The resonance chamber is located around the thyroid cartilage in the upper part of the throat. It is a very important influence, which ultimately determines the quality of a person’s voice.
You already know that the voice is produced by the vocal chords, but that does not affect the sound quality.
The vocal chord has two roles, the first role is to vibrate the fold and make the initial tone. Then secondly, extends and contracts the fold which changes the pitch.
The original tone and changing pitch are very important … but, “It’s just to produce the voice.” Not quality voice, which is what most are seeking to improve.
I often compare the vocal fold to an acoustic guitar.
For example, If you remove strings from y our guitar, then asked someone to hold the edge of strings, and then tried to the pick strings…
What kind of sound would you get? Is it loud? And, does the sound move your heart? Would a professional guitarist only cherish the quality of sound produced by the strings, compared to an amateur?
Quality is observed by all, and regarding the voice it is the same concept! The space of the body is very important to create the rich and resonant sound. It is indeed this space which makes it possible to effectively produce harmonic sounds.
There are five spaces which control the ability to produce a good voice in humans.
From closest to chord…1:laryngeal ventricle 2: piriform recess 3:pharyngeal cavity 4:oral cavity 5:nasal cavity These combined are known as the vocal tract.
The pharyngeal cavity, which is located behind the hyoid bone, has the largest movement role and directly affects the sound quality .
Most people think that professional singers and voice actors have great voices naturally, but the truth of the matter is that they only display an advanced ability (usually through classes and training) to be able to understand and use the space (the pharyngeal cavity) located behind the hyoid bone .
Note: More details about the vocal tract.
I recently received a question that asks, “Are the other resonance chambers not important?”
All of the chambers are of course important, but the pharyngeal cavity is the most relevant chamber to sound quality.
You can change the size and figure of your pharyngeal cavity as much as you wish, depending on the type of training goals you are working towards.
However, the hyoid bone which is in limbo has to be held by the muscle fibers of the middle constrictor.
So, let me describe the features of the other resonance chambers.
The laryngeal ventricle: Is the small space enclosed by the vocal folds and the false vocal cord (vestibule). It’s difficult to change the size or space of this, but this is important in achieving the high-quality of a P&P (Piano & Pianissimo).
The piriform recesses: The term “piriform,” which means “pear-shaped”, more so is required for swallowing (eating) than singing.The piriform recesses (piriform sinuses) are present on either side of the anterolateral wall of the laryngopharynx. They are bounded medially by the aryepiglottic folds and laterally by the thyroid cartilage and thyrohyoid membrane. They are a common place for food to become trapped. I would like you to care for this well, because located there is the epiglottis which is requited for the bel canto. The opera term, bel canto, refers to the use of a light tone in the higher registers, the ability to quickly execute accurate divisions, and a graceful phrasing rooted in a complete mastery of breath control.
The oral cavity: Factors articulation. Such as the tongue and the role of final articulation. Which is when the voice appears to project away from the body. Although most teachers instruct to,”Please lift your soft palate higher”, it’s known that it cannot move as much as you would expect, because the area of the hard palate(bone) is larger than the soft palate.
The nasal cavity…This is the longest part of the vocal tract and also relates to the quality of sound. Especially high-pitched tones. If you can picture when the nose is “stuffed up”, this concept would be easy to understand.
By the way, I’ve heard that Alfredo Kraus changed the space and figure in the nasal cavity, delivering beautiful high-pitched tones. But, in my opinion, the nasal cavity is enclosed by hard parts: such as the ethmoid bone, the sphenoid bone, the nasal septum and the maxilla. The soft tissue has no mobility, therefore, I do not think his theory is accurate.
1:laryngeal ventricle 2: piriform recess 3:pharyngeal cavity 4:oral cavity 5:nasal cavity