Vocal Science

Vocal Science and its Benefits.

Vocal Science is a new field based on a mixture of Music , physiology , physics and psychology . Training in Vocal Science helps a singer utilize vocal muscles properly . Without sustained exercise of vocal muscle through Vocal Science , these muscles will weaken with age and result in a poorer quality of music . Vocal exercise through Vocal Science can help all performers restore and maintain the strength of their vocal muscles thus enhancing the quality of their music .

Recognition from Bowling Green State University Ohio, USA Dear Pandit Santanu Bandyopadhyay Its is a genuine pleasure and a great privilege for us to be collaborating with you in a research project on the production of Indian classical vocal Music.

What does a listener want to hear from a singer?

  • Good tonal quality
  • Steady voice
  • No nasal voice
  • No hoarse voice
  • Voice should have good depth
  • Good command over sound
  • Good range
  • Easy flow on higher notes
  • Longer breathing
  • Good strong taan in different speeds
  • Flexible voice
  • Melodious voice

These vocal qualities can be attained through control of physiological functions of the Vocal system through Vocal Science . Training through Vocal Science gives a singer the procedural knowledge to have command over vocal muscles for effortless singing .

Vocal Science training can be helpful for classical and non-classical vocalists alike. It can substantially improve the quality of singing of vocalists of all styles

Original sound of Vocal cord   

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Singing in high pitch, it’s a dangerous tendency, beware…

I’m quite worried….

These days in light music, there is this tremendous urge of singing songs in high pitch. People who have a natural flair for singing high, it’s all right for them; but those who don't, the worry remains for them.

Let me give you an example. A disciple of mine used to sing in a lot of tv series in Mumbai, I warned him few days back by saying that if he does not do the 'voice control' in a proper way, it might create singers nodules. He did not pay much heed to my words and after a month only he called me up and said that he is suffering with singers nodules. His singing needs to be stopped for a year or so.

Let me share another incident with you guys. One or two years ago, after listening to the performance of a prominent light music singer, I conveyed my concern to the artist that he has been preyed to a dangerous tendency. What was it? It was singing high with lot of force in the voice. Probably he was thinking that singing like this would create a special dimension to his voice. But I was scared, 'coz it was a dangerous acumen. His voice might get damaged. He might develop singers nodules. Unfortunately, of late I’ve not heard of any performances of him. May God bless him.

Why do we face problem like this?

Whenever our vocal folds vibrate, it creates sound. But to sing in different scales, we need the help of some special muscles to stretch the length of the vocal folds and for singing low, those muscles keep the vocal folds loose. It is as if we are pulling the elastic of a rubber band. It makes me wonder to think how fascinating the power of a vocal folds are!! If you keep on stretching a rubber band for merely 10-15 times, it will get torn but over the years if you keep on stretching the vocal folds for an umpteenth no of times, they still seem to be all right.

But to sing high, stretching the vocal folds with the help of the muscles is not enough, we need to increase the air pressure simultaneously.

The question is why to increase the air pressure?

When the strings of a tanpura are tuned into low pitch, we need to apply less force to make it played, and when it gets tuned to play in the higher pitch, we need to apply more force. In the same way, to ‘play’ the vocal folds in the higher scale, we need to raise the air pressure.

The more we sing in the higher octave, the stress of air pressure on the vocal folds will be much more higher, and there would be comparatively much more friction b/w air and the vocal folds resulting the vocal folds to get damaged. To say it simply, if there is a tendency of having a blister on a particular place and if we keep on creating the pressure on it, it will be thickened, and this is what a singers nodules is. People whose natural acumen is to sing high, they don’t have so much of problem; but people for whom this is not so natural, a tendency to sing high can spoil the voice.

Then what is the way out?

1. To sing the high pitched songs in a low scale
2. To tone down the intensity of the voice in the higher pitch
3. To raise the amplitude of the voice in the higher pitch

Then there is a possibility of get away with the problem.

Singing with open throat? Vocal artists beware! It might create singer's nodules.

What is singer's nodules?

To say it simply, singer’s nodule is a kind of gap created in the vocal folds, which prevents the exact sound to come out.

What is vocal cords?

It’s a kind of string inside our voice, which is made up of tissue, and outwardly there is a very sensitive lining. Whenever we speak or sing, the vocal cords come closer to each other (it takes v shape while resting) and vibrate a hundred times in a second. It creates a pressure on the lining, so singing loud or practicing in a wrong way or doing regular practice in a bad ambience (smoky, extremely dry or noisy) cause damage to the lining.

What are the reasons that can cause singer’s nodules?
1. To sing in an unscientific way
2. Singing extremely loud (most often guardians or trainers ask to sing with open throat)
3. Practicing for an excessive time

What is the solution?
No, it's not about singing less or taking complete voice rest, it's about practicing in the correct scientific way and creating the correct amplitude in the sound

How to understand that the voice is getting strained?
1. While singing the voice is sounding hoarse.
2. When we can’t sing in the higher octave.
3. When our vocal range gets decreased.
4. When the melody in our voice gets decreased.
5. When the voice gets tired after a bit of practice only.
6. Suddenly the melody in the voice does not sound steady.

Not only the singer’s nodules, excessive and unscientific use of voice might cause nodules, polyps and cysts. It’s not that everyone will be suffering from the same, as we all don’t have same immune power. So for taking good care of the voice, voice training in an exact and scientific way is a must.

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