A reflex resonance model of vocal vibrato

Ingo R. Titze, Brad Story, Marshall Smith, Russel Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


A reflex mechanism with a long latency (>40 ms) is implicated as a plausible cause of vocal vibrato. At least one pair of agonist-antagonist muscles that can change vocal-fold length is needed, such as the cricothyroid muscle paired with the thyroarytenoid muscle, or the cricothyroid muscle paired with the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle or a strap muscle. Such an agonist-antagonist muscle pair can produce negative feedback instability in vocal-fold length with this long reflex latency, producing oscillations on the order of 5-7 Hz. It is shown that singers appear to increase the gain in the reflex loop to cultivate the vibrato, which grows out of a spectrum of 0-15-Hz physiologic tremors in raw form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2272-2282
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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