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Ask Dr. Universe vocal folds

How does your voice make sound? – Bianca, 6, California

Dear Bianca,

Think about all the ways you use your voice: talking, singing, whispering, shouting, yodeling. Humans make so many sounds with just their voices.

I talked about how it works with Alisa Toy. She’s a professional singer who teaches in the School of Music at Washington State University.

She told me that the human voice is the smallest instrument in the world. The parts that make the sound—called the vocal folds or vocal cords—are about as long as your thumbnail.

So, where are those tiny vocal folds and how do they do it?

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