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


Vocal Range

D3 ~ C6 (2 octaves and 5 notes)

Supported Range

G3/G#3 ~ C#5/D5 (without head voice)

G3/G#3 – C#5/D5 ~ F5/F#5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Light Lyric Soprano


  • Consistent forward placement in the A4~D5 range
  • Consistent resonance in the A4~C5/C#5 range
  • Consistently supported up to C#5/D5
  • Occasional resonance up to D5
  • Forward masked placed sound in the chest voice
  • Supports and projects down to G3/G#3
  • Has done supported Eb5s
  • At times head voice can be produced up to F#5/G5
  • Head voice Bb5
  • Capable of doing runs with good flow and pitch accuracy
  • Healthy vibrato is produced with good support
  • Stable pitch majority of the time


  • Inconsistent head voice
  • Pitch can be inconsistent
  • Faster runs can be sloppy and inaccurate
  • Support above C#5/D5 is inconsistent
  • Lower register below G3 becomes really airy
  • Inconsistent with vowels


  • Lower register: Since her debut, Taeyeon’s lower register has improved significantly expanding from Bb3/B3 to G3/G#3 since 2007. Her lower register has far more connection and projection than it did before.  Taeyeon carries decent support down to G3/G#3, however her voice has the most projection in the G#3/A3 range. Below G3 Taeyeon’s voice becomes very airy and unsupported, but she maintains a neutral larynx.
  • Mixed register: Taeyeon has consistent support up to C#5/D5 and consistent resonance up to C5/C#5. She generally produces very open and resonant notes in the A4~C5/C#5 range and occasionally up to D5. Above D5 Taeyeon’s voice becomes tight and strained.
  • Upper register:  Although Taeyeon actively switches back and forth between falsetto and head voice it is safe to assume she uses head voice. Taeyeon, when not using falsetto, can carry a supported head voice up to F5/F#5 though not resonant. Above F#5 her head voice and falsetto become very tense and shrill.


As a vocalist that trained under The One, who incorporates many runs into his performances, Taeyeon herself has developed a fair share of agility. Though overlooked in previous years, in 2015 Taeyeon made point to demonstrate her skill when it comes to agility. The most noticeable piece is “Check” from Girls’ Generation’s Party single which is filled with numeous runs from Taeyeon, similarly “Bump It” from the Lion Heart album also features many runs from TaeYeon as do many of the songs from that album. However in 2012 Taeyeon showed she was definitely capable of doing complicated runs live with her various performances of “Lady Marmalade” with Tiffany.  Taeyeon has shown she is best suited for slow to mid-tempo runs with faster runs she tends to lose control and rhythmic flow and her pitch tends to go off.

Overall analysis

TaeYeon made her debut in 2007 as the main vocalist and leader of South Korea’s leading girl group Girls’ Generation. Since her debut Taeyeon has made a name for herself as one of South Korea’s top idol vocalist and one of their most respected singers because of her many OST with her 2008 OST “If” being her most popular and the one that put her in South Korea’s eyes as a vocalist. TaeYeon is often praised for her ability to convey emotions as a singer. Composer Yoo Youngseok expressed his feeling about TaeYeon’s voice saying “Taeyeon feels like a woman who has been divorced 7 times”, meaning she is able to sing about heart break and parting well. Label mate JongHyun of SHINee expresed his agreement with composer Yoo Youngseok’s comment about Taeyeon saying, “I also feel that [Taeyeon’s] voice sounds like a woman with lots of experience of love and parting.” He reveals that he has felt this way about her ever since they were both trainees and Taeyeon “was born with the talent of expressing her sensitivity” showing he acknowledges his label mate’s skill.

