Voice Classification: System or Art? - Nottelmann Music Company
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Voice Classification: System or Art?

Voice Classification: System or Art?

By Adriana Festeu –

The process of “creating order” through categorization has always constituted an essential part of our social progress because of its measurable functionality. Vocal categorization has been no exception, but given that all singing voices are unique—the musical equivalent of fingerprints—any attempt at fitting them neatly into categories ought to generate a clear justification for how this might benefit the art as well as the performer.

Voice classification is an important part of a singer’s vocal identity: We self-identify with our category in a very direct way when we say, “I am a bass,” or “I am a soprano.” The importance of this struck me as I was writing my PhD dissertation, and one of the singers I interviewed preferred to resist such self-identification and say that she “sings as a mezzo,” rather than “she is a mezzo.”   GO TO ARTICLE