C3 ~ C#6 (3 octaves and 1 semitone)
G3/G#3 ~ B4/C5
Light Lyric Soprano
- Made good progress from debut until now
- Musicality has improved since debut
- Intonation is mostly on point, rarely goes off pitch within her supported range
- Able to consistently show support up until B4 and C5, at times with resonance
- Resonance has been present in her voice, even if not consistently
- Able to use a pure connected head voice as high as F5
- Lower range is more somewhat developed, able to support G3’s at times
- Due to the headiness of her mix, strain isn’t as apparent
- One of the fewer K-pop Sopranos to have mixed a G#5
- Breath control has improved since debut
- Voice becomes very comfortable and placement is better when singing Jazz/Musical Theatre
- Able to produce a healthy even vibrato
- Notes below G3 are generally quieter and gradually become airier in tone
- Nasality is still a factor and part of her singing voice
- Her notes above C5 become inconsistent and often pushed
- Mixed voice is overly heady, voice lacks power and stability above D5
- Head voice isn’t used as often as she could, voice becomes airy too often
- Vocal runs are often messy and out of place
- Diction can come in the way from her singing and openness
- Aye (애) vowel can be an issue in her upper mix
- Vibrato becomes unstable and uneven above her supported range, or often even absent
- Lower register: Although not fully developed, her tone is very present even as low as F#3 and sometimes F3. Her voice only shows consistent support starting from G#3 and at times G3, showing improvement since debut.
- Mixed register: Her voice is supported and consistently able to sing with a relaxed tone up until the B4 area and C5 as well, even though at times the voice may show tension on C5. Straining only really happens as she ascends above C5, where her mixing is uneven and her larynx raises.
- Upper register: Head voice is present and is connected, although falsetto is more used stylistically, her voice is able to stay connected into a supported head voice up until F5 and can still stay connected above F5, even though tension is added.
Possessing a light voice, Seohyun’s voice finds itself more capable of doing vocal runs and does not have as many issues with it. At times her voice can handle easy vocal trills and isn’t incapable of traveling through notes quickly, even if the precision in pitch may be weak, such as in “Sometimes“. When her voice is required to handle more intricate runs, her ability to quickly move in between notes becomes compromised and her pitch is often loose, her runs messy and sloppy, and her separation of pitch is not precise. An example of this would be her run into F5 and descending down from the chorus of “Dancing Queen” and many of the vocal runs in her cover of “Jack“.
One of the most well known groups in current Korea, Girls’ Generation is birth to many talented members and Seohyun would be no exception. Vocally speaking, the group is composed of 9 members, which creates pros and cons, giving more members the title of main and lead vocalist, but also making members too comfortable with not singing main and not having to better themselves. As a lead vocalist, Seohyun’s challenges were never as big as the main vocalists, Taeyeon and Jessica, but more recently she has gone out of her way to improve herself and has shown it very well in her vocal performances and in musical numbers. Her voice is naturally bright and light, with a girly tone, very much like every other member of Girls’ Generation she is a light lyric soprano, with a three octave range.
The bottom of Seohyun’s range is very extensive and can go down as low as C3, as she does in “처음이었죠”, however so her voice only really truly gains tone around E3, F3 and F#3. Her tone is present in the lower parts of her range, but the support is gained around G3 and G#3. Her range below G3 is often quiet, slightly clouded up by the lack of projection and tone and the vocal cords often don’t come together very well, causing her notes to many times come out as air, such as the E3’s “Girls” and the F3’s in “Day By Day”. As she ascends up to G#3, support can be clearly heard and her voice is consistently connected and well placed projecting quite well even if not as well as it could be if it had more chest resonance, such as in songs like “Diamond” and “OMG”. Her tone and support are slightly on the light side and lack in true depth in color due to lack of chest resonance in her singing.
