Sound attack: how it all works

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Sound attack: how it all works
Sound attack: how it all works

Video: Sound attack: how it all works

Video: Sound attack: how it all works
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The world is full of noises around us that we don't even think about. Music is a universe of various timbre instrumental and vocal sounds, so how are they formed?

moment of sound
moment of sound


Attack - the moment the sound occurs. She is the beginning of the game of a musical instrument or the vocal work of the voice apparatus.

In vocal art

Sound attack in singing is divided into 3 types:


It implies a tight and sharp contact of the ligaments. The glottis closes before the air begins to enter, and then the sound bursts out with pressure along with the exhalation. The voice apparatus is in tension, therefore this type is not used for academic professional singing. It occurs either in young, not yet trained singers, due to inexperience, or for pedagogical purposes. In vocal schools, they use it to work out the dense sound of the voice, to show the difference in attacks, or in other cases, at the discretion of the mentor.

Manuel Garcia (an opera singer and teacher from Spain) was a strong proponent of this method.

Don't think that this view is absolutely useless in a concertactivities. In works that are in the nature of anger, savagery, passion and other similar emotions, it even becomes necessary.


Air outlet and ligament closure occur simultaneously, as a result of which the connection is gentle and smooth, automatically eliminating injuries to the vocal apparatus. It is worth noting: the closing is not tight, but only close, which mainly distinguishes it from a hard attack. The absolute absence of tension and overtones, as well as the complete closure of the glottis, makes this particular type the most prosperous. The classical school of vocals almost always used only this method, and singers were sent to strive in this "soft" direction.

vocal lesson
vocal lesson


The name speaks for itself: breathing is ahead of the closure of the ligaments, therefore, during the appearance of the sound, they are still in a relaxed state and come into operation only after a certain time. Further, their work is similar to a soft attack, however, inept singers are unable to cope with this technique, which entails a weak sound, as if with a feeling of "the last strength." In the classical school, inhalation attack was used exclusively for the purpose of experiments for conducting observations. In concert practice, it was eradicated.

In works it could be used in rare cases to show cowardice, impotence, weakness and other frail emotions.

As mentioned earlier, in academic singing, soft attack was preferred, but in the 21st century in the world of popvocals in practice, all kinds of techniques are used.

human larynx
human larynx

But don't forget:

  • long-term use of hard attack may cause knots and ulcers;
  • Frequent use of inhalation attack can lead to atrophy of the muscles of the larynx.

To use all types of sound attacks, the singer must have professional training in order to avoid negative consequences for his he alth.

In instrumental music

Besides the voice box, there are a number of man-made instruments. Each of them has the ability to extract the sounds of music and do it with a completely different character.


The theme of sound attack is very common among wind instrument players and is similar to the principles of vocals: work is related to breathing, just like singers.

wind instruments
wind instruments

There are almost 3 similar types:


In the process of articulation, there is no closure of the labial fissure, and the airflow does not stop. This is the kind of work that does not interrupt the vibrations of the mucous membrane of the lips (related to the previous sounds), but goes on against the background of these vibrations.

The inherent consonant for this sound attack is D.


Vibrations of the lip mucosa come after the complete closure of the labial fissure and the airflow stops.

For a hard sound attack, the consonant is T.

Combined, or auxiliary

Used in conjunction with the two attacks listedabove.

For this type of attack, the pronunciation will be the consonant - К.

Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Orchestra

The very choice of the type of attack depends on the presence or lack of time to close the gap with the help of the tongue.

Wind players have a close line with vocalists, since sound production primarily depends on their articulation apparatus and breathing process, and not on the instrument itself.


Instruments like the piano have a full temperament, the intonation of which a person cannot change by playing.

Because the sound attack is usually understood as the moment of pressing the key and subsequently extracting sound from it.

The attack itself will depend on the nature of the touch: jerky (stacatto), soft (legato), underlined (marcato) and other strokes.

In other groups

In bowed string instruments, the attack of the sound depends on the operation of the bow. This includes cello, violin, viola.

In the plucked string group, the performer is responsible for attacking the sound with the help of fingers or other devices (pick on the guitar).


There are a number of stereotypes associated with extracting the vocal sounds of music. Below are examples:

1. With the phrase "attack of sound" it is believed that the beginning of the attack is the formation of any speech sounds, including consonants. But this is a big misconception. Consonants are made up of noise and cannot be sung.

There are only 5 pure vowels (I, E, A, O,U), with the help of which it is possible to depict the types of sound attack indicated earlier. Iotated - I (ya), Yu (yu), E (ye) are derivatives of "pure" vowels.

2. Not considered an attack is the situation when a consonant syllable first appears: YES, RI, ME, and the like.


As it turned out, there are enough ways to extract sounds and the ability to use each of them is a prerequisite for a professional singer or instrumentalist.