Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Physics of Throat Singing

We have two sets of vocal folds in our larynx; one is "false" or vestigial, and doesn't normally serve to help us make sounds. Little kids often discover this independently, although it has actually been elevated to cultural art form - previous post with Tuvan throat singers here. Here's PhD thesis in acoustics by Leonardo Fuks about the physical properties of both woodwind and false vocal fold phonation (main section here, ToC here). I wonder who learned it first, Tuvans or alligators?

As an aside, China got UNESCO to recognize throat-singing as their own cultural contribution, which is outrageous B.S.

Alash River, Tuva, by Konstantin Mikhailov.

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