During her debut years, Taeyeon used much more chest resonance in her singing, causing her to have a much richer and fuller tone production. However it seems after 2009 she switched to a lighter and brighter tone quality with some slight airiness as well. This is best exemplified in her radio performances prior to 2009, for example her performance of “Reflection” with Tiffany. In this performance TaeYeon is using a significant amount of chest resonance resulting in a richer and more womanly sounding tone. This is even evident when comparing mixed voice notes from then with more recent ones. For example the C5 in “Dear Mom”: the 2009 C5 has more chest resonance and slightly fuller tone quality, whereas the 2011 C5 has more of brighter tone production, but better resonance. Her switch to a lighter tone production definitely is not negative nor positive as it didn’t positively or negatively affect her voice. Also it seems as of 2015 she has found more of middle ground between the two.

Taeyeon’s mixed register is much more on the lighter and brighter side of the spectrum than it is on the dark and heavy side, especially after 2009. At the beginning of her career Taeyeon’s mix was quite developed up to C5/C#5 as it had a very strong, forward, and resonant sound within this range. She demonstrated this many times during her debut days for example the C#5s in “Baby Baby” were almost always resonant and supported especially the C#5 from this “Baby Baby” performance. She also had many good notes in the Bb4 to C5 range for example the Bb4s and C5 in “Want and Resent” with Jessica. During this time TaeYeon also supported a D5 during her radio performance of “Counting Kisses with You” also with Jessica, although this D5 in particular was not resonant it had very nice support and power. Even though that D5 was supported, Taeyeon rarely supported D5 at that time, as many of her D5s in “Into the New World” were tight. Taeyeon’s mixed voice above C#5 was very underdeveloped which was why during that time period she did not have many high notes above Eb5.

Fast forward to Taeyeon in 2009 and 2010 not much happened in these years for Taeyeon aside for her having her first studio F5 in “Wake Up” from the Hoot mini album in 2010.  In 2012 SM Entertainment debuted the Girls’ Generation sub-unit TTS featuring members Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. The unit’s primary purpose was to showcase the vocal talents of those three members. “Twinkle“, the leading track, required Taeyeon to sing F#5s in every performance. Prior to 2012 Taeyeon had no studio recorded or live F#5s. These F#5s proved to be quite a challenge for Taeyeon because almost all of them were strained and off the center of pitch as shown in this video here, and all of those F#5 were inadequately mixed with an excessive amount of pushing. Not only was she required to sing the F#5s in “Twinkle”, but also “Baby Steps” which was also part of the Twinkle mini album. Those F#5s were of the same quality as the “Twinkle” F#5s. After straining her way through those performances for so long, Taeyeon began to have difficulty singing above C#5. In 2013 Girl’s Generation kicked off the year with pre-promotional track “Dancing Queen” before releasing lead track “I Got A Boy.” ‘Dancing Queen” and “I Got A Boy” were both less taxing vocally than “Twinkle” and “Baby Steps”, however Taeyeon still couldn’t handle the D5s she was required due to her regression above C#5. The “Dancing Queen” D5s were all quite strained and pushed, however 2013 was still fairly good year for her.  In 2013 Taeyeon produced some of her best C5s/C#5s and even had some success above above C#5. TaeYeon’s C5s in “Lost in Love” with Tiffany are some of the best of her career. Also TaeYeon’s Eb5s from the “Express 999” live performances had support although some tension was also present, such as the Gayo Daejun performance.

In 2015 Taeyeon made significant improvement in her mixed register by expanding her support range from C5/C#5 to C#5/D5. The D5 expansion was first noticed in the Lion Heart album released in August of 2015 in songs like “Green Light” and “Bump It.” The sustained D5 in “Green Light” had strong support and an open sound very different from her D5s in previous years and the phrased D5s in “Bump It” had good support. Taeyeon solidified her supported range with her performances of her song”I” from her solo EP I.  Many of the D5s from these performances were supported as shown by this video here. The D5/C#5s from that line were almost always supported ,especially the C#5, but sadly the sustained E5 afterwards never was. Of course, her D5s do not go without their inconsistencies as there are times that they end up becoming tight, like in one of her live performances of “U R.”

