It sure sounds great when you’re singing properly, creating this beautiful, rich tone and this whole variety of pitches are coming out, but … how does the voice do this in the first place??
Creating sound in order to sing anything requires the workings of 3 basic parts, and these 3 parts need to be working simultaneously. To sing with ease and efficiency and to have the ability to sing with a wide range of notes, these parts also need to be balanced. These are: Respiration, which is the amount of breath, Phonation which is source of the sound, and Resonance which is the modification of that sound.
Respiration is the source of the power of the voice. You may have heard the phrase ‘Sing from your diaphragm’, which means that by expanding the abdomen during inhalation, the diaphragm will be contracted, and while exhaling from this lower region (through singing) you should good control of the amount of breath that is required.
Phonation occurs when the airstream from the lungs comes in contact with the vocal cords which are located in the larynx around the middle of your neck. If you can find your Adam’s apple, they’re right in there! When the vocal cords are adducted (closed) the passing air gets them to vibrate creating a buzz, and the more stretched and thinned the vocal cords are, the higher the pitch will be.
This sounds at this point is only a buzz though and wouldn’t sound like much of anything if it didn’t have the throat, mouth and nasal cavities to resonate the sound and modify it to create the various vowels and the whole variety of sounds that we are able to produce when we sing and speak.