by Brett Manning
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Q: Are falsetto and head voice the same thing?
A: No. Falsetto is the lightest vocal production made by the human voice. It is limited in strength,
dynamics and tonal variation. Usually, there is a considerable 'jump,' 'break' or 'disconnect'
between your chest (speaking) voice and your falsetto. Noted vocal coach and voice therapist
Randy Buescher of Chicago defines falsetto as:
"a coordination where the outer layer of the vocal cord (mucosa, i.e. internal skin or muscular
covering) is vibrating, creating sound, but without engaging the actual musculature of the cord.
Also, there exists no medial compression. In other words, during the vibratory cycle, the cords
never fully approximate. In head voice, the cords approximate, but the vibration of the cord moves
away from the full depth of the vocal cord (chest voice) to a pattern that involves less and less
depth of vocal cord as you ascend toward the top of your range. The highest notes of your range
involve only the vocal ligament. However, there is no consensus among experts on the official
definition of vocal registers."