Talk:Falsetto

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Some issues with recent additions[edit]

I have some issues with some of the recent good faith changes Pkeets and Carlmarche have made to this article and have restored the article to an older more accurate version. I certainly think that this article can be improved, and I hope that both editors will participate in this conversation. My first issue with this version of the article is the assertion that falsetto is a 'vocal technique'. Strictly speaking, I don't think that this is an accurate definition from the perspective of the science of vocal pathology which studies falsetto as both a biological process and as a psychological/sociological construct. From a speach pathologists perspective, there are a multitude of reasons why humans utilize falsetto whether it be in speach or in singing. While a singer might approach falsetto as a "technique" which they can employ in performance, speach pathologists would not view it this way as they would be looking at the sociological/psychological/pathological considerations for use of falsetto.

Another concern is this added quote "Research shows that women have the same three chest, middle and head voice registers as men." While cited, this quote is one point of view in a highly controvercial area of research with a multiplicity of opinions. First, speech pathologists and scholars of phonetics consistently divide the phonation of the human voice into four registers: Whistle, Falsetto, Modal, and Vocal fry. In the sciences there is no such thing as "chest voice", "head voice", "middle voice" etc. Second, while these terms are used by vocal pedagogists, they aren't used with any consistancy. There are many writers on the art of singing technique that do divide the voices as described by this author, but there are also many others who don't. Indeed, various writers concerned with the art of singing state that there are anywhere from one to seven registers present. Third, writers also give different and sometimes conflicting definitions for "head voice" and "chest voice" making it in my opinion impossible to really use these terms in a wikipedia article without giving a lengthy definition of the terms everytime they are used as each writer of vocal pedagogy has their own opinion about the meaning of those terms. For example, Pkeets inadvertently missapplied a source when he changed text to say "chest voice, middle voice and head voice occur in both men and women". While he did add a ref to back this up, the original text was cited to The Oxford Dictionary of Opera which states that Men's voices are designated "chest," "head," and "falsetto" and woman's voices are "chest," "middle," and "head." These sources therefore do not agree that 'Middle voice" occurs in both men and women. This is just one small example where sources conflict. Fourth, there are several influential vocal pedagogists like William Vennard who argue that since all registers originate in laryngeal function, it is meaningless to speak of registers being produced in the chest or head. The vibratory sensations which are felt in these areas are resonance phenomena and should be described in terms related to resonance, not to registers. In summation, it is next to impossible to accurately use the terms 'chest register' and 'head register' within a wikipedia article without providing a lengthy contextualization of those terms which will explain that particular author's point of view/bias. Any use of the terms would also require multiple lengthy counter-examples of other viewpoints in order to avoid WP:NPOV, WP:OR, WP:UNDUE issues. This is a can of worms that is not worth opening in my opinion.

A further concern is the changes to the 'Female falsetto' section which seem to indicate the controvery as something of the past. Unfortunately, there are still current singing teachers who continue to define falsetto as occuring only in men. There is a tendency for singing instructors to hold onto the old way of viewing the human voice even when scientific evidence proves otherwise. In many ways singing instuction is like a religion in that is a belief system that is passed down from teacher to student. Singers often brag that they were taught by so and so who was taught by this person who learned from the great Mathilde Marchesi etc. Reguardless, I still hear and read in articles that there is no such thing as 'female falsetto' even though scientific evidence proves otherwise. This is not a past controversy but a present one within the singing community that probably will never go away just like there will always be people who believe in Young Earth creationism or what have you. 4meter4 (talk) 18:59, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

I listed my concerns and requested revisions on the Opera project page with no response before undertaking this revision on my own. My personal view is that the way the section on "Female Falsetto" is written is a detriment to the article. The obtusity of vocal pedagogists in the face of scientific evidence could be better presented; current text makes it seem an unresolved question. I have similar concerns about the section on the "Use in Speech" which states that the use of falsetto is rare and a pathology. Use of falsetto is highly common in the UK and Southern US, and you'll notice the research I quoted documented its use in African Americans and gay men. If you don't like what I did, then please provide some other revisions to address these concerns. I'm offended enough by these sections that I'd prefer removing them until the problems are resolved. I'm not going to get involved in discussions of terminology. Feel free to remove any discussions of head, chest and middle voice. These are covered elsewhere. See also complaints about the article's citations above. Pkeets (talk) 03:53, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with your criticisms. I'll give the matter some more thought and research to help fix the issues. A better explanation of certain pathologies ( ie there are some physical problems where some people can only phonate in the falsetto register) could also be added. I don't think the article was trying to be offensive but was trying to acknowledge the fact that there are some people who have physical disabilities. Best.4meter4 (talk) 13:35, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
In the second paragraph "beyond the vocal range of the normal or modal voice" is ambiguous. "Beyond" should be better defined, as there are three other registers listed just to the right of the paragraph that are beyond the modal range. Also, I don't like the word "breathy" and adding further explanation didn't help it. That's not how falsetto is normally used, and it's not rare that people have a stronger sound production, Vennard's opinion just means he doesn't know how to deal with it. See also complaints from someone else above. It's a point of contention, and it would be better to remove the word from the description. Pkeets (talk) 17:18, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I disagree with both points. The first sentence of the lead clearly describes exactly what is meant by 'beyond the vocal range of the normal or modal voice' ("the vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the modal voice register and overlapping with it by approximately one octave"). One can't really get more specific than that as everybody's vocal range/phonatory abilities vary. Also, "breathy" is the most common description of the falsetto sound found in printed references, both current and historical. I could literally add hundreds of published sources which use the word breathy to describe the falsetto sound (google books alone has nearly a 1,000 books which describe falsetto as breathy; many of them by the most revered voice teachers of the last two centuries. It's also the descriptive word used for falsetto in current medical books on speach pathology; for example page 359 of Clinical Voice Pathology). Yes, there are many professional singers on record who have beautiful non-breathy falsetto voices. But, that isn't typical of the average human being. Frankly, not including the description 'breathy' would be odd. I'm sorry if you disagree with the description, but in my opinion it's pretty clear that "breathy" is the description which is used most frequently in published references. Please avoid making "I just don't like it" arguements. The sources say what they say.4meter4 (talk) 18:00, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, then. "Breathy" doesn't correspond with current reality. It's a type of chant falsetto associated with classical (as in period) choral music. Once vibrato came along, then the chant technique didn't work for singers any more. Vennard's explanation means he's working with classical choirs and classical style music that continues to make that breathy, hooty sound. Apparently he didn't notice that everyone else has gone to vibrato, which isn't breathy and isn't hooty. If you want examples, they're already listed in the article. With the exception of the Bee Gees, I've never heard any of those singers sound hooty or breathy either one. See also Minenko, Vassiliev and Vitas. It's not breathy in speech, either. See Eddie Murphy. Please look for another reference that better describes the characteristics of falsetto. Pkeets (talk) 18:41, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Thatas head voice, not falsetto. Falsetto is not outside of the "normal" range, unless we don't consider head voice legit, but then it shouldn't be considered legit on women as well.Anto (talk) 03:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Again, the best and greatest number of references out there all use "breathy". I see no reason to look any further as most of the sources out there describe falsetto as breathy, and I have not found a single reference which says falsetto is not breathy. It disturbs me that you seem to be encouraging me to cherry pick references just to fit your own personal bias. Also, I personally don't agree with your analysis. Vennard was not a choral person at all. He began his career as an opera singer, and then later became a celebrated teacher of opera singers, most notably Marilyn Horne. His scientific research into the mechanics of singing was mostly done during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s; a time when vibrato was used for everything, even early music. It wasn't until the 1970s that the authentic performance crowd came along to argue for voices which had less vibrato for early music. Regaurdless, I think that what most of these writers are doing is trying to describe a difference between the modal voice and the falsetto voice. In comparing the two, most people do display a breathier sound in their falsetto voice then in their modal voice. Remember, these descriptions are meant to describe the average person, not the exceptional person. The average falsetto voice doesn't sound that great, and for that reason it doesn't get recorded for entertainment. The unusual falsetto voice sounds awesome, and it therefore gets recorded. You can't use recordings by entertainers as your standard to describe falsetto, because chances are the entertainer is part of that small percentage of people which are atypical. Also, recordings have the added benefit of technology. Falsetto generally does not have the amplitude that the modal voice does. Many of these falsetto recordings would not have sounded good without microphones and sound mixers to aid in sound quality. 4meter4 (talk) 19:14, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
The non breathy falsetto is reinforced falsetto or head voice, which is, especially the latter, a completely different thing.Anto (talk) 03:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Did you listen to Eddie Murphy? Here's the UK version. The women are hard to pick up but listen for Palmer to do it. As Time Goes By This is common application in speech from non-entertainers, as well. Check Marilyn Monroe if you want breathy falsetto. 19:23, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
As wonderful as these recordings are, we are now moving into personal analysis. This is not an acceptable approach for writing articles on wikipedia as it is original research. Please see WP:No Original Research.4meter4 (talk) 23:44, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
It means that Vennard's opinion is questionable and that you should look for other citations. Someone above has questioned the statement, too. It doesn't make sense to readers of the article. I've also easily provided example of falsetto usage in speech. This section needs revision, too. Pkeets (talk) 01:43, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
There are two references in the article which use the descriptive word breathy, and I've given a third on the talk page. I could literally produce hundreds of more sources from google books that also describe falsetto as breathy. I personally agree with the sources and feel that WP:Verifiability has been adequately met. As far as I am concerned, the information in the article is accurate and no alterations are necessary.4meter4 (talk) 03:32, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Hello all, No offence to anybody here. I have never heard such timbre of falsetto which could be described as ‘breathy’ however, it doesn’t mean I want to deny its existence. Would be any problem to say that 'sometiimes falsetto may be described as a bit brethy' ?

