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Help: How can you tell which voice you've got

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GUEST,Grishka 11 Nov 10 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,Grishka 10 Nov 10 - 10:25 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 10 Nov 10 - 08:57 AM
Don Firth 10 Nov 10 - 01:52 AM
GUEST 10 Nov 10 - 01:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jan 10 - 12:03 PM
Darowyn 28 Jan 10 - 04:31 AM
Genie 27 Jan 10 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,SoBeIt 27 Jan 10 - 07:56 PM
dorareever 27 Sep 01 - 02:29 PM
Bagpuss 18 Jul 00 - 04:02 PM
Alice 18 Jul 00 - 01:39 PM
pastorpest 18 Jul 00 - 12:51 PM
Alice 18 Jul 00 - 12:09 PM
Alice 18 Jul 00 - 12:01 PM
Bagpuss 18 Jul 00 - 05:14 AM
Escamillo 18 Jul 00 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Nikki 17 Jul 00 - 08:46 AM
Bagpuss 17 Jul 00 - 06:54 AM
Amergin 17 May 00 - 05:07 AM
Ella who is Sooze 17 May 00 - 05:00 AM
Chanteyranger 17 May 00 - 02:49 AM
Escamillo 16 May 00 - 02:42 PM
Ella who is Sooze 16 May 00 - 06:20 AM
Amergin 16 May 00 - 03:23 AM
Escamillo 16 May 00 - 12:07 AM
Chanteyranger 15 May 00 - 11:22 PM
GUEST,Chocolate Pi(back in MacOS) 15 May 00 - 10:13 PM
Caitrin 15 May 00 - 08:47 PM
Wotcha 26 Sep 99 - 11:42 AM
Alice 25 Sep 99 - 08:03 PM
Jo Taylor 25 Sep 99 - 07:45 PM
Escamillo 25 Sep 99 - 01:16 AM
Alice 24 Sep 99 - 11:46 AM
Escamillo 24 Sep 99 - 12:47 AM
Alice 23 Sep 99 - 10:14 PM
Alice 23 Sep 99 - 09:37 PM
Jo Taylor 23 Sep 99 - 08:16 PM
catspaw49 23 Sep 99 - 07:51 PM
Cap't Bob 23 Sep 99 - 06:19 PM
Lonesome EJ 23 Sep 99 - 05:07 PM
Alice 23 Sep 99 - 05:00 PM
Susan-Marie 23 Sep 99 - 04:04 PM
MMario 23 Sep 99 - 04:00 PM
sophocleese 23 Sep 99 - 03:54 PM
MMario 23 Sep 99 - 03:34 PM
bobby's girl 23 Sep 99 - 03:01 PM
sophocleese 23 Sep 99 - 03:00 PM
Margo 23 Sep 99 - 02:48 PM
Allan C. 23 Sep 99 - 02:31 PM
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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 04:45 AM

(In my previous message F3 should be F5, i.e. the F above the middle C)


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 10:25 AM

Black belt caterpillar wrestler: yes.

The "Vocal Range Information" above gives too small ranges, even for amateur singers performing choral music. See more accurate information on Wikipedia etc. Also note that "range" is not the whole truth about a voice and its training; it's the quality of each register that matters. If your Bb2 can fill an opera house with steady and modulatable sound, you're a rare bird, whereas mine can easily fill my shower room when I have a cold. However, to sing bass opera roles such as Ochs von Lerchenau, you must have an F3 as well. That takes years to decades of intensive professional training.

If you compose for other singers (as I sometimes do), either consult them regularly or keep to the middle of the road.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 08:57 AM

Just a little confused by terminology here.

Is middle C C5?

Where does the octave number change? Is the note below C5 B4?

If so I go down to Bb2 and up to A4 so I'm below a Bass.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 01:52 AM

Coloratura soprano. Roberta Peters.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 01:20 AM

a coloratura is a soprano. the voice is flexible


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 12:03 PM

Hi, Genie.

Colortura is a word for a high soprano who sings elaborate lines with lots of fancy features. A can name only one: Lily Pons

If you go to YouTube and search for 'Lily Pons' you can hear her coloratura performances.

'Melisma' means that a person sings more than one note on a syllable. Anybody can do it.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Darowyn
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:31 AM

A coloratura soprano would use lots of melismas in her performance.
So yes, its sort of the same thing, but coloratura is an adjective and melisma is a noun.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Genie
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 09:05 PM

If you don't have a piano or guitar or pitch pipe handy, here is Middle C

I can (weakly) hit the C below middle C on a good day if I'm warmed up, but my choir directors and vocal coaches say I'm a second soprano.

