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The voice that nature has endowed with man is capable of transmitting sounds not only in conversation and expression of emotions, but also when singing. The melody of the human voice is very rich, its palette is multicolored, and the pitch ranges are very individual. It is these criteria that allowed a person to define a separate genre of vocals in art.

The concept itself was defined and indicated in Latin (vocalis – “sounding”). A vocalist is a musician using his voice as an instrument. It can be low-pitched and singing uppercase notes. Bass or soprano, baritone or mezzo-soprano, viola or tenor are different types of singing voices. The category of vocalists includes not only singers of classical parties, but also performers of recitations and artistic recitation. Classical composers always write their works, referring to the vocalist’s voice as an independent musical instrument, taking into account its features and capabilities.

Singing voices are divided into types according to the range of sounds, the height of which is determined by the individual capabilities of the vocalist. Assigning a voice to a certain type is a very important task. Bass, viola, soprano, tenor – what kind of range this is, only a specialist can determine. Moreover, the vocalist’s singing range can change over time, and the use of voice beyond the limits of the possibilities can affect the musician’s health.

When determining the type of vocalist’s voice, many factors are taken into account:
– Timbre (vocal teachers call it “voice color”).
– Tessitura (ultimate capabilities and endurance of taking upper sounds).
– Articulation.
– The structure of the larynx (consultation with a phoniatrist).
– External, behavioral and psychological characteristics of the vocalist.

Oddly enough, in our time, the subject of dreams of young men planning to make a vocal career is the tenor. This is most likely a tribute to fashion. Today it is dictated by modern composers, who often write male scores for a high voice. This has not always been the case. But we need to figure it out, tenor – what kind of voice?

The tenor defines the classical standards of the types of singing voice as the highest of the male ranges, indicated by the limits “before” the first octave – “before” the second octave. But it cannot be argued that these boundaries are unshakable. Here it must be said that tenor is not only classical vocals when tenor parts are written strictly within the range, but also a musical register for pop and rock singers, whose melodies often cross the border of the designated range.

It would be unfair to conclude tenors only within the allotted range. The strength, purity and volumetric sound of certain notes of tenors allowed them, like other types, to receive additional gradation. The subtleties of distinguishing one subtype from another are available only to experienced vocal teachers. What is tenor?

Tenor Altino or Countertenor
A voice similar to a boyish one, the highest of all tenors, which did not break after a mutation and remained along with a low timbre. This tenor is more reminiscent of a female voice: the phenomenon is extremely rare, can be called a mistake of nature. An example of the countertenor’s vocals is the “Queen of the Night Aria” performed by M. Kuznetsov.

Light tenor
The voice is also close to female vocals, but with a pectoral tone. It sounds airy and easy.

Lyric tenor
The most fluid voice of all tenors with a delicate, soft and subtle color. A vivid example of the lyric tenor was the voice of S. Lemeshev.

Lyric Dramatic Tenor
The tenor subtype is close to the lyric, but colored with overtones, much denser and more saturated.

Dramatic tenor
From the classification of tenors, it is the lowest, characterized by sound power and proximity in terms of timbre to baritone. For the dramatic tenor, many opera parts are written (Othello, German from The Queen of Spades).

From the characteristics of the tenor subtypes can be understood.

From the characteristics of the tenor subtypes, it can be understood that all of them, with the exception of the counter-tenor, differ from each other in their coloring, timbre. Tenor is the favorite sound of voices for parties of heroic characters, starting with heroes-lovers and ending with heroes-liberators and heroes-fighters.

Another sign that classifies tenors will be the so-called transitional sections. On these notes, the voice begins to adapt and change the way it is played. Transitional notes directly depend on the structure of the vocal apparatus. These are the ultimate high sounds that the singer makes without changing the position of the ligaments. Each vocalist has his own individual site. It directly depends on the training of the vocal cords. Tenor is the most moving of the types of singing voices. Therefore, the transitional section for tenor will change throughout the career.

The main mistake of novice young vocalists in determining their type of voice will be an attempt to classify it only by range.

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