Have written a reaction to the original 4meter4’s contribution. Hope it is ok with all te other colleagues in the conversation. Have tried to be as objective as my English lets me.

Falsetto as a ‘technique’ First at all, there sems to be at least 3 versions of the origin of falsetto phonation even between sientists.

1. Partial resonation of vocal chords Falsetto by Frederic P Miller, Agnes F Vandome, John McBrewster (2010) The first part of thecurrent version of the article is, in fact, copied from this book.

2. Over-flexing (and thinning) of vocal chords The theory postulates that the high pitched sound of falsetto is caused by the vocal chords stretching so much that their edges become very thin. Christina Shewell – The Voice Work, says, Article ‘falsetto register’page 174: ‘The vocal folds are thin, tens and long, with minimal vibrations; unless the voice has been specially trained (as in the counter-tenor voice) the folds do not completely close. The larynx is likely to be held quite high.‘


3. Resonation (vibration) of false vocal chords/folds This version has been confirmed to me by Prof Mansel V Griffiths, in Bristol, UK. He denies version of his colleague Christina Shewell (please see above) – whom I also know personally – however, I have no reason to not believe him. It rather seem to me (no offence to Christina) like she did just cited somebody else rather than make her own research when she worked on the book. Otherwise there would have to be really big split between two such high level authorities as Prof Griffiths and MA Shewell are.

I have to apologize to Mrs Shewell. I did not mean disrespect. I am very grateful for her time she gave to me the other day. I have found that there must be at least two entirely different physiologis producing timbre commonly called ¨falsetto¨ This explains much. My own falsetto (and Ian Gillan's too I believe) is the most powerful on the top, no sign of breath and my apple stays down regardless of pitch. Also the vibration I feel much higher in the throat. It denies a lot what many including Mrs Shewell say about falsetto Carlmarche (talk) 23:19, 6 January 2013 (UTC)


There also are other sources we could use for references: Lunn changes his opinion in later works: Falsetto ... is, as its name implies, a false production; it is created by the false cords being squeezed together, the true cords being open [1888, p. 55].

True " falsetto " is a whistle through the false cord, the true cords not acting. It is utterly unemotional. Sir John Hawkins, in his " History of Music," chap, cxlv., writing of the times of the Commonwealth and Restoration, ...


I, myself, as a vocal coach and singer would vote for the third, ‘false folds’ version too, for more reasons: 1.On the ‘break’ between falsetto and modal voice, a singer actually feels that the vibration jumps into a slightly higher position on the way to falsetto. It make me feel like the two, modal voice and falsetto, being created on two entirely different places in the neck.

2.Flexing of vocal cords like described in the option 2 would have causes a feeling of an incredible tension on the places he usually feels when trying sing higher.

3.Also for the option 2 : The ‘change’ between modal and falsetto voice would be rather smooth or even a glissando (slight) than a break – the ‘break’ also used by yodellers.

4.If would be so easy to provide such flexing of vocal cords why is so difficult for singers to sing high notes in modal voice? For the option 2 again

5.Falsetto can be very powerful if well trained, a minimum vibration of vocal cords cannot cause such big sound, option 2

6.counter tenor’s technique has nothing to do with falsetto at all. What Prof Griffiths have confirmed to me is, that counter tenors technique is something totally different from the falsetto technique. He said they use a special technique of norrowing the larynx to provide the higher pitch while use vocal cords. I am in classical singing long enough to hear the different between the falsetto and counter tenor singing. I have a quite huge falsetto myself, did Deep Purple revival with the song Child in Time in the past with success however, really cannot imagine myself to sing Handel’s coloraturas by falsetto :O) We may need a hand of a counter tenor here I do believe :O)

7.yes, adam’s apple habitually goes higher due falsetto phonation however, it is also possible to sing falsetto of whole particular range with no thyroid goes up at all.

8.Finally option 1: I have been told that any incomplete closure of vocal cords causes, depends on why and where it happen, one of the several kinds of spasmodic dysphonia, who knows.

9.Again option 1: The timbre of a well made falsetto does not contain any ‘breathy’ sound, it actually becomes very powerful and the resonation does not comes from the place I feel when singing the Roasted Swan from Orff’s Carmina Burana by modal voice, although mostly performed by falsetto.

Falsetto in speech Actors use falsetto in speech to express a fun or an excitement, what I would also personally call a technique as we talk here about the timbre I know and most likely about the same physiological mechanism. The same falsetto may also become a voice disorder, ‘it’ happen unwanted. I used to have a lady client with this kind of problem. Boys in the mutation also sound like using the falsetto we talk here about. However, I would rather leave this issue to the science.

