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Author Topic: Why do boys' voices break?  (Read 7959 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why do boys' voices break?
« on: 19/03/2008 07:59:10 »
We've all heard it. Young boy with the voice of an angel (the angel wasn't happy about that) singing Ave Maria when suddenly - croak, grunt, grrrrph - his voice has changed to that of a constipated bulfrog that has just eaten a handful of gravel.

So what happens?


 

Offline neilep

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #1 on: 19/03/2008 11:34:03 »
I don't know.....great question...........but it is funny.....having heard my son go from soprano to tenor in one sentence !

 

Offline JnA

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #2 on: 19/03/2008 15:19:54 »
cartilage is very sensitive to testosterone.

growth of the larynx causes the vocal chords to become longer and thicker.


Actually girls experience the same thing but the change is much less noticeable. 

Another change that occurs during puberty is that a boys face will become wider as it grows, this creates bigger spaces in the sinus cavities that gives the voice more room to resonate in.. this also contributes to the deepening sound.

« Last Edit: 19/03/2008 15:27:41 by JnA »
 

Offline Nobody's Confidant

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #3 on: 19/03/2008 15:40:41 »
cartilage is very sensitive to testosterone.

growth of the larynx causes the vocal chords to become longer and thicker.


Actually girls experience the same thing but the change is much less noticeable. 

Another change that occurs during puberty is that a boys face will become wider as it grows, this creates bigger spaces in the sinus cavities that gives the voice more room to resonate in.. this also contributes to the deepening sound.


Interesting.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #4 on: 19/03/2008 17:12:01 »
cartilage is very sensitive to testosterone.

growth of the larynx causes the vocal chords to become longer and thicker.


That's understandable; but why do they get that strange yodelling effect? The voice can actually swap registers in the middle of a sentence.
 

Offline JnA

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #5 on: 20/03/2008 05:11:43 »
cartilage is very sensitive to testosterone.

growth of the larynx causes the vocal chords to become longer and thicker.


That's understandable; but why do they get that strange yodelling effect? The voice can actually swap registers in the middle of a sentence.

The change is caused by the vocal cords stretching as the larynx grows... as it takes time for the larynx to grow, the vocal cords are constantly playing catch up growing just the little bit behind.. it's like if you keep tightening a guitar string, it starts to 'ping' as it gets stretched.

does that make sense?


Incidentally it is around this same time that the larynx also tilts.. and creates the 'adams apple'.

Yodelling is a skill of moving back and forth from 'breaking' voice, thus men are generally better at it.
« Last Edit: 20/03/2008 05:19:24 by JnA »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #6 on: 20/03/2008 07:18:07 »
Thank you, JnA.
 

Offline JnA

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #7 on: 20/03/2008 12:22:02 »
You're Welcome.


I have a whole degree of this sort of useless knowledge. ;)
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #8 on: 20/03/2008 22:46:11 »
I wouldn't call it useless. It came in useful here  :)
 

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Why do boys' voices break?
« Reply #8 on: 20/03/2008 22:46:11 »

 

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