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Gender and the soprano voice

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GUEST,Joerg 21 Aug 00 - 10:09 PM
Escamillo 21 Aug 00 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Joerg 21 Aug 00 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Joerg 20 Aug 00 - 10:51 PM
Alice 20 Aug 00 - 12:16 PM
Alice 19 Aug 00 - 12:27 PM
Escamillo 18 Aug 00 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Joerg 18 Aug 00 - 09:16 PM
WyoWoman 17 Aug 00 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Joerg 17 Aug 00 - 10:04 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 16 Aug 00 - 06:44 PM
Escamillo 16 Aug 00 - 04:58 AM
oggie 16 Aug 00 - 04:37 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 15 Aug 00 - 08:10 PM
Alice 15 Aug 00 - 05:41 PM
oggie 15 Aug 00 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,Joerg 15 Aug 00 - 01:25 PM
Alice 15 Aug 00 - 11:35 AM
Alice 15 Aug 00 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Aug 00 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,Joerg 14 Aug 00 - 10:35 PM
Escamillo 14 Aug 00 - 05:34 PM
Alice 14 Aug 00 - 01:33 PM
Alice 14 Aug 00 - 01:25 PM
WyoWoman 14 Aug 00 - 12:44 PM
Alice 14 Aug 00 - 10:39 AM
Escamillo 14 Aug 00 - 03:15 AM
Alice 14 Aug 00 - 01:23 AM
Escamillo 13 Aug 00 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Joerg 13 Aug 00 - 10:13 PM
Alice 13 Aug 00 - 09:43 PM
WyoWoman 13 Aug 00 - 07:53 PM
oggie 13 Aug 00 - 06:33 PM
Alice 13 Aug 00 - 02:49 PM
Alice 13 Aug 00 - 11:49 AM
Alice 13 Aug 00 - 11:15 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Aug 00 - 10:25 AM
Escamillo 13 Aug 00 - 03:58 AM
Escamillo 13 Aug 00 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,Joerg 12 Aug 00 - 11:26 PM
Escamillo 12 Aug 00 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,Joerg 12 Aug 00 - 09:22 PM
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Alice 10 Aug 00 - 10:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 10:09 PM

Don't despair, Andrés - I suppose that was only because you failed to have your navel pierced in time. They just took you for an alien.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 09:40 PM

Wait please.. I'm trying to translate that article (puf puf) Thanks for your advice but in NO WAY I'm going to shake and show my belly for the audience. Definitely. The last time I tried it was .. oh, no, don't mention it.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 09:13 PM

? No comments at all ?? Am I RIGHT ???

????

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 10:51 PM

Thank you, Alice, for reminding me that quick work isn't always good work. I'd been at www.shakira.net but clicking on one of the CD covers just didn't come to my mind. Shame on me - normally I am the one who's preaching great sermons against 'quick and dirty' behaviour. Now I'm caught myself...

Andrés - having now listened to Shakira: Hehe - that's not what we call singing but that's business. I've been suspecting for quite a while that the majority of people who pay for music do not enjoy the music itself but rather things happening when there's music. Well, if you want to earn money for music don't try to sell them music - sell them things happening, even if what is happening happens to your voice...

What she's doing there seems to be something which can sound quite good when done by a man and in some controlled way: I think that is exactly what happens when a woman 'sings' falsetto. At least it seems to work - with much effort and few result (but maybe some income).

To give you an example what I was thinking of when I mentioned 'breaking of the voice' I have looked for some good sample of alpine yodeling - with a little success: Listen to Tiroler Bravour-Jodler from CD Franzl Lang: Der Koenigsjodler

That is not quite what I wanted but it should give you some expression of what professional yodlers are doing. You might also notice that being a good yodler doesn't mean also being a good singer (Sorry, Franzl) and (especially) vice versa: I don't believe that the good singers I know can yodel at all. Singing and yodeling are different things. But yodeling techniques can also be used in normal singing (Franzl does so, as WW) and this can create charming effects, also without leaving your normal vocal range but just doing it differently. It is of course forbidden in 'classical' singing; this and some things that are allowed there instead (and should be forbidden IMHO) make me object a little to that classical style.

BTW - nice to hear that Shakira has developed a little. So have I.

;-)

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 12:16 PM

This morning I came across a web page with this information:

click here

1.Principal Features of the Singing Voice
2.Respiration in singing
3.On the breath, in the mask, frontal production
4.Passaggio and high notes
5.Imitation and treatises on singing
6.A few recorded examples of bass voices
7.A few examples of baritone voice
8.A few examples of the tenor voice
9.Recorded examples of mezzo-soprano and contralto voices
10.Recorded examples of soprano voices


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 12:27 PM

Go to www.shakira.net and click your mouse on the words "The Music". The words are above her derriere in that red dress. You have to just look up a little from her rump. Then on the page that opens, you click on your choice of her CD photos, and that will take you to the sound files of the music on each CD.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:42 PM

Joerg, I did visit the site that Alice indicates but have found no audio clips, perhaps some music teacher became a hacker and destroyed them. (well done;) Her image on those photos surely were taken when she weighed 15 kg less.

Will try to complete tonight that translation I promised, about Henry Paul Lang, gender and soprano voice, and go back to the original subject (sorry Fionn!)

