Physiology Of The Vocal Organ
Arteries And Nerves
It may seem superfluous to the voice student to be asked to bother about the arteries and nerves of the vocal organ, especially after he/she has been made to digest a rather complicated description of the anatomical structure of this organ. But merely mechanical things are, after all, useless unless there is a guiding and driving force behind them. Just as merely will power, merely intelligence and merely culture are of themselves helpless, even useless, so is mechanism, even of the most perfect kind, helpless and useless by itself. But the mind, intelligence and culture should work together in absolute harmony and union. They then become invaluable.
The blood and the nerves supply the driving and motive power of the human mechanism. Some knowledge of blood circulation and nerve supply will help to explain the complete action of the vocal organ and the lessons on the breathing organ which are to follow. The seeker after complete truth will also find in the description of blood circulation and nerve supply additional proof of the absolutely unqualified correctness of this method. He/she will therefore work with greater zest, courage and confidence. He/she will see that he/she stands on the solid, unassailable ground of fact. The theory must prove that it is also the fact.
Just as a ship launches into the sea. The mighty ship glides smoothly, gracefully down the slips and soon proceeds under her own steam. Consider that it took perhaps years to construct such a ship and yet there was never any trial on water. Ships are constructed by theory – first in the brains of her builders, then the plans are worked out on paper and so on. If the theory is correct the ship will float, if not, then there was some fault, some mistake in the theory. It would be utterly impossible to build a factory, a locomotive or even a fair-sized dwelling without plans – that is, without a theory.
Therefore, great pains are taken to explain this theory. Of course, work is needed and in some cases long continued work. To encourage you to work, let this theory be proven to you, so that you will make it your own, and when you do that, you will be contented to work and, if need be, to wait for the coming of the great success that is sure to follow. Try to follow this theory. Try to understand and master it. You have no idea how much humanity needs just this method. You can help not only yourself but many friends. You can help to make clear what has been misunderstood for centuries.
The blood circulates through tubes (arteries or veins) which grow out of the heart and spread through the body in all directions. Through these tubes the blood again returns to the heart, to be once more pumped or forced back into the veins and arteries. In this circle of arteries the lungs are included. They are the organs which purify the blood as it comes in contact with the inhaled air (oxygen).
Figs. 71 and 72 show both front and rear views of the heart in its natural position.
The heart is a pearl-shaped organ, composed mainly of muscles. It is divided into two main sections; the right-hand section is called the heart of the lungs, the left-hand section, the heart of the body. Each of these is again divided into a vestibule and chamber.
The heart lies within the chest above the diaphragm and between the lungs. In front it rests against the chest; in the rear it is separated from the spine by the food pipe and the aorta (the main blood vessel).
As there are two main divisions of the heart, so are there two main systems of arteries; one is the system of “heart-to-lung” arteries, the other, “heart to body.” These arteries are again divided into many smaller arteries branching into every part of the body. The artery which most concerns the speaker and singer is the “carotis externus” which supplies the head and face with the necessary blood circulation. This artery again is divided into many branches running to the muscles of the throat – the pharynx, palate and tongue.
In Fig. 73 the branch artery marked “L” (lingualis) runs DIRECTLY into the hyo-glossi muscle,
showing again the emphasis which Nature has placed up the importance of this muscle, by giving it a DIRECT and large arterial supply.
The other arteries of importance to the vocalist are those which supply the chewing muscles, those strong, powerful muscles on either side of the jaw which are clearly shown in Fig. 74 below:
They are marked “mi,” maxillaris interna. The tympanic, or hearing arteries “t,” are also plainly shown.
A general view of the arteries of the chest, or “thorax,” is given in Fig. 75.
Although this belongs really to the lessons devoted to breathing, it is given here to show the continuity of the circulation of the blood through the entire body. The principal artery, marked “A,” is called the aorta. The intestines, heart and lungs lie partly in front of and touching this principal artery. Therefore many vocalists who force the voice or breathe in a forced, artificial manner are sometimes overcome with dizziness and even fainting spells. When the chest and the abdominal muscles are violently or unnaturally contracted, they force the internal parts of the abdomen and chest inward upon the aorta vein and thus impede or make difficult the free circulation of the blood. Of course there is at once a great disturbance which is registered in the brain and causes dizziness and even fainting.
Fig. 76. Will give you a very good idea of the complete system of blood circulation over the entire body.
At “AA” the great aorta artery divides; parts ascending into the abdomen, arms and legs. The arteries marked “cc,” “ci,” and “ce” are the “carotis,” “external” and “internal” already mentioned.
The external carotis artery supplies the face and head, with the exception of the brain and the eyes; these are supplied by the internal carotis. The crotis externus supplies the thyroid, tongue and lingual muscles; also the teeth and the regions of the pharynx.
The internal carotis artery, as was said, supplies the brain and the eyes with the necessary blood.