Voice culture ,Vocal disorders and remedies

In classical music the technical excises an technical compositions help to improve voice quality. South Indian Music consists of two branches of music the Kalpita Sangita(musical compositions) and Manodharma Sangeetha .A performer should be adept in both of these branches It is needless to say that the existing traditional practice helps to acquire the above-mentioned vocal attributes. These exercises also form the basis for the musical skill. Also this training should starts by at the age of six or seven, at this period the muscles are supple and flexible. The training is the first imparted to sustain on a note for a long period without any Kattai. For this uses the notes MadhyaShadja Madhya Panchama and Tara Shadja. These notes are sung in ascending order and then in descending order. The next scale exercises are taught _Sarali Varisa. This scale excise us set in Mayamalavagoula . This scale familiarizes the singer with the three types of intervals – Semi tone( DviSruti) that occurs between Ga and Ma and Between Ni and Sa. Major Tone (Chatusruti ) occurs between Ri and Ga and between Da and Ni. In practical the sarali Varis are first taught plainly without an Gamakas and after the Sthana’s are perfected with the singing of plain (suddha) notes, the Gamakas are attempted. After Sarali Varisa pupil taught the Tarasthayi. This excise is to widen the range of the voice in the high octave . A voice is described musically sweet and rich only when accuracy in tone production is achieve even in the high octave. This exercise is also composed in the raga Mayamalavagoula and adi tala also note that this will be practiced in three degree of speed. For the command verve in voice quality the Janta Varisa are prescribed. These Janta Varisa also train the singer to produce the Gamakas Tiripa or Nokku and Sphurita. It is essential that the voice should produce the different types of graces used in South Indian classical music. Dattu Varisas to train the voice to produce the intermittent intervals with fluency. The Tarastayi Varisa, Janta Varisa and Dattu Varisa are set in Adi Tala . The next exercise Sapta tala Alanakaras are set in seven different Suladi Talas and set in the raga Mayamalavaguala . The word Alanakaras means ornamentation (literally). This exercises prepares the student to sing the technical compositions properly by making the voice fit to produce different Swara combinations. The Alanakaras which are used for practice are mentioned in the Sangitha Saramritha.
1. Chaturasra Jathi Dhurva Tala
2. Chaturasra Jathi Madya Tala
3. Chaturasra Jathi Rupaka Tala
4. Mishra Jathi Jampa Tala
5. Trisra jathi Triputa Tala
6. Kanda Jathi Ata Tala
7. Chathurasra Jathi Eka Tala
This Vocalization practice known as “Akara Sadakam”. Singing of vowel Ah helps to develop a bright tone as this vowel opens the throat and widens the mouth capacity and thereby aids to achieve a throated rich voice The EE, Eh, Oo and Oh are taught for vocalization practice. The Vowel Eh puts the tone forward to the front part of palate and teeth and hereby brings clarity to the tone. An antidote for forced and harsh tone is the practice on the vowel OO which gives forth the forward resonance. To Achieve a round open tone vocalization the vowel O H is practiced without the muscular tension of the jaw and neck which the singer is very often tempted to get in producing this vowel. In this vowel Ah is given more importance and it will carried over to other vowel EE. EH, OO and OH. In addition to Vocalization exercise the student is asked to practice on the consonant “M” which gives the voice richness. The reason for the choice of Mayamalava gula Raga for the preliminary exercise by the Great Purandaradasa as this scale facilitate the rendering of Kampita Gamaksa and helps to train the voice of the child of ten years to render the Kampita Gamakas more easily. The musical compositions, which serve the technical purpose, are classified into technical compositions. Gitas, SwaraJathi and Varans are classified in this group. These Lessons will help to master the difficult and elaborate melodic compositions. Among the technical group Gitam, latterly means a song. Gitam series set in very simple and without much ornamentation, and will help the student to master perfectly. Gitam should practice in medium temp which give dynamism to the voice. The Pillayar Gitam of The Great Composer Purandara Dasa is common Gita to start with The Swara Jathi is act as a stepping Stone for the learning of the Varanam This type of compositions have Swara and Sahithya part and divided into Pallavi, Anupallavi and Charanam( may be more than Two ) Only simple SwaraJathis are taught to the beginner. The three Swarajatii of Shyma Sastri in the Raga Thodi, Bhairavi and YadhukulaKambodhi which are composed very high style are taught only after the voice is under the control of the performer “The Thanavarnam” are taught after Swarajathis . Varna is the last form among the technical group of composition but stands first for its technical excises The rareness of words, wide range profusion of vowel extension and the use of various type of Gamakas help the singer to acquire the vocal attributes steadiness, continuity and ability to execute the different Gamakas in the proper manner. The vowels should not be changed in any way as Ah, Ai, or Au while extending the vowels in the Varna lesion. Varna help more to acquire a good voice as the profession a wide range is one of the essential factors of a good voice. Among famous sixty Varna Two Varna exceed two complete octaves, 17 have two complete octaves, 15 have one octave and seven tones, 16 have one octave and six tones 8 have one octave and five tones, 2 have one octave and four tones. The practice of Varna is very necessary for a singer as it trans the laryngeal muscles to produce the different Gamakas. The two types of Varnas are “Tana Varnas”and musicians take up “Pada Varnas” former for practice while dancers prefer the letter. Musical skill includes ability in rhythm and melody. The technical exercises and technical compositions impart the knowledge of Tala. When they are rendered by doubling the speed in four degrees or three degrees or sometimes with two degrees of speed Sense of Sruti is acquired from the very 1st Lesion ( ‘Sa’ ‘Pa’ ‘Sa’) The Mastering of enormous melodic composition only enable the singer to be proficient in the branch of Manodharam Sangeetha that proves the musical ability of a Singer.

