Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Seohyun [Newly Updated]

Seohyun

Vocal Range

C3 ~ C#6 (3 octaves and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

G3/G#3 ~ B4/C5

Voice Type

Light Lyric Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • 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

Weaknesses

  • 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

Registers

  • 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.

Agility

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“.

Overall analysis

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.

Musicianship

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“.

Rating

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)

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About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu! https://www.youtube.com/user/KitsuneMale

345 thoughts on “Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Seohyun [Newly Updated]

  1. Many people always say Tiffany more better than Seohyun because Tiffany have a husky voice and Seohyun never do high note. What do you think? And, who’s the 2nd vocalist after Taeyeon? Seohyun or Tiffany?

    Like

    1. We have analyses for Taeyeon, Seohyun, Tiffany, Sunny and Jessica. We ALSO have a ranking chart. I’ll link it.
      https://kpopvocalanalysis.net/ranking-of-vocalists/
      The answer to your questions is in the analyses AND in the chart. Because husky voice does not make anyone better than anybody, and Seohyun always sings high notes, much higher than Tiffany, like in Problem. But singing high notes doesn’t make her better than anybody. I understand that English may not be your first language but please take the time to search through the blog because we don’t write these analyses for nothing and if some users took the time to read them, their questions would be answered. Also look at the chart and you’ll see who’s better between Tiffany and Seohyun, although if you read their analyses you could figure that out as well.

      Like

  2. In the I love you video at around 1:10 forward I can see her head moving up and down like she is nodding very fast. I’ve seen this a lot, is it natural? Something that happens when using vibrato?

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  3. Hey so Seohyun unnie had her showcase. ^^
    If you can analyze her and update if there is any improvements, we’d be all thankful.
    Btw just a minor question. Has her head register improved in these live performances.

    i think this one was lipsync but might as well include it

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    1. I don’t hear any change in technique for Seohyun. Light mixing, high larynx on those phrased D5’s, lots of tight high larynx mixed G5’s, lack of support but somewhat well placed head voice notes here and there, pitchy and sloppy runs. She is going outside of her comfort zone but hasn’t exactly shown changes in technique. As for Lonely Love, a pit of pitchiness, nasality, lowered larynx on the E3’s, support up to about B4/C5. I don’t really hear anything different. Lonely Love could have been a lot more opened. Her head notes sound better placed and connected though but the support still could be better. Up to E5, I’m considering it now.

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      1. Do you think if she is a bit more consistent with her head voice, especially in future live performances, it could be a part of her usual supported range?
        And would that changer her rank slightly higher in the ‘Average-Above Average’ category? Or will she remain about the same, tied with Jessica?

        I hope she really does makes progress technique wise.

        Thank you btw for answering, Ahmin hwaiting kekeke!!!~

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      2. It could yes if her head voice becomes consistently supported, it’d be part of her supported range. It could potentially help her be slightly higher yes but not change the rating. Thank you as well!

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  4. I’m honestly surprised that the comments section hasn’t been flooded with people saying that she’s improved so much since her solo debut…yet. Based on what’s been shown so far there doesn’t seem to be that much that’s improved since the analysis was last updated aside from a decent C#5 here and there – and that’s okay as long as things don’t get worse.

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  5. Why wouldn’t Seohyun be an above average vocalist? I tried to compare her analysis to the criteria of an Above Average vocalist and it seems that she meets the qualifications for one. Could it be because of her nasality? Or is it that she doesn’t have very consistent resonance? Or is it because of her head voice? I’m sorry to bombard you with all these questions. Thank you so much for taking your time and answering these.

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    1. You kind of answered your own question. It’s because of nasality, lack of resonance and lack of consistency in support and placement. She doesn’t fully meet any of the criteria for an above average vocalist. She meets some of them but inconsistently which is what makes her in between, she meets the criteria for both ratings. If you listen to her sing, does she sound like she’s in the same exact rating and has the same patterns as all the other females in the above average rating?

