why does a respiratory cold lower one's voice?

Excuse be, I hab a code.

I mean excuse me, I have a cold. Consistent with every other cold I’ve ever had, my voice has a much lower range than when I am healthy. Under normal circumstances, the lowest note I can hit with my voice is, according to this scale, F[sub]1[/sub] (43.65 Hz). This morning, I was reliably hitting B[sub]0[/sub]-flat (29.14 Hz).

-Why am I able to hit lower notes just after waking than during pretty much any other time of day?

-Why does a cold enable me to hit lower notes than usual?

-What determines the lowest note a person’s vocal cords can reach before quality/volume falls off a cliff?

With many upper respiratory viral infections, the vocal cords become inflamed and, more importantly with respect to your question, they become swollen.

Generally, thicker (and thus also swollen) vocal cords vibrate less slowly and produce a lower sound.

Not that it makes much of a difference, but I believe you’re off by an octave there. I strongly doubt you were able to sing 3 octaves below middle C - one of the lowest notes to be demanded by a composer is B[sub]1[/sub], and the normal lower end for a bass singer is F[sub]2[/sub]. That’s the note that „hangs“ under the lowest line in the bass clef.

Hope you feel better soon!

Here is a fellow on YouTube hitting C[sub]1[/sub]… :slight_smile: B[sup]b[/sup][sub]0[/sub] sounds impressive

:smack: You’re right, my OP is one octave off from reality. Good catch.

If I’m ever in doubt as to whether or not I have a cold or bronchitis, I try to sing along with Caiaphas’ part in “This Jesus Must Die.” If I can do it, I stay home.

Ah, gentlemen. You know why we are heeeeere.

I know it’s a tired meme, but One Octave Off from Reality really does make one hell of a band name.