About & Our Criteria

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Vocal Analyses

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

This blog was made with the intent to share knowledge and share vocal analyses from different vocalists in K-pop. Nobody in the blog is a hater or an anti-fan. The analyses give positive and negative points and are all constructive criticism, nobody is telling you to hate or not listen to your favorite idol vocalist. We’re only letting you know what their vocal skill based on what vocal technique and music theory is from a musically professional standpoint. If you’re confused about rankings, categories and such, click the about and our criteria page. This post will also include the information existing in that page if you’re unwilling to click through just click read more. Otherwise click About & Our Criteria and most questions should be answered. We try to back up all our points with substantial evidence from the singers’ performances, we thoroughly listen to their performances from past and present. No one in this blog claims to be an expert, we’re all learning and everyday we learn more and more, just as we respect your opinions, please respect ours, which were influenced by the knowledge we have and the way we’ve been taught. Thank you.

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This blog is dedicated to compile vocal analyses done by our contributors in order to satisfy everyone’s curiosity regarding their idols’ vocal. The analysis will be based solely on VOCAL TECHNIQUE, not tone, timbre, emotions, stage presence, etc.

The analysis might change according to their latest performance.

If you would like your idol to be analyzed feel free to drop the question in the comment box. If you feel that the analysis is not accurate, you could suggest a video or recording and give us the reasoning behind your disagreement. We will gladly alter the vocal analysis page of the respective idol if your reasoning behind it is proven.

Comments will be moderated. Constructive discussion are welcome. Bashful and hateful comments will be deleted. Every idol mentioned here are talented in their own way. Even so, we are focusing solely on their vocal capabilities and we try our best to give an objective analysis regarding the matters.

So far, we will use this system as our judging criteria. We will elaborate more once it’s established. It goes from best to worst.

TERMINOLOGY

Tones/Semitones/Notes/Key
A key of a song means within the key signature of the song. There are 12 notes in total, C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B and back to C, completing one full octave. A tone is from a note up two semitones, so the distance between C and C#/Db is a semitone, whereas C and D are a full note apart. A major Key will follow a tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone pattern, so C major is C D E F G A B C. Although there are no sharps or flats between E and F or B and C, they’re a semitone apart. # stands for sharp and b stands for flat and whether or not you name a note sharp or flat depends on the key, i.e. C# major and Db major are the same key with different names, C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# and Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db, on a piano the same notes are played, just with different names.

Intonation
Being able to stay in pitch and in key. Good intonation means not going sharp, flat or singing a note that isn’t within the chord progression and/or key of the song. Going sharp means slightly above the pitch but not really hitting a note above, so like a note in between C and C#, and flat means a note that’s slightly below pitch, so a note in between C and B, for example.

Larynx Position/High Larynx/Low Larynx/Neutral Larynx
The larynx is the part of the body where the vocal cords are located. The vocal cords are very small and are divided into two parts that vibrate against one another in order to create sound. The speed of the vibration generally determines the pitch someone sings in. Much like tuning a guitar, the more stretched the vocal cords are and thinner they become, the higher the pitch and the thicker they are, the lower the pitch is. In order for a note to be hit, one should have a relaxed opened sound in the larynx, without any restrictions from the throat muscles. If the larynx is pushed down, it creates a froggy and fake “soulful” tone, if it’s pulled up, it creates a thinner, squeezed and tight quality to the voice. The natural state of the larynx is being neutral when it’s relaxed, if it’s forced either up or down, that means the muscles in the throat are creating tension and the larynx is trying to reposition itself in an uncomfortable and unnatural position to hit notes that are not within the individual’s supported range. 

Tonality/Tone Production
The way tone and sound is produced through good support. The voice comes out stable, without any laryngeal restriction nor tension, tone is clean and has the true sound of the individual’s voice type, without an uncentered pitch, excessive breathiness, nasality and tension.

Vibrato
The shift between two notes rapidly within, normally, a sustained note. The difference between the notes is usually less than a semitone. A forced throaty vibrato is usually produced artificially by using the throat, instead of the natural vibrato that comes out once the vocal cords are relaxed with good breath support.

Stability
The stability of the voice, meaning it’s not off pitch and it doesn’t sound wobbly, shaky and unsupported.

Registers
Chest voice, lowest range. Head voice, highest range. Mixed voice, the belting area of the voice.

Support
How the individual vocalist uses their correct breathing technique with the diaphragm to better support, project and hold their voice together.

Placement vs Resonance vs Projection
Resonance is the optimum sound a vocalist should focus on when singing. It is a full, clean and round sound that won’t sound thin, constricted or small. A vocalist who’s resonant will use different types of placements, i.e. their voice will be placed either in their chest, head or mask (cheekbones area, not nose) to project their voice, in each individual register. A vocalist may be able to be resonant in their mixed voice by normally placing their voice in their mask with chest resonance, or as they go higher, with head resonance. A resonant sound is always going to be a projected sound, now resonance doesn’t mean loud, because a loud sound may still be pushed and strained. You may project but still have tension, but in true resonance tension should not be present.

