Friday, 13 March 2009

Vocal Classifaction

Here is a general picture of how a voice is classified into its relevant voice type. This form of classification is more relevant to opera and choral singers but the definitions have naturally spilled over to popular singers.

Female voices can be split into:

* Contralto: F3 to F5
* Mezzo Soprano: A3 to A5. Most typical vocal type for women.
* Soprano: Highest female voice type. Range lies between a C4 and a C6

Male voices can be split into:

* Bass: Lowest male voice type.F2 to F4
* Baritone: F2 to F4 most common male voice
* Tenor: c3 to c5. Most typical vocal type for women
* Countertenor: Highest male voice type. Range lies between a G3 and a F5, however higher notes usually sang in falsetto.

These are all approximations and as you can see its quite difficult to fit a popular singer into a particular voice type when you consider someone like Mariah Carey. Mariah can go from a G2 to a G7 which is higher then the highest female voice type and two notes off being lower then a bass.

vocal classification table


  1. Hi Diva Devotee,

    I don't agree with counter-tenor range, because even in the counter-tenor range you have sub categories. You have the Alto Male, Mezzo Soprano Male, and Soprano Male.
    Me for Example I am a Counter-Tenor (Mezzo Soprano). My range is Normally 3 Octaves. from a A2 to a A5 I can sometimes get to a B5. So when you say "Range lies between a G3 and a F5, however higher notes usually sang in falsetto", that isnt true all my notes are sung in natural voice I dont do any falsetto. I cant belt my notes up to a A5, If I was using falsetto I couldn't do that on my top notes. And when I say belt I say in a Operatic Technique with alot of power. Some people still don't understand a counter-tenor voice. I have heard and seen countertenors get above the C in the 8th octave (C♯8) and seen countertenors go as low as a F2. If you ever include male singers on this page let me help with the counter-tenor category I know thousands.


  2. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am by no means an expert so it's nice to have someone with experience give their opinion. 

  3. lol,i think i did never read this post e_e.well...alto is a type of mezzo,isnt it?low i think you should swap alto w/ contralto(contralto is the TRUE female lower voice e_e) .,rarely any bass role goes lower than F2 so its presumed to be the bass tessitura in operatic ways,so this should have been made based onto that :>.i think that the post would get better if you put in the sub-types like lyric,dramatic etc.what is a coloratura and so on (:


  4. Are these ranges in chest voice only?