The voice is a wind instrument , a component of music that is created by a person's vocal cords . The human voice can be used in different ways in music, for example singing . A vocalist is a musician who sings, and a singer is a person who only dedicates himself to singing.
The human voice as a means of producing musical sound
In each culture the voice is handled differently according to its own musical style. Every human voice is different and, therefore, classification is not always easy. In the West, human voices are classified based on two concepts: tessitura and timbre .
The tessitura is the range of notes in which a voice sings more comfortably. The ring , as mentioned treating the qualities of the sound , is the special feature that distinguishes one voice from another. Generally, a high-pitched voice will have a thin or clear timbre, while a low-pitched voice will have a thick or dark timbre. As stated before, each voice is different and there may be exceptions in terms of pitch-timbre correspondence. Although there are more detailed classifications used by specialists, the general classification of human voices is presented below.
In the male voice the clear voices are constituted by: the voices of Tenor and Countertenor, and the dark ones by the voices of: Baritone, Bass. However, here are some exceptions, being able to find tenors with a darker timbre, such as the dramatic Tenor or the Lyric - Spinto that would also be part of the dark voices.
In the case of female voices, the clear voice is made up of the Soprano, and there are also, as in the male case, exceptions in terms of certain sub-classifications, (Dramatic Soprano - Lyric Soprano-Spinto) And the dark voices make it up. the string of: Mezzosoprano and Contralto. The latter being extremely difficult to find, it is estimated that only 2% of women are alto.
It is important to mention that the voice is an instrument of birth. Therefore, each person already has a certain type of voice and what you do is work with it. The types of voice are decisive for the characters in the opera . However, a singer can only sing representing the character that is according to his tessitura and type of voice. In the case of choirs , only four voices are used: soprano , alto , tenor and bass ; while the intermediate voices are represented with the other two.
The voice is the sound produced by the human speech apparatus . The conscious emission of sounds produced using the speech apparatus is known as singing . Singing has an important role in the art of music , because it is the only musical instrument capable of integrating words to the musical line.
The vocal sound is produced in a combined physical action. The parts are the support , the combined function of mucus, vocal chords and muscles ( messa di voce ) and the resonance and suppression of the harmonics of the sound emitted from the larynx to the vocal tract (mouth, head).
The spectrum of harmonics is called timbre . It is individual in each person. In singing pedagogy, the process of awakening certain harmonics to make the voice brilliant is commonly called resonance . However, of the initial sound of the larynx, only 20% is actually emitted as a vocal sound; the rest is suppressed by the vocal tract. Therefore it is more correct to speak of partial filtration of the initial sound . [ 1 ]Although each person's bone formation is predefined, the correct way to deliver sound to the vocal tract can be learned through constant training. It turns out that the perceived as prominent bright voices are those with a high proportion of the formant between 2,800 Hz and 3,200 Hz. [ 2 ]
A voice is distinguished by scope , vocal timbre, and vibrato shape . The individual conformation of the larynx and vocal tract is the reason why the individual singer is more distinguishable by his vocal sound, than a musical instrument of another of the same type. The vocal technique does not focus primarily on instrumental virtuosity, but on the formation of the correct emission of sound. Since the speech apparatus and the diaphragm are not accessible through nervous sensations, the singing teacher has to use indirect methods of influencing the voice, such as images, muscle sensations in adjacent organs, and vocal tract training.. The most effective method is interference between the auditory system and the larynx; that is, attention to sound enhances sound.
In a singer's voice, there is a noticeable oscillation in the amplitude and frequency of the sound called vibrato . There are vibratos with frequencies between 3 and 9 Hz. The optimal frequency, perceived as pleasant and organic, is 4.5-5.5 Hz. The vibrato controls the coordination between the head voice (vibration of the mucous layer) and the voice of chest (vibration of ligament and musculus vocalis ). According Fischer (1993), three types of vibrato are distinguished: [ 3 ]
- expiratory wave, induced by the diaphragm
- glottis wave, induced by the glottis, and
- complex wave, combined tremor between glottis and diaphragm.
Scope and tessitura
The vocal range is the total frame of frequencies that a vocal tract can generate. It is measured by the lowest and highest frequency possible. Within the scope, the volume rises from the low note to the note above. Low notes are commonly not applicable due to lack of volume, higher notes due to uncontrolled volume. For this reason, for classical music, an area suitable for musical use is defined, called tessitura . That is smaller than the scope and consists of the notes that can be produced in a quality suitable for musical use. Through tessitura and timbre, the voices can be classified.
During adolescence, all voices change from a high range to a lower range, due to hormonal change. This mutation is more marked in male voices than in female voices. While a female voice mutates around a major thirds, a male voice commonly mutates around an octave. Before mutation , a child can sing as a soprano or alto. During mutation the voice changes within the frame of one octave. The phenomenon of mutation is well documented in the German singer Peter Schreier , through recordings before and after the mutation. In the baroque , child singers were castrated to maintain the child's voice in the adult body. The castrati they were the true stars of baroque opera.
The different vocal practices
Throughout time the conceptions on the way of singing varied according to the requirements of the different works to be carried out: open, white and smooth voice for the ancient and baroque polyphony, as well as open and clear in the belcantistas; dark cover and with great projection of the operatic song of Romanticism, etc. The different languages that also condition the type of emission must also be considered, such as: 1. French technique. 2. The German technique. 3. The Italian technique. 4. Modern techniques
The color of the voice is the technique used, or the vocal behavior, which determines the color of the song, being it light or dark. Within the color, euphony is the hue that the singer uses in the vowel emission: a singer can present a light or dark euphony.
The French language is nasalized with vowels and consonants that sound in the nose, very difficult for the singer of other languages to reproduce.
This technique seeks resonance in the "mask" in the upper part of the nose and uses primarily intercostal breathing.
The articulation of the nasalized French language lowers the soft palate so this technique must be taken with great care. The adaptation and the criteria of the use of nasal consonants such as "n" and "m" with our Spanish articulation, with bucco-nasal resonance and not tightening the throat, is of invaluable help to bring the voice forward, in the mask, an essential requirement for a good broadcast. It should be considered that the use of oral nasalisation is a method widely used and spread worldwide by Madelaine Mason who states that “the voice in the mask” has the advantage of non-occlusion of the naso-pharynx ”. This technique must be used with great care, avoiding exclusive nasalization,
This resource of nasalized sound has been used as an expressive element in Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly , which in the famous internal choir “bocca chiusa” of the second act, provides the dramatic atmosphere of the moment. The “bocca chiusa” should always be performed with the throat without tension.
The German voice is guttural, it has a pharyngeal color since it resonates in the back of the mouth due to the large number of posterior consonants of this language. Auditory we perceive it as "piped", with little or no vibrato. He has a low larynx position and low abdominal breathing. This technique also tries to find the voice in the mask.
The Italian voice is the projected voice par excellence, extroverted due to the type of emission of its language. Here are two schools of singing:
- The technique emerged in Milan with a clear projected emission.
- The technique emerged in Naples with a "dark" emission "cupa" (covered voice).
Here with the use of sound coverage, the tenor's voice is expanded and you have the possibility of accessing the treble with chest voice, without changing the register. This was evidenced in the 19th century opera, in which with new requirements for projection and power, it causes the emergence of another type of technique called "aperto ma coperto" (covered voice with an open throat) and which has strong respiratory support.
According to Vaccai, the Italian technique allows voices to be worked in other languages and facilitates their broadcast.
New pedagogical techniques for the development of the singing voice have emerged from the middle of the 20th century. They are characterized by incorporating new scientific knowledge on the basis of modern research and studies and in general have a critical view of ancient techniques because they maintain that they lack validated empirical knowledge about vocal function. That shortcoming, they argue, led teachers to rely on the sound result rather than on the relationships of that sound with the mechanisms that generate its production. Within these new techniques you can name the 'Contemporary Vocal Pedagogy', [ 4 ] emerged between 1950 and 1970 or the so - called 'Method for Functional Voice Education', [ 5 ] [6 ] developed since 1980 by teacher and singer Eugene Rabine .
The term vocal register designates the form of vibration of the vocal lips, ligamentum and mucous layer, when producing the sound. [ 7 ] In the untrained voice, a change in timbre is noted when moving from one register to another, called a passaggio . A central goal of bel canto is to camouflage that pitch change point to achieve a single sound characteristic in all registers.
The voice is divided into three basic registers.
- The chest voice is a movement of the vocalis muscle, vocal cord, and mucus that covers the vocal lips. It is the basic function below the central E in both female and male voices. Therefore, there is more presence of the chest voice in male voices. As the movement of the vocalis muscle almost always includes movements of the mucosa, constituents of the head voice, it is also frequently spoken of, referring to a chest voice mixed with head vibrations.