Falsetto as a voice register and my quite strict personal opinion about voice registers From my point of view, falsetto should not be called a ‘voice register’ simply because the term ‘voice register’ along with all of those ‘head voices’, ‘chest voices’, god knows what else, are not science terms. They are products of peaple's fantasy. They use them as a excuse of unability to sing properly or as a tool to try describe something they have no clue about. The human voice is naturally able to sing with no breaks(passagios) and so called ‘registers’ are nothing more than a deviations from this nature (tensions), so should be simply called voice disorders. This is actually my daily work to help those who limit their voice mainly in projection in volume and range by ‘so called registers’. They sometimes ‘registering’ too much so they cannot sing at all, when they have to admit a voice disorder.

Regardless on which of those three versions of the falsetto origins listed above wins on the end of the day, we should(I think) call falsetto as a ‘technique’ as it is not a tension , or a deviation from natural. We may have problem to prove it but, I believe that a human may use falsetto already when hunted his first mammoth. Here I could also talk about the part of the falsetto article describing history of falsetto. First part is mistaken with castrato’s history. The other parts seem to be i

The taste of the audience had changed quite drastically since the time of Puccini or the time of Deep Purple or Beatles however. Although we should respect the taste of each other, we still should be able to name a problem to help those who need. These ‘folk’ terminologies do not help us in our work at all.

Hope I did not miss anything from your first two paragraphs.

Female falsetto Nearly all of the ladies singers I have ever been working with CAN do mostly good falsetto. Also, as far as I know, there is no anatomy different between male and female voice box, apart of the size. Why a lady would not be able to sing falsetto? Or, shall we rather call the female falsetto ‘head voice’ just because it sounds too high sometimes? My, tenor, falsetto can also be switched from the sinuses backwards to the head for example :O) Carlmarche (talk) 03:55, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Carlmarche, it's very difficult to draft a response to such a large number of points without muddying this conversation. I would suggest that you start several conversations below where we can discuss certain sections of the article. That way the conversation stays focused and is more productive. My overall comment to you, is that the perspective you are advocating is from the point of view of a vocal pedagogue only (even then it is only one perspective among many perspectives among those who write on/teach the art of singing). 'Falsetto' however is a term used in the sciences as well (in speach pathology, linguistics, and phonetics). In the sciences, falsetto is without question considered a vocal register by definition. The sciences, however, have a much more rigid definition of what a vocal register is then in the singing community. In the sciences there are four defined vocal registers which are defined specifically by the differences in laryngeal function. The current article reflects this perspective, and I don't think it would be wise to divert from it. Best.4meter4 (talk) 14:55, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
4meter4. So sorry it was not attention of mine to mud anything. I simply wanted to show you that there is a several other things we should at least state as a posibility that it may be truth while writing on Wikipedia. I am not talking here about my opinions. I talk about the other references - opinions of the other scientists - which you should not ignore as a Wikipedia contributor. You also should not just ignore opinion of somebody else regarding the 'breathness' in falsetto voice. No offence but I have to protest against the phormulation 'The falsetto voice—with its characteristic breathy' Even there would be thousends references of scientists who say so, you have no right to ignore a voice which say that it is not right. No offence, now the voices are two :O) I have never heard a breathy falsetto in my life. Can you do falsetto yourself? Is it breathy? If yes, you most likely do not sing falsetto than the same as all the scientists you cite :O) You know, the same way you aproach collegues, they may approach you. Please, lets leave this silliness and let it sound more objective in the article.
I would really love to participate and help to improve the article as I hope wants everyone here. Perhaps I was not as clear with pointing out where I am trying to cite a source and where I am trying to express a point of view of mine, as a singer and vocal coach. Sorry for that too, I try to be more accurate next time.
Although that really anyone can call himself a vocal coach these days and also contribute on the internet, there also are those vocal coaches, who care about the facts discovered by science and always starving to deliver the best they can when comparing the science with their experience on the field and also their own singing. Both, Prof Griffiths and MA Shewell have mentioned themselves, that they are not singers so, they cannot see the ‘other side’ of the problematic. Hope you understand that, apart of science, you also need a singer’s and a pedagogue’s opinion in order to make a reasonable article about falsetto. My opinion is, the more singing teachers and singers on this discussion the better however, we all should strictly keep following only facts while starving for objectivity. I suppose that on Wikipedia there is no room for any assumptions to be misrepresented as facts. On Wikipedia there also should be no room for ‘multiplying’ references in order to prove wrong other contributor, regardless is he a scientist or ‘only’ a pedagogue (regarding your ‘hundreds references’ for example, no offence). I can prove you on hundreds references, that scientists, rather than they do their own examination, they find a book to cite.
Right. I suppose the best way would be in the article we have named all the opinions(different opinions of the scientists) we can find followed by a strictly separated list of opinions of ‘only pedagogues’. Let me repeat myself, please, Wikipedia is no place to present one opinion no matter does the opinion belongs to a voice coach, scientist or the president of USA.
Please do not take me bad. I mean no offence to anybody here. I hope that we both want the same thing here. I would like you ALL HERE encourage to start on the article in the terms of maximal objectivity. I would suggest we start on the physiology however, I am opened to any other suggestions.
I gave you recently 3 versions of scientic views of the origin of falsetto. Regardless of which one of those I like more or less I think, that it is wrong that the article still contains the only one of those although perhaps supported by the biggest number of sources.
Also, could you please, so kindly, point me to some reference to a definition of voice registers? This is first time I hear about something like that. I suppose you may save me some time. Thank so much and looking forward to work together! Carlmarche (talk) 21:58, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

