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Hello Claudia,

Great post as usual! I agree with the lotta vocale and teach it, but I don't understand how you have "compression" without larynx involvement. You can't compress a gas if there is a hole in the container. It seems to me in my singing that engaging inspiratory action of the ribs keeps me from EXCESSIVELY pressurizing the air when I do phonate, but until I phonate, there cannot be any compression at all.

Would it be possible to elaborate on "compression"? Thanks, Brian

Claudia Friedlander

com·pres·sion /kəmˈpreSHən/
1. The action of compressing or being compressed.
2. The reduction in volume (causing an increase in pressure) of the fuel mixture in an internal combustion engine before ignition.

I'm intending more the second meaning, which is my reason for putting the word in quotes the first time it appears in my post - after all, the breath is what fuels our engine!

To whatever extent you increase the difference in air pressure above or below the glottis, you heighten the intensity with which you'll be able to elicit the Bernoulli effect as you sing. Maintaining tension on the costal muscles of inspiration will increase this air pressure differential. Perhaps not as much as valving off the throat, but quite enough for powerful singing.

Engaging the vocal folds with the same expressive intensity you'd use in speech + eliciting the Bernoulli effect = all the resistance you need to sing. With no resistance there will of course be no sound - the vocal folds vibrate together by alternately allowing the air to release and resisting it. But there is no sensation of resistance in the throat and thus no strain or fatigue.

When you blow up a balloon, the air inside the balloon is quite "compressed" due to the resistance created by the rubber it's made out of, and it will produce a very loud (and annoying) sound sound simply by stretching the opening long and thin so the air is able to escape, with no additional resistance needed to further compress the air (even though there's now a hole in the container).


You are amazing! I am a non-classical singer that has studied classically before. I recently moved across the country and miss my classical teacher, but I'm seeing a contemporary teacher as I've struggled before to bridge my opera voice into pop before. Anyway, I find that classical technique has the most healthy concepts that I want to incorporate in my singing. I very much appreciate your informative articles. I had never before heard of the directive to keep the sternum high and ribs expanded before. I just found your youtube video demonstrating this, after reading this and your breath management article and my voice just sounded so bright and felt so free as I tried to sing with this alignment. Just an hour ago I almost induced laryngitis for myself by pushing on my throat to create subglottal air pressure partly due to bad vocal directions from a voice teacher I saw a few weeks ago. Anyway, I'm super excited about this new concept and at the moment feel like I have a whole new understanding of breath management. Thank you.

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