Acoustic measurement of the vocal tract proved that experienced saxophonists tune their vocal tract during advanced performances to eﬀectively inﬂuence the vibration frequency of the reed (Scavone et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 123, 2391-2400 (2008); Chen et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 129, 415-426 (2011)). To understand how the shape of the vocal tract is altered, the vocal tracts of experienced saxophonists were scanned in three dimensions with magnetic resonance imaging while they played the instrument using diﬀerent pitches with normal and overtone techniques. The scanned images demonstrated that the tongue was located posteriorly in the vocal tract for low notes; however, it moved forward when the participants produced overtones. The input impedance was then calculated for the players' air columns, including both the supra- and sub-glottal tracts, using an acoustic tube model. When the tongue moved forward to produce overtones, both the frequency and amplitude of the second impedance peak increased, suggesting an eﬀective acoustic inﬂuence of the vocal behavior on the vibrating reed. The ﬁrst impedance peak was less variable, regardless of the signiﬁcant change in the vocal-tract shape for diﬀerent notes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics