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Thread: Different classifications of voices?

  1. #1
    Newbies IfNannerlHadBeenABoy's Avatar
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    Default Different classifications of voices?

    Hi everyone! Okay, I'm a first soprano in a relatively small but somewhat prestigious globe-trotting choir. This choir has only 1st and 2cnd altos and 1st and 2cnd sopranos. My friend in the choir has informed me that larger choirs have many more voice classifications, I'm extremely new to choral singing, I've played classical instruments for about 10+ years but I know nothing of voice! Would anybody be able to provide me with a complete list of voices and their approximate ranges (going from highest to lowest ranges in order... if possible... THANK YOU!) if that's even a possibility... Thank you again, even if you can just give me a few classifications... man, I've used that word a lot!

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Let's see:


    Good, bad, deep, raunchy, girlish, little boy-like, scratchy, adenoidal, brittle, flat, 'pitchy', chocolate silk, throaty, wheezy, monotonous,...


    Well, those came to mind...the funny one, an old gf used to describe my speaking voice, hah.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Sopranos get divied up a lot in opera - mezzo, coloratura, etc, don't know about choir. There is a female voice range below alto - contralto. The 'standard' male ranges are tenor, baritone and bass. Baritone is a relatively recent classification; Handel didn't have any. But I think there were still a few castratos around.
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    Newbies IfNannerlHadBeenABoy's Avatar
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    Thank you! (kv466, LOL, you practically made me pee my pants!) and Hilltroll72, thanks that helped.

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    Member Marcel's Avatar
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    There are also countertenors.

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    Wow, Marcel is replying to a three-year old thread. Why not !

    O.K. I'm member of the choir in our protestant church. All I know is: the basic voices for choir are: soprano and alto (for ladies) and tenor and bass (for gentlemen). Now: any composer may split these voices into separate voices/melodies. We once were performing a piece (I think it was by Liszt) in which nearly every voice was splitted threefold at some parts. That was really interisting! I mean, when you are 10 bass singers in a choir, there remain about three if this voices is splitted into three parts.
    And it is an extraordinary experience to find one's correct note when so many voices are all around you.

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