source.

The frequency positions of all the formants are partially determined by the overall vocal tract length, from cords to lips. With the lower larynx, the formants are lower, making possible the F1/harmonic alignment just described.

However, as the fundamental rises, there is no issue with the larynx rising, provided it is not done as a result of tension, and the larynx has the freedom of motion it needs for vibrato to function. For higher fundamentals (in soprano voices, especially) the singer modifies vowels in the passaggio so that F1 comes to track just higher than the fundamental. The singer can drop jaw, widen smile, and raise larynx to accomplish this maneuver. In these higher frequency fundamentals, the need for singer's formant is less. Classical sopranos get the principal part of their vocal power from the F1 alignment to the fundamental.

As an example of this, check out the recording of the French Soprano Mado Robin at

Just watch what she does with her jaw, lips and throat as she maneuvers throughout the ranges. The last high note, the Bb above soprano high C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but a soprano is a lighter voice. I don't think it's recommended for a heavy voice to sing with alot of compression and high larynx, unless you're looking at lighter pieces, maybe even countertenor.

I typed up this elaborate thing here for Martin but it vanished :s WEIRD!

Anyway, I was gonna say cool you're starting to find it, however this is the light version, there's another way, which will probably interest you more, and it's the way that operatic sopranists do their high notes. I can't do it yet myself, but I heared it from Dante and it was quite outreagous how loud and resonant those things were, his G6's and stuff ohoh. From what he explained me, he builds from a very silent sound, as silent as you can get it, and once you're there you can lean into it. Ways to find this little sound is for example by reverse phonation, vocal fry,

sensations like feeling chocked [thats what i feel] or something in the back of your head, and by slightly lowering your larynx to counter the tendancy to take a too high larynx. Also you gotta narrow the airflow down to the minimum, or you'll never get that high piercing whistle you want :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but a soprano is a lighter voice. I don't think it's recommended for a heavy voice to sing with alot of compression and high larynx, unless you're looking at lighter pieces, maybe even countertenor.

Elrathion: A soprano is not necessarily a lighter voice. Some of the very largest voices I know are Sopranos :cool:

The choice of the low (or not) larynx (from my perspective) is about the desired tone quality. For lower (not heavier, lower) voices, the chiaroscurro tone quality benefits from the longer vocal tract which that goes with the low larynx. Also, some singers purse the lips forward, and lessen the opening of the jaw. Both those movements lower the vowel formants. This latter technique is done to bring the formants lower to align advantageously with lower harmonics in the sung tone, increasing their strength. Its a technique used by many singers to 'bring their head tone' down into what would ordinarily be (what you guys would call) the mix range.

Acoustically, its all to the same effect. The singer is moving the resonances around so that they align with lower harmonics. If they also have some epilaryngeal resonance (i.e., twang), then the chiaroscuro tone quality is the result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven, do you mean chiaroscuro?

Furthermore, you interpret light as something not heavy, but it can be interpreted too as less dark, less weighted, as I take it. A soprano is a lighter voice as a baritone is a darker voice :P I'm well aware how loud sopranos can be in their higher ranges hehehe.

I'm not sure we can just narrow it down to total quality, and the search of the perfect formant.

I believe neutral is a fairly good position to be taught, because, neutral meas you dont have the usual overcompression that comes with the higher larynx, nor its lack of lower harmonics.

Often with a high larynx, the musculature of the larynx gets cramped and you dont have as much room to move.

There is also something to be said for certain vowels like E, that need a slight raise of the larynx, if ones larynx is allready too high, then you create a balance. Plus, "lower" voices, as your definition, are as far as I know, more dangerous to abuse.

I'm no doctor by any means, but I've read tons about it and discussed this with doctors, I guess I'm not always putting things a 100% with the right words as you do Steven :P I'm waiting for your reply to this, then I'm gonna go ask them some more questions to put it into a beter light ;>

And by the way, it's one of the reasons I like schools like CVT is that they teach this very thing you are talking about, the different ways to shape your own resonance tract, and the acoustic effects. However I still think that this is material for advanced singers who allready have alot of training under their belt and want to strive for the best possible sound in their voice. Until they are ready, would indeed not a middle larynx/released be the best position to train with?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steven, do you mean chiaroscuro?

