Investigation of Tilt, Tilt or Extension of the vocal folds


Investigation of Tilt, Tilt or Extension of the vocal folds

research trajectoryin collaboration with team in Italy


On my trip to Padova in Italy (November 2012) a number of questions were central: Is Thyroid tilt forward and down correct or does the Cricoid tilt up at the front? Where is the real narrowing at AES, do we use the Epiglottis for more twang quality? What happens laryngially if we use the breathing muscles more to support firmer qualities? What happens with the quality Curbing at the vocal folds? What is the effect of the Lax Vox method on retraction and vocal folds? Together with Alejandro Saorin Martinez CCI and Dr. Fiorenza de Rosas we have drawn up a protocol with a number of exercises on a number of pitches.

Tilt, tiltor extension

We scooped 6 candidates for our research; 3 women and 3 men. They were all able to sing the pitches in the masses of vocal folds that we would like to see and hear. In the literature, the extension of the vocal folds is explained to be due to the tilting of the Thyroid (forward and down) or the tilting of the Cricoid (at the front up and back). So, to sing higher and in less mass, one of these two things must happen. We chose two different pitches and masses and then the same pitch but also in clearly different masses.

Clearly visible in the 6 guinea pigs was that the length in the vocal folds clearly increases, but that you cannot see very well that this is done by the Thyroid. The Thyroid itself is not really visible. Our assumption that this does happen in all 6 cases is because the epiglottis and the attachment of the epiglottis to the thyroid makes more anterior (at the front) space, so it moves forward. We saw in our image that the Epiglottis, Petiole (the tribe of the epiglottis) and Thyroid shift more to the bottom of our image. We had a much better view from above. The side of the Arytenoids, the cup-shaped cartilages, remains exactly in the same place in our image (with a Cricoid tilt they should shift backwards).

Because the Epiglottis is connected to the inside of the Thyroid, it cannot be otherwise that the tilt comes through the Thyroid and that it takes the epiglottis with it. Both at different pitches from thick to thin vocal folds, and at 1 pitch with thick and thin vocal fold mass. In all, there is also clear widening in the false vocal folds from thick to thin vocal folds, both at different pitches and on 1 tone. There was also a tendency to slightly lower the larynx when tilted. However, all were also able to do this without lowering.


Our conclusion from these 6 cases is that lengthening the vocal folds and thinning of the mass is done by tilting the Thyroid forward and down. In none of the cases were we able to observe a Cricoid tilt or its consequences. Also in video images previously made in Deventer, Enschede and Padova we see the same movement and extension by moving the Thyroid, Petiole and Epiglottis forward and we do not notice any movement at the Arytenoids posterior, backwards.

In order to prove this better, we have subsequently submitted a request to a medical center in Italy for MRI studies to make images by means of a scan on which we can see the Crycoid and the Thyroid moving in relation to each other.

research into theworking of the voice

Research into the functioning of voice is done at various levels and from different perspectives. According to Alberto ter Doest, research into the voice must have a direct relationship with the educationalist. In other words: you have to be able to do something with it to make someone better phon, sing or speak. Nowadays, the most difficult calculations in studies cannot be translated at all into “hands on” tools for the educationalist or voice coach. For this purpose did Jo Estill research into the functioning of the voice in different sound qualities. Based on her ideas Alberto ter Doest in the Netherlands also on research projects in collaboration with a team in Italy.

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