Monday, March 21, 2011

soprano alto tenor bass

I have been in church choirs as a youngster a long time ago but now we are about to sing a hymn for the Fijian Church. The sheet with the song had all these strange methods that I have seen before but was never really interested in understanding. It was the parts for the different vocal range i.e . soprano alto tenor bass. They are telling me I am the bass.

Below is a description of the different vocal ranges which I found

Vocal Ranges
A typical choral arrangement divides women into higher and lower voices and men into higher or lower voices. Most voices can be assigned one of these four ranges, and this gives the composer four vocal lines to work with, which is usually enough. The four main vocal ranges are:

  • Soprano – A high female (or boy’s) voice
  • Alto – A low female (or boy’s) voice
  • Tenor – A high (adult) male voice
  • Bass – A low (adult) male voice

Arrangements for these four voices are labelled SATB (for Soprano Alto Tenor Bass). The ranges of the four voices overlap, but singers may find themselves straining or getting an unpleasant sound at the top or a weak sound at the bottom of their ranges. So although the full ranges of an alto and a soprano may look quite similar, the soprano gets a strong, clear sound on the higher notes, and the alto a strong, clear sound in the lower part of the range. But there are vocalists whose strong, best-sounding range falls in a distinctly different place from any of these four voices. The names for some of these ranges are:
  • Coloratura Soprano – This is not really a different range from the soprano, but a coloratura soprano has a voice that is unusually high, light, and agile, even for a soprano.
  • Mezzo-soprano – In between soprano and alto
  • Contralto – Contralto and alto originally referred to the same voice. But some people today use “contralto” to refer to a female voice that is even lower than a typical alto
  • Countertenor – A male voice that is unusually high, light, and agile, even for a tenor
  • Baritone – A male voice that falls in between tenor and bass

We tried singing the song in the Do Ray Me Fah So Lah Tee Doh format and I was totally lost how am I supposed to use that format when singing the actual words. I suppose its a learning exercise and at least I now know the difference between soprano, alto, tenor and bass.


Post a Comment

<< Home