U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.. Rooted in post-punk, U2's musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic quality built on Bono's expressive vocals and the Edge's effects-based guitar textures, their lyrics embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career; the band formed as teenagers while attending Mount Temple Comprehensive School, when they had limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they released their debut album, Boy. Subsequent work such as their first UK number-one album and the singles "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Pride" helped establish U2's reputation as a politically and conscious group. By the mid-1980s, they had become renowned globally for their live act, highlighted by their performance at Live Aid in 1985.
The group's fifth album, The Joshua Tree, made them international superstars and was their greatest critical and commercial success. Topping music charts around the world, it produced their only number-one singles in the US to date: "With or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". Facing creative stagnation and a backlash following their documentary/double album and Hum, U2 reinvented themselves in the 1990s through a new musical direction and public image. Beginning with their acclaimed seventh album, Achtung Baby, the multimedia-intensive Zoo TV Tour, the band integrated influences from alternative rock, electronic dance music, industrial music into their sound, embraced a more ironic, flippant image; this experimentation continued through their ninth album and the PopMart Tour, which were mixed successes. U2 regained critical and commercial favour with the records All That You Can't Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which established a more conventional, mainstream sound for the group.
Their U2 360° Tour of 2009–2011 is the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour in history. The group most released the companion albums Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, the former of which received criticism for its pervasive, no-cost release through the iTunes Store. U2 have released 14 studio albums and are one of the world's best-selling music artists in history, having sold an estimated 150–170 million records worldwide, they have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, in 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and social justice causes, including Amnesty International, Jubilee 2000, the ONE/DATA campaigns, Product Red, War Child, Music Rising. In 1976, Larry Mullen Jr. a 14-year-old student at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin, posted a note on the school's notice board in search of musicians for a new band.
Six people met at Mullen's house on 25 September. Set up in the kitchen, Mullen was on drums, with: Paul Hewson on lead vocals. Mullen described it as "'The Larry Mullen Band' for about ten minutes Bono walked in and blew any chance I had of being in charge." Martin, who had brought his guitar and amplifier to the first practice but could not play, did not remain with the group, McCormick was dropped after a few weeks. The remaining five members settled on the name "Feedback" for the group because it was one of the few technical terms they knew. Most of their initial material consisted of cover songs, which they admitted was not their forte; some of the earliest influences on the band were emerging punk rock acts, such as the Jam, the Clash and Sex Pistols. The popularity of punk rock convinced the group that musical proficiency was not a prerequisite to success. In April 1977, Feedback played their first gig for a paying audience at St. Fintan's High School. Shortly thereafter, the band changed their name to "The Hype".
Dik Evans, older and by this time at college, was becoming the odd man out. The rest of the band was leaning towards the idea of a four-piece ensemble. In March 1978, the group changed their name to "U2". Steve Averill, a punk rock musician and family friend of Clayton's, had suggested six potential names from which the band chose "U2" for its ambiguity and open-ended interpretations, because it was the name that they disliked the least; that same month, U2, as a four-piece, won a talent contest in Limerick sponsored by Harp Lager and the Evening Press. The prize consisted of £500 and studio time to record a demo which would be heard by CBS Ireland, a record label; the win was an important affirmation for the fledgling band. Within a few days, Dik Evans was phased out of the band with a farewell concert at the Presbyterian Church Hall in Howth. During the show, which featured the group playing cover songs as the Hype, Dik ceremonially walked offstage; the remaining four band members returned in the concert to play original material as U2.
Dik soon joined the Virgin Prunes, which comprised mutual friends of U2's.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are an English electronic band formed in Wirral, Merseyside in 1978. Spawned by earlier group The Id, the outfit is composed of co-founders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, along with Martin Cooper and Stuart Kershaw. OMD released their debut single, "Electricity", in 1979, gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 anti-war song "Enola Gay"; the band achieved broader recognition via their album Architecture & Morality and its three singles, all of which were international hits. Although retrospectively reappraised, the experimental Dazzle Ships eroded European support; the band embraced a more straightforward pop sound on Junk Culture, while continuing to experiment via newly acquired digital samplers. A year after the release of The Best of OMD, creative differences rendered McCluskey the only remaining member of the group as Humphreys formed spin-off band The Listening Pool. OMD would return with a new line-up and explore the dance-pop genre: Sugar Tax and its initial singles were sizeable hits.
