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Twang as a term, is it generally known, and what is the history

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I almost feel guilty asking another question, but you all have been very welcoming to a newcomer

I had not encountered the term twang before, but I listened to all the clips on the recent thread, and it makes sense to me as a descriptive term; actually I think it makes sense to apply it to brass instrument tone as well even though the mechanism is different

Is this term unique to the teachers on this forum, or is it generally accepted?

How long has it been around?

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If we are only referring to different names for the bright, twangy, brassy, squillo etc. characteristics of the specific sound then I'm certain it can be dated way back.

However, when we begin to be more specific in regards to the mechanisms behind this certain sound, then it's probably Bartholomew who was one of the first to address it more scientifically in 1934 where he mentions a "resonator" in the 2800 Hz region. :)

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thanks martin,

do you know after all the research on this topic i've ever done, i finally saw a video that shows the actual narrowing going on? it's in the twang post.

it's a hard thing to grasp if you feel like that's something you employ often sort of automatically or intuitively when you sing. it doesn't "feel" like something you turn on or off for me.....

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is interesting that the cvt metallic modes/belt also create a narrowing on the same pharyngeal zone, it's like other kind of twang (narrowing) that increases gradually in the pharyngeal area as a natural reflex to the increase of volume

check the video here:


what are your thoughts on this martin? :)

maybe this narrowing IS just twang?, or is it something else?


The narrowing, as a tract adjustment, produces the tone quality that we call twang. It's easily learned.. 10 or 15 mins in the studio, by imitation, and some dedicated practice to apply it to the range and all the vowels.

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