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 09:16 PM

WW - thank you again, this time for the 'Nanci Griffith' information. Knowing the (or at least one) artist you still have the best chance to get a recording of some particular song, and Nanci Griffith is at least known in Germany. I wouldn't have looked under 'Griffith' for 'Night Rider's Lament' otherwise (i.e. I wouldn't have looked for it at all). Now I only hope she did that song as charming as you (warm or cold voices are hardly interesting to me in that context).

Andrés - I've now found Shakira on the net but only pics, no sound clips. Pretty girl although she reminds me a little of Jean-Claude Van Damme: "Wanna be an actor? - Choose some expression, put it on your face, and never ever change it again." (Joke stolen from german - er - artist 'Loriot'.) What bre///? Will keep on searching (for a sound clip of course!). :o)

Fun.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:34 PM

That's the words I know, too. I heard it first on a Nanci Griffith tape a friend made for me, and I think she was singing it with Townes van Zandt. Is that possible? (That's the trouble with sending each other tapes -- you sometimes don't get much detail on the songs or artists...) I've heard several people do that song and every one of them (at least the ones who attempt the yodel -- not everyone does) sings the yodel differently. Just depends on your own personal style, I guess.

WW


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:04 PM

Back from looking for the song with WW's yodel - do you remember? It's in the DT, but don't be too sure to get it from there. My impression is that poor Max&Co are currently trying to make their work a little easier while going to cry some bitter additional tears in the near future (that's success).

I would have tried to generate some blueclickythings but as the peculiar way I got the data three days ago doesn't work any more today...

To everybody also interested in the song, here's the lyrics as formerly available from the DT under N as 'Night Rider's Lament':

Last night as I was riding
Graveyard shift, midnight to dawn,
Oh, the moon was as bright as a reading light
For a letter from an old friend back home.

He asked me, "Why do you ride for your money?
Why do you rope for short pay?
You ain't gettin' nowhere and you're loosing your share--
Oh, you must have gone crazy out there."

He said, "Last night I run into Jenny;
She's married and has a good life.
Oh, you sure missed the track when you never come back;
She's the perfect professional's wife.
She asked me, 'Why does he ride for his money?
Why does he rope for short pay?
He ain't gettin' nowhere and he's loosing his share.
Oh, he must have gone crazy out there.' "

But they've never seen the Northern Lights.
Never seen the hawk on the wing.
Never seen the spring hit the great divide--
No, they've never heard old camp cookie sing.

Well, I read up the last of the letter.
I tore off the stamp for Black Jim.
And Billy come by to relieve me;
Just looked at my letter and grinned.

He said, "They ask you why do you ride for your money?
Why do you rope for short pay?
You ain't gettin' nowhere and you're loosing your share--
Oh, you must have gone crazy out there."
But they've never seen the Northern Lights.
Never seen the hawk on the wing.
Never seen the spring hit the great divide--
No, they've never heard old camp cookie sing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Words and music by Mike Burton, copyright 1975 Groper Music, Inc.
Recorded on Fashioned in the Clay, FSI-104, 1985, Gordon Bok, Ann
Mayo Muir, and Ed Trickett. Also recorded earlier by Jerry Jeff
Walker with a yodel at the end. It's a nice statement about
different strokes for different folks with a little bite to it.

The tune was once posted by Sorcha (? at least I hope so because I can't get back to there) in miditxt and abc. Unfortunately I didn't save the miditxt source but the abc source was

X:1
T:The Nightrider's Lament
M:3/4
Q:1/4=100
K:Bb
F6|F4F2|F4E2|E2D4|-D6|F6|-F2F2F2|FD3F2|F6|
-F4G2|G4GG|G3FE2|F2B,4|-B,4F,F,|DD3CD|E2D2C2|
B,6|-B,4FF|F2F2F2|FE3E2|E2D4|-D4F2|F2F2F2|
F3DF2|F6|-F4F2|G2G2G2|F4F2|FB,3B,2|B,6|-B,4F,F,|
DD3D2|E2D2C2|B,6|-B,2D2F2|G4GG|F4EE|ED5|-D6|
G6|-G4GG|F3FE2|D6|-D4B,B,|G2G2G2|A4AA|B2F2F2|
G6|F6|E6|-E4CD|EDC4|E2D2C2|B,6|-B,4FF|F2F2F2|
F3EE2|E2D4|-D4F2|F2F2F2|F3DF2|F6|-F4F2|G2G2G2|
F4F2|FB,3B,2|B,4F,F,|DD3D2|E2D2C2|B,6|-B,2D2F2|
G4GG|F4EE|ED5|-D6|G6|-G4GG|F3FE2|D6|-D4B,B,|
G2G2G2|A4AA|B2F2F2|G6|F6|E6|-E4CD|EDC4|E2D2C2|
B,6|-B,6|B,2D4|-D4F2|G4G2|F4E2|F4D2|B,6|GGG2G2|
F2F3E|D6|-D6|G6|-GGG2G2|A4AA|B4F2|G6|F6|E6|
-E4CD|EDC2D2|ED3C2|B,6|-B,6||