By the mid 1990s, electronic music had been supplanted by alternative rock, both OMD and The Listening Pool disbanded in 1996. McCluskey conceived pop girl group Atomic Kitten, for whom he served as a principal songwriter, while Humphreys performed as half of the duo Onetwo. In 2006, the outfit reformed with Humphreys back in the fold, began to work on material more akin to their early output; the band re-established themselves as a chart act, kept on touring extensively. Founders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys met at primary school in Meols in the early 1960s, in the mid-1970s, as teenagers, they were involved in different local groups but shared a distaste for guitar driven rock with a macho attitude popular among their friends at the time. By 1975 McCluskey had formed Equinox, as bassist and vocalist, alongside schoolmate Malcolm Holmes on drums, while Humphreys was their roadie. During that time McCluskey and Humphreys discovered their electronic style influenced by Kraftwerk. After Equinox, McCluskey joined Pegasus, the short-lived Hitlerz Underpantz, alongside Humphreys.
McCluskey would sing and play bass guitar. The pair shared a love of electronic music Brian Eno and Kraftwerk. In September 1977, McCluskey and Humphreys put together the seven-piece Wirral group The Id, whose line-up included drummer Malcolm Holmes and McCluskey's girlfriend Julia Kneale on vocals; the group began to gig in the Merseyside area, performing original material. They had quite a following on the scene, one of their tracks was included on a compilation record of local bands called Street to Street. Meanwhile, Humphreys and McCluskey collaborated on a side-project called VCL XI; this side-project allowed them to pursue their more bizarre electronic experiments working with tape collages, home-made kit-built synthesisers, circuit-bent radios. In August 1978, The Id split due to musical differences; the same month, McCluskey joined Wirral electronic outfit Dalek I Love You as their lead singer, but quit in September. In September 1978, the same month he left Dalek I Love You, McCluskey rejoined Humphreys and their VCL XI project was renamed Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
The name was gleaned from a list of song lyrics and ideas that were written on McCluskey's bedroom wall. OMD began to gig as a duo, performing to backing tracks played from a TEAC 4-track tape-recorder christened "Winston", their debut performance was in October 1978 at Eric's Club in Liverpool. Finding themselves on the cusp of an electronic new wave in British pop-music, they released a one-off single, "Electricity", with independent label Factory Records; the track was supposed to be produced by the Factory Records producer Martin Hannett. However, the A-side was the band's original demo produced by their friend, owner of Winston and soon to be manager, Paul Collister under the pseudonym Chester Valentino; the single's sleeve was designed by Peter Saville, whose distinctive graphics provided OMD's public image well into the mid-1980s. In 1979 they were asked to support Gary Numan on his first major British tour. Humphreys noted, " gave us our first big break, he saw us opening for Joy Division and he asked us to go on tour with him... we went from the small clubs to playing huge arenas.
Gary was good to us." Numan supported OMD on a 1993 arena tour. The eponymous first album showcased the band's live set at the time, was recorded by the Humphreys/McCluskey duo, although included some guest drums from Id drummer Malcolm Holmes, saxophone from Wirral musician Martin Cooper, it had a simple, poppy, melodic synth-pop sound. Dindisc arranged for the song "Messages" to be re-recorded and released as a single – this gave the band their first hit. Dave Hughes, a founder member of Dalek I Love You who joined OMD in early 1980, is featured in the "Messages"
Chipping Norton Recording Studios
Chipping Norton Recording Studios was a residential recording studio in Chipping Norton, England, which operated from 1971 until its closure in October 1999. The studios set-up to be the in-house studio for Blue Horizon Records, operated out of the former British Schools building, 26-30 New Street, a Grade II listed building - further properties were added in adjacent buildings and the studio provided 15 bedrooms with on-site catering for visiting musicians. Songs that were recorded at the studio include "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty, "In The Army Now" by Status Quo, "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo, "I Should Have Known Better" by Jim Diamond, "Promise Me" by Beverley Craven, "Creep" by Radiohead, "I'm Gonna Be" by The Proclaimers, "Perfect" by Fairground Attraction, " Died in Your Arms" by Cutting Crew, "Eighteen With A Bullet" by Pete Wingfield, "Hocus Pocus" by Focus and "Bye, Baby" by the Bay City Rollers. Dexys Midnight Runners, Duran Duran, Marianne Faithfull, Wet Wet Wet, Jeff Beck, XTC, Barbara Dickson, Alison Moyet, The Supernaturals, The Long Ryders, Mark Owen, Freddie King, Level 42, Therapy?, Richard & Linda Thompson, Judas Priest and Chris Rea, among many others recorded there.
