At the opera tonight, I found myself thinking once again about the the sound of the origination of different vocal ranges within people’s bodies in opera.
This is not at all from where the sounds actually come, but merely a feeling I always get when I hear certain ranges – like when you hear something that clearly came from around the corner to your right… that’s the kind of feeling I mean…
Divide the body two ways: front-center-back and left-middle-right.
When the first prominent bassist was singing in his deep, deep range, it felt like the sound was coming from deep within him…. center of the body’s depth, middle of the left-middle-right spectrum, and at the level just below the groin…
It made me laugh a little, actually, because it occurred to me that this tied in somewhat to the concept of boys having their organs drop, and thereby having their voices deepen… so, perhaps the bassist really do have further-dropped organs than other men… 😛
And, whenever they sing higher in their range, bassists seem to be originating their sound from middle center stomach, the lower belly level…
Sopranos always show up to me, when at the very top of their range, to be originating in the back middle of their throats and mouths, and even down just a bit in their throats, about where am Adam’s apple would be.
(In the middle of their range, they seem to be in the front of the throat, and even more toward the lips, the lower they go, to the point at which they seem to be singing from their front teeth in their lower range of soprano.)
For tenors, they seem to be coming from middle front and middle center at the level of the very bottom of their rib cages, and just above and behind the navel.
Baritones, I haven’t figured out yet, as I didn’t listen for it consciously tonight during the short time that we had a baritone singing solo in the show… – yes, he came back from his early death, but his ghost didn’t stick around for very long whenever it finally made its inevitable appearance… they might be at the back middle, far behind the navel, at the back of the bottom of the rib cage…., but I’m not sure.
And altos…., well, they are chorus…, so not much solo sounds there either tonight…
And countertenors, I’m pretty sure, show up as a floating bubble of air just in front of their mouths… (If you don’t know what a countertenor is, definitely look that one up – it is with knowing.)
Anyway, those are my thoughts that arose tonight again… kind of odd, huh?
It sort of makes sense, but also sort of totally doesn’t, right?