Singing Positions

Disclaimer: I’m supposed to be studying over the summer to make sure I don’t lose anything in the chem and bio departments, so for anyone who doesn’t care about the basic anatomy lesson, skip to the next paragraph and the pictures that look like they’re from the ESC world.

Breathing, or more specifically, ventilation, is an active process. It takes energy. The diaphragm requires ATP in able to flatten, expand the volume of the thoracic chest cavity, and make the pressure lower than the air outside the body. This creates a gradient for the outside air to flow into the chest cavity (lungs), and we see that as inhalation. But in the case of singers, flattening the diaphragm isn’t enough. The external intercostal muscles are also used to expand the cavity outward, and combined with the diaphragm the singer can take a deep breath to sing that long note or increase the power in their voice.

It’s pretty obvious that most artists sing standing up, because that position allows the greatest thoracic cavity volume. (Yes, I chose the most literal song title on purpose.)

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While standing is the most common, it’s not the only position. Some decide that to squat…

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And others decide to kneel. While they’re not standing, their chest cavity isn’t really affected since their upper body is still upright.

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Sitting is also an option. I guess some people remembered that they sat down for choir practice and sang okay enough if they sat up straight. If they still inhale deeply enough, they can probably pull it off.

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But sometimes sitting down is the only option, especially in the case of irreversible motor nerve damage. In that case, their singing and breathing techniques have to change to fit their current condition, and sometimes it’s really noticeable that the thoracic cavity when sitting isn’t as large as when standing. As a result, there would be less power coming out if they wanted to maintain the long notes.

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Lying down is a good way for people to feel if they are inhaling deeply instead of just the basic diaphragm flattening. It’s apparently also another singing position that artists can choose. While meme makers have decided that artists sing lying down because they’re tired, it still takes as much energy as standing up.

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And of course, while some artists choose to move and let the background remain static, other artists choose to remain static in a really awkward position and let the backdrop move for them. I don’t know who else would want to sing when they’re in the middle of a sit-up outside of Sergey Lazarev though…

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Or who else outside of Tanja would do this:

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