On 15 June 2017, BBC Music Day, broadcast throughout the UK, awarded the studios with a Blue Plaque for its part in the musical heritage of England. List of British recording studios
Moog synthesizer may refer to any number of analog synthesizers designed by Robert Moog or manufactured by Moog Music, is used as a generic term for older-generation analog music synthesizers. The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled analog synthesizer systems in the mid 1960s; the technological development that led to the creation of the Moog synthesizer was the invention of the transistor, which enabled researchers like Moog to build electronic music systems that were smaller and far more reliable than earlier vacuum tube-based systems. The Moog synthesizer gained wider attention in the music industry after it was demonstrated at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967; the commercial breakthrough of a Moog recording was made by Wendy Carlos in the 1968 record Switched-On Bach, which became one of the highest-selling classical music recordings of its era. The success of Switched-On Bach sparked a slew of other synthesizer records in the late 1960s to mid-1970s.
Moog modular systems featured various improvements, such as a scaled-down, self-contained musical instrument designed for use in live performance. The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled analog synthesizer systems. Company founder Robert Arthur Moog had begun manufacturing and selling vacuum-tube theremins in kit form while he was a student in the early 1950s and marketed his first transistorized theremin kits in 1961. Moog became interested in the design and construction of complex electronic music systems in the mid-1960s while completing a Ph. D. in Engineering Physics at Cornell University. The burgeoning interest in his designs enabled him to establish a small company to manufacture and market the new devices. Pioneering electronic music experimenters like Leon Theremin and Bebe Barron, Christopher R. Morgan, Raymond Scott had built sound-generating devices and systems of varying complexity, several large electronic synthesizers had been built before the advent of the Moog, but these were unique, custom-built devices or systems.
Electronic music studios had many oscillators and other devices to generate and manipulate electronic sound. In the case of the electronic score for the 1955 science fiction film Forbidden Planet, the Barrons had to design and build many circuits to produce particular sounds, each could only perform a limited range of functions. Early electronic music performance devices like the Theremin were relatively limited in function; the classic Theremin, for example, produces only a simple sine wave tone, the antennae that control the pitch and volume respond to small changes in the proximity of the operator's hands to the device, making it difficult to play accurately. In the period from 1950 to the mid-1960s, studio musicians and composers were heavily dependent on magnetic tape to realize their works; the limitations of existing electronic music components meant that in many cases each note or tone had to be recorded separately, with changes in pitch achieved by speeding up or slowing down the tape, splicing or overdubbing the result into the master tape.
These tape-recorded electronic works could be laborious and time-consuming to create—according to the 1967 Moog 900 Series demonstration record, such recordings could have as many as eight edits per inch of tape. The key technological development that led to the creation of the Moog synthesizer was the invention of the transistor, which enabled researchers like Moog to build electronic music systems that were smaller, consumed far less power, were far more reliable than earlier systems, which depended on the older vacuum tube technology. Moog began to develop his synthesizer systems after he met educator and composer Herbert Deutsch at a conference in late 1963. Over the next year, with encouragement from Myron Hoffman of the University of Toronto and Deutsch developed the first modular voltage-controlled subtractive synthesizer. Through Hoffman, Moog was invited to demonstrate these prototype devices at the Audio Engineering Society convention in October 1964, where composer Alwin Nikolais saw them and placed an order.
