Sea of Voices

Here, we're introduced to the "most personal musical instrument" of all: the human voice. Touch the blue symbols with the palm of your hand.

Sea of Voices

The pillar on the far left plays the voiced and unvoiced consonants. Continue in a clockwise direction. The next sound pillar visualises the various sounds that can be produced by the human voice. The final sound pillar then illustrates what happens when the shape of the mouth is changed. An incredibly wide range of sounds can be generated by the human voice.

Did you know…

an adult's two vocal chords are cylindrical muscles with a length of 1 cm?

In terms of sound production, the human voice could be classified as belonging to the aerophone instrument group. The diaphragm, lungs and trachea are the essential components of our respiratory system. They transport the air required for generating sound into the sound producing apparatus in the larynx, where the airflow makes the two vocal cords vibrate. The palate, mouth and sinus therefore act as the resonance chamber, amplifying these vibrations. The mouth and throat are also used in connection with the complicated muscle flexing of the vocal cords that's involved in shaping sound and articulation.