The larynx houses the vocal folds and manipulates pitch and volume that is essential for making speech sounds. It is situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the oesophagus. It is also part of the respiratory system.
Humans use the larynx to breathe, talk (laugh), and swallow. Its outer wall of cartilage forms the area of the front of the neck referred to as the Adam’s apple. The vocal cords, two bands of muscle, form a V inside the larynx. The cartilaginous skeleton refers to the cartilage structure in and around the trachea that contains the larynx, or houses the vocal folds, (which used to be called the ‘vocal cords’). It is comprised of the thyroid, cricoid, and arytenoid cartilages.
Briefly, the vocal folds are folds of tissue located in the larynx (voicebox) that have three important functions: To protect the airway from choking on material in the throat, regulate the flow of air into our lungs, and the production of sounds used for speech…and laughter.
So here’s how the Laughter Quotient works with pitch and here are the BIG 5 movements of the larynx for laughter.
- The silent H. When I was in primary school, my English teacher always said that the letter H was not silent, but to be pronounced aitch. If this is the case then why do we say humour, horror, or hotel the way that we do? So when we start to laugh the throat muscles are relaxed and the very first noise that we make is in fact a silent H.
- Hee hee hee. When we vocalize a hee noise, it is generally from our throat with a higher pitch. The issue with this is that if we start a laugh with a hee noise then the airway is already restricted. We need to finish with a hee.
- Haa haa haa. The haa is our default laugh and comes from the chest region. If we see or hear something funny then we go ha ha ha. It’s generally deeper than the hee but not as deep as the hoo.
- Hoo hoo hoo. When we hoo it comes from our belly. Imagine a Santa Claus laughter. So the perfect laugh starts with a ho ho ho, works up to a ha ha ha, and then finishes with a he he he.
- Abdomen. All of this is generated from the core muscles that force the diaphragm to expel air from the lungs and past the vocal folds. The folds are apart for the H, and then come together to make a noise for the O, A, or E that accompanies the silent H. If you do this over and over again it creates the sound that we know to be a laugh.
When using the Laughter Quotient and view it as a sound engineer would on a screen, or as we do on an App, we can see the three stages of exhalation and laughter just as you would a beautiful note or piece of music. This is known as your authentic laughter.
If you have any further questions regarding the Laughter Quotient then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
Merv Neal is a Laughter Yoga Master Trainer, CEO of Laughter Yoga Australia and New Zealand, and Director of Holistic Services Group. He has successfully owned and operated his own businesses for more than 43 years. He has created a Laughter Yoga Business Training Program, as well as the Business Mentors and Coaches Program, to help others to take laughter to commercial organizations, and/or to create a laughter business of their own. More information can be found at http://www.laughteryogaaustralia.org or http://www.mervneal.com. He can be contacted on 0408552269 or email@example.com