- The head voice is a movement only of the mucous layer that covers the vocal lips. It is the basic function of all the voices above the central E. For this reason, in female voices it is the basic function, while in untrained male voices it only exists in its isolated form as falsetto . The difference between head voice and falsetto is not yet known, since in laryngoscopy , both functions look the same. It is assumed that much of the difference is due to emission diversity to the vocal tract.
- One of the theories most used by classical singing teachers and professional singers is that the head voice speaks of an imposted voice supported on the diaphragm that produces a wide volume by helping the main sound to be placed in the natural resonators of the head, mainly the front part of the skull; in the case of falsetto it is a much softer voice, which rises and falls without much imposition of the sound, without using almost the support on the diaphragm. In another more country style of music, in some countries it is sung doing "falsetto", as in the Mexican huasteca and his guapango or in Switzerland with the singing of the Tyrolean.
- The hissing voice or flageolet voice is a hissing sound produced, by closing the vocalis muscle almost completely, leaving only a small gap. This register appears in high-pitched female voices and, in isolated cases, in male voices. It is used to produce the notes from C 6 up. A typical example is the coloratura of the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .
|Deep voice||1.ª, 2.ª, 3.ª octave|
|Chest voice||4.ª, 5.ª, 6.ª octave|
|Head or False voice||4.ª, 5.ª, 6.ª octave|
|Whistle record||6.ª, 7.ª, 8.ª, 9.ª y 10.ª octava|
In the 16th century, ecclesiastical song was differentiated from polyphonic compositions . The pioneer of ecclesiastical composition to four voices was the French Josquin Desprez ( 1457 / 58 - 1521 ). The new technique of composing made it necessary to differentiate types of voices that fulfilled different functions within music. With the music of four voices came the categorization by four basic types of voice: Sopran, Altus, Tenor and Bass. Those categories are found in oratorio and opera scores to this day.
In addition, with the differentiation of operas into opera buffa and serious opera, serious voices and buffas were also distinguished. That difference gradually became the basic categories of the lyrical and dramatic voice .
In the 19th century it became necessary to add two intermediate voices between the two pairs: mezzo-soprano (female) and baritone (male). These six voices describe both tessitura and “color” (which is a parameter that combines the timbre of the voice and its intensity), following the International Acoustic Index System :
- Soprano : from C 4 to C 6
- Mezzosoprano from the 3 to the 5 .
- Contralto : from sun 3 to fa 5 .
- Tenor : from re 3 to la 4 .
- Baritone : from G 2 to E 4 .
- Low : from Wed 2 to Wed 4 .
Nuances in Italian opera
Within these six categories there are subcategories.
The voice category is an important part of the contract between a singer and an opera house. The singer may turn down unsuitable roles for his voice. In Germany, the Bühnenschiedsgericht (court mediator of scenarios) decides in case of litigation. The basis for his decisions is the definition of the vocal nuance of the singer, according to the book Handbuch der Oper by Rudolf Kloiber .
Kloiber's classification does not match the Italian classification. It is more accurate because it also defines the nuances of mezzo - soprano and baritone . By the very precise definition it can happen that a singer sings different Stimmfächer roles at the same time.
The most common tones of voice and their roles
- Dramatic Soprano (g-c '')
- Light soprano (c'-f '' ', rarely also deeper)
- Character soprano (h-c '' ')
- Young Dramatic Soprano (c'-c '' ') (also: Soprano spinto )
- Lyrical soprano (c'-c '' ')
- Light lyric soprano (c'-f '' ')
- Soprano soubrette (c'-c '' ')
Mezzo-soprano and alto
- Dramatic mezzo-soprano - (g-b '')
- Mezzosoprano ligera - (g-b '')
- Mezzosoprano lírica - (g-b '')
- Dramatic high - (g-b '')
- High light (low)
- Alto bufo (g-b’’)
- Depth height (f-a '')
- Heldentenor (c-c '') (heroic tenor)
- Dramatic tenor (c-c '')
- character tenor (A-b ')
- Mime, in Richard Wagner: Siegfried
- Lyric tenor (c-d '')
- Tenor ligero (c-h’)
- Countertenor (f-f '')
- Oberon, in Benjamin Britten : A Midsummer Night's Dream
Baritone and bass
- Hero baritone (G-fis')
- Bass baritone (A-g ')
- Knight Baritone (A-g ')
- Lyrical baritone (B-a ')
- Bajo grave (C-f’)
- Low baritone (E-f ')
- Basso buffo harder (D-f ')
- Baculus, in Albert Lortzing The voice of nature
- Bass bufo (E-f ')
The high voices are female, from C 3 to C 4
Outside of this classification for use in opera practice, there are other types of male voices. The countertenor , alto and sopranist make use of the falsetto register and head voice to emit a sound similar to female singing. In the castrato , which no longer exists in today's musical practice, the mutation of the voice was suppressed through the amputation of the testicles .
