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Journal of Voice

Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 342-350


1989 Raven Press, Ltd., New York

The Contribution of Aryepiglottic Constriction to


"Ringing" Voice Quality A Videolaryngoscopic Study
with Acoustic Analysis

Eiji Yanagisawa, *Jo Estill, Steven T. Kmucha, and Steven B. Leder


Section of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, and Yale-New Haven
Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, and *New York, New York, U.S.A.

Summary: Fiberscopic video laryngoscopy was performed on five professional


singers to determine the presence or absence of aryepiglottic narrowing as a
function of voice quality. Each sang "Happy Birthday" and parts of the "Star
Spangled Banner" in six different voice qualities: speech, falsetto, sob (a low
larynx with a vocal tract expanded by relaxing the middle constrictors), twang,
belting, and opera. Several features were found to be common among the
subjects and related to specific qualities, Aryepiglottic constriction was
present in all singers in twang, belting, and opera qualities. Spectrographic
analysis related the constriction to the presence of the "singer's formant." The
presence of this type of constrictive behavior will require further research to
ascertain the possible benefits to those for whom a louder voice is essential and
to understand the relationship of this constrictive maneuver to the natural
closure functions of the larynx. Key Words: Aryepiglottic constriction--Voice
quality--Fiberscopic videolaryngoscopy--Acoustic analysis.

In the absence of organic pathology, a laryngol- with the production of high-intensity phonations.
ogist in the routine examination of singers must be Pedagogical wisdom has assumed that laryngeal
alert to observe any constrictive behaviors of the constriction inevitably results in voice deteriora-
larynx. It is commonly believed that singers pre- tion. H o w e v e r , we felt that this voice had not suf-
senting with what appear to be hyperfunctional fered any ill effects from this constrictive behavior.
voice qualities are candidates for future problems His profession required daily singing in the U.S.
and such observations provoke alarm. Thus, when Army Chorus, in which he is one of the soloists. He
a trained professional singer displays a tight ary- sang many kinds of music, in different qualities,
epiglottic constriction, as one singer did in a recent often on the same evening's program. The interven-
educational film (1), the laryngologist may become ing 12 years of this type of vocalization has not
concerned and question the method of the subject's resulted in vocal deterioration. While there were no
voice production. objective measurements made between the two re-
The singer in question was videotaped initially in cordings other than a visual comparison and an au-
1975 by Brewer et al. (2). The recordings at that ral subjective evaluation, there was no difference
time revealed aryepiglottic constriction associated either in sound or in production when the two video
tapes made 12 years apart were compared. Further-
more, the videolaryngoscopic assessment by the
This work was presented at The Seventeenth Symposium on examining laryngologist (E.Y.) was that the subject
Care of the Professional Voice, New York, 1988.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. E. Ya- was in excellent vocal condition.
nagisawa, 98 York Street, New Haven, CT 06511, U.S.A. The following questions then arose: (a) Is this

