Muscles questions

Very interesting post, Steve!  May I ask some questions?

[quote=Steven Fraser]  In singing, we train the enormously powerful #1 action of breathing to be more subtle, and we lessen (or eliminate) the motions of #2 and #3 so that they do not overpower the teeny, weenie laryngeal muscles.

How do these overpower the laryngeal muscles, and I don’t understand the singing-sound effects of all four.  What does, for example, laryngeal have to do with sound other than volume?

[quote=Steven Fraser]
In singing, the way that #2 and #3 are lessened is to make them part of the posture.  If you don’t move them much as you breathe in and out, they don’t add unwanted, or uncontrolled breath energy.  Its very hard to do either thing subtly.   Keeping the sternum in one place prevents gravity from powering air out of the body.  It does not necessarily have to be high… just not moving when you breathe in and out.   FYI, classical singers very often adopt a ‘high sternum’ chest position… and leave it there all the time.  It looks a bit better on stage 🙂

When #2 and #3 motions are stilled, breathing happens entirely by #1, the diaphragmatic action in coordination with the abdominal muscles.  This is very often called ‘belly breathing’, ‘low breathing’, ‘breathing from the diaphragm’, etc.  All those terms mean that only motions of the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles are involved in moving the air.   This takes us back to the kind of breathing your body does when you are asleep.  Same thing as a baby does.  You have breathed this way your whole life.


Also, very interesting.   My thinking is to be as natural as possible–that is, letting the lyric’s intended emotion drive the responding body posture.   Though most of the time, the body is stilled, I don’t understand how continually stilling helps to emit (create) the singing emotion.   I understand “it’s very hard to do either thing subtly.”, but what is difficult with deliberate action may not be nearly as difficult emotionally.  For example, deliberately crying is more difficult than emotionally crying.

Fundamentally, I don’t understand why stilling muscles is a good approach.


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