Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2011


Janet Moore

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This paper seeks to review the principles of vocal technique as seen from both an artistic and scientific standpoint and ultimately connect these two seemingly incompatible entities. This paper also seeks to review the application of physics to singing; specifically, enhanced coordination between the neural center of the body – the brain – in distinct cortical areas with extremely complex musculature and associated vocal tissues necessary for the production of musical notes. Biophysical modeling can be used to study these intricate processes vis-à-vis the relationship between certain variables such as tract air pressures and the gradients required for song. Such modeling can have clinical and other application in qualifying nature and effect of disease. However, basic understanding of the biophysics of vocalization as opposed to detailed modeling can be sufficient both in the clinical setting and in the musical setting where it is important to better one’s vocal technique to maximize song quality. Thus, biophysics has a multifaceted application to singing. Furthermore, the implication that vocal technique can be thought of not only in musical terms but also scientific terms reveals the importance of biological and neurological processes in the music making process and seeks to debunk the myth that these two thought processes are wholly unrelated. However, through this examination of vocal technique the author seeks to demonstrate the intricate correlation between science and art, specifically the art of singing, and the necessary balance needed to exercise what is known as ―good‖ vocal technique. The author, to further this investigation, seeks to apply her findings in this process to her own singing and exercise of vocal technique to determine its applicability, specifically in a classical music style setting.