Why do we have a whisper voice? Why can’t we just talk normally, but quiet?



When it’s quiet and you need to keep your voice down, you whisper. But a whisper isn’t just a quiet talk, it’s an airy, base-less sound. Why can’t we just talk normally, but quiet?

In: Biology

Your talking bits are the same size and vibrate at a certain frequency because of it.

You gotta shrink the machinery to make it softer

I think.

You can, we can vary the volume of our voice without changing the tone or pitch much. But there’s a lower limit because it takes a certain amount of airflow to get our vocal chords vibrating at all…less air than that and you don’t get any tone. It’s like blowing really softly into a flute…you don’t just get a really quiet note, you get nothing, there’s a minimum loudness “to make the instrument work”.

If you want to be quieter than that, then you whisper, which is how we can talk without using our vocal chords.

Another aspect is the point of whispering is to limit how far the voice travels. There are 2 ways to limit how far sound travels. First, by decreasing volume. Second, by increasing pitch. Lower notes travel further. By whispering it is both minimizing volume AND increasing pitch.