What is the pharyngeal voice?
In order to begin to bridge the gap between the head and chest registers (often called the “mix”) the old Italian School used a device known as the Pharyngeal Voice.
The old masters taught that this mechanism helps to engage only the very inner edges of the vocal folds.
This middle Voice has been called the “Witch Voice” The Mezzo Falso, The Middle Falsetto, and many other names; it can make the difference in your training between power and brute force.
It should be built up gradually over a long period of time. At first it can fatigue quite quickly, but it becomes quite sturdy, strong, resilient and powerful.
Developing this part of the voice in isolation provides, you, the singer with a great deal of flexibility, freedom and power.
Contrary to popular belief, the pharyngeal voice is not a “nasty” or thinned out version of your chest voice. It is a part of the vocal mechanism that, once discovered and developed can sound like any part of the voice you desire. This mechanism can sound like a belted chest voice, a legitimate operatic voice or a soft but resonant lilt.
Easy does it
It’s very important that you train properly when working in this area of your voice. Find a teacher who has expertise in working with the pharyngeal. It is very easy for a singer to believe that they are working in this area, only to discover that they are actually harming themselves.
The pharyngeal is extremely sturdy and safe to use on a consistent basis once it has been built up properly however, and can be your ticket to a very exciting, brilliant, ringing sound.
Build the pharyngeal up slowly and methodically. Take everything very gently and easily. Singing well should always feel good on the throat! Over time, you will have developed a very powerful, versatile, flexible and beautiful instrument.
The video below explains in more detail what the pharyngeal voice is and how it’s developed!