To 4meter4 again. I hope you do not feel umbrage now. It would be pity, really. I am really concerned that you sometimes loosing objectivity while you assert your own opinions. Have just noticed that you have recently undo somebody's contribution in the 'usage' paragraph. I have listened 5 songs of Coldplay, the singer goes in to falsetto in every single one song I have chosen. However, I have to agree with you, that it cannot work like anybody can put there his favourite falsettist. Would suggest, to take off all of them and put there just brief note that falsetto is used in most musical genres. Btw. I am totally missing there any information about Orff's Roasted Swan which is in majority sung by falsetto. Also would be nice to describe how falsetto is used in classical and opera music. The paragraph is describing quality of timbre - what belongs to another place to the article I suppose. Thank you for your time and looking forward to your answers and working with you. Carlmarche (talk) 23:53, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Fair enough, I've removed all of the other bands which were unsourced (something I wanted to do anyway, but was afraid I'd cause other editors to be upset if I did). It concerns me that you are already throwing accusations around at other editors and questioning their motives. It makes me less inclined to want to particpate in this conversation with you.4meter4 (talk) 11:48, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I respect all of the authors on this page, and it feels like we have encountered an intellectual gridlock. It is important that WIkipedia articles are updated and improved by people who really know their subject to assure they keen to educate, rather then merely gaining Wikipedia kudos by editing a larger number of articles.
I have spent my entire life working as a voice coach and singing teacher, so feel quite frustrated at the shear volume of misinformation online. There are many vested interests keen to publish information they perceive is correct in return for custom and to boost their profile and therefore income.
I feel very strongly that Wikipedia must separate itself from these types of sources, but I don't want to get stuck in a rut with this, or come across in a way that could be construed as pushing my personal POV; I am just keen that singing pupils (and other people who wish to learn about falsetto) are given correct information.
It would be best to stop seeking out "Google friendly" online sources which fan the flames or back up your side of the argument, and instead, undertake an objective appraisal of the subject matter to shed light on the correct facts in question.
If you have no expertise in the subject matter then by the rules of Wikipedia you ought to consult the experts. The deciding factor of whether information in the public domain is correct shouldn't be determined by the number of Wikipedia stars the author has earned.
Stating that falsetto is breathy is akin to asserting that grass is orange after Googling for "orange grass", rather then going outside to check the colour. If you are able to recognise falsetto, then an easy way to understand that it is not breathy would be to watch any falsetto singing on YouTube.com and admire its clear, often quite strong timbre.
I strongly believe you have no idea what you are talking about here - you are no scientist, no singing teacher or vocal coach. I would guess you would not recognise falseto when you hear it. I will spend a few weeks away from this page, and hope to start afresh with a clean slate upon my return. Hopefully that will allow sufficient time for you to consider the above information I have posted.
I wish you a Merry Christmas, looking forward to starting afresh with different behaviour of yours; otherwise I will be forced to report to Wikipedia Neutral Point of View. Carlmarche (talk) 21:17, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Once again you are resorting to personal attacks; ironically ones that are incorrect. Actually, I am a voice teacher, choral conductor, and sing professionally. I have Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance, I am currently working on a Master's degree at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in addition to working full time as a music educator. I am frankly surprised at the hostility here to the term "breathy" as every voice book I own (and I have considerable personal library on books on singing) uses that description. To my mind, it is an accurate description for the average person when comparing their modal voice to their falsetto voice. Does it accurately describe a well trained countertenor? No, it doesn't. (but that is my personal opinion, so I wouldn't include that part in the article) Remember, well trained countertenors are the exception, not the norm. An accurate definition should describe the typical person, not the unusual person. Regaurdless, I am perfectly open to reading sources with other opinions and including them in this article as well. I am, however, opposed to removing the description already provided, as it is the predominant opinion in published reference works on vocal pedagogy and speach pathology. Best.4meter4 (talk) 07:16, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
You are assuming that the topic falsetto is equally associated with falsetto in normal communication and falsetto in singing. It is not! Falsetto is primarily a term associated with singing, and trained singers are associated with trained singing. Yes, of course, falsetto takes place in speech and other non-singing forms of communication, and in untrained singers. Those people are not usually acquainted with the word, or not as much as singers are. We will not shy away from describing falsetto in speech but we should not put it on an equal footing with singing. Binksternet (talk) 07:28, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I have made no such assumption, and as a singer and music educator I would be an idiot to disagree with your statement that singing is the primary contextual use of the term falsetto. What puzzles me is why you think I am somehow trying to emphasize one over the other. I don't think I have been neglectful of either the singing or speach aspect of this article (indeed I have cited more singing references than speach pathology ones), but have been doing my best to include both in a balanced way. I think the language of the article as it stands makes it clear that the term falsetto is used more frequently in association with singing. As to the other point, I don't this article should become a reference source targeted specifically to professional singers only (and even then most professional singers don't develop their falsetto voices in the way a countertenor would focus on that aspect of the voice). The majority of our readers are probably not professional singers and may be interested in finding accurate content about their own voices whether it is in singing or speach. On a side note, the current hostility towards me/ganging up at this article (i.e. the eagerness to remove content that is supported by multiple reliable references) is beginning to raise some red flags in my mind. I appologize in advance if my suspicion is wrong, but please be aware that editing from multiple accounts under multiple editor names is not acceptable. If any of you are the same person you should be advised that wikipedia has a policy against this at Wikipedia:Sock puppetry.4meter4 (talk) 07:53, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I would be a pretty strange sockpuppet with more than 69,000 edits.
You said "an accurate definition should describe the typical person, not the unusual person." I disagree—the definition adapts to the topic. In the case of falsetto, the definition should focus the main effort on the typical usage (in skilled singing), not the typical person. These two are not equal in terms of usage and should not be made artificially equal in the article. Binksternet (talk) 09:16, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Same here. I'm well-established within Wikipedia. Pkeets (talk) 16:30, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
We'll just have to agree to disagree. Their may be room for describing both in this article if the references can be found. Regaurdless, the sources used were for professional singers anyway. Please do not remove content that is cited to multiple references; particularly essential content like this.4meter4 (talk) 09:29, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

More issues (tired of scrolling)[edit]

The disagreement about vocal registers is fairly well covered in that article, aside from the same invalid description of "falsetto" that I've been complaining about. Any in-depth discussion of registers should remain in that article. Perhaps it would be good to state in this article that the definition of falsetto is based on the register system, rather than the "chest, middle, head" system and leave the register discussion at that?

I agree with Carlmarche that a voice is a voice, and that everyone has the same physiology with only individual differences. Countertenors sound as if they're using the same techniques that mezzo-sopranos use to modulate in higher ranges. If you're using the definition of registers, this has to be falsetto, and production of that highly modulated voice quality has to be recognized in this article. There are other techniques to produce different sound qualities, more "pure" if you like to call it that. As Carlmarche says, singers are also aware when they have crossed passagio. There is a noticeable change in vocal chord function that normally occurs in a "middle" area where a singer or speaker can change back and forth easily between modal and falsetto. I personally suspect that "vocal fry" and "whistle" may be techniques rather than registers and that this passagio is the only real break in the average voice. Different techniques of modulation have differing levels of difficulty, and likely Vennard was aiming at a raw, unpracticed, unmodulated falsetto in his definition when he talks about it being relaxed. If you blow the same amount of air through it that you'd use for modal voice, then it will be breathy. However, this is not characteristic of how it's used, even in speech. The statement currently in the article about how "most people" and "rarer cases" sound is clearly wrong. Monroe is the only example I can come up with that's breathy.

