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Musings on Mechanics
In Praise of Articulatory Asceticism

by Claudia Friedlander



Are your articulatory skills in need of a boost?
“My technique works perfectly when I’m vocalizing,” I often hear singers complain, “but then when I start singing words, everything falls apart!”

When the delivery of text derails a singer’s otherwise well-coordinated instrument, the likely explanation is that their articulatory skills are in need of a boost. In this column, I will define articulation’s role in singing technique, describe the basic function of the principle articulators, and offer some exercises for improving coordination.

A Function of Resonance
Optimal resonance is defined by its ability to facilitate vocal amplification and projection. I consider articulation an inherent component of what singers do to create and color resonance.

The supraglottal tract is a highly malleable space capable of molding vocal vibration into a wide variety of tone colors; anything that influences the shape of this space will impact on the sound produced by the vocal folds, impacting not only tone and projectio...
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