Vocal Range vs Supported Range vs Tessitura
Vocal range means the individual’s lowest singable note to the individual’s highest singable note.  A tessitura will depend on the individual’s voice type and where their voice sits most comfortably, shines the most and could project the best. A supported range includes notes outside the tessitura where the individual’s voice type may not be naturally inclined to project well in, however so due to the vocalist’s own ability, they’re able to still maintain tone production, support, projection and stability. e.g In classical music, sopranos’ tessituras are something in between A3/C4 to  A5/C6, however in contemporary music a soprano singing as high as C6 is very uncommon and unnecessary; a contemporary soprano, for an example Luna, is able to keep resonance consistently up until Eb5, which is almost ideal for a soprano who should be able to carry that resonance up until A5 without a problem. However so she’s also able to sing down to G3 with correct support, which although is outside her voice type’s natural tessitura, she’s still able to keep support and projection down there.

Musicianship/Musicality
Musicianship is the act of changing any song given to you and making it your own, usually on the spot. This includes melodic changes, rhythmic changes and added embellishments. Musicality is the act of interpreting music correctly according to each individual genre of music, by adding the correct use of vocal effects (e.g. raspiness, breathiness, growls, vocal runs, vibrato) and playing with the song musically by adding dynamics (e.g. singing softly, loudly, powerfully on the right moments of each song).

Passaggi/Vocal Bridges
A passaggio or a vocal bridge is an area of the voice where one’s voices transition naturally from one to the other in the modal register. Usually for males, the distance between the first passaggio, from chest voice to mixed voice, and the second passaggio, from mixed voice to head voice, is only about a 4th apart, whereas for females it’s about an octave apart. Passaggi are important for one to be able to tell what someone’s voice type is. A register break or the highest note you can sing in your chest/mixed voice before transitioning into head voice is NOT your first passaggio. The first passaggio is a note in your range where your voice naturally feels a switch of muscle coordination in your vocal cords. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a chest dominant or balanced mixed voice above your first or even second passaggio. Lyric tenors usually have their passaggi around D4/Eb4 and G4/Ab4, whereas lyric baritones have their passaggi at B3 and E4. Lyric sopranos are usually at F4/F#4 and F5/F#5.

Legato/Staccato
A musical phrase usually will last a couple of bars. During a phrase, the melody may be played/sung smoothly connected without every note sounding chopped up, whereas staccato means emphasizing every single note separately with minor less than a second breaks in between every note. Legato is the most basic form of singing through correct breath control and support.

Agility
Vocal agility is an embellishment and it means, being able to sing many notes accurately and quickly, by separating each individual note while still being able to connect them within one sung vowel. Those are usually called melismas or vocal runs.

CRITERIA

Excellent Vocalist

  • All three registers are developed
  • Supported as close as possible from their highest to lowest extremities
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within C3 ~ E3 (or lower) and G5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Bb2 ~ D3 (or lower) and F5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within F#2 ~ A2 (or lower) and C5/C#5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within D2 ~ F#2 (or lower) and A4/Bb4 (or higher)
  • Within their Voice Type’s tessitura they are consistently resonant
  • Complete support in the middle register and lower register
  • For females head voice must be completely resonant at will; for males head voice must be completely supported
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks when transitions are being made
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual note, potentially very complex runs are done from the bottom to the top of their ranges
  • Musicianship the ability to change a song and make it their own and Musicality having complete control over the voice in any given genre
  • Almost perfect intonation
  • Tonality is almost never lost

Great 

  • Developed registers, but one register may be lacking in development
  • Optimal resonance is achieved on a regular basis
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F3/F#3 and F#5/G5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Eb3/E3 and E5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within A2/Bb2 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within F#2/G2 and G#4/A4
  • Support is present in all registers, but maybe not to their lowest and highest extremes
  • Within in their voice type’s tessitura they are resonant and well projected, but not as resonant and well projected as Excellent vocalist
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual notes
  • Great interpretation skills (Musicianship), but Musicality may not be as finely tuned as Excellent vocalist
  • Intonation is almost perfect
  • Tonality is almost never lost

Good 

  • One very well developed register or two well developed registers, with the others either being Average or Above Average
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio and second passaggi with support and resonance, and above
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F#3/G3 and E5/F5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within E3/F3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Bb2/B2/C3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G2/G#2 and F#4/G4
  • Optimal resonance often present, but is not always achieved
  • Within their vocal type’s tessitura they are resonant and supported, but tonality can be lost at times.
  • Connection between registers is not always present
  • Some agility, but runs and transitions are not always controlled
  • Interpretation skills are present, has show musicality
  • Good intonation rarely goes off
  • At times can lose tonality by rarely does