The section on "female falsetto" reads much better now. However, the definition and the section on "Use in Speech" still need work. It's not just actors that use falsetto as a mechanism of speech. The ordinary person has various uses for it as a medium of expression. Again, it's very common (and documented by research) in regional and ethnic speech. Pkeets (talk) 17:51, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Would really love to talk to someone here to discuse how to improve the article which is full of inaccuracies. With no offence to the authors it looks like they always just picked up the first reference they have found on internet with no will to find anything else. For the beginning I have removed the 'breathy'. If nothing else, You were reffering there to a literature from 1975!!! Dont you think that science may be a bit forward since that time? I have asked seevral people including my pupils does my falsetto sounds breathy. They said no at all, all of them. I have asked them are the falsettos of Bee Gees, Modern Talking, Ian Gillan, King Diamond, or Michael Kiske breathy. The answer was NO. So, let me ask you, please, 4meter4, what do you mean by 'breathy' than? Please try explaine me because otherwise, the reference to the nearly 40 years old book, even written by somebody who may very easily mistake the sound of falsetto with something more breathy, may not be enough for the rules of Wikipedia. Yes, you can find a lot of other, much younger books saying the same. Isn't it just because they cite the same book still around! The readers of wikipedia deserve objectivity and truth and falsetto does NOT sound breathy. It sounds a bit hoarse when a singer cannot use it properly. Otherwise it is mostly very powerful sound, when done well. Breath is pushed from the lungs under relatively big pressure to make it vibrate in the head cavities. The same way it works in normal(modal) voice. When I sing any long note in the top octave in fff. Is this breath pressure the 'breathy' you mean? Carlmarche (talk) 01:48, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Actually. there was already one source from 2000 provided for the term 'breathy' in addition to the 1967 and 1975 sources which you deleted, and now I've added a fourth source (a recent book by and for medical doctors of the voice no less) which also describes falsetto as 'breathy'. Please stop POV pushing just because you don't like what the sources say. If this behavior continues I will seek assistance at WP:ANI. Sorry, I have no more time for this conversation at present, but hope to put some more time in at the article in a few weeks. Best.4meter4 (talk) 11:33, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I have now added a fifth reference from 2006 by Shirlee Emmons which states that "falsetto is characterized by a breathy, flutelike tone lacking in overtones". If you notice, I have now cited three singing reference books, a medical book on voice pathology, and a book on speach techniques for actors which all describe falsetto as breathy. This is a wide array of references written by authors from varying fields, all of which describe falsetto as "breathy" in nature.4meter4 (talk) 12:03, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm now doubting the "lacking in overtones" part, as it's easily added through resonance in the sinus cavities. If these references are all using the same phrasing, then Carlmarche is right that they're all quoting the same original text.
Where are you finding references that all say the same thing? Are you searching on "breathy falsetto"? I did a quick search and found this reference which describes different styles of falsetto singing. Here's one that describes notation for particular tone and technique. McKinney, who is quoted, contradicts Vennard in saying the "hooty" sound is a quality requested by some teachers. It also discusses the cultural acceptability of falsetto use which might be pertinent here--note that all the highly accomplished countertenors I posted above appear to be Russian.Pkeets (talk) 14:51, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Um, the fact that sources have very similar definitions on falsetto indicates to me that the definition is a widely accepted one among academics, not that it is a quote of one individual author or study (indeed WP:Verifiability policy has a multiple source requirement for this very reason). As for "hooty", I never included in the wikipedia article a judgement as to whether it was a good or bad sound; only that some teachers describe some falsetto voices as sounding "hooty". Whether hooty is bad or not is a matter of personal opinion. If you are interested, page 192-194 of this source gives a more detailed account of the research done with overtones and falsetto. Best. 4meter4 (talk) 06:54, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Going on about 'breathy'[edit]

I removed a big pile of references saying directly or implying that falsetto is always breathy. We cannot say this as a single fact when there are very good references in conflict, ones that say falsetto is a clear tone, not airy or breathy. I think the conflict is worthy of its own paragraph, with non-breathy references and breathy references compared and contrasted. We should follow WP:NPOV and tell the reader both sides, attributing each opinion to its author. Binksternet (talk) 17:59, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Also: if you search for breathy you will find the few references that mention it. Try searching for clear or for other descriptions of falsetto which do not put air into the tone. Binksternet (talk) 18:02, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree with this revision, but I don't think it's worth a paragraph; it's a tempest in a teapot. Would you also care to take a look at the paragraph on "Use In Speech"? Falsetto is not uncommon in human speech; this is a cultural POV. I agree that inability to speak any other way would be disphonia. I had added research documenting falsetto's use by particular groups that has been removed. Pkeets (talk) 20:15, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
if I may:O) I hope that the 'breathy' case is history for us so, we can move on. Pkeets, would you please post the research here for the start? Thanks :O) I am not a scientist, as you already know. All I know about the speech use is, that falsetto is used in speech 'to express fun' mostly in theatre. The same falsetto can also become a voice disorder - as Pkeets said - when the falsetto become a habitual and interupting or even avoiding modal(normal) phonation. I had have a client with this 'functional voice disorder' The same seems to be happening when a boy mutates. How it happen may be the matter of another discussion regarding the physiology, once we are done with the speech use perhaps. May be we could work together to find some sources to support/reject any information we have including mine own? Carlmarche (talk) 22:08, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I am skeptical that there is any real controversy among voice academics over the description of falsetto as "breathy". Please produce sources which specifically present a counter opinion, and then we can discuss it here. As it is, all I see is a bunch of personal opinions given without any supporting evidence. Regaurdless, the desription of "breathy" should remain as it is well supported per wikipedia's criteria at WP:Verifiability. Any counter opinions, if they truly exist in multiple independent sources, can also be added. Best.4meter4 (talk) 06:45, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I am sceptical too. Your aproach of any discussion makes me a bit worry about your future students and all the people you are working with, as you say. What else you need as a prove? Please, do me a favour. Go to youtube and play anything from BeeGees, or type Deep Purple - Child in Time. Or even better, listen any Orff's roasted swan- whuch is in huge majority sung by falsetto. This is the looking outside to double check the colour :O)) That sound you hear in the chorus in the Deep Purple song is a great falsetto. I am used to do this song as revival. I also have sung the swan couple times, however in modal voice, had to learn from others who sung it in falsetto. Do you concider any of those as 'breathy'? Please poit me to any 'breathy' falsetto on utube or so. It looks to me that you do not listen what we say here at all. Perhaps because you think you know everything like a lot of teachers think. You rather acusing us that we are 1 single person than go and ask somebody else or do a single step to find anything else. Please tell me at least one thing - does my written English looks like I am native English speaker? I suppose not while the others are. It make us at least 2 my dear colleague. This is something you will need to deal with, i am afraid. This is not about falsetto any more. This is about ego, your ego. We still can do a great work here all together but not in the way you showing us here Carlmarche (talk) 08:51, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Carlmarche, per wikipedia's purposes Youtube is not considered a reliable reference. What I am asking for from you are published reference works from which we can improve the article. On a different matter, please stop making this into a personal conversation. Stick to the facts. First, you have no idea what my personal opinion about falsetto is because I have not given it to you or included it in the article for that matter. On wikipedia we do not include our own personal opinions; merely report what can be proven in reliable published sources (even if we privately have a different opinion). Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not a place to write personal essays. Please read WP:What Wikipedia is not and WP:Verifiability.4meter4 (talk) 09:02, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Dear 4meter4, this is not about my personal oponion. This is about the fact that you already know that you are not right. You loosing the ground under your feet - we say in Czech. So, you do not listen any of those videos I have mentioned? Tell me one reason why, please? isn't it because those may prove you wrong? I am not asking you to put any of those to the article(apart of the fact that some videos are in article for while already and nobody say, they are not suppose to be there) If the ruless are as you say - i need to look - how can we show to the reader the sound. I suppose we should put examples of singing and speaking video to the article instead your 'breathy describtion', because a lot of people do not know what falsetto actually is. It may actually also happen to your scientist you cite very easily :O) Please dont worry about reporting me. I am really looking forward to talk to somebody who can end this silliness of yours at last :O) Carlmarche (talk) 09:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
The reason I am not responding about the youtube videos is because you are trying to bait me into a war of opinions outside of the realm of facts. At wikipedia we leave our personal opinions/research at the door. Please read the policy WP:No Original Research. You tell me to stick to letting the "experts" write the article, where we must assume you are the expert. I would say, however, that the experts are the published authors, not you. I find it incredible that you and the other editors in this conversation are so quick to dismiss the work of highly respected writers, voice teachers, and performers like Shirlee Emmons, Richard Miller, and William Vennard.4meter4 (talk) 09:32, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, what to say? They also believed that the World was flat for a 'short' while until they discovered the facts. All of these theories were also written in books :O) Carlmarche (talk) 10:04, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
What an odd comment. I don't think the flat earth theory is a good comparison. The sources I used can not truely be considered old as two of them were published less than 10 years ago. Regardless, it's not like the characteristic sound of falsetto is something that has changed or can be newly discovered. Falsetto vocal production hasn't gone through any sudden changes in the last several hundred years that I am aware of. It is what it is. That said, I can also produce sources that go back to the 18th and 19th centuries that also describe falsetto as "breathy". 300 years of writers describing falsetto as "breathy" shows it has stood the test of time unlike the flat earth theory. Also, you have still not provided a published source with a different opinion.4meter4 (talk) 10:10, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Sourcing and editing policies on Wikipedia[edit]

I'm not going to comment on the actual content of the debate, as this is not my field of expertise. But I am going to comment on some key misunderstandings of Wikipedia policy that have arisen in the discussion.