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      1. Compared to some of the lower above average singers I feel that she sounds around the same maybe even better but then again I haven’t listened to a lot of their videos and I haven’t even heard all of Seohyun’s.. I understand that Seohyun has qualities of both average and above average but when I read your analysis, it seemed to me that she also had qualities of an above average to proficient singer. Like that her intonation is consistent within her supported range and that her supported range is that of an above average to proficient singer and that she doesn’t strain too much because of her heady mix. I’m sorry if I come off as rude or anything. I’m just very curious on the matter. Again thank you for answering my questions, these will be the last one. I promise.

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      2. Her supported range is that of an above average to proficient vocalist? How so? Intonation is kind of a lower requirement since the least we expect is that vocalists sing in tune, so singing is tune is a basic, not an achievement. She does strain even if her mix is heady, it may be less of an intense type of strain but it’s strain nonetheless, which again isn’t much of an achievement. Oh no you don’t seem rude at all! ^ ^ Who does she sound the same as or better than?

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  6. I re-read her analysis and I see your points. For some reason I thought her supported range was G3-C#5 but that’s because I just read Taeyeon’s analysis and got them mixed up. Sorry… I’ve always thought that her, Dana and Minkyung sound the same. And I also thought that she sounds better than Jea but that’s really because I prefer Seohyun’s tone. I re-read Minkyung’s analysis and see that she is more consistent in support and in resonance and after looking at Dana’s I can see that she doesn’t have as much nasality and has better placement. Thanks for answering my questions. I really appreciate it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She sounds kind of nasal, not very opened and the note she sustained was a C#5 on an Oo vowel, which isn’t the best. The mixing was light, but she didn’t sound opened nor very well supported.

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      1. Actually not at all i was just wondering because i thought that Jessica has kind of a better lower range. I would also love to see Improvement or more Consistency on Jessicas side

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      2. I see, I see. Well honestly I would have to see it happen, then we would have to take the time to look at them both and re-evaluate to see if it would overall make Seohyun better.

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      3. I guess so. But wouldnt Jessicas lower range make her better than Seohyun because she occasionally can support F#3s? Or was that Tiffany? Or is it maybe because Jessica is to inconsistent?

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  7. Are 3:59, 4:04, 4:14 and 4:30 head voice and how high are they? I’ve noticed you saying she has support on one B4/C5 in Lonely Love and lower larynx on E3’s. So even if she has a better head voice now, but with a little worse belted notes and low range, she’s still in the same rank, not moving either forward or backward?

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    1. 3:59 the placement on the vowel is good but the support isn’t there at all. 4:04 wasn’t supported at all. 4:14 not supported either. 4:30 yeah the G5’s and F5’s aren’t supported. In general Seohyun’s technique has remained quite stagnant. Her placement, her openness, how she supports, it’s all stayed the same so even if her head voice improved a bit it wouldn’t make a drastic difference.

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    1. 4 people asked about this so I’m going to copy-paste. lol Y’all need to wait until I reply to one person and check the comment section lol

      She is using a better approach and fuller, she is lowering her larynx here and there and I don’t recommend that. 1:12 and 1:14 those C#5’s weren’t bad at all! They have support. 1:22 strained E5’s, down to a throaty Bb4 because of the closed aye vowel. 1:29 not bad on the C#5, but strained on the E5. She has a couple of other strained E5’s here and there throughout the performance. 2:04 closed throat C#5, pushed. 2:18 F#5 strained, followed by a sloppy run. The E5’s prior were also pretty tight.

      0:16 slightly tight on the Mamamoo song, it was D5 I believe. I have some issues with her general openness and the way she shapes her vocal tract. It could be more natural but I feel like there’s a bit of obstruction on her glottal area. But this isn’t anything new. These performances don’t show anything new. She sounds somewhat supported, lacks fulness, lacks openness, has some inconsistencies with her throat shape, larynx position and stuff. 1:38 F5 to Eb5, tight very tight.