Proficient 

  • One well developed or two/three somewhat developed register well balanced
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio and second passaggi with support and resonance
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within G#3/A3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within F#3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and G#4/A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G#2/A2 and E4/F4
  • Consistently supported within their supported range
  • Resonates at times, but optimal resonance is not a regular occurrence
  • Connection between the registers is not present
  • Intonation is not perfect, off-key moments happen at times
  • Good tonality isn’t always kept, strain and tension are apparent at times

Above Average

  • One somewhat developed register with the others being average or weak
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio with consistent support and possible resonance up to their second passaggio
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G3 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within D3 and G4/G#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within Bb2/B2 and Eb4/E4
  • Inconsistent with resonance
  • Even in their supported range strain and tension can be present
  • Nasality can be present within the voice at times
  • Intonation issues can be frequent

Average

  • No register is developed considerably well
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio with adequate and consistent support
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within Bb3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G#3 and A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Eb3 and F4/F#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and C#4/D4
  • Inconsistent with support, and if at all resonance, even if occasional resonance has happened
  • Good tonality is not present at all times, nasal placement is normally used
  • Frequent intonation issues

Weak

  • No developed registers
  • Unable to sing through their first passaggio with adequate and consistent support
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within B3 and G#4/A4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and F#4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within E3/F3 and Eb4/E4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C#3/D3 and B3/C4/C#4 (or less)
  • Very inconsistent with support, strain,no resonance
  • Good tonality is not present
  • Out off tune singing is frequent

FYI, Among KPOP idols there is NO ONE who is considered Excellent/Amazing/Fantastic vocal-wise (Imagine Maria Callas, Mariah Carey, Natalie Weiss and Whitney Houston as amazing/fantastic). They are Great/Good at best.

For further question you can ask the contributors directly at this forum

OneHallyu vocals’ thread

Regards,

Admin

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

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6,700 thoughts on “About & Our Criteria

    1. Is this just for curiosity? I’ve never analyzed Miley Cyrus so I don’t think I’m confident enough to answer because answering would mean I’m familiar enough with her to know her rating and I’m not.

      Like

  1. Hi. I have a bunch of questions:
    1. What do you think of Somin (KARD), her C#5 in Don’t Recall?
    2. Does Jihyo seem to show improvement in Knock Knock? I heard her and Jungyeon hitting D#5,
    3. A long time ago you talked about Eunha singing with too much nasal. Will that damage the vocal cord or something? Because Eunha strained and cracked a lottttt C#5s in GF’s latest performance 😦
    Here’s the link of GF: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHe_Uiw7tOA (1:17, 2:41, 3:18 aaaaa that’s just a C5 whyyyyy, 3:40)
    4. Bass and alto vocalists do not seem to exist in K-Pop right? I mean except rappers, but what would be an ideal supported range for bass and alto?
    5. Yuju’s 1:23 and 3:52, is that belting or head voice? Does fatigue affect a vocalist’s singing much? Like I don’t know, can having dizziness or headache affect the head voice…? I feel like idols often have to dance their breath out before coming to some high notes so they must belt instead of using head voice uncomfortably? Correct me pls
    6. In BTS’s Blood Sweat and Tears’s bridge, someone sings in the fifth octave up to C6. I’m not sure what would be the right word to call that range, whistle head voice? Because I can hit F5 to C6 and even D6 with some kind of opera-like voice, at least that’s what I heard myself singing (I’m male), but I don’t really know how to call that. I’m pretty sure that is not falsetto because I can use falsetto from B3 to B4 and then the sound is so small and when it comes to F5 something in my throat gets pushed backward a little bit and I can hit F5 quite percisely. It’s midnight in my house so I’ll record myself hitting the fifth octave later if you need to hear since those are often so loud 🙂
    Thanks in advance

    Like

    1. Hi dear~
      1. Don’t assume I know songs cause I don’t always. Provide live links with time stamps.
      2. It’s studio for now but no I didn’t hear any change in technique.
      3. Nasality isn’t damaging, strain is and lack of support is as well. All 3 of those things happen when Eunha sings.
      4. Contralto and bass are rare voice types in pop music in general. For young artists, I don’t know anybody who’s a bass or a contralto in western pop music either, except for Avi Kaplan. Rappers aren’t basses either. We don’t have enough data to be sure, what do you mean by ideal?
      5. Those aren’t head voice, they’re belted and strained. Yes fatigue directly affects your vocal condition. Not that I know of for a headache but it could affect your overall focus and so things can go wrong. I’m not sure I understand your last statement.
      6. I have never heard C6 in that song. The highest I’ve heard is G5 by Jimin in a pushed head voice. I heard it nvm it’s an exclamation and we don’t count them as range.

