At the passaggi, a singer has some flexibility. With the vocal tract being comprised of flesh and cartilage, we can manipulate our throats within reason to achieve certain vocal effects depending on the musical choices we want to make.
Once you see my examples, you might think, “Yea, well duh. I’ve heard lots of singers do this stuff,” and you’d be right. But I want make these “flipping” strategies more explicit than they have been. Because the concepts of formant tuning are still relatively new, many singers approach their passaggio with a certain amount of guesswork, and that guesswork can lead to uncertainty about the results they can expect.
If you don’t know what the heck I’m writing about with regards to formant tuning, please check out the formant-tuning primer I wrote for the occasion.
My examples, by the way, will detail the strategies for ascending on an “ah” vowel (IPA: [a]) into resonant second formant third harmonic tuning (F2H3) and away from first formant second harmonic tuning (F1H2). 1