Everybody using abc2midi 1.7.7 as I do will get many many warnings "Bar ... has ... units instead of ..." and the result will sound very funny. Don't think of flaming poor Sorcha, simply Search&Replace "|-" by "-|". Then change the two occurences of the '-' in the first line position manually. Or try my own preliminary version including the yodel

X:1
T:The Nightrider's Lament
M:3/4
L:1/4
Q:1/4=120
K:C
V:1
% harmonica melody
%%MIDI channel 1
%%MIDI program 21
%%MIDI transpose -12
%%MIDI control 7 55
%%MIDI control 10 50
%
z2
e/2 f/2 | % Last
g2 g | g2 f | f e2- | e3 | % night
g2 g | g3 | g/2 e/2-e g | g3- | g2 c/2 c/2 | % graveyard
a2 a | g2 f/2 f/2 | g2 e | c3- | c2 G/2 G/2 | % moon
e/2 e3/2 d/2 e/2 | f e d | c3- | c2 % letter
%
c/2 e/2 | % but they've
g2 c' | b2 a | g2 d | c2 d/2 e/2 | % never
f2 f | g2 g/2 f/2 | e3- | e2 f/2 g/2 | % never
a2 a | b2 a/2 b/2 | c'2 g | a3 | g3 | f3- | f2 d/2 e/2 | % seen
f/2 e/2 d e | f e/2 d3/2 | c3- | c2 % never
%
%yodel
e/2 f/2 |
g/2 e'3/2 c' | g2 g/2 g/2 | a/2 f'3/2 d' | a3 |
g3/2 g/2 g/2 e'/2 | d'3 | e3/2 e/2 f | g2 e/2 f/2 |
g/2 e'3/2 c' | g2 g/2 g/2 | a/2 f'3/2 d' | a3 |
g3/2 g/2 g/2 e'/2 | f3/2 f/2 f/2 d'/2 | c'3- | c'3 ||

To everybody who really knows that song (especially as WW, she knows it, oh yes, she does): Please notify me if I misunderstood something - PLEASE!

Thread creeping but at least still telling songs (although still not knowing Shakira, but I'll try to remember)

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 06:44 PM

Steve, many thanks. I'd not thought through that point at the top of your last thread, and obviously it's crucial. The rest of what you said was also extremely interesting.

I too have heard both choirs at Lincoln. In the case of the girls, I arrived a few minutes late, and sat in a position where I couldn't see the choir. I had a strong sense of the tone not being "right" and the discovery that I'd been listening to the girls' choir seemed adequate explanation. To some extent, what one is accustomed to must be a factor, but ultimately I do think there is something uniquely special about a "traditional" church choir, no doubt for the reasons you've given.

Finally unconfused, I'll leave you all to get on with the more entertaining strands of this thread.


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 04:58 AM

I've found what the famous musicologist Henry Paul Lang had to say about gender and the soprano voice, covering the subject of castrati, and the reasons for the use of boy voices in church. It is very interesting and enlightening, but will take me an hour or so to translate (ironically, I'm going to translate to English the Spanish translation of the original in English). May be tomorrow night I come back. (First I'll search the Web, it is possible that the original version is somewhere in the net).

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: oggie
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 04:37 AM

Fionn,

As we rotate back to thread (but it's been fun!) there is a big difference between two voices singing seperate lines in a duet and blending 8 voices per side singing in unison. In the latter case all the problems referred to earlier come into play.

When the Cathedrals hold voice trials not only are they looking for musicality but also for voices that 'fit' into the overall sound of the choir - some boys get into one choir having been rejected elsewhere because of their voice not fitting.

It is subjective but to my ear Lincoln's girl choir sounds different to the boy's choir. Not better or worse but tonally different. It's a much more individualistic sound with a greater range of peronalities apparent but lacks the oneness which has been the hallmark of much liturgical music.

The experience has also been that there are parts of the choral repertoire (especially the Mag/Nunc settings) which don't seem to work for the girl's choir. The choir mistress used to say that suitable repertoire was one of her greatest challenges.

As a slight digression, next week (20th - 27th August) sees Edington Music Festival take place in Wiltshire. The festival is based in the church and consists of liturgical music sung in context so it's a week of Matins, Eucharist, Evensong and Compline sung daily with a wide range of settings from different eras. Should be fun!

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 08:10 PM

Looks like we're thread-creeping back to the topic.... What did it sound like, Charlotte singing alongside a boy soprano? If she can do it, there would seem to be no logical reason why girls should be barred from most of the Cathedral choirs. And such choirs would, in that case, deserve to have the Sex Discrimination Act thrown at them. And any cathedral that does recruit girls, but requires them to sing in a separate choir, is surely behaving pretentiously.


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 05:41 PM

I have wondered if some of what Charlotte Church has been made to pursue will actually harm her voice, since many teachers will not take on serious voice training of a child. They wait until the individual has gone through puberty before they begin serious technical training. You're right, Steve, as pleasant sounding as she is, the marketing was the greater "art" in this case. It remains to be heard what her real, adult voice will sound like, how much it will change.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: oggie
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 04:45 PM

The interestng thing with Charlotte Church will be whether her voice, and more importantly her muicality, develops. The repertoire on her first CD's is not at the demanding end of the spectrum and whilst done well the voice is no more outstanding than many other Girl choristers - but the marketing was superb!