Moog's innovations were set out in his 1964 paper Voltage-Controlled Electronic Music Modules, presented at the AES conference in October 1964, where he demonstrated his prototype synthesizer modules. There were two key features in Moog's new system: he analyzed and systematized the production of electronically generated sounds, breaking down the process into a number of basic functional blocks, which could be carried out by standardized modules, he proposed the use of a standardized scale of voltages for the electrical signals that controlled the various functions of these modules—the Moog oscillators and keyboard, for example, used a standard progression of 1 volt per octave for pitch control. This specific definition means that adding or subtracting control voltage transposes pitch, a valuable feature. At a time when digital circuits were still costly and in an early stage of development, voltage control was a practical design choice. In the Moog topology, each voltage-controllable module has one or more inputs that accept a voltage of 10 V or less.
The magnitude of this voltage controls one or more key parameters of the module's circuits, such as the frequency of an audio oscillator, the attenuation or gain of an amplifier, or the cutoff frequency of a wide-frequency-range filter. Thus
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Synth-pop is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, art rock and the "Krautrock" of bands like Kraftwerk, it arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, while the mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art musicians. After the breakthrough of Gary Numan in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, large numbers of artists began to enjoy success with a synthesizer-based sound in the early 1980s. In Japan, Yellow Magic Orchestra introduced the TR-808 rhythm machine to popular music, the band would be a major influence on early British synth-pop acts; the development of inexpensive polyphonic synthesizers, the definition of MIDI and the use of dance beats, led to a more commercial and accessible sound for synth-pop.
This, its adoption by the style-conscious acts from the New Romantic movement, together with the rise of MTV, led to success for large numbers of British synth-pop acts in the US. "Synth-pop" is sometimes used interchangeably with "electropop", but "electropop" may denote a variant of synth-pop that places more emphasis on a harder, more electronic sound. In the mid to late 1980s, duos such as Erasure and Pet Shop Boys adopted a style, successful on the US dance charts, but by the end of the decade, the'new wave' synth-pop of bands such as A-ha and Alphaville was giving way to house music and techno. Interest in new wave synth-pop began to revive in the indietronica and electroclash movements in the late 1990s, in the 2000s synth-pop enjoyed a widespread revival and commercial success; the genre has received criticism for alleged lack of musicianship. Synth-pop music has established a place for the synthesizer as a major element of pop and rock music, directly influencing subsequent genres and has indirectly influenced many other genres, as well as individual recordings.
Synth-pop was defined by its primary use of synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, sometimes using them to replace all other instruments. Borthwick and Moy have described the genre as diverse but "...characterised by a broad set of values that eschewed rock playing styles and structures", which were replaced by "synthetic textures" and "robotic rigidity" defined by the limitations of the new technology, including monophonic synthesizers. Many synth-pop musicians had limited musical skills, relying on the technology to produce or reproduce the music; the result was minimalist, with grooves that were "typically woven together from simple repeated riffs with no harmonic'progression' to speak of". Early synth-pop has been described as "eerie and vaguely menacing", using droning electronics with little change in inflection. Common lyrical themes of synth-pop songs were isolation, urban anomie, feelings of being cold and hollow. In its second phase in the 1980s, the introduction of dance beats and more conventional rock instrumentation made the music warmer and catchier and contained within the conventions of three-minute pop.
Synthesizers were used to imitate the conventional and clichéd sound of orchestras and horns. Thin, treble-dominant, synthesized melodies and simple drum programmes gave way to thick, compressed production, a more conventional drum sound. Lyrics were more optimistic, dealing with more traditional subject matter for pop music such as romance and aspiration. According to music writer Simon Reynolds, the hallmark of 1980s synth-pop was its "emotional, at times operatic singers" such as Marc Almond, Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox; because synthesizers removed the need for large groups of musicians, these singers were part of a duo where their partner played all the instrumentation. Although synth-pop in part arose from punk rock, it abandoned punk's emphasis on authenticity and pursued a deliberate artificiality, drawing on the critically derided forms such as disco and glam rock, it owed little to the foundations of early popular music in jazz, folk music or the blues, instead of looking to America, in its early stages, it consciously focused on European and Eastern European influences, which were reflected in band names like Spandau Ballet and songs like Ultravox's "Vienna".
