The larynx, also known as the voice box, is an organ of the anterior neck involved with breathing, phonation, and protection of the trachea. The vocal cords are housed within the larynx. The larynx connects the inferior part of the pharynx with the trachea.
Photos of the larynx:
Larynx: breathing position
Normal larynx with vocal cords in abducted, breathing position. This is a view from from above, looking on line with the trachea beyond the vocal cords.
Larynx: phonatory position
Normal larynx with cords in adducted, phonatory (voicing) position. Continuous light. Notice the straight match of the cords, and the narrow, physiologic gap between the cords at the prephonatory instant, just before vibratory blurring.
Phonatory blurring (2 of 10)
Making voice under standard light at G2 (~98 Hz), showing blurring of the margins ßà due to 98 vibrations per second! Pluck a rubber band at low tension for a visual analogy.
Phonation (3 of 10)
Voicing, but now at a pitch nearly 2 octaves higher, E4 (~330 Hz). Vocal cords are stretched lengthwise (longer) and vibratory amplitude much less, and this explains the narrower blur. See also photos 7 and 8. Stretch and then pluck the same rubber band for a visual analogy.
Open phase, A2 (4 of 10)
Under strobe light, the open phase of vibration, using a breathy, under-energized production to increase the amplitude (distance traveled laterally) of vibration.
Open phase, firm voice (6 of 10)
Open phase of vibration using a firm voice production and this reduces the amplitude of vibration as compared with Photo 4, even though the pitch is the same as in that photo.
Open phase, E4 (8 of 10)
Open phase also at E4, showing the smaller amplitude of vibration and explaining why the grey margin blur seen in photo 3 is “narrow” as compared with when vibratory amplitude is greater.
Closed phase, A4 (9 of 10)
Closed phase of vibration at A4 (~440 Hz). Vocal cords are lengthened to create high pitch (compare especially with photo 5).
Open phase, A4 (10 of 10)
Open phase vibration also at A4. Amplitude at this high pitch is less than for E4 (photo 8) and certainly than at A2 (photo 6). Note that amplitude of vibration is altered by loudness and not only pitch.
Asthenic larynx (1 of 6)
This quiet, soft-spoken teenager was being examined for a reason other than her voice. On an incidental basis, hers is a good example of the asthenic larynx. Detailed findings described in Photo 2.
Slender vocal cords (2 of 6)
Closer view under narrow band light. Note how slender her vocal cords are. Ventricles are capacious. There is no “conus” bulk below the vocal cord margins.
Prephonatory instant (3 of 6)
At the prephonatory instant for G5 (784 Hz), standard light. Note the significant space between the cords, but not due to MTD, in that the posterior cords are fully adducted.