First of all, twang is not:
- manipulated or forced by extrinsic muscles. It should create freedom and never tension or uncontrolled constriction.
- nasality. Nasality is produced when the soft palate drops allowing air and vibration to move through the nose.
Twang is an incredibly useful tool when we know how to leverage it.
We create it when the epiglottis and the arytenoid cartilages move closer to one another making a kind of funnel. (Image from CVI) (The front of your neck is to the left in the image.)
As you can see, the space directly above the vibrating vocal folds gets smaller, so the sound waves bounce around a whole lot more in that smaller space and voilà, amplification.
I often liken the event to this video that none of my students seem to have seen, but it resonates with me deeply and illustrates the point:
Harley understands twang profoundly and is executing it using the orange resonance boosting receptacle.
If you’d like to learn more about twang, I’ll point you to Complete Vocal Institute’s research site:
And here are some videos showing the epiglottic funnel and the employment of twang.