342
AR YEPIGLOTTIC CONSTRICTION 343

aryepiglottic constriction a legitimate and consis- study. These qualities were chosen initially (a) be-
tent feature of a particular voice quality or a partic- cause they are perceptually easy to identify, (b) be-
ular singer? (b) Is it typical of all types of singing in cause they are universally recognizable across cul-
general? (c) Is it evidence of abnormal laryngeal tures, and (c) because they have long been associ-
function for which corrective action should be ated with specific kinds of music.
taken? The purpose of this paper is to answer these The first quality recorded was of ordinary,
questions by studying five professional singers us- speech mode, most often heard from those vocally
ing videolaryngoscopy and spectrographic analysis. untrained citizens who must struggle to reach the
highest notes of the national anthem. The second
quality was that of falsetto, a flute-like, blown tone
METHODS one often hears in traditional English boy choirs or
in the upper ranges of men's voices. The third qual-
Subjects ity is achieved by imitating a repressed sob. It is
Five professional singers, three male baritones generally quite soft and is produced by lowering the
(ages 38, 45, and 55 years) and two female sopranos larynx and expanding the vocal tract with the relax-
(ages 25 and 30 years), were studied. ation of the middle constrictors. Rather piercing in
Equipment nature, twang is the sound identified with hillbilly or
The following equipment was used in this study: country-western singing. It can be compared with
(a) flexible fiberscope, Olympus ENF-P; (b) rigid the sound of an oboe, the plucking of a banjo string
telescope, Nagashima SFT-1; (c) two types of video or autoharp, or the quack of a duck. Belting, a
cameras, a JVC GX N8U single tube camera and a sound identified with Ethel Merman from the mid-
Hitachi DK 5050 three-tube camera; (d) video re- 1930s, and heard today in many Broadway musi-
corder, 3/4 in. Sony VO 5600; (e) an Electro-voice cals, is the fifth quality. Belting has a much longer
RE-10 unidirectional microphone; (f) color video history, however, for one can hear it used in the
monitor; and (g) Kay Elemetrics DSP Sona-Graph, traditional, ethnic music of many cultures around
Model 5500. the world, including the singers in our own African-
American gospel choirs. Belting is best described as
Procedure yelling, set to music. The sixth quality is the trained
Using the Olympus ENF-P flexible fiberscope sound associated with Western European opera
and two types of video cameras, a fiberscopic vid- singing or the dramatic voices of Shakespearean ac-
eolaryngoscopy was performed on five professional tors.
singers with simultaneous voice recording. After Following the fiberoptic recordings of the sing-
adequate intranasal topical anesthesia and adequate ing, video recordings using either a JVC single-tube
laryngeal visualization, video recordings of the camera or a Hitachi three-tube camera were made
singers were obtained as each sang " H a p p y of all subjects performing a m e s s a di voce, a vocal
Birthday" and the same sections from "The Star exercise on a single fundamental frequency in
Spangled Banner" imitating many different per- which the singer begins the tone very softly, in-
formers. creases the intensity to a loud tone, and then de-
Several common voice qualities were clearly creases it again to the initial soft tone (Fig. 1). We
demonstrated and recorded, including speech, fal- instructed the subjects to choose a comfortable
setto, sob, twang, belting, and opera. Perceptual, pitch, and to make the loudest portion as bright and
acoustic, and physiologic characteristics of four of as loud as possible. Because we wanted the epiglot-
these qualities (speech, sob, twang, and opera) tis to be as forward as possible, we asked the sub-
were investigated in an extensive series of studies jects to use the vowel/i/with a fronted tongue that
(1973-1979) (3) and all six qualities were compared
acoustically and physiologically in subsequent elec- FF
tromyographic (EMG) experiments (4-6). One of
the authors (J.E.) was thoroughly familiar with the
fiberoptic characteristics of all of the qualities. In
pp p
addition, the perceptual and visual parameters of FIG. 1. The musical symbol for a rnessa di voce, a vocal figure
where the singer begins softly (pp), progresses to the loudest
each quality were familiar to the subjects and soon intensity (FF), and returns to the initial soft tone (pp), all on the
became apparent to the other participants in the same fundamental frequency.

