Vocal Ranges

  • Below are descriptions of vocal ranges to help you identify your own.
  • Remember, every voice is different.
  • Find a key to sing in that is comfortable for you, and allow your range to expand a little at a time.
  • Note: 'Timbre' is a term used by musicians to refer to the quality of the singer's tone.

Common Voices

Common Voices Description Timbre Vocal Range
Soprano High female voice Bright, clear and free G below middle C to anywhere above high C
Mezzo Soprano Middle female voice Thick and rich E below middle C to at least high C
Alto or Contralto Low female voice Deep and chesty D below middle C
Tenor High male voice Light, colourful, and flexible B an octave below middle C, and up to high C or D (or above)
Baritone Middle male voice Thick, rich, and creamy G or F an octave below middle C, to F or G above middle C
Bass Low male voice Dark, heavy, and voluminous E (or lower) an octave below middle C, to E or F above middle C

Other Voices

Other Voices Description
Coloratura A singer, usually soprano, who sings ornamental passages in music
Countertenor The highest male voice, also called alto, which is often falsetto
Bass Baritone The highest male voice, also called alto, which is often falsetto
Basso Cantante A high bass voice suitable for solo singing
Basso Profundo A deep bass voice having a compass of about two octaves above C below the bass staff
Heldentenor A tenor with a powerful dramatic voice well suited to heroic roles