What am I a Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass?
My advice to most singers is: "If it feels wrong, it IS WRONG". Vocal fatigue is a "red light" to any singer whether they are professional or amateur. Vocal health is dependent on exercising the voice correctly. Thomas Hampson was asked what fach he was, and he replied, “Singing is not about timbres or category labels, singing is about fascinating acoustical properties like the colors of the human voice which derive from thought and emotion”.
Guide to the Singing Voice
by Graeme Kay
There are four main voice-types in singing: soprano, alto, tenor and bass, representing the upper and lower pitch extremes of the female and male vocal ranges. Choral music is invariably set out for combinations of the SATB voice spectrum.
However, in opera and song, these pitch categories are sub-divided into voice-types which reflect not just the singer's range, but also the dramatic requirements of his or her roles.
The German term Fach (literally, 'division') is often used as shorthand for voice-type specialization. But beware: when you look into the history of singing, you find that the trend for singers to work almost exclusively within their own Fach is a modern one. In former times, some singers - for instance Maria Callas - often sang roles across several voice-types. And operatic roles are often claimed by more than one type - Mozart's Don Giovanni, for example, is sung by baritones, bass-baritones and basses! (Emphasis mine—DT)
German Fach System
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