Although subglottal pressures in conversational speech are relatively easily measured and thus known, the higher values that sometimes occur in singing (especially in tenors) have received little attention in the literature. Still more unusual is the opportunity to measure a large-scale change over decades in the application of pressure in singing production. This study compares measurements of subglottal pressure in a tenor/singing teacher (JS) at two points in his career: in his early thirties, when he was a subject in HS's dissertation study on the efficiency of voice production; and recently, in his fifties, in connection with JS's forthcoming book on the history of the pedagogy of Bel Canto. Although a single case study, its points of special interest include the high values initially measured (up to 100 cm H2O) and the reduction of this figure by more than 50% in the maximal values of the recent measurements. The study compares these values with those of other singers in the same laboratory (both with esophageal balloon and directly, with a catheter passed through the glottis) and in the literature, as well as discusses in detail the problems pertaining to the measurement (repeatability, correcting for lung volume, etc.).
As a sophisticated subject, JS makes some pertinent observations about the changes in his use of subglottal pressure.