On Mon, 10 Jun 2002 06:38:38 -0400, thomas mark montgomery
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Actually, the diaphragm is an involuntary muscle (ergo: no control,
Just a clarification. There are three types of muscle -
"Striated" muscle - so called because of its striped appearance under the
microscope; also called "voluntary" or "skeletal". Most of the muscle in
the body is of this type, including everything over which we have conscious
control (arms, legs, etc.)
"Smooth" muscle - so called because it's not striated under the
microscope. This is the muscle of the internal organs, over which we have
absolutely no voluntary control.
"Cardiac" muscle - so called because it's cardiac :-).
The diaphragm is actually of the first type, striated or "voluntary"
muscle. One does have some (limited) control over this particular muscle
(after all, one can hold one's breath), but that control is usually
overridden by various reflexes.
>and though it plays a part in singing because it plays a
>part in breathing, it is very naive to think that it is responsible for
>the principal portion of breath control. The ribcage and its attendant
>muscles are the primary "support" mechanism for singing (see appoggio).
This is presumably true, but it's also presumably because of the mechanics,
not the level of control (one doesn't have much more nervous control over
one's intercostal muscles than over one's diaphragm). The difference is
that contraction of the diaphragmatic muscle is the primary action that
effects *inhalation*, while the intercostal muscles, which relax during
inhalation, contract during *exhalation*.
William D. Kasimer
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