Journal of Voice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1989


344 E. Y A N A G I S A W A E T A L .

assured the widest possible exposure of the larynx. move anteriorly and/or to tilt caudally as the ary-
Sound recording was accomplished using a unidi- epiglottic sphincter narrowed the vestibule to the
rectional Electro-voice RE-10 microphone held by larynx. The movement could be likened to the be-
the subject approximately 5 cm from the mouth. ginning of a swallowing maneuver, but arrested in
The microphone was connected directly to the midcourse.
video recorder. In order to examine the vocal folds at closer
Spectral analyses of the m e s s a di voce were made range, one of the subjects (J. S.) was asked to repeat
from the audio portion of the video recordings to the different voice qualities using a Nagashima rigid
determine the acoustic effect of the presence or ab- telescope. Even though the rigid telescope severely
sence of aryepiglottic constriction. The signal was limits the subject's movements, there were still
extracted from the original video recording and fed sharp differences in the supraglottic postures ac-
into the Kay Elemetrics DSP 5500 Sona-Graph companying various voice qualities. To summarize
through a Marantz tape recorder. Three analyses the observations in the qualities recorded in this
were made: a narrow-band spectrum of the loudest study, there appeared to be three types of relation-
and softest portion of the m e s s a di voce, a power ships between the aryepiglottic sphincter and the
spectrum from the center of each portion, and a vocal folds, as can be seen in Fig. 2A-F.
measure of the relative sound pressure level differ- Type I is the familiar, normal speech quality (Fig.
ence between them (Table 1). 2A), with the upper margins of the true vocal folds
All video tapes were studied and reviewed by approximated in a closed position. In Type II, the
each of the authors independently and selected vocal folds are more exposed, as seen in falsetto
prints made of significant observations. quality (Fig. 2B) and sob quality (Fig. 2C). In sob
quality, the larynx was considerably lower than in
falsetto quality, and the plane of the vocal folds
RESULTS appeared to have lowered posteriorly. In addition,
the vocal fold length in sob quality was thus com-
When the subjects changed qualities rapidly, the
pletely exposed. Another known difference with
laryngologists observed rapid changes in the posi-
falsetto quality is the stiffness of the cover (7,8).
tion and contour of the larynx. Because all five sub-
For either quality, the "stiffness" could not be de-
jects were consistent in these laryngeal shifts, it was
termined in our study.
evident that different voice qualities were associ-
In Type III, which includes the three loudest
ated with specific gross postures of the larynx. Be-
qualities, twang (Fig. 2D), belting (Fig. 2E), and
sides the sharp shifts in laryngeal position, there
opera (Fig. 2F), all present with a narrowing of the
were changes in the length of the exposed vocal
aryepiglottic sphincter and a decrease in the visible
folds, a change in the anteroposterior (AP) plane of
length of the vocal folds. In twang (Fig. 2D), there
the vocal folds, and an obvious aryepiglottic con-
was a decrease in the anteroposterior diameter of
striction for all subjects in the three loudest voice
the aryepiglottic orifice as the arytenoids and the
qualities: belting, twang, and opera and in the high-
epiglottis approximated; a decrease in the fluidity of
est intensities of the m e s s a di v o c e .
the mucosal wave was noted. In belting (Fig. 2E),
In all cases in the aryepiglottic constriction, the
the approximation of the arytenoids and the epiglot-
epiglottis or the tubercle of the epiglottis appeared
tis occurred to an even greater extreme with a ro-
to move posteriorly, while the arytenoids seemed to
tation of the arytenoids anteriorly, thus decreasing
the distance between the apex of the arytenoids and
T A B L E 1. Fundamental frequencies and relative SPL the epiglottis. The larynx appeared to be closer to
differences between maximum and minimum sections o f the camera, suggesting that the larynx was higher in
the m e s s a di v o c e by subject
the focal tract. The vocal folds in some instances
Relative SPL (in dB) were totally obscured. In the opera quality (Fig.
Subject fo (in Hz) Min. Max. Diff. 2F), these findings persisted concurrent with a low-
ering of the larynx and an increase in the fluidity of
J.S. 247 -7 13 -6
S.O. 440 - 18 - 11 +7 the mucosal wave on the true vocal fold surface.
A.B. 311 -20 -12 +8 As noted above, aryepiglottic constriction was
T.C. 233 - 22 - 13 +9 observed to be a feature of the loudest part of the
M.H. 349 - 18 -9 +9
m e s s a di vo ce. To examine the acoustic character-

