Manual Distinction: The Essential Guide to Doing Remarkably Well in Your Piano Exams

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Tenor tessitura: The tessitura of the tenor voice lies above the baritone voice and below the countertenor voice.

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The leggero tenor has the highest tessitura of all the tenor subtypes. Tenor subtypes: Tenors are often divided into different subcategories based on range, vocal color or timbre, the weight of the voice, and dexterity of the voice. Tenors are often broken down into seven subcategories: tenore contraltino , leggero tenor or tenore di grazia , lyric tenor, spinto tenor or tenore spinto , dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and baritenor. Baritone range: The baritone voice is the middle-range voice type for males; it lies between the bass and tenor ranges, overlapping both of them.

A baritone's range might extend down to F2 or up to C5.

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The baritone voice type is the most common male voice. Baritone tessitura: Although this voice range overlaps both the tenor and bass ranges, the tessitura of the baritone is lower than that of the tenor and higher than that of the bass. Baritone subtypes: Baritones are often divided into different subcategories based on range, vocal color or timbre, the weight of the voice, and dexterity of the voice. Baritones are often broken down into nine subcategories: baryton-Martin, lyric baritone, bel canto or coloratura baritone, kavalierbariton , heldenbaritone , Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble , and bass-baritone.

Bass range: The bass is the lowest singing voice. The bass voice has the lowest tessitura of all the voices. In the lower and upper extremes of the bass voice, some basses can sing from C2 two octaves below middle C to G4 the G above middle C. Bass subtypes: Basses are often divided into different subcategories based on range, vocal color or timbre, the weight of the voice, and dexterity of the voice. Basses are often broken down into six subcategories: basso profondo , basso buffo, bel canto bass, basso cantante, dramatic bass, and bass-baritone.

Vocal pedagogues generally consider four main qualities of a human voice when attempting to classify it: vocal range , tessitura , timbre , and vocal transition points known as passaggio. However, teachers may also consider physical characteristics, speech level, scientific testing, and other factors such as vocal register.

Voice classification into the correct voice type is important for vocal pedagogues and singers as a guiding tool for the development of the voice. Mis-classification of a singer's voice type is dangerous. It can damage the vocal cords, shorten a singing career, and lead to the loss of both vocal beauty and free vocal production. Some of these dangers are not immediate ones; the human voice is quite resilient, especially in early adulthood, and the damage may not make its appearance for months or even years. Unfortunately, this lack of apparent immediate harm can cause singers to develop bad habits that will over time cause irreparable damage to the voice.

Clinical evidence indicates that singing at a pitch level that is either too high or too low creates vocal pathology. A number of medical authorities have indicated that singing at too high a pitch level may contribute to certain vocal disorders.

Voice type

Medical evidence indicates that singing at too high of a pitch level may lead to the development of vocal cord nodules. Increasing tension on the vocal cords is one of the means of raising pitch. Singing above an individual's best tessitura keeps the vocal cords under a great deal of unnecessary tension for long periods of time, and the possibility of vocal abuse is greatly increased. Singing at too low a pitch level is not as likely to be damaging unless a singer tries to force the voice down.


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Many vocal pedagogues warn of the dangers of quick identification. Premature concern with classification can result in misclassification, with all its attendant dangers. Notable vocal pedagogue William Vennard has stated, "I never feel any urgency about classifying a beginning student.

So many premature diagnoses have been proved wrong, and it can be harmful to the student and embarrassing to the teacher to keep striving for an ill-chosen goal. It is best to begin in the middle part of the voice and work upward and downward until the voice classifies itself. When techniques of posture, breathing, phonation , resonation, and articulation have become established in this comfortable area, the true quality of the voice will emerge and the upper and lower limits of the range can be explored safely.

Only then can a tentative classification be arrived at, and it may be adjusted as the voice continues to develop. The reason for this is that the majority of individuals possess medium voices and therefore this approach is less likely to mis-classify or damage the voice. Unlike other classification systems, choral music divides voices solely on the basis of vocal range. Choral music most commonly divides vocal parts into high and low voices within each sex: soprano and alto vocal ranges for females, tenor and bass vocal ranges for males SATB , and occasionally treble for children.

As a result, the typical chorus affords many opportunities for misclassification to occur.