BTW, is "colatura" basically the same thing as "melisma?"


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: GUEST,SoBeIt
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 07:56 PM

if you can sing a low G you are probably an alto or contralto, which is the lowest a female can sing in formal choir it (meaning contralto) is sung below alto and above tenor many altos in my high school choir have trouble singing below low G and the mezzo-sopranos have trouble singing low B i am unsure if i am an alto or a contralto because i can sing the highest out of all the altos in my choir and the lowest out of the choir(i am in an all girl choir)i can sing most of the bass part of the hallelujah chorus (and comfortably too)


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: dorareever
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:29 PM

Escamillo,I don't think your right.Okay maybe my "natural" approach is wrong and in 5 years I'll see the damage I've done to my voice,but I'm quite sure I'm doing well.I've met several singers(most rock singers,okay) that had no clue of how to really sing,even basilar things like diaphragm breathing were unknown to them! So they couldn't sing,just "mimick" a singer.I guess I'm an alto (voice loud and clear on the lower notes)but maybe I'd need a professional for telling me if it's really my voice.Did you feel really different when you sang before meeting your teacher? Like you were streching your voice too much? How's about speaking in a higher voice than our singing voice? To me is different.If I talk it's higher.So I guess is related to breathing.Obviously I breath in a different way.If I speak using diaphragmatic my voice sounds lower just like when I'm singing.Or maybeI just don't know what I'm doing...maybe I'm not a "real" alto. Anyway in folk music you can easily sing with your "nose-voice",don't think you can in classical.lol


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Bagpuss
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 04:02 PM

Looks like I can be a soprano or a mezzo-soprano, depending on how my voice is feeling at the time. And an alto occasionally.

Thanks for the link.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 01:39 PM

Just for fun... look for a sound clip of the coloratura soprano Amelita Galli-Curci This will give you a classic example of coloratura fluidity as well as the high range of a coloratura soprano (she holds a C at the end above the high A on the chart previously linked).

Alice



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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: pastorpest
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 12:51 PM

If you want to hear coloratura listen to the Korean soprano Sumi Jo. Then wonder how in the world she can do it at all, let alone do it well, which she does. The King Singers have two counter tenors so their recordings are good places to hear them.

I have always thought of myself as a tenor, but my voice teacher has told me I am a baritone, even though I sing higher than any other guy in the church choir.

Voice lessons are one of the best investments I ever made. I have a teacher who is classically trained, a good performer herself, but is sensitive to folk music which she lets me focus on. Like any instrument the voice is one in which we easily have fundamentally wrong technique which we do not even realize and which when corrected allows us to be a whole lot better than we ever thought we could.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 12:09 PM

Anyone who wonders what their true range may be (according to soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass) can send a tape to my teacher and she will respond by email after listening to it. Sing a scale from as low as you can to as high as you can and then a song. Send an email to her first. Here's her contact info: Suzanne Gorder


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 12:01 PM

Here is a link to the table showing ranges. Remember that singers in each range can sing above and below these notes, too. They are not limited to what is shown on this scale. The table is provided as an aid for composers when writing parts for voices. Vocal Ranges, at a Yale site Here is the page for composers this table is linked to music cataloging at Yale.

Many people don't know they can sing above the range of the speaking voice, and the best notes can be those that are more brilliant once you have learned how to reach them. Last week I met another singer who had been told he was a baritone, and had performed as a baritone in three Gilbert and Sullivan productions. He was used to pushing the voice (like belting) to get that volume as a baritone, but when I heard him sing higher, I said, I bet you are really a tenor. One guest conductor who had visited the town where he used to live had told him he was really a tenor. We went to my teacher, because I want to learn some duets to perform together, and she said to him, you are definitely a tenor. Now, he just needs to learn to sing with more relaxation throughout his whole range so he can connect the baritone range with the tenor range, where his voice really opens up to some brilliant tones. By learning not to push for volume, he can back off and blend his voice more with mine in harmonies.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Bagpuss
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 05:14 AM

I think Nikki was talking about a link to another website which is no longer there. Its the one that gives the range for eack of the types of voice. It was gone when I clicked on it too.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Escamillo
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 04:18 AM

