The Normal Larynx

How Is The Voice Produced?

The larynx or voice box is located in the neck, behind what is called "The Adam's apple." Typically, in men, this prominence is more obvious, but women also have a slight bulge at the same location. The vocal folds are located behind this prominence and extend back from the Adam's apple, about the length of 17 to 20 mm in adult males and 12.5 to 17 mm in adult females. Air inhaled and exhaled passes through the vocal folds. When the vocal folds are open, breathing is taking place. However, when the vocal folds are brought together, air pressure builds up beneath them and when released sets the vocal folds into motion, creating sound.

The vocal folds are merely a vibrator or noise maker. They can alter pitch by being elongated. Speech is made as a result of altering the shape of the vocal tract (i.e. by varying the shape of the throat, the position of the lips, tongue, and sometimes by engaging the nasal passages).

What Is a Normal Voice?

A normal voice is judged to be appropriate with regard to pitch, loudness and quality and meets the demands of daily communication necessary for the individual. It is also free of discomfort, fatigue and qualitative changes during or after use.