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Thread: Which voice SHOULD I be?

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    Default Which voice SHOULD I be?

    Dear all,

    I have a bit of a dilemma, and I hope somebody can help me with it.

    The thing is, I've been singing for about 6/7 years now (I'm almost 18) and I am currently a Tenor/Baritone, being trained as such under my current singing teacher (who I've had for about a year now).

    Over the past couple of years, however, I have become a hardcore fan of baroque music and especially the countertenor voice. I just find it so enchanting and beautiful and I love to sing in that voice whenever I can (I am a falsetto countertenor; does that count? I hope so!). This is where my problem arises. My singing teacher isn't keen on the idea of me singing countertenor and wants to concentrate on my baritone voice (which seems fair enough because he is a phenomenal teacher), and the music staff at my college seem to think I am a bit bonkers when I say I want to sing countertenor, and they try to put me off the idea. But I have such a passion for the countertenor voice and baroque music and I really really want to pursue this exciting venture further.

    I have my A2 recital coming up this year and I really want the theme of the recital to be "European Music of the Baroque Era", and I feel that I can only make the recital more authentic and unique by including some countertenor pieces in addition to baritone ones.

    I sometimes sing tenor in my barbershop chorus which is essentially a falsetto countertenor part anyway, so I do get some extra practice in that voice. I can reach a compound major 2nd above middle C very comfortably in falsetto voice (I can actually reach a compund major 4th above middle C, but with a little discomfort), but I want to expand that range to make the F (compound 4th) comfortable to sing.

    Sorry for the rambling length, but I felt I should explain the situation fully. So what do I do? Do I sing countertenor against my teachers' advice, and can my baritone training help me to strengthen my countertenor voice? If so, are there any particular exercises I can do to really strengthen my countertenor voice?

    With best wishes to all who read this,

    Baroquefanatic

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    Well, I would say keep training as a baritone, but as well as keep singing countertenor, my advice as to training countertenor is to just keep singing higher and higher, do arpeggios like warm ups as you would in your baritone voice- just up a few octaves :P As for your recital, do both counter tenor/ baritone. Good luck and have fun singing!! best of luck to you

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    Member Drowning_by_numbers's Avatar
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    Thing is - being a particular voice isn't really all about range, it's about tone, clarity and of course range. For example I am a soprano, because I have over a three octave range, I can sing from about the b an octave below middle c, to about a d three octaves above, sometimes more on a good day! So technically I could sing either mezzo or soprano, but I am a soprano because of the certain colouristic characteristics of my voice. My singing teacher always tells me my top notes sound "effortless" but I can tell you they are definately not! I find being a soprano very difficult and if I don't sing for a while I lose the top notes quickly. I suggest you take the advice of you singing teacher and stick with baritone.

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    Senior Member SalieriIsInnocent's Avatar
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    i sing along with pavarotti (horribly btw) when i should be singing along with ceasare siepi

    my falsetto voice is very high but the only way to resonate is through singing bass. i know some singers that can make the floor rumble with there voice

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    Member periodinstrumentfan's Avatar
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    Have you heard of Scholl ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCeKGW7cxQc&fmt=18

    or René Jacobs ? :-)

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    matthew -- honestly, you're a "male voice" right now. The male voice doesnt settle unti later in life, usually 24-28, sometimes 30-32, and it just depends on the person. Do what's comfortable, and sounds good, dont worry about range.

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    Theres always the option of castrati.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baroquefanatic View Post
    Dear all,

    I have a bit of a dilemma, and I hope somebody can help me with it.

    The thing is, I've been singing for about 6/7 years now (I'm almost 18) and I am currently a Tenor/Baritone, being trained as such under my current singing teacher (who I've had for about a year now).

    Over the past couple of years, however, I have become a hardcore fan of baroque music and especially the countertenor voice. I just find it so enchanting and beautiful and I love to sing in that voice whenever I can (I am a falsetto countertenor; does that count? I hope so!). This is where my problem arises. My singing teacher isn't keen on the idea of me singing countertenor and wants to concentrate on my baritone voice (which seems fair enough because he is a phenomenal teacher), and the music staff at my college seem to think I am a bit bonkers when I say I want to sing countertenor, and they try to put me off the idea. But I have such a passion for the countertenor voice and baroque music and I really really want to pursue this exciting venture further.

    I have my A2 recital coming up this year and I really want the theme of the recital to be "European Music of the Baroque Era", and I feel that I can only make the recital more authentic and unique by including some countertenor pieces in addition to baritone ones.

    I sometimes sing tenor in my barbershop chorus which is essentially a falsetto countertenor part anyway, so I do get some extra practice in that voice. I can reach a compound major 2nd above middle C very comfortably in falsetto voice (I can actually reach a compund major 4th above middle C, but with a little discomfort), but I want to expand that range to make the F (compound 4th) comfortable to sing.

    Sorry for the rambling length, but I felt I should explain the situation fully. So what do I do? Do I sing countertenor against my teachers' advice, and can my baritone training help me to strengthen my countertenor voice? If so, are there any particular exercises I can do to really strengthen my countertenor voice?

    With best wishes to all who read this,

    Baroquefanatic
    Listen to your voice coach because if you aren't a true counter tenor which is what is sounds like too me then singing in the wrong range can permanently rip your vocal cords leaving you permanently hoarse. Unfortunately, your vocal cords can only stretch so far and this is reality. In reality there is only counter tenor not falsetto counter
    tenor. Falsetto as you know is a voice register-false voice and not a true
    range. If you're not a true counter tenor then no amount of vocal exercises will ever strengthen your voice to sing counter tenor-sorry but you were born with the voice type that god assigned you so enjoy it.

    I have a friend who was a third alto and she loved to sing first lyric soprano because that is my range and unfortunately she went to hit a high B two octaves above middle C and she will never sing again. She is lucky to be able to whisper and that is all that she can do anymore-it is a horrible unfortunate lesson that she learned the hard way.

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    To lyricsop: You are right, one has the countertenor voice or doesn't have it. But a countertenor voice is always a falsetto voice despite of how high is one's voice(male voice of course). No one sings countertenor with the full voice, it is only for a tenor.

    Many famous cts are lower baritones, for instance Anreas Scholl. In youtube there is some clip he sings with his baritone voice, but it sounds very weak to me, maybe because of the professional falsetto singing. Then there is the famous countertenor who sings many pieces written for soprano, Philippe Jaroussky. He has a very high speaking voice but so is his singing voice also. I haven't heard of such a voice before and after that, I believe it is not as common as a low baritone singing at alto range.

    I'm studuing singing here in Finland and many of my current male colleagues are low bariton voices. There is one within them who has a very ringy and strong countertenor voice, but he has prolems singing with his fairly big baritone voice. Maybe he has the kind of real countertenor voice. The other low baritone colleagues of mine cannot sing a beautiful falsetto note. It sounds hoarse, airy and weak, still they have low bass-baritone like voices(speaking of two men particularly). On the other hand there is one guy in our school who is an extremely high leggiero tenor. He's top ends somewhere a fifth over the high C, but it doesn't sound like falsetto or countertenor singing. Those notes are his top high notes, not notes where to hang for a long time like a countertenor should be doing.

    These thoughts came into my mind. I think that countertenor singing is many times beautiful but somehow the feeling is a bit unnatural when men are singing with women's natural voice..

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    Sorry the typos, i write with my baby daughter sleeping on my lap.

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