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Refers to the performing art characterized by the skillful production of musical tones by means of the human voice. Singing requires a physical technique in which the lungs supply air to the larynx, which acts as a reed or vibrator; the chest and head cavities function as amplifiers. The tongue, palate, teeth, and lips articulate and impose consonants and vowels on the amplified sound. In the art of singing, refined skill is required to coordinate these various anatomical mechanisms and their interaction upon one another. Singing is distinct from speaking in the way in which the breath is expended to vibrate the vocal cords and by the control required in the movement and reflexes of the larynx.

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The Portland Art Museum’s Online Collections site is brought to you thanks to support provided by the State of Oregon through its second Culture, History, Arts, Movies, and Preservation funding program and generous awards from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.