For people who use their voice as a tool of the trade, or professional singers, knowing the ins and outs of their instrument can be crucial. By way of a laryngoscope, a specialized endoscope used to examine the larynx and back of the throat, the video below reveals a close-up of a quartet’s vocal cords as they sing. Forewarning, a camera does make its way from nose to throat.

A laryngoscopy, the procedure that is performed below, is a visual examination of the back of the throat and area surrounding the larynx, also known as the voice box. This technique is used to discover the cause of speaking and breathing problems, pain in the ear or throat, difficulty swallowing, narrowing of the throat and airway blockage. Doctors also utilize laryngoscopies to remove a foreign object from the throat or larynx.

According to Duke Voice Care Center, actors, singers and vocal performers are at an increased risk to developing certain vocal injuries or disorders including vocal nodules, muscle tension dysphonia, chronic hoarseness, and laryngitis. Factors such as age, surgery, lifestyle choices (smoking), and other medical conditions can cause vocal cord paralysis and voice tremors, which in turn have an adverse effect on the singing voice.

In order for singing to occur, there must be a steady airflow going through the vocal cords. The vocal cords must also close, open, and vibrate normally. Other than vocal cords, the throat, mouth, tongue, and lips are what shape the sound that is produced. As the vocal cords open in the video, the singer is taking a breath. As they close, the steady airflow is pushed through causing vibration and the desired sound.