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Hi :) I'm not sure this is the right place to ask this question, but I'll try anyway:

Here are two well-known facts, and I don't understand how they work together:

  1. Males usually have deeper voices than females because they have longer vocal folds.

  2. Short and relaxed vocal folds produce a deep voice, long and tense vocal folds produce a high-pitched voice.

So... given that males have longer vocal folds, isn't that supposed to mean that they produced high-pitched voices? What did I get wrong?

Thanks

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2 Answers 2

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Males usually have deeper voices than females because they have longer vocal folds.

Yes

Short and relaxed vocal folds produce a deep voice, long and tense vocal folds produce a high-pitched voice.

Yes on "relaxed", no on "short".

Treating the vocal cords as strings: The resonance frequency is a function of mass (or density), tension and length.

Higher mass -> lower pitch
Higher tension -> higher pitch
Higher length -> lower pitch

Male vocal cords are longer and heavier.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Hilmar! So when we talk/sing, we do not lengthen/shorten our vocal folds? or do we lengthen them for deeper sounds and shorten them for higher sounds? Thanks again. $\endgroup$
    – Cheshie
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 17:13
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I think you will find a very good explanation in the next link:

https://voicefoundation.org/health-science/voice-disorders/anatomy-physiology-of-voice-production/understanding-voice-production/

Cheers.

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