I investigated the voice and larynx of Maria Callas. She was an American opera singer, famous for her impressive vocal range.
People say that her voice has noticeably changed since the 1960’s.
I often hear that this problem was caused by stress due to an affair scandal as well as aging.
I’ll investigate what the underlying reason is, in why her voice changed.
I’ve found the position of the larynx and the status of her neck muscles in her photos.
Her larynx looked so flexible when her voice was in its heyday before 1960.
You can observe the laryngeal prominence in the following picture:
Meanwhile, the muscles of her larynx appear to have tension, when she had a slump in singing after 1960, and the larynx is positioned deep in the following picture.
Through visual observation I conclude she contracted and strained her throat when singing. I speculate that could be from not using her voice for an extended period of time and then returning with expectations of having the same abilities. Control, flexibility, and strength will weaken if the vocal muscles are not consistently being exercised. It is especially important for opera singers to maintain the muscles of the throat in order to keep the ability to project such powerful vocal volumes and push to such wide vocal ranges.
Although I do not know the specific incident that caused the issue to her throat, sequentially she could not control her voice easily with that problem.
She had a long distance between top of the hyoid bone and the mental spine of the mandible, it is muscularly defined and this portion resonates the voice greatly.
Her voice attracted many listeners.
Although there are always individual differences, the voice of all people usually changes with age.
Generally known, a woman’s voice is going to progress to become lower and a man’s is going to progress to be slightly higher when growing older.
The vocal cord muscle’s often show atrophy with age, little by little, for both men and women. A noticeable increase in moisturizing the vocal cords mucosa and a decline in the athletic performance of the vocal cords mucosa is also shown.
You can see the following 4 phenomenons associated with the voice when aging.
(1) Easier to get a hoarse voice
(2)Voice sounds cracked
(3)Voice sounds thick, due to ‘dysphonia plicae ventricularis’
(4) Easier to get dryness in throat
The female hormone is the factoring difference that defines the pitch between women and men’s voices.
Basically, if the vocal cord atrophies, the vocal cord itself increases in mass and in turn makes the vocal cord thin.
Therefore, men’s voices become higher with aging.
Women’s voices becomes lower with aging. Women’s vocal cords grow in mass due to a decrease in secretion of the female hormone, and can lead to edema. Edema is swelling caused by fluid retention. The excess fluid is first trapped in the body’s tissues, over time it builds up and causes the swelling.
I’ve treated a lot of aging voices.
I target improving blood circulation of the superior laryngeal artery, because it sends blood to the larynx.
When blood circulation decreases, oxygen and nutrition cannot be sent to the muscles, the voice sounds worse and many times at a faster rate.
The 5 causes for poor blood circulation are as follows:
(1)The superior laryngeal artery is compressed due to the muscle hypertonia.
(2) The space between the thyrohyoid bones becomes closer
(3)A decrease in blood pressure of the external carotid artery
(4)Thyroid gland disease
(5)Hardening of the mucosa tissues
You can keep a young voice while aging, if you stay aware of and take care of your voice before the senior years begin. Although, the best age for a man’s voice is before his 50’s and for a woman is before her 40’s.
I truly hope you can keep a great voice forever.