MRI Scan of Opera Singer

Watch: An Opera Singer Belt It Out While Getting an MRI Scan

After 15 seasons of American Idol, one thing has become very evident: not everyone is blessed with the gift of song. But exactly how is it that humans are able to create the sounds coming out of their mouths? Scientists at the Freiburg Institute for Musician’s Medicine wanted to find out, and the result is a most unusual video.

In order to see the movements of the mouth, throat, and tongue, as well as their many muscles, the scientists decided to use a real-time MRI scanner to capture a human singing. The subject was baritone Michael Volle, who  performed an aria from Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser while being scanned.  

Once you get past the initial shock of watching a skeleton perform an awesome aria, it’s fascinating to see how the various muscles work together to create the voice.

The MRI scan allows scientists to see in greater detail how the tongue shapes the sounds coming from the mouth, how the vocal tract takes shape and allows for resonance, and how it looks as a singer takes a quick breath. Some movements are very obvious while others are hardly detectable.

Take a look below.

[Via The Telegraph]
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