Use of muscles of respiration in singing
This paper reviews research on use of respiration muscles during singing in singers within the classical tradition. A singer needs to maintain a minutely exact control of subglottal pressure. This control is mediated by the muscles of respiration. The diaphragm, external and parasternal internal intercostals and levatores costarum muscles belong to the group of inspiratory muscles, and abdominal muscles, interosseal internal intercostals and transversus thoracis to the expiratory group. These two groups work antagonistically during phonation to control subglottal pressure. Inspiratory effort is used to counteract the elastic recoil forces of the lung. Expiratory effort helps mantain subglottal preassure at low volumes. The role of shoulder and neck muscles in the respiration pattern in a singer is not fully understood, but recent research shows that activity in these muscles are much more widespread than previously believed.A consistency in pattern of respiration is seen in the same singer during repetition of singing tasks, but not between singers, and to make general assumptions of interaction between muscles and muscle groups during singing is difficult.Different teachers use different pedagogic approaches to teach breathing technique. This may account for some of the diversity in the pattern of respiration in singers. One solution would be to map respiration patterns within a certain pedagogical tradition. A combination of different methods would be recommended to map a respiration pattern more completely. To fully understand the role of respiratory apparatus in singing, it’s function must be studied in relation to larynx and the aucustic product.