General Question

6rant6's avatar

Among amateur singers, what vocal ranges are most common?

Asked by 6rant6 (13619 points ) March 13th, 2012

I’m working on a project which is to be performed by amateurs and I have two pieces of information I’d like to get a handle on.

First, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone – do they occur with about equal frequency among adults? It seems true basses are rarer. Am I correct that ranges lower as people age?

Second, for a child, is range expressed the same way? Would you say that a young girl was a soprano?

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8 Answers

KateTheGreat's avatar

I would say that altos and sopranos are equal within the amateur singing world. As for men, I think that tenors are most common, because amateur baritones seem like they can’t keep their voice out of a nasty sounding caveman like tone. However, some men do have booming baritone voices that can carry well.

Young girls are more likely to be sopranos. What age are we talking though? Altos seem to develop their voices in their teens. Young boys who have not hit puberty can also sing soprano and alto quite well.

I’d need some relative ages to help you better, though.

6rant6's avatar

Right now, I’m writing two girls parts (one 13, one 10). As always, of course, it depends on who is available.

KateTheGreat's avatar

The 10 year old will probably be a soprano, but the 13 year old could be an alto or soprano, based on voice development. If they are singing together, you could just write them as Soprano 1 and Soprano 2.

6rant6's avatar

@KateTheGreat What about the extent of range? Is it about the same in children as for adults?

KateTheGreat's avatar

@6rant6 It really depends on the person. I see most people developing a better range as their voice develops and matures. Some kids have impeccable ranges and that is why we see children’s choirs springing up. You can have a great range as a child and watch it deteriorate once you grow up. Or it can go the opposite.

whitecarnations's avatar

Usually the most extreme positions are rare in itself like, Baritone and Soprano (or probably never really explored enough) so Tenor and Alto seem to be the most common.

jazmina88's avatar

Younger singers all have a natural tendency to high-low. It takes training to extend the range. I would not write above the staff. Lower range g below. For females, 2 part. Do not take the lower part above an D mid staff

6rant6's avatar

@jazmina88 “tendency to high-low”. I’m afraid I don’t know what that means.

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