This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Dwight Manning 9 months, 1 week ago.
Thanks to Roger Soren for bringing this one to our attention!
“Despite Weisberg’s uncompromising personal preferences, a number of performers… have chosen not to accept diaphragm vibrato exclusively.”
I find that my bassoon vibrato is similar to my vocal vibrato (minus engaging the vocal folds). I’m not sure that my diaphragm (an involuntary muscle) can move fast enough to produce the required frequency for a characteristic vibrato.
Well, considering the only thing a diaphragm can actually do is pull down to inflate the lungs, it’s physically impossible for that to be the muscle that you’re actually using. Your abdominal and chest muscles can squeeze air out faster, but as Dwight’s paper shows, we have medical imaging now that proves it’s not usually coming from the chest cavity at all anyway. We just don’t want to encourage tension in the throat area.
Thank you, Trent. The role of the diaphragm in woodwind vibrato was clarified over 50 years ago.
“In 1963 Gärtner began experiments using
electromyography to document electrochemical
reaction of muscle groups in twelve performing
flutists. A summary of results follows:
1. Vibrato does not originate in the diaphragm
as previously stated.
2. Because of its manner of production,
“diaphragm” vibrato should actually
be referred to as “thoraco-abdominal”
vibrato. The diaphragm is fixed in the
sense of support. Alternation of tension
and release of breath is brought about
by a periodic compression and release
of abdominal and thoracic muscles.”