Brett Manning explains Hard Palate 0:22

Hard Palate

[hard pal·ate] noun \ˈhärd ˈpa-lət\

The hard anterior (front) portion of the palate [roof of the mouth] separating the oral and nasal cavities, consisting of a bony framework and covering membranes

Mix, Mixed Voice, Mixing

[mix] noun \miks\

Any particular blend of two or more resonating cavities. Some different types of mix include, Head Mix, Chest Mix, Pharyngeal Mix, Light Mix, Hard Mix etc. and also commonly referred to as the middle voice or mixing.


[co·or·di·na·tion] noun kōˌôrdnˈāSHən

Building coordination is maintaining medial cord compression throughout your entire range from chest voice to the head voice and beyond.


[mar·ca·to] noun \mahr-kah-toh\

1. (Classical Music) (of notes) heavily accented

Brett Manning explains Compression 0:22


[com·press·ion] noun \kuhm-presh-uhn\

Is the balance of cord tension and air flow. The singer will spend much time trying to master the freedom of his or her voice. This is done by a balanced compression.

Brett Manning explains Whistle Register 0:27

Whistle Register

[whist·le register] noun \hwis-uhl redj-iss-tuhr\

The highest of all the registers. An extension upward of Head Voice to a thin, whistle-sounding register. The cords are zipped up to around 2/3 of their length, leaving only the top 1/3rd or 1/4th free to vibrate. The smaller vibrating surface produces the thinner sound quality.

Brett Manning explains Warm Up / Warmup 0:21

Warm Up / Warmup

[warm up] noun \wawrm-uhp\

A series of exercises meant to prepare muscles to perform. In singing, a series of exercises to ‘wake up’ the voice, stretching and engaging the vocal cords.

Brett Manning explains Nasal Cavity 0:23

Nasal Cavity

[na·sal cav·i·ty] noun \ˈnā-zəl ˈkav-ət-ē\

The open area above and behind the nose. Its primary purpose is to condition the air taken in during the respiratory process, not as a resonator. However, when singing in pure head voice, the strongest sensations of vibrations can be felt in the nasal cavity. The nasal cavity does become a resonator, along with the pharynx, when producing the nasal consonants of ‘M’, ‘N’, ‘Ng’, and when singing in a pharyngeal (nasal) mix.

Brett Manning explains Legato 0:28


[le·ga·to] noun \luh-gah-toh\

To play or sing groups of notes smoothly and without separate attacks. Contrast with Staccato.

Brett Manning explains Connection 1:10


[con·nect·ion] noun \kuh-nek-shon\

As pertaining to singing: Having no audible breaks in the vocal range, and maintaining cord closure (connection) throughout entire voice. “Basically connected” is when the breaks are hidden through vowel modification or other ‘quick fixes’. “Truly connected” is when the voice has learned to maneuver through bridges and transitions and truly has no breaks.

Brett Manning explains Adduction 0:24


[ad·duc·tion] noun \ə-ˈdək-shən, a-\

The process of bringing two parts of the body towards the center of the body. In relation to singing, it refers to bringing the vocal cords together to vibrate and cause phonation. The lateral cricoarytenoid muscles are the main adducting (cord closing) muscles in the vocal process.

Brett Manning explains Arytenoid Muscles 1:34

Arytenoid Muscles

[ar·y·te·noid mus·cles] noun \-ar-ə-ˈtē-ˌnȯid ˈməs-əls\

Referred to as adductors, compressing muscles or squeezing muscles. Create lateral closure of the vocal cords, by pulling the back of the cords together (adduction). Helpful in highest areas of range but can be used anywhere.

Pure Tone

[pure tone] noun \pyoor tohn\

Also called a Sine Wave, is a tone that is characterized by its unique frequency, or number of vibrations per second, which produce a very clear, piercing tone. A true Sine Wave is an artificial, electronic sound, similar to the beeping sound made when a truck is backing up.


[chant] noun \chant\

A short, simple melody, especially one characterized by a single pitch on which any number of syllables are voiced. A very monotonous, rhythmic or repetitive song or phrase.

A Cappella

[a cap·pel·la] noun \ah kuh-pel-uh\

Singing without instruments for musical accompaniment


[tem·po] noun \tem-poh\

The speed of a section of a composition or the speed of a complete piece.


[ton·ic] noun \ton-ik\

The first tone of a scale. Also see Root.


[in·ter·lude] noun \in-ter-lood\

An instrumental passage or piece of music performed between phrases, verses, songs, or acts of a drama.


[con·so·nant] noun \kon-suh-nuhnt\

A speech sound or letter that stops or hinders the airflow by the tongue, lips, or teeth. Any sound other than a pure vowel.


[in·ter·val] noun /ˈin(t)ərvəl/

The distance in pitch between two notes.

Brett Manning explains Hypo Phonation 0:14

Hypo Phonation

[hy·po pho·na·tion] noun \hahy-poh foh-ney-shuhn\

Lack of complete cord closure, producing a breathy, fussy, airy or even velvet-styled tone quality. Has artistic value, but is often a sign of weak or damaged cords. When a singer has nodules, they often suffer from hypo phonation, because the nodules wonʼt allow the cords to fully close. Voiced consonants that would create this breathy quality include: zzz, zh, vv and th.


[quin·tet] noun \kwin-tet\

1) A composition for five performers. 2) An ensemble of five performers.

Brett Manning explains Chest Resonance 0:22

Chest Resonance

[chest res·o·nance] noun \rez-uh-nuhns\

The term used when describing the resonance quality and location of the chest or speaking voice. Technically, the voice does not resonate in the chest, because the chest is below the vocal cords which are producing the sound, but there are sympathetic vibrations in the chest cavity when phonation in the lower range occurs. When speaking or singing in chest voice, the voice resonates internally around the top of the sternum and externally through the mouth cavity.


[form] noun \fawrm\

The organization and structure of a composition.

Brett Manning explains Edge Muscles 0:25

Edge Muscles

[edge mus·cles] noun \ej ˈməs-əls\

The inside edges of the vocal cords that experience compression and stretching. Vocal cords initially vibrate along the inside edges of the cords and then recruit more and more muscle fiber with added compression and airflow. Cord closure happens first along the edge muscles of the vocal cords. Weak edges equal breathy tones and a weak voice.