Curiosity is an inherent characteristic of the human being. Among the main questions that arise almost instinctively when deepening the world of singing, there is that of what kind of voice do I have? In this post we will satisfy your curiosity with a detailed explanation about the different types of voice that exist and how to distinguish them.
What variables determine a type of voice?
This is one of the most controversial aspects in establishing a classification, and it is that the nuances can be so subtle that, at times, neither the experts in the matter seem to agree on how to make these distinctions. Yes you have to be clear what that voice types are not organized by categories on the basis of a single criterion, but that this classification responds to a set of variables that are those that define all the nuances of the voice.
Why is it so important to take them into account? If one of these variables were discriminated against, one of the most common mistakes that some schools made would be incurred: to pigeonhole the pupil. Although there are categories, types of voice should not be understood as something strict and inflexible, but as an orientation with multiple gradations. However, taking into account the nuances listed below, it isnot only possible to define the type of voice of the singer but to discover its full potential.
- Range: these are all notes that your voice is capable of producing.
- Tessitura: those notes in which the voice is more comfortable.
- Weight: There are voices that are lighter, other darker, some heavy, in other cases bright, agiles, powerful...
- Timbre of voice: it is the quality, the texture. The color that makes each voice unique.
- Vocal register: the different groups of sounds that make up the voice production.
- Transition points: are the points where the voice changes from the chest to the middle or to the head voice.
- Speaking level: the level of the voice when speaking, according to its physical characteristics.
Types of voice and characteristics that define them
Now that you know when you ask yourself the question what kind of voice do I have? In fact you are also questioning aspects as important as your voice register or your voice timbre, we can analyze in more detail types of voice scheme, always based on the basis that labeling labeling a singer can be counterproductive for your professional projection if This distinction is not used as a guiding tool.
Of all the variables that determine the type of voice of a person, one of the most important is the tessitura, since it reflects the tonal amplitude of the voice, that is to say, he set of notes in which one can sing in comfort sing in comfort without need to force the vocal cords. The rest of variables, as already mentioned, is useful to make additional classifications, but the basic scheme is as follows:
- Soprano: they are the most acute voices, with a record that on the keyboard of a piano would go from Do4 to Do6. Within this group are the light sopranos (with a more acute record but with less body), lyrical sopranos (which have more volume than light ones, but not so much acuteness) and the dramatic sopranos (with a more serious voice and a timbre brighter, perfect for dramatic roles).
- Mezzosoprano: their voices are always more serious than those of sopranos, but we must also make some distinctions that are sometimes too subtle. The dramatic mezzo and mezzo are quite similar to dramatic sopranos, only in more serious records and with greater capacity for lyrical ornamentation (in the case of light ones) and with much power (in the case of dramatic ones).
- Contralto: these are very rare female voices because they are in a very low musical tessitura. Also for this reason their roles in the opera are rather scarce and are often interpreted as mezzosopranos with darker timbres.
- Tenor: as with the female classification, it is the most acute voices in a relatively short range, from Do3 to Do4. Also as in the case of the soprano, the tenors are divided into light, lyrical and dramatic, sharing with these practically the same characteristics.
- Baritone: baritones are very common male voices. Unlike tenors, they are not able to perform works with too many agility, but in return they reach those darker and darker notes where tenors do not reach, and those sharp ones that can not reach the bass.
- Bass: the lower and dark male voices are those of the bass. A record with a lot of depth that sometimes resembles the lower notes of a cello. As a matter of physical development, it is almost impossible to find such voices at an early age.
Famous voices, where do they fit in?
When we think of these categories of voices, we tend to look for references in the world of lyric: the great sopranos Maria Callas and Montserrat Caballé, the mythical ' Three Tenors ' (Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras), the historic Caruso or 'The great' Joan Sutherland.
But outside of this genre, the voices of the singers can also be classified in these same categories. Among the most popular sopranos we can mention Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera or the now defunct Whitney Houston. The popular Adele and Katy Perry would join the mezzosopranos group and as contralto could highlight the particular voices of the memorable Amy Winehouse or Mercedes Sosa.
In the case of men we have a clear example of tenor in David Bisbal. The Italian Tiziano Ferro fits perfectly between the baritone voices and, as an unmistakable sign of what it is to be a male bass, you can recall any of the interpretations of the emblematic Barry White to get an idea.