Today’s track of focus is “Fragments of Sorrow”, one of the Raid Boss battle themes in Kingdom Hearts Union Cross. The piece first appeared in Kingdom Hearts II, though I’m not sure exactly where. A track that features a multi-part choir, I thought it would be a fitting piece to illustrate today’s topic of interest: vocal range types, and specifically SATB.
First, let’s listen to “Fragments of Sorrow”.
This is an absolutely beautiful track, packed with emotion and lusciously orchestrated modulations. “Fragments of Sorrow” has a wonderful instrumentation, including low and high strings, a few solo wind instruments (oboe, clarinet), and timpani (among other percussion accents).
Let’s now talk about vocal range types. Typically in a large choir you will have four separate voice types, two female and two male: SATB. S stands for soprano, A stands for alto, T stands for tenor, and B stands for bass. Soprano is the higher female voice, alto is the lower one, tenor is the higher male voice, and bass is the lowest.
I would say that the alto and tenor are the most interesting voice types, just because they are atypical of each gender. I feel that most women are assumed to have a high-pitched voice, and conversely, males are assumed to have low-pitched voices. I personally tend to prefer lower-pitched female voices, though that is most certainly not to say that I never like any high-pitched female voices.
Something interesting in pop music these days—and actually rather odd—is that higher-pitched male singing voices tend to be more popular than lower-pitched ones. This is different in rap music, where male rappers that have very deep voices tend to be more popular. But when you think of pop music these days, male singers with higher-pitched voices are usually more in the spotlight. I think this is a shame, since there are so many deep voices that deserve to be showcased that are not given the chance.
What’s also worth mentioning is that when males do have lower-pitched voices, they are often only spotlighted for comical effect, which is a little upsetting… It’s not that I do not enjoy higher-pitched male voices; it is simply the lack of representation of lower-pitched male voices makes me a little sad. I suppose you could say that about any sort of talent though.
Luckily though, with SATB choirs, we get the full extent of all different voice types, male and female, so we have a beautiful, broad range that showcases the capabilities of the human voice ^_^
Which voice type do you prefer? High-pitched or low-pitched male voices, or high-pitched or low pitched female voices? Let us know in the comments! ♪
Stay tuned for more Single-Track Analysis Articles of tracks from Kingdom Hearts Unchained X / Kingdom Hearts Union Cross! One article every day in the month of April 2017!