Hi, Nikki. You can type "singing voice" without the quotes in the FILTER field, then 90 in the AGE field, and the title "Threads on the singing voice" will pop up. Anyway, feel free to ask any question you may have on this subject, and some Mudcatter will reply. Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: GUEST,Nikki
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 08:46 AM

Apparently between the beginning of this thread and the time I saw it, the website about which voice you are disappeared - I got a message that said it had expired. Does anyone know where to find one like it? It sounds very useful and interesting.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Bagpuss
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 06:54 AM

I don't know where my voice belongs, and thats fine by me. At school, I was always made to sing Alto, because I could read music, and we didn't have enough alto's. In folk choir we usually did 3 part harmonies with men and women on each line (so really 6 part harmonies). I usually sang the highest line. When we sang stuff that was written in 4 parts, I used to sing the tenor line, but up an octave.

When I lose my voice, I usually lose my top voice, but also my range gets extended about 3 tones lower at the bottom - notes which I can never normally reach.

And if I am going to perform something in public, I have to raise it about 2 tones from the pitch I practice at, as I can get volume on my high voice, but not my low voice.

And the break between my head voice and my chest voice seems to be different depending on whether I am going up the scale, or down.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Amergin
Date: 17 May 00 - 05:07 AM

Ella,

I know what you mean about having the audience captivated and how high it makes you feel. I have experienced that same rush during poetry sessions (open mike). I love the feeling of every eye in the place looking up at me as I spout off my stuff. The reaction of the audience is the best damn drug ever made.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 17 May 00 - 05:00 AM

Thanks Andrés

I would certainly not totally write out ever singing classical stuff ever again. As I have a very wide music taste. If I was asked, or if something attracted me to sing a classical piece then I would go for it. As I am still fairly young, I could probably go back to it if I wanted to. But I get more fun from the folk stuff and I can improvise a bit more.

Plus it makes me laugh how you can virtually sing for your supper at sessions.

Chanteranger - Yes guinness is definately good for you - very soothing. ha ha! but makes you get no bones in your legs! (wobbly legs)

What I love most about singing the folk songs, is the reactions in the pub/gig when I sing a more slower song without any backing (like A Stor Mo Chroi) I have turned a pub/gig from the usual din and chatter to complete silence and have everyone listening to the words. You could hear a pin drop. And it does wonders for the soul to have all those people listening to you.

What a buzz.

Ella


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 17 May 00 - 02:49 AM

Ella -

Your comments are proof that "Guinness is good for you!"


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Escamillo
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:42 PM

Amergin, don´t be good at following NEGATIVE directions :)
This process (training voice) is very slow and needs an experienced teacher. One thing that most people are scared about when deciding to go to a teacher, is being converted into an opera singer. It´s a myth. Even when you realize, after some classes, that you are producing a sound that resembles a classical voice, that´s not bad at all, it signals a progress. Further on you decide how you will sound.
Ella, that´s good ! Although the classical music loses many good voices for a lot of reasons, it´s good that other genres benefit with them. I´m sure your audience will appreciate the quality.
Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 16 May 00 - 06:20 AM

Before I found folk (sounds like I was in therapy)

I used to be a classical singer and I am a soprano with over a two (nearly 3) octave range and when I was actually having my voice trained I could get right up to that top top c right above all the staves and bars the ones that float around at the top - and right down to A below middle C.

Of course like an athelete I am out of training and could get those notes still but would pay for it the next day.

Now I sing folk songs in an Irish band and at sessions. Its a lot more fun and less rigid than classical stuff. Plus you get to drink lots of guinnes at gigs and sessions.

Ella

Thank heavans I am not still singing classical! I don't think I did the classical diva thing very well! Far too stuffy


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Amergin
Date: 16 May 00 - 03:23 AM

Some one once told me I was a tenor, but I don't know. Untrained voice. Some one else more than once told me to shut up. Was never good at following directions anyways.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Escamillo
Date: 16 May 00 - 12:07 AM

To the three late posters, thanks for your interest and opinions. Although very much has been said ("Threads on the singing voice"), you may well deserve as new members that we come back to a discussion on any questions you may have, so please keep posting.
Un abrazo - Andrés (the bass who happened to be a baritone and later a tenor)


