I met a singer who claimed, “My left vocal chord vibrates when singing low-pitched tones and my right vocal chord vibrates when singing high-pitched tones.”
Is it possible to be able to feel a difference in vibration between the right and left vocal chord?
I’ve touched a lot of fresh vocal chords, some damaged/some in excellent condition, and I’ve never seen the right and left be the exact same in length, thickness and hardness. That is why, I can confidently confirm that the right and left vocal cord are not same in humans.
This is the same with other body parts, our body is not perfectly symmetric. For example, both your arms are not same length.
There is no doubt, eyes differ in size between the left and right, also the thighs and feet.
I strongly believe it would be very difficult to be able to “feel” a difference between the right and left sides of the vocal cord. This can be perhaps confused with the vibrational movements felt on both sides, one just being mildly stronger than the other. The voluntary muscle is a muscle used for vocalization, but there is no way to verify the process of centrally focusing solely to one side, until after the voice is expelled. At that point the muscles can be checked for tenderness.
That’s why, even if you said “Ooh, I feel the right vocal chord vibrating now,” that’s just sense or a hypothesis, which unfortunately has no credibility. A hypothesis is an educated guess about the process of how things work, or a proposed explanation for a phenomenon.
However, if they are extremely well-trained professional vocalists, it is quite possible to use one vocal chord strength more than the other.
I tested, and here are my findings:
I asked a singer who boasts to be able to control his vocal chords as much as he wants, to be the subject in this test.
I asked him to make the sound of an “A” using first the left and secondly the right vocal chord.
Of course, it’s impossible to stop only one side from vibrating. He indeed had vibrated more of the right vocal chord.
(1) I palpated the musculus extrinsic laryngis and checked the hardness whether there is difference or not between right and left.
(2) I made the rendering of anatomical drawing from the video inspection,
then determined and checked the laterality of the subject. The term laterality refers to the preference most humans show for one side of their body over the other.
(3) I inspected the upper vocal chord along side of a medical doctor who also examined the subject using a fiber-optic endoscope.
As a result, I could not find any differences between the vocal cords in (2) and (3) but obviously I could see differences between right and left in (1).
I then, tested again. Only this time, I palpated precisely when he did not vocalize.
The vocal chords displayed movement around the muscles such as extension, opening and closing but not just the one vocal cord itself.
The subject used both muscles, though he meant to make a difference between left and right.
Which muscle did I feel through palpation, differed from side to side?
From the integument, the sternohyoid muscle, the thyrohyoid muscle and the omohyoid muscle, turned over the thyroid cartilage, part of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle and part of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle.
The throat always amazes me a lot.