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Either option can present problems for the singer, but for most singers there are fewer dangers in singing too low, than in singing too high. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Voice typing. This article focuses on voice classification within classical music. For other contemporary styles of singing see: Voice classification in non-classical music.

Main articles: Treble voice and Boy soprano.


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Main article: Soprano. Main article: Mezzo-soprano. Main articles: Alto and Contralto. Main article: Countertenor. Beats take the backseat to pure texture, and the tracks are often built entirely out of distorted relaxation-music touchstones, like babbling brooks, birdsong, and New Age drones. Though listening through headphones offers a soothing escape, the album is best experienced as background noise, like traditional Japanese environmental music.

Put it on, find something to do, and let it linger at the edge of your attention. Performance artist Anna Homler is best known for her s project Breadwoman, which was rediscovered by a new generation thanks to a reissue by RVNG. Each track features a different producer, but Homler adapts her otherworldly voice to each, unifying them all. Visible Cloaks, the Portland duo of Spencer Doran and Ryan Carlile, sharpened ambient music to an icy, pristine edge on their dazzling album Reassemblage.

Merging ancient instruments and ASMR-inspired digital production, they sounded utterly removed from time. For serenitatem, Visible Cloaks connected with Japanese ambient pioneer Yoshio Ojima, whose own work from the s sounds like it could have been released yesterday. Visible Cloaks feel primed for a big statement on their next album, but serenitatem is an essential detour and a platonic ideal of the FRKWYS mission. Dominick Fernow remains a pillar of the U.

Once a lesser-known side project, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement bridges those two extremes. That M. Though the Myst series is defined by its ambience, every fragmented guitar lick and free jazz flourish only enhances its already eerie-as-hell atmosphere. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Beethoven Sonata in A, Op. But the clear phrase structure remains typically Classical. The constant flow of the central minor-key section is somewhat reminiscent of the Baroque, but the sudden accents are pure Beethoven.

Building on the trend towards self-expression pioneered by Beethoven, the Romantic composers found ways of increasing the emotional intensity of their music. Melody and Phrasing — melody is at the heart of Romantic music, and in general the melodies are longer, slower and more expansive than before.

Texture — almost always homophonic. A typical piano texture is an arching melodic line supported by a wide-ranging arpeggio figuration in the left hand. Textures tend to be thicker than in previous music, with plenty of big chordal passages and dramatic flourishes. Harmony — richer and increasingly chromatic. Dynamics — a significantly greater range than before, with much more use of crescendo and diminuendo.

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But sudden lurches from a whispering pianissimo to a thundering fortissimo or vice-versa are also common. Ornaments — although much of the treble figuration is quite decorative, and trills are still used frequently, the other kinds of ornamentation centred around a single note, so typical of the Baroque and Classical periods, are rare in Romantic music.

Keyboard range — pretty much the full range of the modern piano, often used to powerful effect. Pedal — the sustaining pedal is used extensively, particularly to retain the sound in lyrical passages where the accompaniment is ranging freely over several octaves. Chopin Prelude in E minor, Op.

Liszt Consolation No. Brahms Rhapsody in G minor, Op. The breakdown of the old certainties of society at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, heightened by the tragedy of the 1st World War, propelled composers away from the lush magnificence of late-Romantic music into a leaner and often more aggressive style. Melodies — the long emotional melodies of the Romantic period were dead. Textures — a real variety; sometimes very dense, sometimes thin.

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Harmony — the most progressive composers abandoned the traditional major-minor harmonic system. Sometimes there was no sense of key at all — the technical term for this is atonal. The best word to use in your exam answers is dissonant. Rhythm and metre — can be highly variable, with frequent and sometimes disorientating changes of time signature and accents.

Dynamics — sudden, dramatic contrasts can be a feature. Keyboard range — the full range is of course available, although sometimes contemporary composers choose a restrictive range. Pedal — can be extensive, but the style is often dry and percussive, with limited pedal.

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As a general hint, even if the extract has elements that might seem to belong to other periods, if it is dissonant , it is most likely to be Twentieth-Century. Prokofiev No. Your exam extract may be a jazz-influenced piece. The main ingredients of jazz are:. Swung Rhythms — where 2 normally equal notes, e.