Most of the time, when people are speaking of musicians, they rarely consider a vocalist one. Why, because they don’t carry big amps and set up a physical instrument? I sis because they do not play a man-made stringed, wind, or percussive instrument that they have to load in the car and set-up hours before a musical engagement?
When a jazz event is being spoken of, it often says quartet, excluding the singer which if included would be a quintet. So why isn’t the singer considered a musician when a singer actually is one?
The vocal cords are the only hand-made by God instrument on this earth. It is internal and is carried around inside of the human body.
The vocal cords are “a pair of folds of tissue that extend across the inside of the larynx and that produce the voice when air exhaled from the lungs causes them to tighten and vibrate” (Merriam Webster). They are primarily responsible for voice production.
“The vocal cords are shorter and thinner in women and children, accounting in part for their higher-pitched voices” (Britannica). In men, the vocal cord is the size of a nickel and in woman, the vocal cord is the size of a dime.
The human voice is one of the most powerful instruments. It produces speech and enables communication. If you have a voice to speak, you have power to create change. If you have the ability to use your voice in other ways like singing, you have the ability to affect the ears of listeners with your word usage and the outpouring of emotion that you release when you free your voice.
It uses air to release sound, so like a horn, the human voice is a wind instrument. It can run scales in different keys of the solfege or other musical scales like a piano, so it can also be considered a stringed instrument. And there are times when the human voice makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, producing that thump that drives your heartbeat, which can make the human voice percussive.
Now here is a big difference between a physical instrument and the vocals. If dust falls in between each key of a piano or one of the keys go out of tune, you either spray it with dust remover or get it retuned and it is fine. Pull a string on a guitar or bass, and you simply unplug and restring it. Should a piece of dust get on the vocal chords, now you have limited usage of your voice because you now have an upper respiratory infection. Should you pull a string on your vocal cords, you may have to consult an ENT physician and consider surgery to remove nodes on your cords.
So though, the vocal cords might very well be inside of a human body, it is very much an instrument which makes a vocalist a musician. The human voice is the only instrument that God made by hand. It is the most powerful instrument in the world. And it is the one easiest to let a message out musically that can affect thought.
Perhaps my song, “Breakthrough” which was originally written and produced by Stephanie Jeannot and Armand Collins, will affect your day positively. It is an inspirational tune and it was performed live at Resorts World Casinos in Queens, NY. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/B4fJ-8SswqQ