1.4.2 Articulating apparatus, diction

The articulating apparatus is the part of the vocal apparatus forming the speaking voice, and the organs included in it are the articulation organs. The work of them, aimed at the creation of speech (vowels, consonants) is called articulation.

The articulatory apparatus includes the mouth cavity (with cheeks, lips, teeth, tongue, jaw, palate), pharynx, and larynx. You should remember that the mouth is a very important resonator (the movable one), the "architecture" of which the sound quality depends on.

First of all, the apparatus won't work without neutrality and activity. Even Caruso said: "A singer who thinks singing with his jaw strained is good, is a terrible singer."

The intensity and consistency of the articulatory organs determine the quality of pronunciation of the sounds in your speech, the intelligibility of words, in other words, the diction. And vice versa, a weak articulation is the cause of a bad diction.

The mouth of the singing person should be free, aesthetic; it depends on jaws, tongue, and lips. A beautiful, vocal mouth opening helps to find the correct position of the tongue, the pharynx, the larynx and a proper "placement" of the vocal apparatus. A constricted lower jaw prevents opening the mouth, and through the hyoid bone this constriction raises up the larynx, what may cause the strain of the tongue, but it is the main articulator of vowels. The position of the tongue changes the shape of the mouth resonator and influences the timbre. The lower jaw should be loose, not constricted, and passive. Being passive, it still should not be entirely hang down and hit the larynx. It must be supported with the muscles of the cheeks, with the corners of lips, with the lips themselves, actively pronouncing consonants.

Lips are involved in the formation of the final vowels; they are the main formers of labial consonants. The position of the lips influences the sound of a singing voice. A smile helps to lighten the tone. "Lips should lie on the teeth," - said K.Garsia.

Soft palate plays the main role in the process of phonation; its position significantly influences the resonance properties of the oropharyngeal channel, the form of the oropharyngeal labyrinth. Researchers indicate that it has a connection with the larynx and the nasopharynx, what has an influence on the colour of the sound. For these reasons, the soft palate should be constantly active while singing.