10 Interesting Facts About Singing
Singing predates recorded history, and there is clear evidence that music was present in human culture before language.
The styles of singing we know and love today are said to be derived from the Italian bel canto, which originated in the 16th century.
There is an almost endless list of singing trivia, so we have chosen the 10 most interesting facts to share with you.
1. Sound the alarm!
The voice is connected to the body’s biological clock and prefers to be warmed up at exactly the same time every day. Good news if it coincides with the start of your rehearsal, but bad news if it has chosen a different time zone!
2. The one and only
Every voice is unique, much like a person’s fingerprints. The sound of a voice is determined by various factors, including the length and tension of the vocal cords, nose size, mouth size, and throat size.
3. Mr Muscle
Many people think of the voice itself is a muscle, but the truth is that it takes over a hundred different muscles for you to sing or speak. This includes the jaw, chest, neck, lips and tongue.
A common misconception is that the vocal cords are cord-like. The reality is that they are folds of skin, which vibrate as the air you breathe out passes over them.
5. Living the high life
Despite the large number of successful singers who openly smoke and drink alcohol, it is widely regarded as being bad for the voice and can result in a singer not reaching their full potential. Smoking often causes irritation to the vocal cords and increases the risk of throat cancer considerably.
6. All in the mind
How to access the upper register of a voice is not always obvious to inexperienced singers, and this can result in them being allocated a lower voice type when they have the potential to sing higher. Many go through life never fully realising the heights they are capable of reaching.
It is widely believed that tenors can sing almost as high as sopranos if they are correctly trained.
7. Careless whispering
Some singers believe that by whispering rather than talking between performances they are looking after the longevity of their voice. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whispering constricts the vocal cords but doesn’t allow them to vibrate, which can dry them out and fatigue them. The sound of whispering is created by turbulent airflow.
8. Cracks appearing
Boys and girls are born with vocal cords of the same length. The reason that male voices stereotypically end up lower is that boys’ vocal cords grow longer during puberty, It is at this point that a boy’s voice “breaks” and gets deeper.
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9. Wide boy
The world record for the human being with the widest vocal range is held by a singer called Tim Storms from Missouri, USA. In August 2008 he managed to sing across 10 octaves, stretching from G-5 to G5. This is double the range of even the most talented pop stars. Check Tim out here in this fabulous showcase of his abilities.
10. Air head
You might think that using as much air as possible is the key to having a strong and powerful singing voice. However, any competent teacher will tell you that using too much air is actually an “enemy” of the voice, and air control techniques are one of the fundamental components of being a good singer.
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