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      1. this is for Question 1 it not ‘ don’t recall ‘ but she hit a couple of C#5s here around 1:01 , 2:18 and 3:18

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      2. 1. Actually there are C#5s in Don’t Recall but there’s no live links so I’ll ask about that in the future 😀
        4. AA maybe? Since lots of main vocalists in KPop is AA so I assume that could be a standard. Avi Kaplan is actually new to me and omg his covers are really cool thanks so muchhh
        5. My assumption is that dizziness and fatigue affects head voice more compared to chest voice and idols always overwork so they rarely use head voice while performing, I’m not sure if my assumption is right. And another question is that a heady mix is healthier than a chesty mix right? Both are not ideal but which is better?
        6. I will try to record my F#5 to C6 later. Btw as long as someone can hit a high note in a way of singing, no matter how they hit it or how damaging, it can be still considered as range right? I once heard someone saying that falsetto isn’t counted as range.
        7. Last question: Who is better, Eunha or SinB?

        Like

      3. 1. Someone provided the link so I answered the question. They’re not supported.
        4. Ideal you mean AA? Mhmm unfortunately we don’t know.
        5. I highly doubt that’s why, since dizziness can only be caused to people who aren’t used to using head voice at all but to say that’s why people prefer falsetto or belting over head voice, that’s a very wild conclusion to be drawn by such lack of evidence. Yes a heady mix is a lot less damaging than a chesty mix even if it isn’t supported. The ideal case is a supported mix, regardless of the mixing ratio as that should be controllable at will.
        6. I corrected my statement, I heard the C6 but it’s an exclamation so we usually do not count it. Strict classical people don’t count falsetto nor whistle as part of your range. We generally count sung sounds within a singable register or sounds you can use musically, such as the whistle register.
        7. I don’t know, they’re not vocally skilled enough to say one has noticeably better technique than the other.

        Like

  2. hey!!! i was just wondering if you watch any korean tv programs based around singing and what you think of them/ what your favorites are! 🙂 fantastic duo is a program where artists watch fans cover one of their songs live, then choose a contestant to perform a duet with. it’s really cute! if you do happen to watch it, do you feel that you agree with the artists’ decision on who to perform with usually? (also you don’t have to reply to this if you don’t watch em, thanks for all your informational analyses! <3)

    Like

    1. Well I watch them for the purpose of analyses but I don’t watch them regularly for personal entertainment. If you read the analyses you’ll see many of the analyses quote videos that are from many of these TV shows. I don’t always agree but oftentimes the cover singers have very similar skill like in Ailee’s or Sistars case.

      Like

      1. 0:18 slightly flat. Too airy, 0:25 too muffled, too airy, too pushed down. Not supported. She sounds overly breathy and airy throughout, her falsetto transitions aren’t bad at all actually. She is only singing in between F#3 ~ G4, that’s not challenging enough. Bb4 ~ Eb5 is all falsetto so again not bad actually, this is definitely better than when she tries to mix but there’s too much air, her lower range is very muffled and her falsetto way too airy. These songs have too many runs for them.

        Like

    1. I’ll copy-paste~ ^ ^

      “Hi there! See unfortunately if they are labelled as rappers and considering that Day6 is more of a band than an idol group with everyone getting main and lead vocalist roles, we weren’t planning on analyzing anyone but Sungjin. Sungjin who is most likely to be their strongest vocalist is not going to be rated that high at all, which means that none of the other vocalists would be rated any higher and therefore there’s less of a chance for them to be analyzed. I have heard both of them singing before and they both have very nice tones, but they’re pure style. They have basically no sense of technique for singing, all they do is use style to sound airy, pretty, but not necessarily technically good. They are limited to the airy and pretty sound, but when they start to add more volume they start to add more tension and strain to their voices. Even when singing softly they show quite a bit of tension as well. They have very narrow ranges where they’re not tense, their harmonies are quite nice though. 0:15 see there’s too much air here, 0:24 here there’s too much pressure in his throat. (Put Your Records On) 0:54 throaty and flat, he sings with too much raspiness which is mostly stylistically and done by compressing his throat. These are both Young K and Jae right? Young K is a lot less tense but he also is pretty shallow. Again I can’t make any promises, I’m not even 100% sure Sungjin is their strongest vocalist so not 100% he will be analyzed.”

      Like

  3. Hi Ahmin, I know this is against the rules but I think you’re familar enough with MC…
    At 2:11-2:15 how many notes did she hit? She’s so agile that I can’t tell 😄 And at 3:30 how is it possible to vocalize while inhaling the air?
    Thank you!! ^^

    Like

    1. 2:11 ~ 2:15 I think D5 C5 B4 A4 A4 G4 then E5 D5 C5 A4 B4 but I could be wrong. 3:30 she just took a quick breath, she didn’t vocalize while inhaling the air.

      Like

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