||The tympanic membrane is a pale gray, ovoid, semitransparent membrane, positioned obliquely at the medial end of the external auditory canal.
In section it is conical, like a loud‑speaker.
The tympanic membrane is formed of three layers: an outer epithelial layer which is continuous with the skin of the bony external auditory canal, a fibrous supporting middle layer, which gives the tympanic membrane its strength and shape and an inner mucosal layer, which is continuous with the mucosal lining of the tympanic cavity.
The lower four‑fifths of the tympanic membrane contain a well organized fibrous middle layer called the pars tensa.
The upper fifth of the tympanic membrane the pars flaccida (Shrapnell's membrane) has a sparser, less organized middle layer and is consequently more mobile.