Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

The Creaky Voice

Some clarifying information on the vocal phenomenon practiced more and more by young women today; the intentional use of “creaky” voice in their speech. Plowing through several of my resource books on vocal production I have found the following information concerning both creaky voice and vocal fry. Although used interchangeably at times, they are not the same and involve different production vocally.

Also referred to as pulse register, vocal fry occurs only in the lower part of the voice. You can actually hear the slow pulsation of the tone. This is the result of sound “gaps” or intermittent sound wave packets that pop open the vocal folds. The folds are short and lax and use relatively low lung pressure to vibrate. Vocal fry is actually used in some styles of singing and vocal training, the latter, for singers who have difficulty adducting the vocal folds for a more precise, clear tone.

Creaky voice occurs primarily in the mid and upper vocal range. It’s irregular (aperiodic) vibration pattern and presence of subharmonics creates the noise or “creakiness” we hear. Although healthy voices can make this sound intentionally, it can also be s sign of a possible voice disorder.

Continued research is necessary to see if long-term, chronic use of this type of speech is harmful to the vocal folds. In the meantime, to many people, it is just an annoying habit. As a singer and teacher, I advise against its use.  It can fatigue the voice more quickly from lack of sufficient breath flow. It is also difficult to achieve much volume with this type of phonation causing some to push and strain the voice.

Vocology: The Science and Practice of Voice  Habilitation.  Titze, Ingo &                                                                                                               Katherine  Verdolini Abbott

Principles of Voice Production. Titze, Ingo

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