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The human voice as a musical instrument combines a non-uniform acoustic tube resonator (the vocal tract) with a forced, ``lip-like'' excitation mechanism (the vocal folds). Unlike the brass player's lips, however, the vocal folds are little affected by acoustic feedback from the vocal tract. A singer trains to control his/her vocal cord mechanism for accurate pitch specification as well as to control his/her vocal tract shape to modify formant structure for better projection.

Formants and Pitch

Spoken vs. Sung Vowels

Formant Tuning by Sopranos

Registers, Voices, and Muscles

Dynamics vs. Spectra

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