Of the Broken voice is a change of voice that occurs in both boys and girls during puberty. The voice becomes deeper. There are hormonal disorders that lead to the absence of a voice change.
Voice break is a change in voice that occurs in both boys and girls during puberty.
The voice break is also known as a change of voice or mutation (change). Here the term mutation must not be confused with a genetic change. It is all about the mutation of the voice.
The typical voice change in boys from 11 to 16 years of age is pronounced. During this time puberty takes place. Even with girls, the voice becomes deeper. However, this happens to a lesser extent than with boys.
In male adolescents, the voice changes an octave on average to lower notes. Female adolescents experience a change in voice from a third to lower notes. Because of the smaller change, it is often not consciously registered in the general perception that a change of voice also takes place in girls.
In boys, the voice changes with the appearance of "breaks". There is often a change between high and low pitches. This manifests itself in a change from a child's voice to a man's voice and vice versa.
The voice break is part of sexual maturation. A voice change process takes place over the years. However, the actual voice break only takes about half a year. Female adolescents also experience a change in voice, which, however, occurs to a lesser extent and therefore more evenly.
The cause of the deepening of the voice is the hormone testosterone. It is responsible for the development of the secondary male sexual characteristics. One last growth spurt takes place. Muscle and bone growth is stimulated.
As part of these processes, the larynx and vocal folds also enlarge. They lengthen and get thicker. Before the vocal folds grow, their length is between 12 and 13 millimeters in a ten-year-old boy. During the change of voices, they grow by one centimeter with a simultaneous increase in their thickness. The generated tones become deeper because the frequency of vibration of the vocal folds decreases with their size and strength. Overall, the voice is deepened by an octave.
However, since the vocal folds do not grow evenly, breaks occur in the voice at the time of the voice change. The tones sound distorted when speaking or singing. In addition, there is a constant change between high and low voices.
During puberty, the adolescent's neck grows with the larynx placed lower down in the neck. The outward sign of growth is the enlargement of the Adam's apple. The deep sound of the voice is also caused by the lower position of the larynx because it is now closer to the chest. This forms the resonance space of the voice.
The depth of the voice is different, however. About two thirds of all male adolescents develop a bass voice. A tenor voice emerges in a third of pubescent people.
The transitions from low to high voices are fluid and both forms occur in both men and women. On a statistical average, the vocal folds grow by around one centimeter in men and between one and three millimeters in women. Therefore the female voice deepens by about a third.
During puberty, voice breaking is one of the normal changes that occur in the transition from child to adult. These changes are unfamiliar to pubescent adolescents. Therefore, psychological problems can occasionally arise during this period. However, these problems are temporary.
It is more serious when sexual maturation does not occur at all. There are hormone-related diseases that lead to the absence of puberty. The lack of production of sex hormones is usually due to genetic causes.
Too low a level of testosterone or other sex hormones is called hypogonadism. A well-known example is the genetic Kall syndrome. In Kall syndrome there is a lack of testosterone, which prevents the absence of puberty. At the same time there is no change of voice. Well-known singers like Jimmy Scott who suffered from this condition kept a high soprano voice throughout their lives. They were called natural castrati.
In history, boys were often neutered before puberty in order to maintain their high-pitched voices for a singing career. Many boys did not survive this surgery due to complications that occurred. Also, having passed castration was no guarantee for her success as a singer. Only a few so-called castrati were able to inspire the audience with their unusual voice. In addition to not changing voices, many suffered from the effects of testosterone deficiency for life. Even so, there were some very famous castrati in both church and secular music who were held in high regard.
Today, as part of the so-called acceleration (developmental acceleration), puberty is generally brought forward. This means that the voice break now begins earlier than in the past.