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Respiratory Function in Singing
A Primer for Singers and Singing Teachers

Thomas J. Hixon
167 pages, Softcover, 7 x 10"
Release Date:


Respiratory function in singing is a controversial topic, rich in folklore and conditioned by the personal preferences of teachers. This book provides a comprehensive journey into the role of respiratory function in singing and dispenses with the folklore surrounding this topic. You will learn:

  • The importance of optimal respiratory function in singing
  • How singers’ beliefs about their respiratory adjustments are often incorrect, and why, despite popular belief, the breath does not carry the tone
  • How lung volume influences the singing voice, and what the mechanical differences are between belly-in and belly-out singing
  • How to design a customized exercise program that is based on the volume, pressure, and shape control variables actually used in singing

This book is designed primarily for singers and singing teachers. Speech-language pathologists who work with singers will also find it of value. This book provides readers with the best scientific information available on respiratory function in singing, and presents it in an easy-to-read format.

  • Preface
  • Structure
  • Mechanics
  • Adjustments
  • Variables
  • Control
  • Respiration
  • Prelude
  • Singing
  • Postlude
  • Exercises
  • References
  • Author Index
  • Subject Index
  • About the Author

About The Author

Thomas J. Hixon

Thomas J. Hixon, PhD, (1940-2009), received his PhD from the University of Iowa and did postdoctoral work in physiology at Harvard University. He was Professor Emeritus of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate College at the University of Arizona and had been Head of the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Director of the National Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders, Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, Director of the Movement Neuroscience Program, Research Integrity Officer, and Associate Vice President for Research at the same institution. Dr. Hixon was a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and was awarded Honors of the Association, the Council of Editor's Award, two Journal Editor's Awards from the Association for the outstanding article of the year, and a Career Teaching Award from the University of Arizona. Dr. Hixon served as Editor of the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, Speech Section Editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, and an editorial reviewer and/or Associate Editor to over a dozen other speech and voice journals. His research interests centered on normal and abnormal speech production and the biomechanics of singing.