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Breathing in singing

Watson, Alan Hugh David 2015. Breathing in singing. Welch, Graham, Howard, David M. and Nix, John, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Singing, Oxford: Oxford University Press, (10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199660773.013.10)

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Accounts of breathing in methodological books on singing are often confusing or inaccurate rather than helpful. This chapter provides an overview of the principles of respiration and how this is modified for singing. Inspiration results from an increase in thoracic dimensions caused by activity in the diaphragm and external intercostal muscles. At high lung volumes the sternocleidomastoids and scalenes also aid chest expansion. Subglottic pressure is created during expiration by the contraction of the abdominal wall, predominantly as a result of lateral abdominal muscle activity, which drives the relaxed diaphragm upwards while simultaneously the internal intercostals pull the ribs downwards. When the lungs are full and the inspiratory muscles release, elastic recoil forces alone can drive out the air and in order to regulate subglottic pressure these forces must be resisted by gradually reducing inspiratory muscle activity. How different patterns of activity in these and other muscles contribute to singing is described and the way in which similar ends can be achieved by different means in different singers is explained.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2020 15:27

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