  • "Expert opinion" to inform content is used on Wikipedia only if that opinion can be referenced to published reliable sources. If an editor is a subject expert, then it should be easy for them to find such sources.
  • Unpublished opinions, no matter how "expert" they are (or are claimed to be) and regardless of whether or not they may be true, have no place in an article. This includes personal analysis of YouTube videos and synthesizing conclusions from them, "personal knowledge", "personal communications", etc.
  • No original research and Verifiability are key Wikipedia policies and absolutely essential when anonymous editing is allowed. This essay on expert editors provides more background on these issues, why they are considered such key policies on Wikipedia, and why even "experts" are required to respect them. This article is also instructive.
  • Neutral point of view is a non-negotiable policy on Wikipedia. It requires representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources.

No edit warrring is another key policy. Not only that, edit warrring is stupid and one of the most unconstructive time-sinks imaginable. I strongly suggest that those involved (on both sides of the debate) cut it out and work on the wording for an acceptable treatment of the "breathy" issue and any other contentious content in the article here on the talk page before radically changing the article. And, work it out in a way which respects Wikipedia's policies and shows respect for each other as well.

Voceditenore (talk) 11:47, 17 December 2011 (UTC)→

Excuse me? I thought the debate had been pretty civil, considering it started with a reversion of referenced material. Carlmarche and I have both been completely willing to discuss the issues and have made no attempt to edit the article further without consensus. I think there has been a problem with cherry-picking references to support a particular POV and then being adamant that no other references are acceptable. However, we've now arrived at consensus on two of the issues within the article. Your own tone seems a bit out of line. Pkeets (talk) 15:28, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Pkeets, I think that is rather unfair as their have been several uncivil remarks made above, and there has been a recent edit war over the content of "breathy". Further, no cherry picking of references has occured as no sources with another opinion have been presented by anyone here after I have made repeated requests to see these supposed "other views" in published material.4meter4 (talk) 15:58, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, it is more than obvious that 4meter4 knows how to aproach any unconfortable opponent. Just curious, have you made all your previews articles with the attitude you are showing off here? You have convinced me that you have absolutely no idea what falsetto is. Otherwise you would not write this nonsense about it although it was published thousant times. I have never asked you to put any video from utube to the article. However, the fact you have ignored my requests to listen to it looks a bit suspicious. I feel really sorry about your future students. With this approach of facts of yours they may have a lot of problems. Carlmarche (talk) 19:54, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Please read WP:Civil. Best.4meter4 (talk) 22:48, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
You know, I came to wikipedia with quite lot enthusiasm to do good. Me, as perhaps only real teacher here, I really care about what pupils learn, not only my own and not only because they pay me for it. I wanted to give a hand here if need and help to bust the dogmas and nonsense over the internet and books. Instead of a bit of will to find to truth, or at least a question about any possible reference at all, I have seen only ego and hunting for numbers of contributions. I do not know why the truth is not as 'google friendly' as the nonsense you publish here over Wikipedia. what I know is that you should feel ashamed to do something like that. I have a couple of possible explenations to the situation which made me to write this. You must be totally deaf if you cannot hear that falsetto is not breathy(at least characteristically) and also, that counter tenor sounds (at least a bit) different from a falsetto. I have heard enough of counter tenors(on the stage next to me) and falsetto in my life to know this. I am not sure about you, mister singing teacher, but I really cannot imagine to sing Handels coloraturas in a breathy falsetto :O)))) Or, you know about these thinks the same as I, but you just ignoring the facts just because you have the same dificulty to find any published prove of it as I do have. This possibility would put the Wikipedia rules in to very bad light, i suppose. Where this would put yourself to than? Again. i feel thrully sorry for all the people around you the same as I feel really sorry for all the readers of this funny thing around. Now, i finaly know how it is made. This funny rules alowes 'scientists' like you are, 4meter4, to manipulate with facts and spray even more nonsense around. And don't worry about WP:Civil, as long as it protect activity of people like you, I have nothing to do here any more. Good bye Carlmarche (talk) 03:44, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Use in speech[edit]

Here's the version I wrote of the paragraph, which was reverted:

The ability to speak within the falsetto register is possible for almost all men and women. The use of falsetto is considered uncommon in normal Western speech, and is most often employed within the context of humor.[1] However, the use of falsetto speech varies by culture and its use has been studied in African Americans[2] and gay men[3] in certain contexts. Some people who speak frequently or entirely in the falsetto register are identified by speech pathologists as suffering from a functional dysphonia.[1] Falsetto also describes the momentary, but often repeated, fluctuations in pitch emitted by pubescent boys or girls undergoing voice change.

  1. ^ a b Cooper, Morton (1973). Modern Techniques of Vocal Rehabilitation. Charles C. Thomas. 
  2. ^ Nielsen, Rasmus (2010). ""I ain’t Never Been Charged with Nothing!": The Use of Falsetto Speech as a Linguistic Strategy of Indignation". University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 15 (2, Article 13) (University of Pennsylvania). Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Podesva, Robert J. Podesva (2007). "Phonation type as a stylistic variable: The use of falsetto in constructing a persona". Journal of Sociolinguistics (Blackwell Publishing Ltd) 11 (4): 478–504. 