As she grows the challenge will be to keep the voice in shape but also to gain the other experiences which go to make a great singer. As with most (if not all) young musicians the technacal side is easier to produce than the interpretation. The career of the child prodigy seems to be slide once they are no longer young but are competing with others whose technical skills have caught up AND have developed interpretive powers.

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 01:25 PM

Alice - thank you for the song, I think I'll be off now for some time looking for it.

I didn't intend to flirt with ww but to tell her that I was VERY impressed by her posting above (that one mentioning "calling the hogs") and later on also by her singing, and not only in some strictly rational way. I suppose (I'm not sure) that about 20-30 years ago this way of saying something kind also wouldn't have worked where I'm living but today it mostly works. Maybe this has introduced Sodom&Gomorrha here, but I think it has also taken away a whole lot of fear - as joking about something frightening often does. Not a language barrier but maybe some cultural one (I wouldn't be surprised because such exist inside of Germany sometimes within a few miles). Please try to translate a little.

Love

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 11:35 AM

Joerg, I did not include all of the song because it would take too long for my computer to load it, but you can find it on recordings on the internet like at CD NOW. Just search for "Night Rider's Lament".

leenia, this thread has been reminding me of a performance I saw on tv of Charlotte Church and the Welsh men's choir. She performed a duet with a friend of hers, a boy soprano, and both having children's voices, they blended and sounded great together. They did look like true friends. How awful to put that other little boy through singing with a Diva!

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 11:26 AM

Joerg, the song is called THE NIGHT RIDER'S LAMENT, a contemporary song. It is about a man who receives a letter while he is working as a cowboy herding cattle. The people in cities (an old girlfriend) don't understand why someone would live that kind of life out in the West. "... but they've never seen the Northern Lights, they've never seen a hawk on the wing, they've never seen the spring hit the Great Divide, they've never heard old camp cookie sing..." It tells of the beauty of living the cowboy life in the West.

You were probably just trying to flirt with W.W., but the subject of rape is very threatening to women, so it is not something we joke about. This must be a language barrier??

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 12:54 AM

I haven't posted here for a while, but i've been reading. This seems to be a good place for a true but catty story I have to tell about a soprano vs a boy soprano.

It was on public TV, and a famous soprano named Sarah Hyphen-Something was doing a special. At one point, she introduced a little black boy about ten years old and said he was her "friend" so-and-so. (I bet she had met him twice before the show.) She said they were going to do the famous duet by Andrew Lloyd Webber with the choir boy.

Back in the motel room I said, "Oh, this should be interesting." Ha! She completely steamrollered the kid. Drowned him out so thoroughly that I couldn't deduct a single sound from him. It was really unkind. I wondered what the sound engineer (if any) was doing. What a way to treat a "friend."


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 10:35 PM

ww - you know I'm not the man to rape women when I meet them in the dark. (Trying to be a gentleman I would of course never tell that to a girl who just didn't hurt me badly, so please try to forget my fault here.) But on the other hand - sometimes in the dark I'm also a little frightened asking myself: "Will she think she's less than a goddess to me if I don't even try?" Should I post that in the current AARGH thread?

and alice - aren't you at least a little ashamed for posting a sound clip like that with the beginning of the tune clipped and without telling the title?

;-)

Without joking now:

First - WHAT AND WHERE IS THAT SONG? I'd commit harder crimes than thread creeping to get it. (BTW I am not afraid of being too far away from the original topic. Singing techniques as the one used by ww here are very close to those that enable a man singing at almost soprano pitch, and remember that the word in the headline is only 'gender', not 'everything except adult male'.)

ww - What I was originally interested in is also what you are doing before the yodel, and I also didn't think of yodeling when this first came to my mind. Do you also have the impression that there's a difference? Moreover - I can't 'yodel' at all but I am almost able to sing along with you - doesn't sound good and I can't do it loudly enough, but it works.

It seems to me that yodeling as done in the alpine regions (as I know it) is still different, and I'm far from having any relation to that. You know there are very well-trained yodlers doing things which would keep your mother from ever telling you again that you are yodeling instead of singing if she heard that. Yes, they are mostly women but also some men. I am hardly interested in such acrobatics but what can hit me is when those singers do quite normal, especially slow songs. They are sometimes using their yodeling techniques some way that really should be considered a serious aspect of singing - without any danger of damaging their voice at all I suppose. Unfortunately I'm also far from being an expert for this kind of - yes - folk music (shame to me).

Which reminds me of uillean pipes. When the players are trying to prove how good they are - what a noise! But some slow air, also when inserted as a solo into some slow, tender song, played with feeling and emotion can suck my heart into the bellows.

Andrés - I promise that I will try to get some sample of Shakira's brea////music.

Keep on yo////singing.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 05:34 PM

"sounds like a crying sound, as in when a voice is sobbing and weeping " - that's a better description than mine, Alice! I did never reach the point of HATING this singer because I did never stand for her songs more than a few seconds, but as I said before, she is famous and successful. Apparently, multitudes like her, as well as the same multitudes like other (good) singers. Popular taste has been always a delicate subject where a personal opinion could hardly establish a definition.

