The voice is created by the air flow and the vibration of the vocal folds but that is just a starting point to our voice. Voice then travels through a route that is called the vocal tract in which it is modified and amplified in many different ways.
So many things happen in the vocal tract:
- All the vowels and consonants are created in the vocal tract
- The shape and the length of the vocal tract has an impact on how the voice resonates; the vocal tract “settings” can make the voice more or less classical
- The brightness and the darkness of the voice is adjusted in the vocal tract
- Do you need to be heard loud and clear? Singer’s formant is created in the vocal tract too.
The ability to shape the vocal tract to the needs of the task is one of a singer’s special skills. That is not always easily done: the vocal tract also affects to the airflow and the vibration of the vocal folds thus makes singing easier or more difficult. Finding the right balance and optimal settings is one of the things learned in singing lessons.
Ingo R. Titze: Principles of Voice Production