The brightness of her voice is only further accentuated as she ascends in range. Even when singing above her supported range, Seohyun’s voice shows very little signs of strain to the head dominance in her mix. Her mixing, however, has improved since debut, becoming more powerful and more balanced, allowing for better use of dynamics and resonance. Her voice can often be very light and lack tone in her mix, but she has shown that she can produce resonance and support her voice, even as high as C5, such as in “Stuff Like That There” and her musical performance of “I Loved You“. Her overall support can be present at times even as high as C#5 and sometimes good placement is kept as high as D5 as well, such as in “I Loved You” and some occasional live performances of the japanese version of “Run Devil Run”. Due to the vowel being “Ah (아)” in the japanese version of “Run Devil Run”, her voice is able to show more of an opened sound, as opposed to the “Aye (애)” sound used in the Korean version of the song. The “Aye (애)” vowel is often an issue for vocalists, causing their throats to close and tension to happen. Tension in Seohyun’s voice can at times happen around C5 and above, where her throat will show signs of tension and tighten around her larynx when trying to sing higher, becoming more apparent as she ascends in range, such as the D5’s in “아파도 괜찮아요” and her E5 in “Winter Wonderland“. The resonance in Seohyun’s mix isn’t always present however, due to her showing an inconsistency with lifting her soft palate, causing nasality to often be present in her mix even though strain may not happen. Her mix becomes more thin and less balanced as she ascends in range, notably when hitting the F#5’s of “Twinkle” and the G#5’s of “Problem”, where her voice becomes closed, strained and lacks volume and projection.
Her head voice is a register she does not use often but has control of, for an example when doing warm up exercises in a video with Ock Joo Hyun, where she shows the ability to perform a major descend triad into a diminished triad starting on C#5 and another starting on F5. She does usually opt for a falsetto and does not show consistency with her head voice when actually singing songs, but is capable of producing a well connected head voice if required to. In the video of “Opera“, where the members of Girls’ Generation try to emulate a more classical style of singing, Seohyun shows connection with a head voice up until Eb5, and was able to stay connected with tension and strain in head voice up to G5 and Bb5. Her head voice may be connected, but issues with strain and support are apparent as she ascends in range, very clear when singing the C6 in her “Gone With The Wind” musical performance, where her vibrato is uneven and the sound is pushed and slightly strangled due to the glottal muscles being tense around her larynx. Her falsetto is often relaxed as high as F#5, however, and she does a good job for the most when transitioning into it.
One aspect of Seohyun’s voice that has improved is her ability to play with dynamics and sing a song without a single monotonous volume output throughout. Whereas she’d sing just the melody of the song back when they first debuted, more recently when performing “Sometimes” by herself, Seohyun shows more sensibility to vocal effects such as airiness and also with softer dynamics. This skill has only been further developed by her interest in Musical Theatre, such as in “What Do You Know About Love” from Gone With The Wind, where she was able to showcase her control of dynamics, an opened non-nasal sound, a steady supported tone throughout her voice and an even, controlled healthy vibrato. When singing in a more comfortable range usually from B3 ~ B4, her voice is often well supported and shows control in pitch and projection, such as in “Speak Now“. The downside of her voice however is that still her mixed voice is underdeveloped, causing her to sound strained quite often or lack power and dynamics as she ascends in range, being unable to translate her musicality into the higher and more challenging Soprano range. Although at times she may lack in terms of projection and may place her voice inward more so than outward, her support tends to be consistent and causes her voice not to strain as much as most others would.
As a vocalist and entertainer, Seohyun has shown interest and motivation with good results and was able to show vocal improvement over the years of her career as a member of Girls’ Generation. Although the improved may be small in comparison to the year she’s been actively promoting as a vocalist, due to her seriousness and work ethic, Seohyun’s progress will only developed as she further focuses on her musical identity and perhaps discovers herself when singing Musical Theatre. For the future, balancing her mixed voice would be advised, as well as consistently being able to place her voice forward and being able to show support throughout her range into a connected head voice. Hopefully Seohyun can showcase more of her singing in the future and will be able to further improve her voice to truly show the colors still hidden behind the parts of her voice that are yet to be fully developed.
Seohyun is many things when singing and has improved a long way, but one thing she is not is a huge risk taker with improvisation. She is very good at keeping her ear out for music and being able to adapt to different styles with enough sensibility to sound, but she is not one to deviate much from the original composition of songs, where she will preferably sing the original melody and work more on the actual interpretation, rather than altering the original song. However so, she does possess good skills when it comes to harmonization and being able to stay in pitch and blend her voice in well with others when singing with them, such as the TaeTiSeo performance of “Cater 2 U“.
Average to Above Average Vocalist
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
(Originally analyzed by: zhx)