The 6 Voice Types and their Ranges

By Jade Bultitude
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In classical music we classify voices into different voice categories. Although everyone human voice is different, voice types can be categorized into six main voice types. If you have sung any choral music before you may well have heard of these. These are:

When thinking about the typical vocal range of a particular voice, we think about the lowest note of the singing voice and the highest note of the singing voice. Although some people may be able to sing higher or lower than these ranges, what we will look at are the most typical vocal ranges.

It is important to note that although these labels are usually applied to classical music these voice categories can also be applied to popular music, contemporary music and any other music than invoices the voice!

Let’s look at each voice type in more detail, particularly focusing on their vocal range and specific vocal qualities. First we will look at the female voice types. The soprano, mezzo soprano and alto voices.

Soprano

The soprano is the highest human voice and is most usually a female voice. The typical soprano voice range is from middle C up to the second A above middle C.

To get a better picture of the vocal range have a look at the range on the piano keyboard.

An example of a soprano singer would be Renee Fleming and Anna Netrebko.

Mezzo Soprano

Just slightly lower than the soprano is the mezzo soprano voice. Again, this voice type is most usually sung by a female. The mezzo soprano voice range is usually from the A below middle C up to the F or G at the top of the treble stave.

To get a better picture of the vocal range have a look at the range on the piano keyboard.

An example of a this voice type would be Katherine Jenkins.

Alto

The alto voice is usually the lowest female voice and goes from the G below middle C up to the D at the top of the stave.

To get a better picture of the vocal range have a look at the range on the piano keyboard.

An example alto singer is Annie Lennox.

Tenor

The tenor voice is the highest male voice range. The typical range is from the C below middle C up to the E above middle C.

To get a better picture of the vocal range have a look at the range on the piano keyboard.

Baritone

The baritone voice lies between the tenor and bass voices. The typical baritone range is from two G’s below middle C to the E above middle C.

To get a better picture of the vocal range have a look at the range on the piano keyboard.

Bass

The bass is the lowest of the voice types and is always sung by the male voice. It’s typical range is from the second F below middle C to the D just above middle C.

To get a better picture of the vocal range have a look at the range on the piano keyboard.

Grade 5 Music Theory

If you’re taking ABRSM grade 5 Music Theory then you will need to know all of these voice types. We have a complete guide available so that you can maximise your revision and the mark you get in the exam.

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AUTHOR
Jade is an experienced musician and teacher as well as being the founder of Music Theory Foundations. She has been helping people learn music theory for more than 10 years from pre school children all the way to degree level studies.

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