Furthermore, you interpret light as something not heavy, but it can be interpreted too as less dark, less weighted, as I take it. A soprano is a lighter voice as a baritone is a darker voice :P I'm well aware how loud sopranos can be in their higher ranges hehehe.

Elrathion: Yes, I mean chiaroscuro: light/dark. But, these are just words. I am trying to understand the point you were trying to communicate, which is why I differentiated vocal weight (intensity of phonation) from resonance: to get at what you meant by 'light'.

I'm not sure we can just narrow it down to total quality, and the search of the perfect formant.

I believe neutral is a fairly good position to be taught, because, neutral meas you dont have the usual overcompression that comes with the higher larynx, nor its lack of lower harmonics.

Often with a high larynx, the musculature of the larynx gets cramped and you dont have as much room to move.

What is 'better' is always a value judgment, so I am (for this discussion) neutral on what is or is not, unless we are talking about the 'reasons' that something is better or not.... the surrounding value system, preferences, etc.

However, let me make a clarification. The position of the larynx is not going to affect the presence of particular harmonics on its own. That will be a function of the phonation. Their intensity will very definitely be strongly influenced by the vocal tract resonance characteristics, one of which is the position of the larynx as it affects overall tract length.

There is also something to be said for certain vowels like E, that need a slight raise of the larynx, if ones larynx is allready too high, then you create a balance. Plus, "lower" voices, as your definition, are as far as I know, more dangerous to abuse.

I'm no doctor by any means, but I've read tons about it and discussed this with doctors, I guess I'm not always putting things a 100% with the right words as you do Steven :P I'm waiting for your reply to this, then I'm gonna go ask them some more questions to put it into a beter light ;>

And by the way, it's one of the reasons I like schools like CVT is that they teach this very thing you are talking about, the different ways to shape your own resonance tract, and the acoustic effects. However I still think that this is material for advanced singers who allready have alot of training under their belt and want to strive for the best possible sound in their voice. Until they are ready, would indeed not a middle larynx/released be the best position to train with?

Again, the 'better' comes from your value system. For the beginner, its far easier to think of, and work on, 1 thing at a time. The beginner is just learning how to think about all this, and can easily become overwhelmed with the complexity. So, IMO its 'better' to start with the mind... musical concepts, while inculcating a level of relaxation and sponteneity. Otherwise, it will not be fun, and the student will wind up too self-conscious.

I do agree, though, that (as a goal) a great deal of phonation concepts and skills (including adduction consistency and balance... the whole 'onset' thing) is really independent of larynx position. So... its OK to leave it neutral while other things are worked. IMO, raising due to tension is bad (and very common), so learning to phonate without it happening is sometimes very challenging for the beginner.

More later. Let's keep at it :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's recommended for a heavy voice to sing with alot of compression and high larynx, unless you're looking at lighter pieces, maybe even countertenor.

Why shouldn't that be recommended? If you want to have a loud high note you will be singing with that coordination. Trying not to will actually hinder the process and that's one of the reasons why heavier voices sometimes think that they can't sing high. A high loud note calls for a raised larynx with a lot of twang.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Martin H: Its an excellent question. Why would it not be recommended? What is the 'downside' of the heavy/high compression/larynx combination? Is there a tradeoff that would be unacceptable? IMO, a topic well worth some passionate (but objective) discussion.

I do wonder, though, why a high loud note calls for a raised larynx. Is that always the case? Is it required for some desirable characteristic of the tone, i.e., the vocal tract resonances which happen in a certain way when the larynx is high, but not when neutral or low? Or, is it the case that the high notes (and we should talk about some pitches, octaves and voice types here, to make this less subjective) will not even _work_ unless the larynx is high and is 'twang-enabled' :cool:

For example, is there a place in the scale where it is beneficial (for 1 or another reason) to allow this, or better yet, encourage and expect laryngeal raising (a la Jo Estill) to happen for technical reasons? Or, is it about the artistic effect... how it energizes the audience experience, or more closely matches the audience expectation? I do not know these answers, but I am very happy to be involved in the discussion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share




×
×
  • Create New...