La Wyo, it was excellent without any warm-up ! :))

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 01:33 PM

I just listened to the clip of Shakira singing "Ciega, Sordomuda", and there she DOES sound more like Yoko Ono, alot of the breaking, but she has more of a singing voice when she isn't breaking the sound, and Yoko Ono just screams instead of singing.


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 01:25 PM

Andrés, I found a sample of Shakira singing "Estoy Aqui" on the site www.shakira.net. I was expecting something as bad as Yoko Ono screaming, but I can hear what you mean by the break sound. It is very much like the American Country & Western style that has a break, which I think sounds like a crying sound, as in when a voice is sobbing and weeping and makes a "break" sound. It is common, as I say in Country & Western songs, but Shakira seems to use it constantly while she is singing, several times in just the few seconds of the sound clip I listened to. If this annoys you, believe me, I think it is why some people LOVE and some people HATE Country & Western singers!

We have certainly gone off topic of boy and women sopranos, but it has been a fun thread.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: WyoWoman
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 12:44 PM

Alice, you scamp! I certainly WASN'T warmed up, was I? But it does give an example of what we're talking about.

And Andres, what I was thinking of as a "voice break" is what I do on a couple of the notes just before the yodel on that song ... maybe on "hear" or "camp" -- can't remember exactly which one.

And Joerg, whether or not we fall in love, get yourself a cookie and come on in. Might as well be a member and pretty soon you'll be an oldtimer like Alice, Escamillo and me. You won't find a better (nor weirder) group on the 'Net.

ww


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 10:39 AM

Andrés, I started a thread about the website driveway.com. It has dropped off the forum, but it is a place anyone can upload files for free and then share them with others by email or a link to the folder. I will look for this person Shakira, too.


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 03:15 AM

Thanks Alice, now I understand, and I liked the song too. I realize I had heared yodeling singers, it is just what German and Swiss Alpine folk singers do, and it is indeed into the tune. In my opinion it is easier for women, because the high notes are emitted in a position very close to the normal soprano head voice. I guess it is harder for men, since we would have to change rapidly from chest or head voice to a real falsetto which is very artificial for the male voice. However those folk Swiss or German singer master the technique very well.

This technique respects the melody, and adds an ornament, that is not what I mean by "voice break", when the notes are difusely high and out of tune, and never sustained so long, the jumps are always at the end of a word or phrase. I'll look for an example.

Joerg, you are close to the masters of the Alpine technique, I guess you may find someone to teach you and very probably you will succeed. I would only say, don't force your voice trying alone. The teacher will know when to stop, when to go higher, etc.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 01:23 AM

I just added some of the recording I have of WW singing and yodeling (forgive me, KC). She stood in my dining room and sang a capella into my tape recorder, and did a lovely job, although I put her on the spot without a chance to "warm up". You can listen here:

http://www.driveway.com/share?sid=59f84619.a21de&name=Mudcat+music yodel WW

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 11:18 PM

Yep, Joerg. Some posts above I said I know nothing about yodeling. I´ll try to find some sample in the web, and some sample of the beautiful brea\\\\presence of Shakira for you to hear what I mean. If WW is able to yodel a song and Alice likes it, then it must be something musical, though I still guess that "voice break" is a different thing.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 10:13 PM

ROTF - THANK YOU ALL - I really like laughing heartily and there are too few things at the moment that make me do so.

It began with that list on the very top of the page: "GUEST,Joerg - escamillo, escamillo, ... ,alice, alice, alice ("am I killing the thread"), ..." (Fionn, oggie, ww: you're not ... to me.) Was that some waps'p ... was'ps ... pswa'p ... was that something you're also interested in?

alice - :-O ... (gulp) ... er ... yes. - Sorry, the medical expressions in my original language are also different from those in english. It will take me some time to figure out what you said. Thanks anyway.

ww, be warned - if you go on with postings like these I might fall in love with you and then I might decide to get a cookie and then I might post a picture of me and then poor ww! "Calling the hogs" ... !!! ... still difficult to see my screen through all those tears...

But let me try to get serious again:

Andrés - it seems to me that you and I are some classic example of two people knowing different things. You don't seem to know yodeling at all, I don't know anything about Shakira. Up to now. Do you know Tanitha Tikaram? When I first heard her I thought that was another ... (uh) ... sponsored by some rich ... (uh) ... and I thought 'Must that have been expensive'. This lady doesn't have any 'voice' and hardly ever hits the tone. But later I saw that she's performing her own songs which are very good, and her way of singing (? - at least performing but that with a '!') has some special charm I only had to get used to first.

alice - you cited three points in your second message: (1) vocal training: That's clear, or at least should be known to every singer. Nobody is able to sing at all without practising, i.e. having practised before and going on. But (2) what are 'classical styles of music' and (3) what means 'warming up'? (Maybe this is explained in the documents you linked, if so, sorry.)

ww - my regards to your mother although she might not be delighted by what for: If she could teach you singing some way that didn't prevent you from being able to yodel she can't be one of those teachers I'm really afraid of. (I can't remember where, but I read another message in this very forum stating that there is indeed some danger like this.)