      Like

    1. 4 people asked about this so I’m going to copy-paste. lol Y’all need to wait until I reply to one person and check the comment section lol

      She is using a better approach and fuller, she is lowering her larynx here and there and I don’t recommend that. 1:12 and 1:14 those C#5’s weren’t bad at all! They have support. 1:22 strained E5’s, down to a throaty Bb4 because of the closed aye vowel. 1:29 not bad on the C#5, but strained on the E5. She has a couple of other strained E5’s here and there throughout the performance. 2:04 closed throat C#5, pushed. 2:18 F#5 strained, followed by a sloppy run. The E5’s prior were also pretty tight.

      0:16 slightly tight on the Mamamoo song, it was D5 I believe. I have some issues with her general openness and the way she shapes her vocal tract. It could be more natural but I feel like there’s a bit of obstruction on her glottal area. But this isn’t anything new. These performances don’t show anything new. She sounds somewhat supported, lacks fulness, lacks openness, has some inconsistencies with her throat shape, larynx position and stuff. 1:38 F5 to Eb5, tight very tight.

      Like

    1. 4 people asked about this so I’m going to copy-paste. lol Y’all need to wait until I reply to one person and check the comment section lol

      She is using a better approach and fuller, she is lowering her larynx here and there and I don’t recommend that. 1:12 and 1:14 those C#5’s weren’t bad at all! They have support. 1:22 strained E5’s, down to a throaty Bb4 because of the closed aye vowel. 1:29 not bad on the C#5, but strained on the E5. She has a couple of other strained E5’s here and there throughout the performance. 2:04 closed throat C#5, pushed. 2:18 F#5 strained, followed by a sloppy run. The E5’s prior were also pretty tight.

      0:16 slightly tight on the Mamamoo song, it was D5 I believe. I have some issues with her general openness and the way she shapes her vocal tract. It could be more natural but I feel like there’s a bit of obstruction on her glottal area. But this isn’t anything new. These performances don’t show anything new. She sounds somewhat supported, lacks fulness, lacks openness, has some inconsistencies with her throat shape, larynx position and stuff. 1:38 F5 to Eb5, tight very tight.

      Like

    1. 4 people asked about this so I’m going to copy-paste. lol Y’all need to wait until I reply to one person and check the comment section lol

      She is using a better approach and fuller, she is lowering her larynx here and there and I don’t recommend that. 1:12 and 1:14 those C#5’s weren’t bad at all! They have support. 1:22 strained E5’s, down to a throaty Bb4 because of the closed aye vowel. 1:29 not bad on the C#5, but strained on the E5. She has a couple of other strained E5’s here and there throughout the performance. 2:04 closed throat C#5, pushed. 2:18 F#5 strained, followed by a sloppy run. The E5’s prior were also pretty tight.

      0:16 slightly tight on the Mamamoo song, it was D5 I believe. I have some issues with her general openness and the way she shapes her vocal tract. It could be more natural but I feel like there’s a bit of obstruction on her glottal area. But this isn’t anything new. These performances don’t show anything new. She sounds somewhat supported, lacks fulness, lacks openness, has some inconsistencies with her throat shape, larynx position and stuff. 1:38 F5 to Eb5, tight very tight.

      Like

    1. Tight is bad. It means the throat muscles are tense and closing her throat. And sloppy run means a vocal run that’s not precise. If you don’t know what a vocal run is please read our about and our criteria page.

      Like

    1. Hi welcome!! Sorry I understand it’s your first time so I’ll let you know if you want to talk bout a vocalist we already analyzed, it’s okay to post videos with time stamps to check the high notes you mean but this is a 2 hour video. We don’t have the time to sit through a 2 hour concert audio. We haven’t noticed improvement with her from the past 6 months, yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, has Seohyun always been SNSD’s strongest lead vocalist or just past Sunny and Tiffany in improvement when Jessica left. Maybe you’ve already answered this. If so, sorry to bother you.

    Like

    1. As far as I remember Seohyun always had better pitch than Sunny and a healthier approach than Tiffany, the gap between them just got more and more obvious as she improved but I believe she always had the head start. I could be wrong.

      Like

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