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 15 May 00 - 11:22 PM

I sang baritone in a choral class in college, but I was never a natural singer, and only found somewhat of a voice when I started singing chanteys, with my voiced pitched higher to get more volume. I have a one-dimensional voice: good for singing at full throttle, but not good for more subtle, softer ballads and such. So, volume is a consideration in finding one's voice as well. I guess that makes me a bargain counter tenor.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: GUEST,Chocolate Pi(back in MacOS)
Date: 15 May 00 - 10:13 PM

I sing tenor much of the time; the drama teacher in junior high school loved me because, as a girl, I already had an adult voice while the boys were cracking all over the place, so I could play male roles; I did Mr. Bumble in Oliver, and various mummers roles, etc.
Sacred Harp (I keep coming back to this, just like my Humanities prof goes back to the Tokyo subway no matter what we discuss from Marx to Blake to Baudelaire, because he's in the East Asian Studies dept) has doubling of parts by male and female singers; men and women sing treble, ususally a octave apart, and tenor, where some women sing the octave above and some sing as written (and some, like me, switch back and forth). Usually bass is just men and isn't doubled, but alto is occasionaly doubled. I've sung treble, alto, and tenor, and much prefer tenor.


Chocolate Pi


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Caitrin
Date: 15 May 00 - 08:47 PM

This thread was a bit before my time, so I never saw it before...very interesting! I've always sung second alto in chorus- I love those low harmonies! I've been tacked on to a few tenor parts when we were short of guys, and on to a few mezzo soprano parts when we were short of mezzos. I used to think there were notes I would never be able to hit...then, when I tried resinging a piece we did in ninth grade, there were notes that I could hit that I couldn't before. Practice and the willingness to stretch definitely improve range. So I've learned never to say that I can't sing something...it's always worth a try.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Wotcha
Date: 26 Sep 99 - 11:42 AM

I prefer to sing through my nose ! I guess I never got over Steeleyspan's "Gaudete" ... cheers, Brian


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 08:03 PM

OK, I will start putting them all together in a thread called "Threads on the Singing voice", and I will include a link to this one.

Alice Flynn


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 07:45 PM

Alice, thank you very much. I would very much like to learn to sing properly, only being something I've done from instinct over the years and sporadically at that. Would much appreciate the links to the previous threads about exercising , warming up etc. - I couldn't find them a while back. Thanks once again -

Jo


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Escamillo
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 01:16 AM

I'm glad to see that you agree, Alice. How could I express it more emfatically ? it is WHOOOOLEEE WOOOOOOOORRLDDDD of difference ! I regret so much to not having studied when I was 20 !
I would recall this phrase of yours, which I think is very important: "The best teacher is one who has lots of personal experience as well as the knowledge. "
One last consideration: I respect every singer who doesn't want to take classes with an academic singer for one reason or another. There are many excellent singers who reach deeply in the audience's hearts with just a small voice and intimate style. But see that they will never FORCE their voices up or down.

Another last: in fact, my teacher told me: "Don't play the MACHO, you are a tenor, like me" :))

Yours, Andrés Magré


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 11:46 AM

Andrés, I can relate exactly to what you say! I also started studying late in life (at 44) and I am so fortunate to have found my teacher, who is a world class professional. It makes a big difference to study with somone who has performed in major opera companies in the world, to impart the life experience of being under the direction of different conductors - people have also taught my teacher. In addition to academic achievement, she has had the experience of learning from other singers, also, and at one time went to a teacher who was a physician/pianist who specialized in the larynx. All of these many "real world" influences teach more than just an academic classroom could teach.
Your analogy of learning to fly a plane is excellent. The best teacher is one who has lots of personal experience as well as the knowledge.

It may be time for me to compile the threads on singing that I have traced. We have had a number of discussions where I posted links to websites on warming up, vocal health, etc.

As André advised, don't push your voice into a range that is not its best natural range. Just because I can hit some low notes does not mean I should sing there- it puts stress on my vocal cords. I resist when people ask me to sing a particular sea shanty that they like to sing along. Whenever I lead it, I always have to be careful not to stress my voice and I sing something right after in my real range (or go to the ladies room and do some vocal exercises to 'get my voice back').

Alice Flynn


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Escamillo
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 12:47 AM

Let me make my 2 cents contribution: The difference between singing by instinct and doing the same through proper education is the same as in DRIVING AN AIRPLANE. Obviously, the results in singing are less tragic: you could loose ONLY your vocal chords.