Journal of Voice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1989


AR YEPIGLOTTIC CONSTRICTION 345

FIG. 2. Categorization of videoendoscopic observations into three types of relationships between the aryepiglottic sphincter and the
vocal tolds: Type l: (A) normal speech with true vocal folds approximated in a closed position. Type lI: falsetto quality (13) and sob
quality (C) with vocal folds exposed and with no apparent vocal fold closure. In sob, the larynx is in a lower position. Type III: twang
(D), belting (E), and opera (F) qualities with tightened aryepiglottic sphincter. In belting, the larynx is slightly higher. In opera quality
(F), the larynx is slightly lower.

istics of the m e s s a di voice, spectrograms were band spectrogram of either the loudest or softest
made of the loudest and softest parts of the vocal segment of the m e s s a di voce. In the upper left cor-
maneuver as performed by these subjects. The anal- ner is the power spectrum averaged over the period
ysis was made using the Kay Elemetrics DSP Sona- of time between the two markers in the narrow-
Graph. In Fig. 3A-J, the lower trace is the narrow- band spectrogram. The arrow is a 3 kHz marker. In

Journal of Voice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1989


346 E. Y A N A G I S A WA ET A L .

!1 '

1 ~ 3 4 S I ? 8 1 2 3 4 5 II 7 I;
Frequeney (in Frequency (In Ida)

6
..... o___ i . . . . . . : . . . . . . . . . . . . l .........
z 4 ..... i ........ ~ ~ ~--- ~ z
tu i
3
Ill

u.
2

A TIME (11NO)
TIME 18 sec)

5 "

3
2

1 2 3 4 S I 7 | 1 2 3 4 S $ 7 8
Vrequenoy (In In'l~) Frequency (in Idt,t)
.~- 7 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

c 6 - .......... !

>-
5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
z
tu 4 ~
tu 1

g :o
o
to

"- ~ . . . . . . . . . . . i . . . . . u_

C TiME (8 sec)
I.%
IJ T IME (8 see)

~s 5
4
<3 3
2
1

! 2 3 4 5 S 7 8 ! 2 3 4 S I 7 |
Frequency (~ ~) Ftequenny (in I n ~
7 .......... :r

TIM~ (S sec) F TIME (8 sec)

FIG, 3. Spectral prints of the m e s s a di v o c e . The lower trace is the narrow-band spectrograph of one segment of the vocal maneuver.
In the upper left corner, the power spectrum is averaged over the period of time between the two markers in the narrow-band
spectrograph. In the upper right corner is the corresponding video image. (A) Baritone J.S.--loudest section; (B) J.S.--softest section;
(C) soprano S.O.--loudest section; (D) S.O.--softest section; (E) baritone A.B.--loudest section; (F) A.B.--softest section; (G) baritone
T.C,---loudest section; (H) T.C.--softest section; (I) soprano M.H.--loudest section; (J) M.H.--softest section. See facing page for G-J.

Journal of Voice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1989


AR YEPIGLOTTIC CONSTRICTION 347

+, I +, 1
5

< 3 3

i' 1

1 2 3 4 s is 7 I I 2 3 4 5 k~l 7 8
Frequency (in kHz) F r e q u e n c y (in )

c S ........ . . . . "~' . . . . .
c 6 .......... +,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. .++.~ +

4 ......... +7 . . . . . . . +::
t.iJ
g p,_.,
lu
w
o: 2
u,.
u.
I

G -----+ TIU E (8 sec) H TIME (8 IqlC)

-g 5

<
_. 3

1 2 3 4 s i~e ? i 1 2 3 4 5 I 7 I
Frequency (In ) F r e q u e n c y (in kHz)
~- 7 . . . . . . . . . . .
U -- " ii
~. . . . . . . + +:+++ c 6 . . . . . . . . [

- ++ ,5 ~ + +~ + i

>+- 5 >- 5 . . . . i
(..) U i
z Z 4
uJ ul

0 3

ii a: 2 ....