Pkeets(talk) 22:43, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Here's also a reference which theorizes that US Southerners got the habit from African Americans, but they haven't looked at its use in British English. Here's a reference that discusses the pitch differences of British English. See Palmer and also Dench in a drama and Routledge in a comedy. Pkeets (talk) 23:23, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
These look excellent, and I support their inclusion. Good work! Also, I appologize for removing some of this content earlier when I reverted the article a few days ago. I should have left everything you've given here in. Have you considered using any of the speach pathology references I listed on your talk page? Best. 4meter4 (talk) 08:38, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I looked at them. They would be useful if we want to expand the section with discussion of dysphonia. Is that appropriate here? There is a separate article on dysphonia. Pkeets (talk) 15:41, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps a slightly expanded clarification would be appropriate, if only to avoid any other miscommunication/offence to that section based on your initial reaction above. I wouldn't add more then two or three sentences though. It might be appropriate to note that some people who speak only in falsetto have developed lesions on their vocal cords which is why treatment for the dysphonia became medically necessary. Should we add something about falsetto in the dysphonia article as well?4meter4 (talk) 17:06, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Maybe later. I don't want to take it on right now. My complaint about this section was the Western POV that failed to mention cultural differences. Pkeets (talk) 17:47, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the posting dear Pkeets. Please do not take me wrong but I cannot find any falsetto on those videos you have posted. Or may be I did not watch all of them. Woud you please tell me in case I have missunderstood anything? Thank you so much Carlmarche (talk) 09:02, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
The British have large pitch differences in their conversational English so that they run up into falsetto and down again within a sentence. Routledge is in a comedy and is emphasizing the pitch change. She is in falsetto immediately when she answers the phone. "No dear..." at 1:22 should be clearer. It's harder to hear the women do it, but Palmer is a man. Check for him to do it clearly at 1:14. You might also like to listen to Eddie Murphy imitating a child. This is within his comedy act, but you'll notice he's very practiced at it. Pkeets (talk) 15:53, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I guess that's consensus on the "Use in speech" section? I added back the paragraph above with the additional references on the US South and British English. Participating editors might also want to look at what I had done to clean up the "Musical History" section, too. It's very poorly organized. Pkeets (talk) 17:38, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
4meter4, if we're to have consensus, you'll need to discuss changes before you make them. The text about girls was in the paragraph above which you approved, and now you've removed it? I've just added a reference and a link to the article on puberphonia. Please check what it says. Pkeets (talk) 19:48, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I looked at the source, and clarified the content somewhat in the article. Please let me know what you think. Sorry I missed the addition of girls in my read through here earlier. In fututre I'll discuss things here first. Best.4meter4 (talk) 21:45, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

More references on "breathy"[edit]

See Bel Canto p. 71 where Garcia describes the passagio octave as breathy, but says the voice becomes brilliant in higher ranges after that. Also see Lehrbuch der Stimm- und Sprachheilkunde which defines falsetto as "natural", "artistic" or "full tone". Here's a description from Giles: "The tone of totally undeveloped falsetto is usually soft, fluty, pleasant and rather weak."

Here's a very reasonable discussion that rings true. See page 14 in The adult male alto or counter-tenor voice which defines the "countertenor" voice (full and rich) and the "falsetto alto" voice (with a marked passagio break). P. 29 includes the description "thin and flute-like." P. 39 says that untrained falsetto can be "rich and strong" or it may be "poor and weak" depending on the quality of the voice. Pkeets (talk) 18:46, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you so much, Pkeets. I suppose we may need a published recording of spoken and sung falsetto or some article sauing that Mr Vennard was totally wrong because he had no idea what falsetto is the same as 4meter4 :O). I am not sure how helpful could i be in research with my English reading however, I do my best, I promise. We will bust this nonsense, don't worry. I also promise I will look at the videos again. Cheers Carlmarche (talk) 20:04, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the references have to be in English. If the text can be translated through Babelfish, etc. then they're fair game. This is all interesting reading. I agree that "breathy" is a common method of getting past the passagio, although there are other methods, as well. The discussion of "one register" and "two register" voices is also enlightening. For voices with a break, there really is about a whole octave where the voice is in danger of breaking that requires different technique. However, for "one register" voices, this is unnecessary. Pkeets (talk) 20:22, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
4meter4, reviewing the references above, would you go with Binksternet's suggestion that we have a section on "definition" that discusses different descriptions of it? "Fluty" or "Flute-like" occurs often as a description, but other adjectives seem to differ. I've found several that make no mention of "breathy." Pkeets (talk) 22:17, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I think there is room for all of these sources. I will work on drafting a neutral paragraph tommorow which includes the sources you have provided in addition to the sources that describe falsetto's characteristic sound as breathy. There is no reason to censor any one perspective. I am off for now as I have "real life" obligations. Best.4meter4 (talk) 22:56, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Here we go after year. I have found something what can solve this problem. We all were right with the breathy/non-breathy falsetto. There are two kinds of falsetto out there. Have already added it into the article. I assume the whole article needs to be reviewed to get more logic regarding those new info. I am not brave enough to do so regarding the fact that English is not my first language. --Carlmarche (talk) 01:10, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Countertenors[edit]

It appears we have another area of contention here. Richard Miller states here, that "most countertenors use a developed falsetto voice". There are a whole slew of other references here. Best. 4meter4 (talk) 20:42, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Using the definition we've established that falsetto is the range above modal voice, I agree. However, for voices with a notable passagio break, there is an octave where the modal and falsetto can be blended in various ways. For voices without a clear break, there might be some contention about what really is falsetto. Stubbs above says the true "countertenor voice" is single register and has no break. Pkeets (talk) 20:51, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there are a lot of different writers who advocate a theory of 'blended registers', and there are those who only believe in one register. Still, there are others that believe that so called "breaks" are a result of resonation problems instead of registration issues. There are also those who don't believe in register blending, and of course there are a multitude of different opinions about the number and names of the registers among writers on singing. I personally have no definite opinion since I am not a countertenor, nor have I taught countertenors. I hesitate to even put any of these views about registers in the article, as it would not be fair to only mention one or two. Much of this kind of content really doesn't belong in the falsetto article but in the countertenor artice. I think we need to be careful not to get too technical here about countertenor voice techniques; otherwise we'll have to spend several paragraphs writing on the multitude of opinions surrounding countertenor technique. All of that really belongs in the countertenor article itself in my opinion.4meter4 (talk) 21:57, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
That's fine with me. This article only needs to feature the term "countertenor" to lead to this discussion. Pkeets (talk) 22:26, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Removal of fringe opinion[edit]

