Principles of Voice Production


The human voice is an instrument we all have and involves several parts of the body. Huge sounds made by opera singers, the super-fast speech of an auctioneer and the crying of a baby involve organs smaller than an adult's index finger. The lungs, larynx, vocal chords, tongue and teeth work as a team when we say "hello" or "pass the salt."


We all have the same instrument which is called the voice mechanism. Creating or producing sound from the voice starts with inhaling air into the lungs. The effect of exhaling air causes the vocal chords to vibrate which creates sound. Trained singers, voice over artists, actors, auctioneers and others have learned how to maximize the use of breathing through years of training and practicing their craft. Professionals dependent upon voice for their vocation generally practice breathing techniques that involve breathing from the diaphragm.


The human voice is made up several parts. The larynx also, called the voice box, houses the vocal chords, which are located in the respiratory tract where air passes from the lungs and when it strikes the vocal chords sound is produced. The larynx is a two-inch-long narrow organ located between the trachea and the pharynx. The larynx is an essential part of how we talk, sing and produce sound in general. The larynx is also used when breathing or swallowing and its outer cartilage forms the "Adams Apple" on the front side of the neck.

Vocal Chords

The voice would be nothing without the all important vocal chords. The vocal chords consist of two strings of muscle that form a V-shape inside the larynx in the respiratory tract. Speaking causes the vocal chords to clench together but then air from the lungs forces its way between the two vocal chords. The air causes the vocal chords to vibrate which, in turn, creates sound.

The Tongue and Teeth

Talking and singing would be much more difficult a task if not for the tongue and teeth. The teeth and tongue work together to form words after the vocal chords produce sound. We have all heard the tongue is a muscle but it's actually made up of several groups of muscles. The front of the tongue is flexible and works closely with the teeth in forming some words. Muscles located on the back of your tongue help make letter sounds like "k" and "g."