Blog #17
Blog #17: Instrument of the week
The Voice
The voice
Different voice types

Vocal Ranges

The soprano voice type is the highest of the natural voice types.  The range is from C4 and C6.

Mezzo Soprano:
The mezzo soprano falls between the Alto and the Soprano voices.  The range is from F3-G5

The Alto voice type is the higher of the two middle range natural voice types.  The range is from D3-E5.

The Tenor voice type is the lower f the two middle range natural voice types.  The range is from B2-C5.

The Baritone voice type is between the Tenor and Bass voices.  The range is F2-G4.

Bass is the lowest of the natural voice types.  The range is between C2 and E4.  
Voice Changes

Both boys and girls experience voice changes as they grow older, but girls' voices get only a little deeper. A boy's voice, on the other hand, may change quite a bit — from sounding like a little kid to sounding like like an grown adult! 

How does this happen? The larynx (say: LAIR-inks), also known as your voice box, actually gets bigger during puberty. The larynx, located in your throat, is a tube-shaped piece of cartilage — the same stuff your ears and your nose are made from. One of its jobs is to let you talk, sing, hum, yell, laugh, and make all sorts of noises.

When a boy reaches puberty, his body begins making lots of testosterone (say: tes-TOSS-tuh-rone). The testosterone causes his larynx to grow and his vocal cords to get longer and thicker. Vocal cords are thin muscles that stretch across the larynx like rubber bands.

How your voice works

When you speak, air rushes from your lungs and makes your vocal cords vibrate, producing the sound of your voice. If you've ever plucked a small, thin rubber band, you've heard the high-pitched twang it makes when it's stretched. A thicker rubber band makes a deeper, lower-pitched twang. It's the same sort of thing with vocal cords.

Before you reach puberty, your larynx is pretty small and your vocal cords are kind of small and thin. That's why your voice is higher than an adult's. As you go through puberty, the larynx gets bigger and the vocal cords lengthen and thicken, so your voice gets deeper. As your body adjusts to this changing equipment, your voice may "crack" or "break." But this process lasts only a few months. Once the larynx is finished growing, your voice won't make those unpredictable, funny noises anymore.

Not only do older guys and men sound different from boys, but you can also see the difference in their necks. When the larynx grows bigger, it tilts to a different angle and part of it sticks out inside the neck. You can see it at the front of the throat. This is known as the Adam's apple.

For girls, the larynx also grows bigger but not as much as in boys, so you can't see it through a girl's skin. There is no "Eve's apple" in a woman's neck.

When does this happen?

Everyone's timetable is different, so some kids' voices might start to change earlier and some might start a little later. Some voices might drop gradually, whereas others might drop quickly.

If this hasn't happened to you yet, don't worry. And if you're going through this now, try not to stress too much about the funny noises you make. It can help to talk to a parent, an older sibling, or a friend who's already gone through the voice change. Before you know it, your voice will sound clear, strong, and more grown-up!

Spoken Word

Not only do we use our voices to sing, but the spoken word is a very popular use of our voices in art.  From rapping, to slam poetry, to monologues in acting, the spoken word can often be as impactful, or even more impactful than the singing voice.  While the use of the speaking voice is not as restricted to notes and rhythms that the sung voice is, there is still shape to it, such as emphasis on certain syllables, going higher or lower in different parts of a sentence, or getting louder/softer to reflect the words that are being spoken.  The spoken voice can have as much shape as a sung voice, while enjoying much more freedom in comparison.

Find Your Vocal Range

Use this link to find your lowest note you can sing and highest note you can sing to find out which vocal ranges you fall into and what singer your range lines up with.

Find Your Vocal Range

"Heartless" by Kanye West

"I wanna dance with somebody" by Whitney Houston

"Flight" by Samuel Getachew

Click this link to respond to the questions below

In what way do you feel most comfortable using your voice?  Are there any ways that you don't feel comfortable using your voice?

Many people believe that singing was the oldest instrument.  Why do you think that could be the case? Why not?