Judging Categories | Resonance | Vocal
Glossary | Vowels | Close Window
Resonance... Feel the Good Vibrations!
The Essential Dictionary of Music defines
'resonance' as "The transfer of vibrations from one object to another." Simply
put, it's the way sound gets from a singer's mouth to a listener's ear. Look
over these key terms and points regarding resonance and take them into consideration
when warming up and singing.
Chest Voice - Strong, powerful sound found in the lower range of the voice.
Head Voice - Lighter, more beautiful tone found in the upper range of the voice.
Passaggio - The passageway between chest voice and
head voice. Also known as "the break" or "the yodel spot." This is similar to the small "neck" area between the two chambers of an hourglass. To maneuver through this range of voice, use a mixture of head and chest voices. Think slightly lighter and "smaller" in
the vowels. OH goes to OO, AY goes toward EE and so on.
Falsetto - The "false voice," or the light, high sound found in the tenor section (usually). Although the falsetto cannot crescendo to a strength comparable to "legitimate" voice, it is useful to help feel the correct FREE sensation of head voice. This voice can and should be used in every section when appropriate. In a chorus setting, the desire is to be beautiful and clean sounding, not to be a "hero."
Larynx - The "voice box" in your throat where the
vocal cords are located.
What is resonation?
Resonation is the amplification an coloring of sound through the use of a hollow container. It is what makes the same note sound different when played on two different instruments (clarinet vs. saxophone, etc.).
What defines resonation?
- The material of the hollow container.
- The shape of the hollow container.
- The size of the hollow container.
*We can control the shape and size of our instrument by moving the following:
Lips, jaw, tongue, soft palate, and larynx.
Points to remember:
- Higher notes require more air and more space inside the singing mechanism (a taller pyramid requires a wider base).
- Bright vs. dark singing is NOT the same as spread vs. tall singing.
- Vowels are shaped PRIMARILY in the back of the throat (soft palate region) and REFINED with the front of your mouth (lips).
- Great voices contain "bright" focus and "dark" space
at the same time. Singing is not an either/or event, but a balancing act.
- Where a note falls in your range
or where it fits in the chord will determine whether you need to "modify" the
vowel. For example, thirds of chords are often brightened.
- Create the MAXIMUM space for singing:
soft palate UP, larynx DOWN, tongue FORWARD. These can all be achieved with
a well-done "yawn" style breath.