I
" 1 .............. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +
I
!

T IM E 18 sec) T IM E (8 sec)

FIG. 3 G-J

the upper right corner is the corresponding video his m e s s a d i v o c e (Fig. 3A), there was a high peak
image of the larynx taken within the time of the two near 3 kHz with a sharp falloff thereafter. In the soft
markers in the narrow-band spectrograph. section (Fig. 3B), the energy peak at 3 kHz was
All five subjects used only one vowel,/i/, with the considerably lower.
fronted tongue to allow maximum visualization of For the soprano (S.C.) in the loud section, the
the glottis. Each was allowed to choose his own center of the formant was at 3 kHz, and almost as
most comfortable fundamental frequency 0Co), high as the first formant. In the quiet section, there
which was sustained throughout the duration of the was a sharp falloff after the first formant and little
messa d i v o c e . For all subjects, there was more acoustic energy in the higher partials (Fig. 3C, 3D).
acoustic energy associated with a narrowing of the The spectra of the baritone (A.B.) (Fig. 3E, 3F)
aryepiglottic orifice and less acoustic energy when parallel those of J.S. in that there was a sharp fall-
the epiglottis was elevated and the orifice widened. off at 3 kHz in the loudest section and again a lower
From an analysis of relative SPL differences, it acoustic energy peak in the quiet section.
was found that four of the five subjects increased The baritone (T.C.) (Fig. 3G, 3H) displayed his
their SPL in the maximum section, while one (J.S.) highest peak at 2 kHz with a decrease in acoustic
had a higher SPL in his minimum section (Table 1). energy for the subsequent higher partials. How-
For the baritone (J.S.) in the loudest portion of ever, the overall increase in amplitude of the par-