Scope of the voice in terms of frequency
In terms of frequency , the human voice is typically between the range of 80 Herzio Hz and 1100 Hz (equivalent to, in the my 2 to the do 6 , in international notation, my one to the do 5 in Franco-Belgian notation ) considering all the range of male and female voices.
Frequency ranges of the voice and musical instruments
The human voice can exceptionally produce sounds of a lower or higher frequency. World records go well beyond this range, and even beyond the limit of what is audible to the normal human ear .
Voices with a wide range
- Lucrezia Aguiari : do 4 - door 7 . [ 8 ]
- Elizabeth Billington: la3 - la6.
- Callas : fa ♯ 3 [ 10 ] [ 11 ] - F 6 [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ]
- Isabella Colbran : left 3 - mi 6 . [ 9 ]
- Manuel García : sol o la 2 - re 5 . [ 15 ]
- María Malibrán : Sun 3 - Wed 6 . [ 16 ]
- Giuditta Pasta : the 3 - re 6 . [ 17 ]
- Adelina Patti : from 4 to 6 . [ 18 ]
- Robin Mado : Mi 4 - Re 7 . [ 19 ]
- Giovanni Battista Rubini : do 3 - ago 5 . [ 9 ]
- Vitas : fa 1 - la 7
- Carla Maffioletti : mib3 1 - fa 7
- Dimash Kudaibergen : la 1 - re 8 [ 20 ] [ 21 ] [ 22 ]
The Decca record company released a double CD , Coloratura , dedicated exclusively to the classification of human voices, illustrating them with fragments of recordings of famous singers performing great opera classics .
- Peter-Michael Fischer (1993): 173
- Fischer (1993): 75-76
- Fischer (1993): 159-166.
- «Archived copy» . Archived from the original on July 22, 2015 . Retrieved July 22, 2015 .
- «Archived copy» . Archived from the original on July 10, 2015 . Retrieved July 22, 2015 .
- Fischer (1993): 139
- "Lucrezia Aguiari, called La Bastardella or La Bastardina or Lucrezia Agujari, called La Bastardella or La Bastardina. Larousse Encyclopedia"
- "Larousse Encyclopedia. Singing"
- Ardoin, John (1991). The Callas Legacy. Old Tappen, New Jersey: Scribner and Sons. ISBN 0-684-19306-X.
- Ira Siff, « The Sicilian Vespers » en Opera News , March 2008.
- Ruggieri, Eve (2008). The Callas . Success of the book. p. 85. ISBN 9782738223074 .
- After her June 11, 1951 concert in Florence, Rock Ferris of Musical Courier said, "Her high E's and F's are taken full voice."
- Declaration of Francesco Siciliani in L'Invité Du Dimanche , The Callas Conversations, Vol. 2 [DVD] 2007, EMI Classics.
- Saint Bris, Gonzague (2009). La Malibran (in French) . Belfond. p. 25. ISBN 978-2-7144-4542-1 .
- Saint Bris, Gonzague (2009). La Malibran (in French) . Belfond. pp. 37 and 104. ISBN 978-2-7144-4542-1 .
- Henry Pleasants, The Great Singers, Simon & Schuster Inc., 1966. p. 374
- "Adelina Patti - Larousse Encyclopedia"
- Nicholas E. Limansky (Translated from English by Jean-Jacques Groleau): Mado Robin, soprano (1918 - 1960) Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine .
- "Dimash Kudaibergen is recognized as the Honored Worker of Kazakhstan . " almaty.tv (en ruso) . 12 de diciembre de 2019 . Consultado el 18 de julio de 2020 .
- "'The Six Octave Man' from Kazakhstan Coming To New York" . caspiannews.com (in English) . Retrieved July 18, 2020 .
- " ' The World's Best': The 'Six-Octave Man' Wows the Judges" . Entertainment Tonight (in American English) . Retrieved July 18, 2020 .
- . Kassel: Bärenreiter. 3-761-81605-7 . The ( help ) is missing
- Fischer, Peter-Michael (1993). The singer's voice . Kassel: Bärenreiter. 3-761-81605-7 .
- Kloiber, Peter-Michael (2002). Manual of the Opera . Kassel: Bärenreiter. 3-761-81605-7 .