Breath occurs when the vocal folds in the trachea are parted in order to allow air to enter and fill the lungs, or to exit. Usually the vocal cords are parted enough that no discrete tones are produced during breath.
For singers, breaths in are generally placed between phrases in a performance. For instrumentalists, breath marks are often placed between or within phrases as a way to articulate the musical line or to emulate vocalityor, indeed, in a place where the player of a wind or brass instrument actually needs to take a breath. The notation for a breath mark in Western musical notation is an apostrophe, usually placed at the top of the staff at the point where the “breath” is to be taken. This mark is also called a “luftpause.”
Circular breathing is a technique used by players of some wind instruments to produce a continuous tone without interruption. This is accomplished by breathing in through the nose while simultaneously pushing air out through the mouth using air stored in the cheeks. (Wikipedia)
A countertenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of the female contralto or mezzo-soprano voice types. The countertenor range is generally equivalent to a contralto range, extending from around G3 to D5 or E5, although a sopranist (a specific kind of countertenor) may match the soprano’s range of around C4 to C6. Countertenors often are natural baritones or tenors, but rarely use this vocal range in performance.
A tenor with an unusually high range (as an alto range)
Oxford English Dictionary: A part higher in pitch than the tenor, sung by a high male voice; the alto.
A man who sings regularly in the C3-C6 range. Countertenors are often associated with castrati of the baroque era and many countertenors sing music composed for castrati. Countertenor bodies greatly differ from those of castrati–countertenors do not achieve their vocal ranges through pre-pubescent castration.
Grove Music Online
A male high voice, originally and still most commonly of alto range, though the title is increasingly employed generically to describe any adult male voice higher than tenor. Historically, it derived in England from the contratenor line in late medieval and Renaissance polyphony, via contratenor altus (‘high contratenor’), which – used interchangeably – became ‘countertenor’ and ‘altus’, then alto (as in Italian nomenclature) and, later still, even ‘male’ alto.
(\fȯl-ˈse-(ˌ)tō\ Italian: diminutive of “false”) is the vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the modal voice register and overlapping with it by approximately one octave. It is produced by the vibration of the ligamentous edges of the vocal cords, in whole or in part. Commonly cited in the context of singing, falsetto, a characteristic of phonation by both men and women, is also one of four main spoken vocal registers recognized by speech pathology.
An artificially high voice; especially: an artificially produced singing voice that overlaps and extends above the range of the full voice especially of a tenor
Oxford English Dictionary: A forced voice of a range or register above the natural; the head voice.
Especially in males, phonation that vibrates primarily the inner portions of the vocal folds rather than the entirety of the vocal folds.
Grove Music Online
The alto or higher range available to most adult male singers through a technique whereby the vocal folds vibrate/undulate in a length shorter than usual, known as the second mode of phonation. Falsetto is usually associated exclusively with the male voice, though it is available to and employed in that of the female. This phonatory mode has been equated with ‘unnatural’ as opposed to ‘natural’ (partly through misleading philological usage) even though falsetto can be achieved and employed by almost everyone at will. Therefore, the correct term, second-mode phonation (or pure ‘head’-register) is preferred here to ‘falsetto’, except in the interests of convenient brevity.
Sotto voce (/ˈsɒtoʊ ˈvoʊtʃeɪ/; Italian: [ˈsotto ˈvoːtʃe], literally “under voice”) means intentionally lowering the volume of one’s voice for emphasis. The speaker gives the impression of uttering involuntarily a truth which may surprise, shock, or offend. Galileo Galilei’s (probably apocryphal) utterance “Eppur si muove” (“Nonetheless, [the Earth] does move”), spoken after recanting his heliocentric theory, is an example of sotto voce utterance.
under the breath : in an undertone; also : in a private manner – very softly —used as a direction in music
Throat- singing, a guttural style of singing or chanting, is one of the world’s oldest forms of music. For those who think the human voice can produce only one note at a time, the resonant harmonies of throat- singing are surprising. In throat-singing, a singer can produce two or more notes simultaneously through specialized vocalization technique taking advantage of the throat’s resonance characteristics. By precise movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, velum, and larynx, throat-singers produce unique harmonies using only their bodies. Throat-singing is most identified with parts of Central Asia, but it is also practiced in northern Canada and South Africa where the technique takes on different styles and meanings. (http://bit.ly/1EnDin9)
“Producing a Sound and Controlling its Sound” Foundations of Voice Studies, 2011 (Jody Kreiman and Diana Sidtis)
The larynx comprises a set of interconnected cartilages found in the airway below the pharynx and above the trachea (windpipe). Figure 2.3 shows the approximate location of the larynx in a man’s neck. To locate your larynx, place your fingers on your neck and say “ah.” You should feel the vibrations getting stronger or weaker as your fingers move toward or away from your larynx. (You can also feel it move upward and then downward during swallowing) (34)
Wikipedia, “Overtone singing”
Overtone singing—also known as overtone chanting, harmonic singing or throat singing—is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out of the lips to produce a melody.
The partials (fundamental and overtones) of a sound wave made by the human voice can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. This resonant tuning allows the singer to create apparently more than one pitch at the same time (the fundamental and a selected overtone), while actually generating only a single fundamental frequency with his/her vocal folds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overtone_singing
Vocal fry occurs when the vocal (arytenoid) cartilages squeeze together very tightly. This allows the vocal cords themselves to be loose and floppy. When air passes between them, they can vibrate irregularly, popping and rattling. We used to believe that vocal fry suggested a voice problem. However, after years of seeing young women with this pattern in their speaking voice, and seeing relatively normal looking vocal cords, I have begun to question this. While undoubtedly this is not “normal” speech and will result in damage, it is increasingly accepted in music and speech in the teenage and 20-something set. It does not always indicate a vocal cord problem exists; rather it is a usage problem.
The vocal fry register (also known as pulse register, laryngealisation, pulse phonation, creak, popcorning, glottal fry, glottal rattle, glottal scrape, or strohbass) is the lowest vocal register and is produced through a loose glottal closure which will permit air to bubble through slowly with a popping or rattling sound of a very low frequency. During this phonation, the arytenoid cartilages in the larynx are drawn together which causes the vocal folds to compress rather tightly and become relatively slack and compact.
In speech, a low, scratchy sound that occupies the vocal range below modal voice (the most commonly used vocal register in speech and singing). Also known as vocal fry register, creaky voice, pulse register, laryngealization, and glottal fry. (See Examples and Observations, below.)
The whistle register is the highest phonational register, sometimes referred to as “hyper” head voice. It begins above the soprano “high C” (C6) or and usually extends to a major 9th above (D7). The frequency range is approximately 1050 – 2350 Hz.
The lower part of the whistle register may overlap the upper parts of the modal and falsetto registers. Because of this, singers can phonate the notes differently.
(Whistle): A clear, high-pitched sound made by forcing breath through a small hole between partly closed lips, or between one’s teeth. – Dictionary
“The false cord function becomes active when a singer goes to the high range and allows hardly any breath through the cords. There is such a squeeze at the vocal folds that the false cords (Tissue directly above the true folds.) employ resulting in a high-pitched squeaking sound. If false cord function is developed, it can take years of study to rehabilitate the upper range and sometimes the damage is permanent. The neurological message is so strong for the false cord function to come into play that the singer is faced with an involuntary function over which he or she has no control.” -David L. Jones
In classical music, coloratura sopranos are the most commonly scored in this register. Pop singers, both male and female, also make use of this register.