Journal o f Voice, Vol. 3, N o . 4, 1989


348 E. YANAGISA WA ET AL.

tials in the 2,500--4,000 Hz bandwidth is still evi- imation of the tubercle of the epiglottis and the
dent. In his softest section, there was little high arytenoid cartilages.
acoustic energy beyond the first formant. While no formal perception test was made, in the
The soprano (M.H.) (Fig. 3I, 3J) in her loudest spectral analysis, all subjects presumably increased
section displayed almost equal energy across the in loudness, since there was more amplitude in the
whole bandwidth of the "singer's formant," from higher partials between 2,500 and 4,000 Hz, that
2,500 Hz to the sharp drop in acoustic energy at bandwidth of the spectrum to which the ear is most
4,000 Hz. In her softest section, again, there was sensitive. The baritone (T.C.) (Fig. 3G) showed an
little energy beyond the first formant. increase in amplitude of all partials in the 2,500-
4,000 Hz bandwidth with aryepiglottic narrowing,
but unlike the others, his highest peak was at 2,000
DISCUSSION Hz. The normal frequency for F 2 for the vowel/i/is
higher, nearer 2,500 Hz. However, this subject has
The feature of aryepiglottic narrowing is part of
had extensive training in lowering his larynx and
the sequence of movements associated with swal-
may be confirming the data of Sundberg and Nord-
lowing, where the true folds close, followed by clo-
strom (11), who found that with larynx lowering,
sure of the false folds, after which the aryepiglottic
the second formant could drop in frequency by 500
muscle contracts in a purse-like fashion, following
Hz. In his quiet section, T.C. displayed little acous-
which the tubercle of the epiglottis fits down over
tic energy beyond F1, indicating that, indeed, his
the top of the adducted false folds (9).
larynx may be so low as to be in sob quality. There
That the constriction associated with swallowing
were similar spectra displayed in the Colton and
should be a part of the twang or belting qualities is
Estill (3) study when their subject singers were in
easy to accept for those voice professionals who
the low larynx, sob quality.
consider both qualities to be an "improper" use of
In the analysis of SPL differences (Table 1), four
the voice. For them, in light of their bias, it is more
of the five singers increased in SPL with their loud-
difficult to accept that constriction should accom-
est segment by 7-9 dB. The SPL data of one subject
pany "good" operatic quality. However, the asso-
(J.S.), who did not show an increase in SPL in the
ciation of aryepiglottic narrowing with "good" tone
maximum section, was at first inexplicable, until
is not a new concept. A review of the literature
one looked again at the power spectrum and the
revealed reference to aryepiglottic constriction in
corresponding laryngeal picture. When he shifted to
singers as early as 1855, when Garcia reported it to
the minimum section, he also retracted his false vo-
the Royal Society of London (10). He observed:
cal folds markedly, widening the glottis to a degree
not displayed by the other subjects. It is conceiv-
Various simultaneous causes modify the qualities of able that his airflow may have increased, thus
the voice: 1, according as the glottis partially or en- achieving a higher SPL. In addition, he raised the
tirely closes the passes between the explosions, it
produces veiled or brilliant sound; 2, the tube which amplitude of the fundamental frequency and this
surmounts and surrounds it also greatly affects the may also have contributed to an increase in SPL.
quality of the voice; by its contractions it gives bril- He is the most proficient of the five subjects and
liancy to it and by its widening volume; 3, the epi- may be displaying a pianissimo with a sound level
glottis also plays a very important part, for every that might carry to the back of a concert hall, a
time it lowers itself, and nearly closes the orifice of
the larynx, the voice gains in brilliancy; and when, desirable objective for any singer. A future study of
on the other hand, it is drawn up, the voice immedi- this phenomenon might be useful to singers and
ately becomes veiled. teachers alike.
Many investigators have studied the epiglottis,
In all cases, our observations of these subjects the arytenoids, and the aryepiglottic folds. One of
confirmed Garcia's observations. During soft, quiet the first video documentations of aryepiglottic nar-
phonation, the aryepiglottic orifice widens, and the rowing as a characteristic of "good" tone was re-
epiglottis is raised (Fig. 3B, D, F, H, J). When the ported by Brewer, Colton, and Estill (2), and more
voice intensity is increased, the aryepiglottic orifice recently documented by Hirano (12).
narrows, and the epiglottis lowers over the supra- In his modeling of the voice, Paget (13) experi-
glottic opening (Fig. 3A, C, E, G, I). Concurrent mented with a rubber tube resonator shaped to pro-
with this movement, there appears to be an approx- duce the v o w e l / a / a n d found that,

