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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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Osteopathy, voice and singing: Importance of the vocal tract

Importance of the vocal tract

The sounds emanating from the source travel through the vocal tract, in which specific specifications are frequently filtered which will be permitted or attenuated by the shape of the vocal tract itself.

Remember that the vocal tract can be described as a cylindrical tube that extends from the larynx to the lips.

The filters that can be applied for speech production are the configuration of lips, jaw, teeth, tongue, pharynx, palate, nose.

Vowels are considered sounds that are classified by their formative characteristics which are produced thanks to the position of the tongue (forward, central, backward), its height (high, medium or low) and whether or not the lips are rounded.

Consonants, on the other hand, are classified using two other articulatory dimensions: the point of articulation and the mode of articulation. All consonants require constriction somewhere in the vocal tract.

In singing we too often stop to analyze breathing and the conditions of the vocal cords, overlooking the size and orientation of the vocal tract, not considering, consequently, that the movement capacity of the same is correlated to the vocal tract itself and specifically to the pharyngeal container.

Very often in the clinic a sound that "breaks" is identified and resolved by investigating and correcting some components of the vocal tract, biomechanically and functionally. Correct lingual function will also help correct auditory feedback!

So why not start considering your instrument as a whole instead of focusing only on its ability to vibrate?

A good professional trained in the vocal field will be able to analyze all the components involved in emission and articulation, suggesting the most suitable strategies to solve daily problems and optimize each artist's instrument.


Valentina Carlile - Osteopath expert in Osteopathy applied to voice and speech disorders since 2002. For information and reservations visit the page Contacts

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