In my experience (5 years instinct singing, 1 year listening to great singers, 18 years muted by the impression, 1 year encouraging again, 4 years studying seriously), I considered myself a bass at first (it was so comfortable!), then my choir director told me I could be a good baritone, then my teacher (tenor at Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires) told me I was a tenor, and had very badly used my voice in the low range.

Now my limits are the low E of the bass to the super-high C of the tenor (or, say the central C of soprano). The really useful range, is from the low G of bass to the high A of tenor, that's two octaves and a tone. I sing mainly at the choir, but have tried with success with small audiences:Verdi, Bach, De Curtis, and even Wagner (forgive me, Maestro Richard!)

I'm so happy I studied with a professional! He was the only one to tell me WHERE my voice sounded nice and brilliant, where the harmonics appeared, HOW it should be projected, HOW I should manage muscular resources, and I discovered a whole world of difference. I will never be a professional singer (I'm 53), but I don't want to. Every year I put my feet on the Colón Theatre stage,two or three times, among 60 other people, I'm being proposed for some solos, .. I'm happy. Conclusions:

- Never force your voice seeking the highest notes. They will come only after 1 year serious study.
- Never say (Spaw!) that your voice is bad
- Never look for the passage from chest to head voice, it is absolutely irrelevant.
- Singing is intrinsically un-natural. Don't sacrifice voice education seeking naturality.Just seek beauty
- Gentlemen: never use the falsetto voice unless you seriously want to become a counter-tenor
- Ladies: never worry about falsetto, you don't have it.
- Ladies: never sing as tenors, you will ruin your beautiful voices.
- See the message from Jeri !
- Look for a good teacher. Don't feel shy. Don't be afraid that he/she will make you a lyric singer and loose your popular character. You will be a MUCH, MUCH better popular singer if you study classics than if you don't. And see you at La Scala ! :))

Andrés Magré (Escamillo le torero who happened to be a tenor)

Please see the message from


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 10:14 PM

Jo, I don't know if this is making it more clear or not, but I just walked over to the piano and sang a scale from the lowest note the link showed for a tenor to the highest note they showed for a soprano (and classical sopranos sing higher than that), which is three octaves. BUT, I am definitely a soprano. When I was young, they put me in the alto section, when I was in high school they put me in the mezzo section, but when I finally had a good private teacher, she was able to tell me right away that I am a soprano. I needed to learn the techniques and train the muscles to really use that range to find the best sound of my voice. So, there probably are many women with soprano range voices who are singing in the speaking range of their voice thinking they are altos, because that is the way they comfortably sing. People have become unused to hearing a high voice whether it is a tenor or a soprano, except in opera. Bing Crosby, I read somewhere, was the one who changed music audiences through his radio performances, creating a huge audience of people who are used to hearing music sung in the speaking comfort range.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 09:37 PM

Jo, I don't know why the midi table at the link above separates contralto and alto yet it says the information is from the New Harvard Dictionary of Music, which shows the ranges like this, when you follow the link from the midi table: click here You have to realize that every voice is an individual voice, and these are only generalities about range. The vocal cords you were born with are going to develop as an adult into the range of your voice, but each person has unique qualities to the sound, and depending on how you learn to use your voice and how your health and daily 'workout' of the voice keeps it in shape, you can sing notes that go above and below these general ranges. Don't interpret that high and low notes the dictionary provides as the definite lowest and highest notes for each type of voice - although I am a soprano, I can sing to the LOWEST note they show for a TENOR! The point is, my vocal cords don't sound their best down that low, even though I can reach the low note. They have their best and brightest sound in the higher part of my range.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 08:16 PM

Blimey, I seem to be a tenor! (going to the top of Alto according to the site above) - Alice, are those ranges correct, they give different ones for Alto / Contralto but you say they're the same? I thought only chaps could be tenors, getting a bit worried...

Jo Taylor


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 07:51 PM

Geez Bob I'm on the floor here!!!!!!! I think I'd pronounce that bare-ass and it's perfect!!!LOL

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 06:19 PM

I guess my voice would be classified right along side Spaw's.. ~~basically bad~~ The problem is that I love to sing & know hundreds of songs. As far as range is concerned I would probably be somewhere between a baritone and a bass. I guess you would call that a bariass..... hmm doesn't sound so good. If a song is written in the key of "G" I drop down and end up singing it in "C or D" etc. etc., at least I've learned to transpose songs with no problem.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 05:07 PM