Journal of Voice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1989


A R YEPIGLOTTIC C O N S T R I C T I O N 349

. . if the tube was further pinched immediately in to these frequencies and having "nothing to do with
front of the opening of the reed tube, a definitely the characterisation of vowels."
nasal twang was given to the vowel sound. This con-
firmed my personal observations that the typical As for the perception of loudness and "ringing,"
American twang is not due to nasal resonance but to the bandwidth from 2,800--4,300 Hz is that area of
a constriction of the pharynx." the acoustic spectrum that corresponds to the res-
onance frequency of the outer ear canal and where,
The contribution of aryepiglottic constriction to for fundamental frequencies below 1,000 Hz, there
brilliance and loudness can be a 15-20 dB advantage in sound transmitted
The acoustic correlates of aryepiglottic constric- to the middle ear without an increase in vocal effort
tion has been considered by several investigators. on the part of the speaker or singer (16,19,20).
Sundberg (14), in explaining the generation of the
"singer's formant," a concentration of acoustic en- Constriction
ergy around 3 kHz associated with the "ringing" It appears that aryepiglottic constriction is a nor-
voice quality, demonstrated that when the larynx mal correlate of the "ringing," "singer's formant"
tube is smaller than one-sixth the cross-sectional accompanying efficient loud vocalization. Constric-
area in the pharynx, the larynx tube acts as a sep- tion as a necessary condition for voicing is compat-
arate resonator. Rothenberg (15) theorized that with ible with accepted acoustic theory. There would be
those conditions, the laryngeal tube is no longer no vowel distinctions without the constriction of the
coupled with the supraglottic vocal tract, but inter- tongue at different parts of the vocal tract, nor
acts more strongly with the vocal folds. Bartho- would there by any consonants between vowels
lomew (16) analyzed the voices of several " g o o d " without various kinds of constriction along the vo-
singers and found that all contained acoustic energy cal tract Perhaps the constriction that is deleterious
in the spectrum around 2,800 Hz. He reasoned de- to vocal health is that constriction occurring di-
ductively that rectly at the level of the vocal folds, themselves, as
seen in the constriction of effort closure or cough-
. . . . this leaves only the larynx as the source of this
ever-present frequency Beyond doubt, the larynx ing, simultaneous with vocalization
itself is responsible for its generation, probably by In view of the association of aryepiglottic con-
acoustic reflections between the rima glottidis (the striction observed accompanying our " b e s t " opera
slit between the stretched cords at the bottom of the voice quality, and considering there is evidence that
laryngeal chamber), and the top rim of the laryngo- aryepiglottic constriction can contribute to an
epiglottal funnel (the rim formed by the top edges of
the epiglottis and the aryteno-epiglottal fold) acoustic advantage, and if singers display this fea-
ture with no ill effects (for one subject, after more
In an extensive study by Colton and Estill (3), 30 than 12 years of professional voice use), then per-
observers described Voice Mode 3 (twang quality) haps we should re-examine and reasses our ideas of
as "bright." As documented by fiberoptic observa- constriction as a negative feature of laryngeal be-
tions, aryepiglottic narrowing was a feature of havior. Perhaps aryepiglottic narrowing should be
twang quality, and acoustic analysis of the tones the part of the training for those professionals who need
observers heard for Voice Mode 3 showed high am- to increase the projection of their voices
plitudes in the upper partials. The vowel in all of the However, one question persists. The aryepiglot-
qualities in the perception study were for the vow- tic sphincter mechanism is a vital part of the swal-
el,/a/. long maneuver, that most protective of normal vo-
Lichte (17), in a perception study of synthesized cal behaviors. The video films of all singers studied
tones, found than when the upper partials were showed vocal fold vibration free of false vocal fold
higher in amplitude, i.e., the partials in the spec- adduction. What did these singers do to separate
trum displayed a positive slope, the result was a aryepiglottic constriction from ventricular fold con-
tone perceived as "brighter" Conversely, when striction.
the spectrum had a negative slope, the sound was Further study is needed to understand the effects
perceived as "softer and darker." Helmholtz (18) of aryepiglottic narrowing on vocal fold vibration,
described a "ringing, clear tinkling as of little as well as on the differences in neurological func-
bells," in the presence of the higher partials from tion between high-intensity vocalizations and the
2,640-3,168 Hz as a function of the ear being tuned natural closure mechanisms of the larynx.

Journal of Voice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1989


350 E. Y A N A G I S A W A E T A L .

CONCLUSIONS 2. Brewer DW, Colton RH, Estill J. Videolaryngoscopy of sev-


eral common voice qualities. Presented to the Fourth Sym-
Five professional singers were examined to de- posium on Care of the Professional Voice, New York, 1975.
3. Cotton RH, Estill JA. Elements of voice quality: perceptual,
termine whether aryepiglottic narrowing was a acoustic, and physiologic aspects. In: Lass NJ, ed. Speech
function of a particular singer, a specific voice qual- and language: advances in basic research and practice.
ity, or evidence of abnormal voice production that New York: Academic Press. 1981:311-403.
4. Estill J, Baer T, Honda K, Harris KS. Supralaryngeal activ-
should be corrected. Each sang "Happy Birthday" ity in a study of six voice qualities. In: Askenfelt A, Felicetti
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Journal of Voice, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1989