Respiratory Kinematics in Classical (Opera) Singers Anteroposterior diameter changes of the rib cage and abdomen were recorded during respiratory, speaking, and singing activities in six adult male subjects, all baritones with extensive classical singing training and performance experience. Data were charted to solve for lung volume, volume displacements of the rib cage and abdomen, and inferred ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1985
Respiratory Kinematics in Classical (Opera) Singers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Peter J. Watson
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Thomas J. Hixon
    University of Arizona, Tucson
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1985
Respiratory Kinematics in Classical (Opera) Singers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1985, Vol. 28, 104-122. doi:10.1044/jshr.2801.104
History: Received December 28, 1983 , Accepted September 12, 1984
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1985, Vol. 28, 104-122. doi:10.1044/jshr.2801.104
History: Received December 28, 1983; Accepted September 12, 1984

Anteroposterior diameter changes of the rib cage and abdomen were recorded during respiratory, speaking, and singing activities in six adult male subjects, all baritones with extensive classical singing training and performance experience. Data were charted to solve for lung volume, volume displacements of the rib cage and abdomen, and inferred muscular mechanisms. Separate major roles were inferred for different parts of the respiratory apparatus in the singing process. The abdomen served as a posturing element that mechanically tuned the diaphragm and rib cage to optimal configurations for performance. The rib cage operated as a pressure-flow generating element that regulated expiratory drive. And, the diaphragm functioned as an inspiratory element devoted to reinflating the lungs. Subjects' descriptions of how they thought they breathed during singing bore little correspondence to how they actually breathed. Implications for the training of singers are offered.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access