I have a pretty wide range (at least at the beginning of the evening) being able to sing both a fairly solid baritone and a decent high or first tenor voice. I often use both ends of the range on the same song. For example, my band does Turtle Blues , the old Big Brother and the Holding Co blues tune. I find it effective to start in the lower register, then go up an octave as the song, and the band, gain momentum. Generally, I find it more difficult to generate power in the lower register when singing with the band. This may be because we just play too frigging loud, or because I need to adjust my PA settings, or maybe it's just the nature of the tonal qualities: tenor seems to ring through more clearly.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Alice
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 05:00 PM

If you really want to get into a discussion (or read one) about this, go to vocalist.org. Here is a bit from a discussion of the coloratura repertoire. My teacher is a coloratura soprano (I am a light lyric soprano) I have never performed in an opera.Here is her repertoire. . Sopranos have come to be known for singing the ornamental coloratura style, but it is not limited to sopranos. The AGILITY of the voice, the type of ornamentation added in variations and the style of the music composed are components of the coloratura designation.... read on:
Alice Flynn

BTW, alto means high, and it has been shortened from the word contralto, which means "against high". Alto is just an abbreviated way to say contralto; they are the same range. Some definitions of terms below, fioritura= flowery, sobrette= somewhat of a comedy role, (like Despina), spinto= pushed (more powerful) lirico spinto= powerful voice with an edge to it.

---
Quote from vocalist.org
Dear List -

Sobrette is NOT, I repeat NOT LIGHTER than lyric coloratura. It is broader, with less fioritura, and a warmer, meatier middle voice.

Before I correct her LC list, let me remind those of you who have not heard me say this ad nauseum before, that the classification of roles is done by the demand on the singer (what she has to sing with and against as far as instrumentation and the remainder of the cast). Just because one LC has sung a role (especially if its Sutherland) does not mean that role is in the LC fach. It usually means (especially if its Sutherland, again) that particular singer had/has qualities of another fach in their voice that allow them to sing the role SAFELY.

Now, on with the corrections:

Barbarina (soubrette, albeit a young one, a future Susanna)
Frau Fluth (full lyric with fioratura or Dramatic Coloratura)
Elena - Mephistopheles (lirco spinto or dramatic)
Pousette - Manon (lyric mezzo)
Sandman/Dew Fairy -Full Lyric
Anne (Rakes) - (full lyric)
Blanche (Dialogues) - lyric or lyric mezzo
Governess (Screw) - FULL lyric
Lauretta (Schicchi) - light to full lyric
Musetta - full to heavy lyric
Sophie (Rosenkavalier) - soubrette with secure height
Vixen - light lyric
Zerlina - soubrette
Alice Ford (Verdi) - lirico spinto
Donna Elvira - heavy lyric
Donna Anna - Dramatic Coloratura, full lyric with flexibility
Esclarmonde - FULL lyric
Juliette - light to full lyric
Marguerite (Huegenots) - lirico spinto
Medea - dramatic coloratura or DRAMATIC
Norma -drmatic coloratura or DRAMATIC
Poppea - full lyric
Rosalinda -Full lyric or DC
Selika - full lyric or DC
Violetta - any voice past light lyric

If anyone has questions about WHY these are the way they are, I'd be happy to explain. Its most often an issue of instrumentation, length, ensemble size and the practicalities of the theater and casting.

Best Regards -

Ron
ronland@geocities.com


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 04:04 PM

Sophocleese - I hope you get over your nervousness about experimenting with high harmonies, there's no reason why we altos should have all the fun of singing harmony. I've just started singing duets with a soprano whose clear light voice just floats above my alto in amazing harmonies she writes herself, and it's a lot of fun for both of us to be experimenting (in my case, having to learn a melody and then stick with it!).

As for high notes being un-natural for me, it's a little of what MMario said (they feel forced, even when I can hit them) but it's also the texture of my voice and even my personality, I guess. My voice is earthy, my personality is earthy, and the low notes are just more "me".

Anyway, we need all kinds - that reminds me, I need to go learn "All God's Children Got a Place in the Choir" for a pet blessing next week....probably have to transpose it down a couple of keys ;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: MMario
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 04:00 PM

And I will admit that many - maybe even MOST people have that little added range where IF they practiced they would be comfortable singing. - but there IS a limit, and for some folkes that varies...


