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Important Music Terms for Singers

When it comes to singing, there is a lot more to it than just making noise. There are techniques and music to follow. Most singers take lessons, practice, and study to get where they need to be. Here are some important music terms for singers. Learning and practicing them will help you to become a stronger singer.

Soprano

This is the highest singing range. This range is usually sung by someone who is female. Although, some young boys can sing well in this range.

Alto

This is the highest singing range for males and the lowest range for females.

Tenor

This is the highest singing voice for male singers. It is between the alto and baritone singing ranges.

Bass

This is the lowest singing range for males.

Falsetto

The term means “false singing”. This singing technique is usually done by males or tenors. Singers use it by making their voices higher than their normal range to reach a female singer’s range.

Registers

There are two types of registers for singing – “head” and “chest”. When singing with your chest, you are using your most powerful voice. Some may also describe this as singing with your diaphragm. Singing with your head will create a softer sound. Falsetto can fall under range as well.

Staggered Breathing

This technique is commonly used with a choir of singers. When a song has a very long note that cannot be sung in one breath, members of the choir take turns breathing throughout the note or song to avoid breaks in the sound.

Vibrato

When hearing vibrato in singing, it may sound like the voice is vibrating or shaking. What happens is the voice is alternating very quickly between two different, yet close, pitches. It is used to add effect to notes that are being held a little longer. Without it, notes can become boring or bland to listen to.

Tempo

This is the speed of the music. This is important for singers to know so they can follow the music more accurately.

Pitch

Pitch is how low or high someone is singing. If someone is singing “on” pitch, it means that they are singing in tune. For more information about this, read our article, “Learn How to Sing in Tune”.

Transpose

When someone does this, they change the key of a song to make it lower or higher. It is usually done to match the vocal range of a singer.

Verse

Verses are lines or sections of music in a song. This is important for singers to know either in choirs or in bands, mostly when rehearsing.

Repertoire

When a singer is asked for their repertoire, this means the music they know well and are ready to perform.

There is so much more to singing and there are so many more terms you can learn. These important music terms for singers are just a great place to start. Most importantly, singers need to keep their voices clear and healthy. One way to do this is by using a vocal spray between performances. One or two sprays and you’ll be ready to perform!

Sources

http://www.northmor.k12.oh.us/Downloads/Choir_Terms_List.pdf