When we talk about phonation, we usually refer to the movements and vibratory patterns of the vocal folds required in producing sound. A phonation mode is a category of vocal fold setting that allows a particular type of voice quality, and it is closely related to glottal resistance. The latter is described as the quotient of subglottal pressure (lung pressure) to glottal airflow (leakage of air between the vocal folds).
Breathy phonation results from a low subglottal pressure combined with a high glottal flow and the vocal folds never close completely during phonation. When used intentionally and skillfully, a breathy phonation helps expressing qualities like sweetness and intimacy during a performance.
Pressed phonation arises when a low glottal flow accompanies a high subglottal pressure, so just a small amount of air manages to pass through the vocal folds. Pressed phonation restricts the resonating quality of the vocal tract, leading to a less efficient vocal production. This type of phonation leads to a tense voice, that sounds narrow, pinched and restricted in resonance.
The neutral mode requires the least physical effort, corresponding to low airflow and low subglottal pressure. This type of phonation is used occasionally to cover the register break area.
Flow phonation (resonant)
For singing effectively, the encouraged mode of phonation is the flow phonation, also called resonant phonation. It is the most economical way of producing loud and resonant sounds. The flow phonation combines high subglottal pressure and high airflow. This type of phonation gives the sound a mellow, full and richly resonant quality.
When we talk about phonation, we usually refer to the movements and vibratory patterns of the vocal folds required in producing sound. A phonation mode is a category of vocal fold setting that allows a particular type of voice quality, and it is closely related to glottal resistance. The latter is described as the quotient…
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