Talk:Vocal weight

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Proposed edits[edit]

I happened upon this article via another, and I have a few questions/potential objections that I thought I'd ask about before just jumping in and editing. In no particular order:

  • The classification "piccolo" simply doesn't exist for voice. I've read a fair bit on vocal training and I've never seen it. A Google seach doesn't turn it up anywhere except here and, which gets it from here; the Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians doesn't list it. Looking at various article histories, in particular the one on the piccolo, it seems to be something that an unregisterd user put in an article and has since spread. If someone can point me to a real source that uses this term I'm fine with it, but I certainly don't know of such a thing.
  • Same point with "splint" - never run across it, nothing turns up on Google, nothing in Grove. Can anyone tell me where this comes from?
  • Similar point on "full" as a voice type. This is much harder to research as "full" is used with a variety of meanings in singing - a Google search turns up thousands of pages with various contexts. Again, though, I've never run across it used with this meaning and it's not in Grove. Help?

--George 02:57, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Splint comes from Estelle Liebling's book on voice. Piccolo isn't a "classification" but an adjective denoting a particular type of coloratura. Full voice I learned on here Antares33712 13:21, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Classical vs. pop examples[edit]

Almost all examples in this article are non-classical singers, while the terminology used ("lyric soprano", "coloratura" etc.) was developed for operatic voices and is not really applicable to pop singers, or only by analogy. In general, this article lacks objectivity. - Karl Stas 19:52, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

If you think about it, I never heard about pop singer voicetype classification, and opera singers are quite obsure nowdays -- making such analogy needed. I just think it lack examples, could use a little more explanation, etc. - Random User, 23:50 (GMT -3), 2005/Jul/4.

- I did think this piece was a bit unusual, but I can see the pedagogical value in applying these categories to more "familiar" voices. Whether or not the categorizations made are appropriate is beyond my scope, but I don't know why the idea should be offensive in itself. The point of the article is to discuss the concept of vocal weight, which presumably refers to some relatively robust consensus (e.g., "any singer who can be called "lyric" must have characteristic agility, and sing in the middle range") which can be more or less verified. I agree that some reference to the singers upon whom the critical tradition is built should be included.

Wynn, 12:12, Oct. 7


While I appreciate the attempts to make this page accessible to non-operatic types, the inclusion of pop singers to illustrate operatic voice-types is patently wrong (i.e. heldentenors include USHER?!). The faulty rationale in applying operatic fachs to Pop singers is that they will never be placed in a dramatic situation on-stage. Usher will most-certainly never sing Siegfried or Florestan. This page NEEDS to be clarified and amended to explain the DRAMATIC conventions that contribute to the classification of fachs.

I agree, which is why I majorly revised the page just now. Hope that it's improved.

Could not a new heading be devised, specifiying that this article applies to operatic or classical voices which are generally heard without the use of microphones. That it does NOT apply to musicals or pop singers? Orbicle 16:36, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Equally, an alternative name from "Vocal weight" might be more a propos. Voice Types, perhaps? Orbicle 16:36, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Kathleen Battle a lyric soprano??[edit]

I think not! She was also on the soubrette list, and that is where she belongs. She is the soubrette of soubrettes, and has a very flexible voice, but she is NOT a lyric.

In other words, I removed her name from the list of lyric sopranos, because it does not belong there.

Signed, a rabid Battle fan.

(I mean this all in good spirit, of course.)

Melange fiesta 20:11, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't know enough to agree or disagree, but some promo material listed her lyric voice having the brightness of sunlight and the coherence of a laser beam. Also, she can sing the High E and what-not, no? 05:13, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't matter how high someone can sing: tessitura and vocal weight are what matters. I can hit E6 too, but my light vocal weight and bright timbre keep me a soubrette.

She's a soubrette. Like listening to a wonderful youth, even in her elder years as she approaches them.--I'll bring the food 02:40, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I see Battle is still listed as a lyric and her name is absent from soubrette. I agree completely with those above who say she is NOT a lyric soprano. NickBigD March 20, 2007

Edit of 'Spinto' examples[edit]

The title role of Werther is a lyric tenor role, not a spinto. I have replaced it with a better example, Canio in I Pagliacci. Likewise, Alfredo Kraus was definitely not a spinto tenor. I replaced him with a better example, Plácido Domingo. Kraus was a lyric tenor, although he even found some lyric tenor roles too heavy for his voice (e.g. Rodolfo in La Boheme, which he retired from his repertoire after one run). Kraus also sang several light lyric (sometimes called 'tenore di grazia') roles. His repertoire overlapped with both that of Juan Diego Florez, e.g. Tonio in La Fille du regiment, Arturo in I Puritani and the lighter Verdi roles sung by Pavarotti, e.g. The Duke in Rigoletto and Alfredo in La Traviata. He was also a famous Werther, of course. In general, this article has a bit of a problem because many roles can be sung by more than one type of tenor, e.g The Duke in Rigoletto (lyric and light lyric tenors), Don Jose in Carmen (spinto and heroic tenors). Conversely, many tenors have regularly sung more than one role type. Jose Carreras sang both lyric and spinto roles, as did Domingo. Domingo has also sung some 'heroic' tenor roles such as Otello, and Siegmund in Die Walküre. The same is true of many of the other voice types discussed here. It might be worth pointing this out somewhere in the article. See also:

Voceditenore 17:04, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Domingo is a Spinto?[edit]

I dont think so! Pavarotti is a spinto and also a lirico but Domingo is a Drammatico. You can tell from their voices, Pavarotti's is a bit thinner than Domingo. Well, I can see that the sub-categories of tenor lack of the most important heroic tenor, tenore drammatico. - Jay 04:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I have made some amendment in "Tenor Categories" and put some remarks to explain about categories. The categories cannot be locked, most tenors changed or extend their repertoire based on the needs and demands. Domingo just "switched" to baritone lately but that doesn’t mean he is a baritone. He is just playing the drama (Simon Boccanegra aka doge of Genoa) and it requires that voice range - Jay 05:13, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
No, Domingo is a lirico spinto. Dramatics include Corelli and del Monaco- both of their voices are substantially larger than Domingo's. Doublea 21:19, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Domingo is a Dramatic. It goes by tessitura, and he's a low one at that. (His voice is not small either.) Operalala 22:01, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Heldentenor range[edit]

It says a Heldentenor is "capable of reaching the low G or A below Middle C..." I don't know much about opera, but even church choir tenors routinely sing much lower than that. It probably means G or A below low C (C3). Fach#Echter Heldentenor says "B below low C" with a treble clef showing a B an octave plus one half step below middle C (notice the 8 under the treble clef - although I wouldn't trust those treble clef images too far - see Talk:Fach#Treble clef images.) Art LaPella 03:49, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Suggest splitting vocal weight and voice type[edit]

Would there be any objection to moving all the classification stuff to a separate page voice type (leaving the first paragraph as vocal weight). Vocal weight is just one of several factors in determining voice type. 23:34, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

OK it's done - new, cleaned up (no red links etc.) Voice types page. Operalala 23:12, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

still unanswered[edit]

The article still doesn't ęxplain what that "perceived heaviness" or "lightness" actually is. (talk) 02:24, 1 January 2010 (UTC)