Blessings

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 09:43 PM

I agree, WW. I'll never perform opera, my interests in performing are traditional folk music from many countries, and Gershwin, standards, and more. I'm just glad I've learned how to warm up and how to protect my voice from damage. I've heard your yodel, and it is absolutely more than just nice, lilting, and Loverly!

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: WyoWoman
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 07:53 PM

Alice--I agree with you re. learning vocal technique. I can sing classical choral music and show tunes, thanks to my mom and my high school chorus teacher. Neither of them approved of any music outside their particular categories and when I started singing rock 'n' roll as a kid, I met with much disapproval. And when I was telling my sisters and my mom of my winning the trophy for the Old-Time Country Music show' best female vocalist, my mom sniffed and said, "All those years of lessons and you're winning trophies for yodeling ..."

But I like music, period, and I like some of just about every genre -- if it's good, I like it. And if a song seems pretty to me or appeals to me for some reason, I'll try to learn it, regardless of whether it's in some "approved" repertoire or not. I don't want to narrow my world down so much that I exclude all but a couple of genres. But, I feel that way about people, too. I have lots of room for lots of different kinds of people in my life, and music is an expression of various versions of humanity.

By the way, if anyone reading this somehow equates yodeling with yowling or hollering or just making a bunch of goofy noise, well, you've never heard pretty yodeling. I go for a nice, lilting yodel that never sounds as though I'm calling the hogs, thank you. (At least I don't think it does ... )

ww


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: oggie
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 06:33 PM

Alice,

Thanks for the links - hard work but worth it!!

Thanks also to Jorg, WW, Escamillo et al - have really enjoyed reading and adding to this thread.

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 02:49 PM

did I kill this thread, or is it just a slow Sunday....?


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 11:49 AM

Joerg, if you read the linked study in my last message you will see that there are styles of singing that cause greater muscle tension in the larynx. I'm sure you don't want to cause nodules on your vocal cords, so as you try to create this break sound when you sing, warm up first and keep your muscles as relaxed as possible (learning how to do this well is where a good classical voice teacher comes in). The more you tense them up, the more harm you can do. When you learn good breath support, too, the making of sound is more effortless. Alot of people push the air or belt through their vocal cords to get volume. This causes much more tension than supporting and controlling the air flow. Here's a bit of description just from the discussion part of the study.

----

"The normal biomechanical configuration for effortless phonation is that the vocal cords approximate "like two hands clapping on a hinge"; vocal cord closure is achieved along the length of the vocal cords, without the participation of supraglottic structures. (There is neither front-to-back foreshortening nor side-to-side compression of the larynx, and the aryepiglottic folds remain thin and rounded.) "Effortless phonation," however, is not always what singers exhibit when they are singing. "

"...It must be emphasized that the data we present here do not suggest that singing styles associated with high Muscle Tension scores should be avoided, nor do they suggest that a high MT score is in any way abnormal or pathologic. They do, however, make one assumption (which is supported by clinical experience): High MT scores imply high levels of laryngeal work, whereas low MT scores imply relative vocal/laryngeal efficiency. "

"Generally, some variables appear to decrease the Muscle Tension score, or "protect against excessive laryngeal tension," and these include: (1) vocal training; (2) singing classical styles of music; and (3) warming-up before singing. Intuitively, each of these variables should exert a score-lowering influence. "
----

My input on this subject is that learning classical technique helps you use your voice for singing in ANY STYLE you choose to, and provides technique that enhances your voice as well as your vocal health (preventing vocal nodules) and keeping your voice longer into old age. Don't feel that by knowing these techniques that you can't sing anything but classical music! That's simply not true! Any singer of any style of music can benefit from knowing good vocal technique.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 11:15 AM

Joerg, W.W. grew up with a singing/teaching mom, and knows her vocal lessons. With that foundation, one can learn to do such things with the voice as yodeling and still be aware that the vocal cords need to be protected from damage. It really helps to know good technique even when you are not singing in a "classical" way. A good teacher is not going to let you do anything to your voice that would harm it - cause nodes or other damage to your vocal folds. There really is alot of science behind the use of the voice for singing and techniques that preserve the quality of your voice into old age. Here is an interesting page on the technique of analyzing voice and measuring pitch, breathiness, "breaks", etc.Voice Analysis Lab.

Here is some information from a study of muscle tension (MT) in singing comparing professional and amateur, male and female, and styles of singing. If you look at the Bluegress/C&W style, that is the closest to what you are describing in singing with breaks in the voice.
Laryngeal Biomechanics Of The Singing Voice

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 10:25 AM

Well I knew it was a big subject when I asked the question. Thanks for all the answers. WW, when it comes to the boy soprano, is there any film quite as disturbing as that Peter Greenway extravaganza, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover?


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 03:58 AM

Sorry, when I said Indian Singer I meant HINDI singer.


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 03:35 AM

Joerg, I think I should listen to some example of what you want. There are so many things we still don't know, that it is possible we completely overlooked (overheard?) some singing style. I remember my impression when I first heard a chinese singer, or the incredible harmonies of South African spirituals. I still owe to myself to listen to an Indian singer with their three-octave range, and who knows what else.

