How do vocal cords work?

Morgan Freeman, 77, birthday, vocal cords, voice, larynx, vibrations, mucous membrane

Morgan Freeman has one of the most distinctive and popular voices in the world, but how are his smooth tones formed? It’s all to do with the vocal cords.

While you might imagine them to be long, string-like objects, the vocal cords are actually two pieces of mucous membrane that are stretched across your larynx.

When you begin to speak, the folds in the membrane vibrate and move closer and further together, controlling both the pitch of the noise created and the volume. The lips and tongue are responsible for forming these vibrations into words.

The larger the fold, the lower the voice as the air is vibrated more as it comes up through the larynx.