Introducing The Voice Types

A SOPRANO is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types with the highest testier .The soprano’s vocal range is from approximately middle C ( DO )C4) to “high A ( LA 5 ) in choral music, or to “soprano C ( C6, two octaves above middle C ) or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette ,lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano. The lyric soprano is the most common female singing voice.

A MEZZO-SOPRANO or mezzo ( meaning “half soprano”) is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range lies between the soprano and the contralto voice types. The mezzo-soprano’s vocal range usually extends from the A below middle C-Do to the A two octaves above. In the lower and upper extremes, some mezzo-sopranos may extend down to the F below middle C (F3) and as high as “high C” (C6). The mezzo-soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, lyric, and dramatic mezzo-soprano.

A CONTRALTO is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type. The contralto’s vocal range is fairly rare; similar to, but different from the alto, and almost identical to that of a countertenor, typically between the F below middle C to the second F above middle C (F5), although at the extremes some voices can reach the E below middle C (E3) or the second B♭ above middle C (B♭5). The contralto voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, lyric, and dramatic contralto.”Contralto” is primarily meaningful only in reference to classical and operatic singing, as other traditions lack a system of vocal categorization comparable to that generally accepted in the classical context. However, the term is occasionally used to correctly describe the lowest female voices in jazz. Even within current operatic practice, contraltos are often classed as mezzo-sopranos, because singers in each range are used to cover for those in the other

A BARITONE is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning deep (or heavy) sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.

A TENOR is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is one of the highest of the male voice types. The tenor’s vocal range (in choral music) lies between C-DO 3, the C one octave below middle C, and A4, the A above middle C. In solo work, this range extends up to C5, or “tenor high C”. The low extreme for tenors is roughly A♭2 (two A♭s below middle C). All other voices were normally calculated in relation to the tenor, which often proceeded in longer note values and carried a borrowed cactus firmus melody. Until the late 16th century introduction of the contratenor singers, the tenor was usually the highest voice, assuming the role of providing a foundation. It was also in the 18th century that “tenor” came to signify the male voice that sang such parts. The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.

A BASS is a type of classical male singing voice and has the lowest vocal range of all voice types According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a vocal range extending from around the second E below middle C to the E above middle C. Its tessitura, or comfortable range, is normally defined by the outermost lines of the bass clef. The bass voice type is generally divided into the basso cantante (singing bass), hoher bass (high bass), jugendlicher bass (juvenile bass), basso buffo (“funny” bass), Schwerer Spielbass (dramatic bass), lyric bass, and dramatic basso profondo (low bass).