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: sophocleese
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 03:54 PM

Oh I have lots of opinions too. Its just that mine are right (joke, joke). It seems to me sometimes that singing gets put into a strange category in that it is subject to the question "Is it natural or not?" in a way that playing other instruments isn't. As another thread shows there are an awful lot of sounds that can come from a guitar in the hands of an experienced and practiced player, but rarely do people ask "Is that natural?" I would agree that using your voice in a way that hurts you over and over again is not sensible but I wouldnt suggest that it was un-natural. A lot of people don't make use of their possible full range because it felt too strange and difficult the first time they tried and so they decided it was un-natural and didn't work to make it comfortable. When I was singing in a choir my voice was fit and I had no trouble hitting high notes or singing for a while on the high notes. Now that I'm not singing in the choir I know that my higher notes are out of practice and I couldn't do what I did two years ago, but I don't doubt that if I practiced again and got my voice back in shape I could reach and sustain music in the higher range. Just as I don't doubt that if I practice for thirty years I will finally be able to play an F chord on the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: MMario
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 03:34 PM

There ARE un-natural uses of voice. I CAN, and HAVE been heard half a mile....but it is NOT natural or good for my voice. And there are songs I have been singing on a regular basis for over 30 years that are uncomfortable in either the upper or lower range, not because I am not used to singing them,(as I have sung them frequently and regularly) but because though I CAN hit the notes I still, after 30 plus years have to FORCE them...

and as far as I am concerned, if you have to force it, it's un-natural. But of course that is opinion. I have lots of opinions.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: bobby's girl
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 03:01 PM

Whatever voice you have need'nt limit what you sing - in the West Gallery tradition the tune is usually carried by the the higher mens voices and harmony added above and below,BUT women with a lower register can sing the notes of the bass part an octave up, some of the men can sing the high soprano part an octave down, and anyone who feels like it can sing the tune, so you still get wonderful harmonies, but the parts have the richness of both men and womens voices - a wonderful sound.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: sophocleese
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 03:00 PM

Now now Susan-Marie an 'un-natural use of your voice'? More likely simply an unfamiliar use of your voice. Using higher notes may mean more practice but its no more un-natural than placing your fingers in weird places on a piece of wood with strings across it. With practice it becomes natural. And you needn't fear for your ear drums just your windows. I once heard a soprano soloist sing a high F purely and well sustained, it felt like it was ringing right through my middle.

I am a soprano, so I get edgy about these things. Looking at that chart of voices I sing from the alto up to the soprano range without warm up, most of my singing though is in the mezzo range. Whenever I sang with my husband's family, a bunch of altos (the women that is), I ended up frustrated because once I was warmed up my voice had nowhere to go and I was nervous experimenting with harmonies up there where its so exposed. Now I've learned some songs which they can sing lower harmonies to and we all have a better time.


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Margo
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 02:48 PM

Barbara Shaw, you are right. A Coloratura is light and agile. A mezzo, fuller voice, can also be coloratura if it has the flexibility. A coloratura mezzo role is Rosina in the Barber of Seville. I'm a mezzo, and right now I have a two octave range: G below middle C, and two octaves higher.

Joe, men have falsetto, women have head voice. A woman's head voice can be brought down into the middle range so that the singer is actually mixing the head voice with the middle range. (I'll have to demonstrate next time I see you!) I don't think a man can bring falsetto down like that.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Help: How can you tell which voice you've got
From: Allan C.
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 02:31 PM

Back in the days of studying music theory and writing choral music, I was taught the range of voices much as are outlined on that website. I was told that these are general ranges and if the music seemed to call for it, one could write for a voice to hit a note or two outside of its designated range. Since it was a class, we were rather timid about "coloring outside of the lines". But certainly there have been composers who have done just that. They have the altos singing soprano notes - hell, they even have tenors singing soprano notes!

My choir directors always encouraged us to try to hit the higher or lower notes as written but most said it was usually okay to drop down a third or go up a third if we just couldn't reach the written one.

There are always people who are blessed with being able to sing "outside the lines". The late Minnie Ripperton could bounce around in three octaves and never strain a note. Her falsetto was so clear that you often couldn't hear the change of voice.

It has always seemed to me that more women than men were blessed with such broad ranges. Most men I have known were hard pressed to sing the whole generally accepted range of both bass and baritone or baritone and tenor. And it is a rare tenor indeed, who can sing above an A without sliding into a falsetto. But I used to sing with a "first" soprano who could sing anywhere down to all but the lowest bass notes. Her falsetto wasn't half bad either. I have known many other women who came fairly close to the same broadness of range. - Pretty impressive!


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