4aMUa1. The mechanism of vocal registration in folk singing.

Session: Thursday Morning, December 5

Time: 8:05

Author: Ingo R. Titze
Location: Dept. of Speech Pathol. and Audiol. and Natl. Ctr. for Voice and Speech, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242


The use of falsetto register in alternation with chest register is common in folk music, in particular, Hawaiian song and Alpine yodeling. There is no special effort to merge or equalize the registers; rather, each register is cultivated in its own frequency range and some attempt is made to balance the intensity. An update on the acoustics and physiology of voice registration is given. Current thinking is that the thyroarytenoid muscle in the vocal fold regulates the tension and shape of the vocal fold. Chest register is associated with a more rectangular vocal fold shape (in the vertical direction), a more sudden interruption of airflow in the glottal cycle, and a strengthening of the second and third partials. Falsetto register, on the other hand, is associated with a more convergent glottis (in the vertical direction), a more gradual interruption of airflow, and a concentration of energy in the fundamental. [Work supported by NIDCD, Grant No. P60-DC00976.]

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996