Vocal Classifications (Fach System) Describes The Many Different Types Of Singing Voices.

2375 words - 10 pages

Vocal ClassificationsMany singers find that the four basic voice parts are too general and may not always suit their individual voice. Even though there is a wide variety of musically literature available for each part, not all songs would be suitable for just one voice. The Fach System breaks down each voice part and serves as a much more useful way to classify singers' voices.Vocal parts are an easy way to categorize different voices and are most commonly used in choirs. Choral music is usually written for four different parts. In a four-part chorus there are two female parts, and two male parts. The soprano voice is the highest female voice and has a usual range from the fourth C from the bottom of the piano (C 4) and up two octaves (Samochson 109).(An octave is an eight tone or note interval in which the higher pitch has twice as many vibrations as the lower) (Politosk 474). The voices of boys who have not yet reached puberty are generally in the soprano range and sometimes replace women's voices in church choirs. The lower female voice is the contralto, more commonly known as the alto. The usual range for an alto is from F 3 and up to D 5 (Samochson 109).The highest male voice is the tenor. The tenor's usual range is from the B 3 up to the G 4 (Samochson 109).The lowest male voice is the bass. The usual bass range is from the E 2 to the C 4 (Samochson 109).If the music calls for additional parts then, according to the range of the new part, the original parts will divide. For example, if there are two parts written for soprano, the sopranos will split into soprano 1s and soprano 2s. The higher sopranos will sing the soprano 1 part and the lower sopranos will sing the soprano 2 part. The same goes for altos, tenors, and basses.Originally, most singers fell comfortably within one of the basic voice types. Since the middle of the nineteenth century those four categories have been expanded and subdivided to indicate the singers' approximate range and also the relative weight of the voice (Categories). This has led to the additional categories of the baritone and the mezzo-soprano. The baritone is the male voice that falls in between the tenor and the bass. The baritone's usual range is from a G 2 and up to an E 4 (Samochson 109).The mezzo-soprano is female voice that falls in between the soprano and contralto. The usual range for a mezzo-soprano is from an A 4 and up to an E 5 (Samochson 109).Voice types are most commonly classified using a system developed in German Opera houses called the Fach System, which was developed to facilitate casting (Fach). Since fach is more specific than voice part, it can be a better way of classifying voices. The Fach System is most useful to help classify one's voice to aid in deciding what songs to sing. The Fach System sub-categorizes the basic voice types. The fach system tries to categorize voices by range, tessitura (range at which the voice is most comfortable), weight, timber (the type of sound a voice...

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