What makes our Voices unique?

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” – Maya Angelou.

The quotation states that speaking with the proper emotions is the most effective approach to connect with others. And so we must realise that some people’s voices are more powerful and influential than others. 

So, today, I will be talking about the reasons why we all have different unique voices:

  • The actual shape and size of an individual’s vocal cords,
  • The size and shape of the rest of that person’s body, particularly the vocal tract,
  • The method in which speech sounds are routinely generated and articulated.

Pitch, volume, and timbre are the three main properties of sound in human words. You can tell the difference between two voices even if they sing the same note (pitch) at the same volume (amplitude). This is due to their unique timbre.  

How does the voice come to be?
Three structures control the human voice: the lungs, the LARYNX (voice box), and the ARTICULATORS. The folds in the voice box are referred to as vocal cords. The lungs work like a pump, generating enough air pressure to shake the vocal cords, causing audible pulses. Frequency is the rate at which these vibrations occur. To manage PITCH and tone, the laryngeal muscles modulate the vocal cords.

The frequency of vibration, the length of the vocal cords, and the stress placed on the vocal cords all influence pitch. 

Why do voices have such a wide variety of sounds?

  • PUBERTY- As a result of many sex hormones causing changes in the body, the voice is one of the first to change. Testosterone acts on the vocal cords throughout puberty, expanding the larynx and reducing the frequency, resulting in a deep, low-pitched voice. Women go through a similar change, but their vocal cords increase considerably less and their frequency is preserved, so they sound high-pitched.
  • EMOTIONS: When you’re aroused, nervous, or scared, the muscles around your larynx tighten, forcing your vocal cords to tense up. When we’re excited or agitated, our voices take on a higher tone as a result of the increased tension.
  • HEALTH: The nose, PHARYNX, oral cavity, and sinuses all resonate with voice. A noticeable alteration in the voice is noted in sickness like a common cold, where patients experience a runny nose. The voice can be affected by speech difficulties and neurological problems. A regular schedule of appointments with a speech therapist will help to improve such a condition.

Pollution, climate change, smoking, and excessive yelling or screaming are all examples of these issues.

Remember, No matter what kind of voice we have, we may learn to regulate it by training and practising techniques that don’t put too much strain on our vocal cords.

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