I've seen a singing teacher being able to sing the same note either as a chest note or as a head note.

I tried to do it myself and it seems to me this can be done with the middle range notes by moving up or down the larynx. But not sure this is the exact mechanism.

Is someone enlightened enough to explain this phenomenon. How is physically possible to do that?

3 Answers 3


The ranges of chest and head overlap, it's called the passaggio. Now chest and head sound quite different. Within this passaggio range you can sing notes in chest (deep, resonant, bassy) or head (thinner, lighter) or a mix in-between. In fact it's possible to smoothly change the production of the note from chesty to heady and back. Skilled singers who can use mixed voice know how to gradually reduce the chest part and increase the head part as they travel up this range (and vice versa), to smoothly join the two types of voice together and make them seem to be 'one voice'.

At your stage, you should concentrate on lowering your head voice range and increasing your chest voice range until they overlap, then you'll understand how the same note can feel and sound different in each range. Your teacher can help you do this.


You can sing any particular pitch in a multitude of ways, from a soft hum to full-out operatic production! Some ways fit certain ranges - you aren't going to manage 'Old Man River' (at pitch) in falsetto! But there are overlaps, and 'mixes'.


Chest voice is stretching/curdling the vocal folds from their bottom (the curdling makes for the high overtone content of chest voice and couples vibration better into, well, the chest), falsetto is stretching them by pulling at their fixtures. Because of the mechanics of the larynx, the involved muscles and operations and configuration of the vocal folds are not quite independent, so employing them both at the same time is a comparatively delicate operation.

If you use mainly one or the other, because of the considerably different configuration of the vocal folds and the mechanism for tensing them, you are almost dealing with two different instruments. How much their pitch ranges overlap is basically an anatomical detail. And how much may be accessible to the use of more than one of those mechanisms to what degree, is to some degree anatomical, but to a high degree also depending on practice dealing with what amounts to an unstable configuration with a tendency to flip to one or the other mode of operating exclusively.

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