Acoustic interactions of the voice source with the lower vocal tract

Ingo R. Titze, Brad H. Story

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


The linear source-filter theory of speech production assumes that vocal fold vibration is independent of the vocal tract. The justification is that the glottis often behaves as a high-impedance (constant flow) source. Recent imaging of the vocal tract has demonstrated, however, that the epilarynx tube is quite narrow, making the input impedance to the vocal tract comparable to the glottal impedance. Strong interactions can exist, therefore. In particular, the inertance of the vocal tract facilitates vocal fold vibration by lowering the oscillation threshold pressure. This has a significant impact on singing. Not only does the epilarynx tube produce the desirable singer's formant (vocal ring), but it acts like the mouthpiece of a trumpet to shape the flow and influence the mode of vibration. Effects of the piriform sinuses, pharynx expansion, and nasal coupling are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2234-2243
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Acoustic interactions of the voice source with the lower vocal tract'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this