I restored the article to a previous version that I believe to be a more accurate description of the term falsetto that is widely accepted across multiple academic disciplines. The version that I removed was based on one, not multiple, sources, and was spouting strange ideas not found in other important publications on this topic. I therefore removed it based on WP:Fringe.4meter4 (talk) 02:48, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, I am not surprised to be honest. I know a few months already that a personality like yours will show no will to accept any new information which are against your believes. Your great advantage is that I do not care about wikipedia as much as I would study those rules and argue with you again. Let people read one half of the story because some 4meter4 wants it. However, I have found the information for you. It is there whenever you want it. Have a nice day. One question for you MR Know Everything. Are you familiar with the name Ian Gillan? There is song he recorded in 1970 with the band Deep Purple. It is called Child in Time. Do yourself a favor. Listen to it and tell yourself what is it what he sings in the chorus and does it sounds breathy. Have a nice day Mr More Accurate Carlmarche (talk) 05:34, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
i suppose that unless you are the owner of the Wikipedia it is not your call to decide what information is fringe and which is more valuable. I gave you TWO published sources which state that there is another theory of the falsetto physiology. And you neither Miller who denies this theory, if he lives, have right to delete this information from the Wikipedia. So, I assume you undo again or you at least include the info I gave you to the article. Or shall I ask wikipedia for help? Carlmarche (talk) 06:44, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Carlmarche please lets stick to discussing the topic and avoid WP:Personal attacks. After examining the McCallion source, I think your take on it is WP:Original Synthesis/WP:Undo Weight. Further, much of the language you used was a little too closely paraphrased for my liking. You can use attributed quotes if you need to, but please be careful to avoid plagiarism.
It should be noted that McCallion was a voice instructor not for singers but for actors, and his writing is skewed in that direction. He was also not a voice scientist in the sense that he did not do physiological research of any kind involving phoboscopes or electromyographic studies. He is therefore not really a good source for the physiological process of falsetto unlike many of the other writers already sourced. Second, if one actually reads what McCallion says he is saying that a breathy falsetto is the result of poor breath support and the failure to engage certain laryngeal muscles. The fact that he decided to describe the two as different falsettos was his idiosincracy. He basically was pointing out that there is a proper vocal technique of producing falsetto which I don't think any writer on the topic would disagree with. However, properly produced falsetto and improperly produced falsetto still use the same phonatory process within the larynx which distinguishes it from the other registers. To somehow suggest that there are two different kinds of falsetto with two seperate physiological processes is misleading and confusing and frankly not scientifically accurate.
Other writers sourced in this article address the same issues as McCallion but choose to say there is one kind of falsetto, just like there is only one of every other vocal register, and with that register there is potential for vocal issues which are a result of improper vocal technique. As to what is the propper vocal technique... there are many opinions. I do think McCallion's view should be included, but the language needs to be tweaked to be in balance with the majority of other published scholars on this topic. I think you are also reading too much into the descriptive term "breathy". I don't think it is meant to suggest that falsetto is incapable of being produced with a strong centered tone, but more that falsetto has a breathier quality than the modal voice. Best.4meter4 (talk) 04:36, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I believe that whatever you think you are or you think about this topic is not relevant as you are not author but ONLY Wikipedist, Sir. My English may be not clear however believe, you understand well. It is not up to you to judge writers! I have to insist you include the information I have provided to the article. People do have right to know this information and you WILL NOT avoid this right. Carlmarche (talk) 12:07, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Last time I have double checked, Wikipedia was still encyklopedia. Which means, there is no room for personal judgements of wikipedists about the topics. There are informations out there and you must not ignore them.Carlmarche (talk) 14:06, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
The problems 4meter4 brings up (WP:UNDUE, WP:OR) are still relevant to your reinstated text. Please discuss here why 4meter4 is wrong.
On an aside, it is incorrect to believe that editors cannot assert editorial judgement, especially when it comes to the matter of reliable sourcing, the amount of weight one subtopic has within a more broad topic, and your own interpretation of what the sourcing says. If you would like to come up with draft text below, feel free. --Izno (talk) 14:39, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I understand that a Wikipedist must judge in between reliabilities. But I am sure it does not mean he/she should delete any info which does not fit to his/her image of the article or, it does not suit to his/her own believes regarding particular topic. Sorry, but it looks to me like that regarding what happening here. I am providing info, which nobody found yet may be just because nobody was looking for it. The fact that I am limited in English or in Wiki skills does not necessary mean the info provided by myself must be ignored. All I am asking is stop deleting it and work it in. Carlmarche (talk) 18:20, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Carlmarche, your recent editing is not helpful. You are WP:Cherry picking comments from sources in order to skew the article towards your perspective without giving the necessary context from those sources. For example, Miller's elaboration on falsetto having diverse meanings in other sections of the book has more to do with highlighting differences of thought between speach scientists (vocal pathology) versus teachers of singing (vocal pedagogy). Previous versions of this article have tried to emphasize the similarities between the two, but perhaps a more detailed discussion of the differences is warranted. This certainly is not what you have done.

Second, the historical etimology of the term falsetto should certainly be presented.However, it should be done without cherrypicking sources and be placed in its own section and not in the article's lead. Also, I disagree that there is confusion among current scholarship as to providing a clear broad definition for falsetto, as this article does. There are differences of opinion in the minor details, but this is not really what you are suggesting in the articles current version.

Finally, my overall comment is that you are not trying to present a fair assessment of falsetto. You are choosing to emphasize the extroadinary and not the ordinary. That really isn't a good way to define a topic. There is a reason why writers chose to remark on the non-breathy falsetto of Charles Incledon (or other extroadindary singers for that matter)... becuase it was atypical. There is a reason why professional countertenors make money, they have atypical falsetto production. They have an unusual and therefore valuable talent. The typical person is going to sound breathy when they use falsetto, and an accurate definition should reflect that. Best.4meter4 (talk) 16:03, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Whatever it seems to be I am trying, I am not trying to emphasize. I gave you some information - facts which shouldn't be ignored in Wikipedia but you just delete them. Please try work them in somehow. The fact that I cannot put those correctly, regarding my English or skills on Wikipedia does not mean those infos should not be there. Thanks. Carlmarche (talk) 18:11, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Vast majority of publications state that falsetto regards to males only. Is not it similar to this matter by any chance? Why do you even mention the female falsetto in the article if everyone say it is in male only, if Miller says it is nonsense to talk about it? Not trying to provoke. Trying to understand what makes you delete the info about vetricular folds falsetto, or unbreathy falsetto for the only reason it is sourced not as often as your flexed not fully closed vocal cords breathy one. Carlmarche (talk) 18:49, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Sigh. Multiple sources do recognize the exsistence of female falsetto, several of which are included in this article (something you could see from the inline citations). Much of the research done into the topic was done with stroboscopes and electromyographs in the 1950s and 1960s; studies which confirm the exsitence of female falsetto as a reality. Sources written before did not benefit from that research and could not be expected to address the issue of female falsetto accurately due to lack of research/evidence. Of course there are still disenting opinions, such as Miller's. But even Miller pointed out that the concept of female falsetto is widely accepted in the German and French speaking world, and by many in the US/UK. That section on female falsetto is a perfect example of what wikipedia is trying to achieve: neutral, factually accurate, and cited to multiple sources. I reverted your version because you failed to provide multiple sources for some of those points, failed to interpret the material in context with the sources you got them from, excluded sources with counter opinions, and, more seriously, copied much of the material verbatim from the cited material. Please try to avoid copying or close paraphrasing in the future. That said, I liked some of the material you added and concede that the article could be improved. However, that content needs to be presented in balance with other references on this topic. Thanks.4meter4 (talk) 21:18, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

4meter4's sigh and my concerns[edit]

Only because Mr 4meter4 had reverted any of contributions of mine given to this article so far I did not have a single chance to develop it. His article called ¨falsetto¨ is not about falsetto. It may be about his arrogance, who knows. There are a huge contraries regarding only the definition of falsetto. There are many signs of entirely different falsetto compare those info which Mr 4meter4 such anxiously protects. In England, Italy or Spain 16th century were described entirely different types of falsettos. On the top of it, Mr 4meter4 perhaps never heard Pavarotti singing falsetto, or the falsetto of Ian Gillan. Singing of King Diamond is based on falsetto. What about Michael Kiske? Is it not falsetto? Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston do (did) not sing falsetto? Does any of these falsettos sound breathy? Not to me. Isn't out there published a note about those? Maybe only because 4meter4 does not look for it. Why? It would not fit to his article. He would have to admit that his ONLY source Vennard was probably having in the chair something else than falsetto or he was drunk. 4meter4 quickly opened two or three books and things he had swallowed the World. The whole physiology of his ¨only¨ falsetto is based on encyclopedia? Well, perhaps it is enough for Wikipedia or himself. But not for me. No. There is much more out there only regarding physiology. Much much more. And just because you allow idiots like 4meter4 to ¨develop¨ Wikipedia, the people, the readers of Wikipedia will read shit. Where are any proves of the research regarding female falsetto at 60ies, Mr Know Everything? Feel free to block me again. I have no desire to write here any more. Carlmarche (talk) 17:18, 6 January 2013 (UTC)