Vocalist.org archive

From:  "Caio Rossi" <caiorossi@t...>
Date:  Wed Feb 13, 2002  3:10 pm
Subject:  Re: [vocalist] RE: Breathing

I don't believe Western science can deal with breathing very well so as to
create a coherent model. Yoga, Rolfing, etc, etc seem to be much more
successful when trying to understand breathing and "fix" it.

Best wishes,


----- Original Message -----
From: Sally Collyer
To: vocalist-temporary@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 12:52 AM
Subject: Re: [vocalist] RE: Breathing

> I absolutely think that breathing is the cornerstone of singing AND
>totally agree with utilizing the natural autonomic breathing system as
>described by Mike. The body's own system for inhalation and release (as
>used in speaking) is by far more efficient and relaxing (something we
>always strive for in performance!) than anything we can impose upon the

I've just been re-reading Hixon, Goldman and Mead's paper of 1973,
"Kinematics of the chest wall during speech production: Volume
displacements of the rib cage, abdomen, and lung" (JSHR 16: 78-115), and
one particular quote from their findings might be of interest here. For
those to whom the term is strange, 'kinematics' in breathing refers to
movement of the ribcage and abdomen. Since they note that abdomen is
generally incompressible, abdominal movement then reflects diaphragmatic

"It is unclear why individual subjects performed so differently on the
utterance tasks when it came to relative contributions [of ribcage and
abdomen to exhalation during speech and singing tasks]. For the
respiratory maneuvers studied, including resting breathing, data were
similar among subjects. Consequently, the different patterns exhibited
speech cannot be attributed to an overlay on different ingrained patterns
of normal ventilation."

In other words, the six subjects showed very similar ribcage and abdominal
(thus, diaphragmatic) behaviour during the unphonated tasks but very
different behaviour from each other during conversation, soft reading,
normal reading, loud reading and singing. However natural
breathing-to-speak may be, there is much to indicate that it is not merely
an adaptation of breathing-to-live but is acquired.

Kind regards