My example of Shakira (she is a Colombian pop singer, now fidancée of Mr. De la Rua Jr., son of Argentine President) is the most dramatic example of NOT respecting the melody: her voice mantains the tune 90% of the time, and the other 10% abruptly breaks to a nasal sound three or four tones above, giving the impression of "jumps" in the tune, or, of a person who wants, but CANNOT sing a simple, popular and occidental melody. However, she is famous and successful, and I am only famous.:))

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 11:26 PM

Andrés, I didn't mean to refer to the Tarzan way of yodeling: Simply shouting with breaking voice thus making your enemies believe you've got elephants (joke as far as I know invented by René Goscinny, God bless his soul).

I meant having your voice break and of course HIT THE TONE that is required. A song has its melody. There are no further musical restrictions (at least in folk music). That melody may be obtained by singing it with a male voice (tenor, baritone, bass, boy, castrato soprano) a female voice (soprano, alto, girl) a whole choir, even by playing it with a musical instrument or whistling it. Of course only if this is done IN TUNE. And when I mention yodeling I am of course referring to the musical kind of it: Yodeling some given melody.

With this breaking of the voice is only one of many different ways of performing a tune by means of the human voice, i.e. singing. That is why I'm a little biased to teachers as I said. I am convinced that they can tell me many things I don't know but also that they will first try to restrict me to THEIR things. So I suppose we would first quarrel instead of talking about singing and that is not what I think teaching/learning should be.

;-)

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 10:23 PM

As far as I know, that voice breaking is neglected and forbidden by classical teachers, simply because it enters the category of other sounds, like yodeling and plain shouting, which they don't consider music, but they accept you to use those sounds if you respect the wishes of the authors.

While the authors allow that sound or especially indicate them, you should make voice breaks and everything. It is a matter of taste wether that sound will be well received or not. What we should never do is ruin a clean melody line with breaks, or shout a romanza. Shakira is a good example of what I would call the worst taste: she breaks every phrase, she never maintains a melody line, she has a nice timbre and ruins it. An ornament ? A snobism ? I don't know, but I lament that some young people think that this is the way young people should sing.

I suggest my sons that when they are in doubt to define a bad or good singer, try to listen only to the voice and imagine that they are not surrounded and supported by many instruments, an impressive percussion, a choir behind, and a second track of themselves. Through some years, it's a great success that they learn to differentiate at least one bad singer out of ten. Just in case, I never sing at home.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 09:22 PM

Oh, ww, I've listened to this for quite a long time but still I can just do it a little - i.e. not worth mentioning. But thank you for at least being able to understand what I mean.

It's some really interesting aspect of singing. How many of those teachers teach it? You can kind of pre-program your voice and then run that program by somehow hitting a function key. Great feature of computers. Why is it something between neglected and forbidden when it comes to singing?

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: WyoWoman
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 10:54 PM

(Yeah, Doug, but I bet the little dudes didn't think it was so funny. Anyone seen that movie "Faranelli" -- I think that was the name of it. Very interesting...)

Joerg, a lot of country music or countrified folk and some blues have that little break in the voice. If I were standing right in front of you I could probably teach you in ten minutes. But the way I learned it and the way just about everyone does is just to listen to songs that have it and sit around by yourself (unless you have a very patient family or a deaf cat) and practice it. (Ever listen to Karla Bonoff? That song "Home" has some nice examples. Listen to the "Trio I" and "Trio II" CDs with Ronstadt, Parton and Harris, too.)

This is a lot like trying to explain verbally how to ride a bicycle ...

ww


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 10:14 PM

Another lot of good information - thank you all.

I'm still wondering about that break of the voice. How does it work and also:

It can be done on purpose. Men can sing at higher pitch than their normal voice would allow by that. Women can't but this trick or a similar one can also be used without leaving your normal vocal range, and this can be done by women as well, e.g. for yodeling but also with quite normal lyrics. (@§$%&# - I'm hearing an example from some radio at least twice a week, but I can't tell you the title of the song nor the artist.) This technique allows for changing the pitch much faster than by normal singing; it's like switching rather than adjusting and also back and forth. The only difficulty is exactly hitting the intended pitch - that's the art.

Uhm - Joan Baez also once did it in a recording of 'Brand New Tennessee Waltz' - you know "...at the bra-(NOW!)-and new Tennessee...".

Can you figure out what I mean? I'd love to be able to manage that myself.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: DougR
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 12:21 AM

WyoWoman: 'castrating the little dudes?' You're funny and that's one reason I like you! DougR


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 10:54 AM

"Well.. er.. Mr. Moreschi would not blend well with a well tempered instrument either.." ha, ha, that's funny, Andrés! That is such an excellent point you make that the spontaneously live performance is rarely heard by most people now in this age of recordings. I think the folk music scene is probably one of the best havens for live singing without all the techno manipulations, in addition to live opera performance.


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Escamillo
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 05:57 AM

Well.. er.. Mr. Moreschi would not blend well with a well tempered instrument either.. but anyway, that's a good sample (or the only sample) that we can hear today of those famous singers. There are many stories of knowledgeable people who have had the impression of their lives when hearing the castrati in person, and this could be explained by the reasons Alice posted above.

