Objective: This study aims to further characterize the muscle activity that influences the posture and breathing utilized for classical singing. The activity in the pectoralis major (PC) muscle and the phasing of PC activity to sternocleidomastoideus (STM) activity and upper thorax (UTX) movement were investigated. Material and Methods: Seven professional classical singers (3 sopranos, 1 mezzo, 1 tenor and 2 baritones) and 8 advanced classical singing students (4 sopranos, 1 mezzo, 1 tenor and 2 baritones) participated. Electromyographic activity was recorded from the PC and STM muscles on the right side. UTX movement was traced with a strain gauge sensor placed around the upper thorax. Different arias, freely chosen by the singers from their professional repertoire, served as singing tasks. All subjects performed their task 3 times with variation in vocal loudness (normal, forte, piano). Results: It was observed that a majority of the singers activated the PC during inhalation and that >50% of the singers activated it during parts of phonation. In general, however, the activity of the PC was relatively low during phonation. Conclusion: This study shows that the PC, in idiosyncratic patterns, could be involved in the inspiratory effort recruited when positioning the UTX during inhalation and phonation.

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