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Hearing Voices: Understanding The Different Voice Types - Articles Surfing

Voice type is a particular system for classifying opera and classical singers. The system allows composers, singers, and listeners to easily and quickly categorize voices. Here's a simple breakdown of the different types of singing voices.

Female Soprano: The female soprano voice typically ranges from middle C to at least the 'soprano C,' that is two octaves higher. The voice is high-pitched and will vary from a light and sweet soubrette style to a rich and powerful dramatic soprano.

Female Mezzo-Soprano: The mezzo-soprano is more often used for choral voices. The mezzo-soprano range is often lower than the soprano and the tessitura, or comfortable timbre, is lower as well.

Female Contralto/Alto: The Contralto, or Alto, is the lowest female voice, usually deep and dark. The term alto is usually used in choral and popular music.

Male Sopranist: The sopranist is a man capable of reaching the levels of a female soprano. It is the highest range for male voices, and often sung in falsetto or by young men. Technically, part of the tenor range.

Male Tenor: Though there are a number of sub-classifications, tenor generally refers to simply a higher pitched male voice.

Male Baritone: This is the level that falls between a tenor and a bass. Deep and rich, but still with movement. The lyric baritone is a touch higher and lighter than the dramatic baritone, which calls for a fuller voice.

Male Bass: The bass is very low, in fact it is the lowest segment of the musical vocal. When a bass male sings, the room should rumble. The basso profundo is the deepest and darkest of the singing voices, one often used for dramatic and scary events. Meanwhile, the Basso cantante still retains a touch of agility.

Next time you're listening to your favorite singer, see if you can tell which class they are in.

Submitted by:

Gabriel Adams

Article brought to you by Josh Groban Live and the Musical Theatre Spot blog.



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