Vocal disorders and remedies

The vocal disorder classified into two: Functional and Organic Only physician can cure organic disorder. The functional disorders are again classified into a. Throatiness, b. unsteadiness, c. Breathiness, d. Break in voice registers. e.Voice fatigue, f. White tone, g. huskiness, h. Register weakness and k. uneven voice.

The tension of jaw neck and chest muscles or position of the tongue makes the voice throaty. Cure The rigidity of the jaw muscles can be removed by holding the head slightly downwards with the chin inwards. Moving the head gently from side to side and dropping the jaw down and back the singer gets the relaxation of jaw and neck muscles II. The tongue should not be drawn up and back or down and back or completely relaxes which constrict the throat passage. The tongue should be kept flat so that the tip of the tongue touches the back portion of the lower gum ridge.

Wobbling results owing to incorrect breathing, fear and self-consciousness. Cure The diaphragmatic type of breathing should be adopted to have control over the breath capacity( more breath capacity) The only way to avoid shyness, fear and self-consciousness is to concentrate highly upon the music, which has to be sung. Breathiness:
The failure of the perfect closure of vocal process induces a small amount of air to come out through the larynx without being modulated by vocal cords. This air leakage generates a strong frictional noise and accompanies the tone produced by the vocal cords. Cure Humming exercises helps to avoid this problem. soft singing of disjointed notes on the vowel Ah also help to remove this defect.

Break in voice- registers:
Incorrect breathing and improper resonance cause a break in the voice quality while passing form one register to another . The singer is tempted to force his voice in the high register. Cure The correct type of breathing should be used , during inhalation the lower rigs expand and the diaphragm descends more widely. This action enlarges the breath capacity. In this process of exhalation the abdomen contracts owing to the pressure of the descent of the diaphragm. The resonators for the lower tones should not be forces while singing higher notes and the singer should not attempt to bring down the resonators of the higher notes while singing lower notes.

Voice fatigue:
This may be due to physical disorder or functional disorder Lack of breath control tongue interference of and unsuited pitch level also cause this defect. Cure: Breath control is the only remedy.
a. Inhale and exhale the breath through the nose slowly and steadily.
b. Inhale air deeply, place your hand on the diaphragm, and exhale slowly and gently. Press your hands to expel the maximum air form lungs. Repeat this several times.
c. Start vocalizing ‘Ah’ on a easy pitch and sustain on the note until you feel uneasy. Then hum on the same pitch. You can notice that humming can be done for longer period than vocalizing.
d. Come down he scale and produce the lowest note audible in your voice. Sing Madhyama from that note and fix that as your “Adhara Sadhja .”

White tone:
Incorrect methods of closing the glottis by the swallowing muscles makes the larynx press against the hyoid bone. Cure The should be ample space between the larynx hyoid bone . The use of correct breathing helps the singer to avoid the use of swallowing muscles. Also Humming exercises keep the soft palate and uvula to be loose and supple which in turn make the outlet of air pass though the nose .

Excessive tension of the vocal cords makes the voice husky or harsh. Cure Proper relaxation of the muscles, which tense the larynx mechanism, must be obtained. Current pitch level resonance and type of breathing can help to over come this problem.

Register weakness:
Incorrect adjustment of the resonators is the main cause for the register weakness and lack of breath control also cause register weakness. Cure Smaller vowel size should be resonated for the lower notes to be rich while large vowel size must be used for the higher notes to be rich. When the pitch lowers, greater number f harmonics resonate in the throat and mouth. Correct pitch quality depends upon the control of the vowel size. Increased breath capacity is necessary to sing the lower notes with power.

Uneven voice:
If the size and shape of the mouth is varied too often in producing the voice the tone quality varies. Incorrect breathing and improper resonance also make the voice uneven. Cure The Vowels Ah, Ee and Eh should be produced with same position of the modification of the sound should result only the placement of the tongue in different positions. For the production of Oh and Oo the lips should be kept in a rounded position. The teeth should be always well separated for the production of vowels In conclusion; an effective good voice can be achieved only by practice. Voice production is based on motor act, which becomes habitual by repetition.

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