In movies, why are giants portrayed as having deep, slow voices, while “dwarves” are portrayed as having small, squeaky voices? Is it accurate that voice changes depending on your size?


Put tag as biology since it has to do with organisms

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so the pitch of your voice is mostly determined by the “vocal folds” in your throat. smaller ones create high pitched voices. and larger ones create lower pitched voices. in general the larger your neck, the larger your vocal fold. so yes, there is some truth behind this. and also if you look at dogs too. small dogs are all super high pitched barks, and large dogs are lower pitched barks. humans can somewhat control their vocal folds and manipulate the air to alter their pitch.

In musical instruments, you can often find situations where a larger thing – eg: drums – produces a lower pitch than a smaller one. This is because, in general, a bigger thing needs more time for a full vibration cycle to happen. Making a big thing vibrate fast requires more energy and may be more stress on the larger thing as the vibration moves through its larger body.

How would it work for a giant though? If you did just take a human body, put it into a photocopier and hit ‘scale up 200%’, you’ll get larger vocal chords. Same idea to musical instruments apply – you’d expect a tone shift downwards. Again, shrinking should have the reverse effect. So, this is how it’s portrayed.

While “big” humans and people with dwarfism exist, they’re not literally taking a person and scaling them directly. Humans with dwarfism still have heads about the same size as normal people, and so their vocal chords are probably not too different either. And actual humans that are dozens of feet tall don’t exist…

You’ve received some good information regarding the tone. The reason giants are depicted to have a slower speech pattern is probably related to their lung size. Smaller animals typically have a faster respiration rate and larger animals slower. I’m not sure why they expect a giant to only speak the same number of words as per breath as a human, though. That part doesn’t make sense.