Synth-pop saw a shift to a style more influenced by other genres, such as soul music. Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, around the same time as rock music began to emerge as a distinct musical genre; the Mellotron, an electro-mechanical, polyphonic sample-playback keyboard was overtaken by the Moog synthesizer, created by Robert Moog in 1964, which produced electronically generated sounds. The portable Minimoog, which allowed much easier use in live performance was adopted by progressive rock musicians such as Richard Wright of Pink Floyd and Rick Wakeman of Yes. Instrumental prog rock was significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Faust to circumvent the language barrier, their synthesizer-heavy "Kraut rock", along with the work of Brian Eno (for a time the keyboard player with Roxy M
The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal tract, such as talking, laughing, screaming, etc. The human voice frequency is a part of human sound production in which the vocal folds are the primary sound source. Speaking, the mechanism for generating the human voice can be subdivided into three parts; the lung, the "pump" must produce adequate air pressure to vibrate vocal folds. The vocal folds vibrate to use airflow from the lungs to create audible pulses that form the laryngeal sound source; the muscles of the larynx adjust the length and tension of the vocal folds to ‘fine-tune’ pitch and tone. The articulators articulate and filter the sound emanating from the larynx and to some degree can interact with the laryngeal airflow to strengthen it or weaken it as a sound source; the vocal folds, in combination with the articulators, are capable of producing intricate arrays of sound. The tone of voice may be modulated to suggest emotions such as anger, fear, happiness or sadness.
The human voice is used to express emotion, can reveal the age and sex of the speaker. Singers use the human voice as an instrument for creating music. Adult men and women have different sizes of vocal fold. Adult male voices are lower-pitched and have larger folds; the male vocal folds, are between 17 25 mm in length. The female vocal folds are between 17.5 mm in length. The folds are within the larynx, they are attached at the back to the arytenoids cartilages, at the front to the thyroid cartilage. They have no outer edge as they blend into the side of the breathing tube while their inner edges or "margins" are free to vibrate, they have a three layer construction of an epithelium, vocal ligament muscle, which can shorten and bulge the folds. They are pearly white in color. Above both sides of the vocal cord is the vestibular fold or false vocal cord, which has a small sac between its two folds; the difference in vocal folds size between men and women means that they have differently pitched voices.
Additionally, genetics causes variances amongst the same sex, with men's and women's singing voices being categorized into types. For example, among men, there are bass, baritone and countertenor, among women, mezzo-soprano and soprano. There are additional categories for operatic voices; this is not the only source of difference between male and female voice. Men speaking, have a larger vocal tract, which gives the resultant voice a lower-sounding timbre; this is independent of the vocal folds themselves. Human spoken language makes use of the ability of all people in a given society to dynamically modulate certain parameters of the laryngeal voice source in a consistent manner; the most important communicative, or phonetic, parameters are the voice pitch and the degree of separation of the vocal folds, referred to as vocal fold adduction or abduction. The ability to vary the ab/adduction of the vocal folds has a strong genetic component, since vocal fold adduction has a life-preserving function in keeping food from passing into the lungs, in addition to the covering action of the epiglottis.
The muscles that control this action are among the fastest in the body. Children can learn to use this action during speech at an early age, as they learn to speak the difference between utterances such as "apa" as "aba". Enough, they can learn to do this well before the age of two by listening only to the voices of adults around them who have voices much different from their own, though the laryngeal movements causing these phonetic differentiations are deep in the throat and not visible to them. If an abductory movement or adductory movement is strong enough, the vibrations of the vocal folds will stop. If the gesture is abductory and is part of a speech sound, the sound will be called voiceless. However, voiceless speech sounds are sometimes better identified as containing an abductory gesture if the gesture was not strong enough to stop the vocal folds from vibrating; this anomalous feature of voiceless speech sounds is better understood if it is realized that it is the change in the spectral qualities of the voice as abduction proceeds, the primary acoustic attribute that the listener attends to when identifying a voiceless speech sound, not the presence or absence of voice.
An adductory gesture is identified by the change in voice spectral energy it produces. Thus, a speech sound having an adductory gesture may be referred to as a "glottal stop" if the vocal fold vibrations do not stop. Other aspects of the voice, such as variations in the regularity of vibration, are used for communication, are important for the trained voice user to master, but are more used