Terminologies in Singing You Need To Know
Below are basic terminologies in Singing You Need To Know
- Acapella: It simply means singing without an instrumental backup. It is made up of just the human voice(s).
- Alto: A lower female voice in a choir.
- Baritone: A male voice type usually between tenor and bass. Found mostly in classical choirs
- Bass: The lowest male voice type mostly in acapella groups.
- Belting : It is a powerful way of hitting high notes using the chest register or the Mix (in-between the head and chest register). It requires a whole lot of breath control else it could be damaging to the voice.
- Breathy: An airy vocal sound produced due to lack of compression of the vocal cords. It is common with the falsetto.
- Chest voice: it is a lower vocal register in which most people talk in. The sound resonates in the chest.
- Covering: This a vocal technique wherein the singer rounds the lips slightly when singing high notes to achieve a specific sound or tone.
- Dental: This is a diction technique whereby the singer produces a sound by placing the tongue right behind the top front teeth to give it an Italian or Spanish sound.
- Diaphragm: It is a sheet of respiration muscles in the rib cage that lies beneath the lungs, which contracts during inhalation and relaxes during exhalation. This is one of the most common singing terms used in lessons or classes when discussing proper breath control.
- Dramatic: In voice classification, this refers to a large, robust voice (e.g. “dramatic soprano”) mostly used by opera singers.
- Flat: When a pitch is slightly lower than desired usually due to poor breath control.
- Falsetto: A thin head voice sound produced by men.
- Glottal stop: The sound created when a person presses their vocal folds together before beginning a vocal sound. Manifested at the beginning of many words that start with vowels in English, including “umbrella.”
- Head voice: It is a higher vocal register produced by sending the air to the back of the head and adding compression to the vocal folds or cords. Hence, the sound resonates in the back of the head.
- Intercostals: The muscles between the ribs that makes it contract or relax during breathing.
- Larynx : It is an organ in the neck that contains the vocal cords.
- Low breath: The use of the diaphragm and intercostals to breathe without moving the shoulders, neck, or upper chest. This type of breathing is the best in singing.
- Messa di voce: A dynamic technique involving starting a note with a crescendo (quiet to loud) followed by a decrescendo (loud to quiet).
- Nasal Resonance: This is a technique whereby the singer sings by allowing air to resonate in the nasal cavity.
- Onset: The beginning of the vocal sound.
- Passaggio: An Italian term translating to “passage,” this refers to transitional areas in the voice where the singer must take extra care to sing well. These occur in different spots according to the individual and voice type.
- Registers : We have about 4 types of registers which includes the chest, head or mix, falsetto and whistle register. These are ranges of a voice when singing which produces different sounds (low or high, strong or weak, breathy or compressed) to help better express the different moods of a song.
- Resonance: It refers specifically to how wet or dry the sound is, which has more to do with reverberation. It can also refer to the way a sound interacts with a room, such as a cathedral.
- Sharp: When a pitch is slightly higher than desired often due to poor breath control.
- Soft palate: It is soft muscular structure at the back of the mouth that, when lifted, separates the nasal cavity from the rest of the respiratory system and therefore stops singers from using their nasal resonance.
- Soprano: The highest female voice classification.
- Straight Tone: It is when the singer sings without adding vibrato.
- Tenor: A high male voice classification.
- Tone: The quality of a voice. Usually described as “raspy” or “clear.”
- Timbre: Similar to tone, this refers to the quality of a vocal sound produced.
- Vibrato: It is a musical effect or singing technique where the singer raises and lowers a pitch or frequency of a note or sound over a small distance, rapidly and repeatedly for as long as the note is supposed to last.
- Vocal cords : They are two folds of tissue located in the larynx (around the neck) that vibrate when air passes over them hence producing sound waves associated with singing and talking.
- Whistle tone: The highest vocal register made mostly by children when they scream, located above head voice and made famous by Mariah Carey.
- Wobble: This is a phenomenon that occurs while singing when the distance between the two pitches present in vibrato becomes too wide, causing an unstable sound usually due to stage fright.
- Yodeling: it is a beautiful singing technique that requires a rapid and repeated transition between the head voice and the chest voice.
These are the major terminologies in Singing You Need To Know. Stay tuned for more.
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