We in our times have been born with a loudspeaker at our side, (and our singers born with a mike in their hands) and listen to artificially produced music much more than live performances, I speak in general. May be for this reason we can't appreciate the theatrical aspects of the vocal performance, the mood, the attitude in front of the audience, the warmth of the human presence. And consequently we are more strict in our criticism of singers. Singers are more careful too, and nowadays you will not find a singer who repeats less than 10 times each phrase to record a CD, the engineers cutting and pasting music to obtain perfection and loosing the necessary freshness.

The movie Farinelli is neither a good example, because despite its high quality as a film, the voice has been electronically manufactured with male and female voices as raw material, an amazing as well as artificial achievement.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 11:50 PM

If you go to amazon.com and type in "the last castrato" you will find a CD with four real audio samples you can listen to of Alessandro Moreschi. The voice is not as good as a good female soprano, but it is an echo of history. It also sounds strange to hear someone singing almost like a female soprano with vibrato and the boys voices in the choir as in the Ave Verum on this CD. I agree, as this thread beginning pointed out, it doesn't always blend well when part of a choir is singing "straight as a string" sacred music as WW so aptly put it, and another voice or voices have the sound of a more classical or operatic vibrato.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: Alice
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 11:19 PM

Although Andrés points out that we have discussed much of this before, I'll add a bit to this thread. Cat at covenhouse, "alto" is the same as "contralto". It is just the shortened version of the word contralto. Contralto means "against high", or the woman's part that is written to sing against the high soprano range part. If you can sing well in the tenor range, then you are an alto (or contralto, the terms mean the same). Andrés provides some excellent information.

Here is a website on singing that goes into detail on the history of castrati, etc. click here The type is light on dark in an impossibly small font size to read, but a bit about the castrati I will quote here:
---------
"Women were not allowed to speak or sing in church.  The Church also forbade women to participate in the theater.     In the Middle Ages, the lack of female voices in the relatively simple church music was not a problem.  Young boys' voices had difficulty, though, with the complex polyphony that was being written in the late 1500s by the contrapuntalists in the Netherlands.  Either their voices were not strong enough to maintain the part, or by the time they had gained the musicianship required to execute the music, their voices were changing.     Initially this problem was solved by importing falsettists from Spain and for a time Spanish falsettists held a monopoly in the Sistine Chapel.  Somehow they seemed to have discovered a secret for giving the falsetto voice more agility, range and a richer sound.  Some have suggested that these falsettists were in fact castrati and some may have been.     It is documented that in 1599, Pietro Paolo Folignato and Girolamo Rossini (No relation to the other Rossini that we know.), two Italian castrati were admitted to the Sistine Chapel.  This, along with the invention of opera at about that time, ushered in the age of the castrati.     Castration had existed for centuries as a form of punishment.  In other situations, slaves were castrated and then used as harem guards or as servants or tutors for upper class women.     Essentially there are two types of castration:  removal of all the genitalia (usually inflicted as punishment and often fatal) and removal of the testes only.  The latter of these was what was performed on prepubescent boys usually between the ages of seven and twelve.     Unfortunately many boys were castrated with the belief that castration alone would make them good singers.  It is estimated that at the height of the castrati's popularity during the eighteenth century as many as four thousand boys a year were castrated in Italy.  Sadly very few of them became rich or famous.
    Henry Pleasants, in his book, The Great Singers, describes the physical results of castration:     "The vocal consequences of castration went well beyond the mere perpetuation of a boyish treble.  The child continued to grow, and so did his voice; or at least his physical powers to exploit the voice he already had.  Under the rigid discipline to which he would now be exposed, his lung capacity and diaphragmatic support would be augmented to an extraordinary degree, enabling him to sustain the emission of breath in the projection of tone up to a minute or more, which is beyond the ability of most normal adult male and female singers.  The mature castrato was a boy soprano or alto with all the physical resources of a grown man . . ."
    The castrati continued in the Sistine Chapel and the churches long after they fell out of favor on the opera stage.  Giovanni-Battista Velluti was the last of the great operatic castrati.  Meyerbeer wrote Il Crociato in Egitto (1824) especially for him.  Domenico Mustafà was director of papal music until as late as 1902.      Unbelievably, there exists a recording of the last castrato to direct the Sistine Chapel Choir, Alessandro Moreschi (1858-1922).  Though Moreschi is past his prime, the recording gives the listener an idea of the mysterious beauty of the castrato voice."

A sound sample is provided.

Physically, you have to realize that men develop muscular strength that they can use to support the voice that women don't develop. When the voice is stopped from changing at puberty, (you know how teenage boys develop that adam's apple) then their bodies continue to grow with muscular strength that a woman does not develop You can see that the smaller, high sounding vocal cords would have alot more strength to support the sound, as in the above description of the ability to support the high voice longer than most female sopranos. I can say, that I know sopranos with the right training can sustain a note just as long by knowing how to control the breath. It takes muscle, training, and in-born physical talent.

Women were not allowed to perform on stage in the first operas. The female roles were sung by castrati dressed as women.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Gender and the soprano voice
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 10:20 PM

No, Andrés, you aren't. I'm still very interested in that subject, but I'm a little out of new information (and thoughts) at the moment, and that may also apply to others. Just not so fast...

Thank you

Joerg


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