Similarly to what happened in her mixed register, Taeyeon’s lower register has improved significantly over the years, expanding from A3/Bb3 to G3/G#3. Taeyeon for a long time had issues singing below A3 as her lower register was quite underdeveloped. This was especially evident below G3/G#3. Below that her voice would become very airy, quiet, and lack projection, for example her performance of her OST “Missing You Like Crazy” in which she sings many F3s which were consistently airy and not completely pitch centered. G3’s also posed a problem for her, for example the G3 in “Promise“, though there was significantly more connection on the G3 than the F3 that followed, it still sounded uncomfortable for her to hit.

Taeyeon’s head register often flips between falsetto and head voice from what seems to be for stylistic purposes.  Her head voice has a fairly decent connection and support up to F5/F#5,but above that, in both falsetto and head voice, she becomes fairly tense and shrill. Taeyeon does not have a great deal of ease when  it comes to accessing the higher notes of her range mainly the G#5 ~ C6 range. For example her head voice Bb5 at the end of “Gemini” is very tight and strained. Also her head voice lacks true head resonance and is just a supported sound, for example her F#5 in “Shake that Brass” and F5s in “Star.”  Taeyeon has also shown she is able to support G#5 in head voice when she performed “Because You Loved Me” with Seohyun.


Taeyeon is not one for dramatics when it comes to her singing. She’s definitely a fan of keeping a performance sensible and well within her means vocally. She’s a vocalist that likes to carry a performance by conveying emotions through phrasing.  Taeyeon definitely is not a high flying belter, as she stays in more a medium high to low vocal range maxing normally out at F3/F#3 and Eb5/E5, which is fairly consistent with her OST’s and vocal range in Girls’ Generation albums. Although of course there are exceptions to this, as she is occasionally challenged outside that range. Taeyeon’s performance of “Moonlight” is a great representation of her stylistically choices, as range wise she stays somewhere within the G3/G#3 ~ D5 range which is very reasonable for her vocal skill. This performance showed off her resonance in the A4 ~ C#5 very well as it was concentrated within in that area. TaeYeon’s solo album is a good reflection of her as a vocalist as the songs are very different than what is on the Girls’ Generation albums. Her style seems to be more mid to slow tempo songs in a lower range. A good example of this would be “U R” with a range of E3 ~ F5 centering more around the A4 ~ D5 area, which definitely was intentional as that is where she does well.


Competent Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Videos by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

Best Vocal Performance(s)


Analyzed by Pandayeu
(Originally analyzed by zhx)

515 thoughts on “Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Taeyeon [Newly Updated]

    1. She switched the vocal cord coordination to a less balanced or chesty approach and became very heady, it almost like she switched to head voice but I think it was just a very heady mix. I am not 100% sure though.


  1. Hello,

    I’ve noticed that in TTS harmonies, Tiffany always takes the low note while Seohyun usually takes the high note and Taeyeon the middle one. During the Dear Santa verse “Kkumman gateun Christmas Time”, I have been having trouble trying to figure out whether Taeyeon is singing middle and Seohyun is singing high, or whether it’s the other way around. I’ve listened to the MR Removed versions and in this version (at 2:23) it sounds as though Seohyun is singing the highest but in this one (at 3:31) it seems as if Taeyeon is singing highest. I don’t have the best ear for this and was wondering if you could figure it out? Is one of them simply not singing loud enough because I mostly hear two voices or is that just because high notes tend to be harder to hear?

    Thank you,


    1. Hello Michelle,

      You did not need to post the question twice, it sent the first time you posted it. Okay figuring out harmonies is the only time when MR removed videos could be helpful so this time I am okay with this. lol Well before I listen in harmonies, you’re supposed to blend in and usually you tend to let the lead melody be the loudest, while the harmonies are generally softer. But anyway let me listen. So for the first video I hear them landing on F4 for Tiffany, Bb4 for Taeyeon and D5 for Seohyun so they’re singing a Bb major chord in second inversion with the fifth as the lowest note. The second is the same for Seohyun and Taeyeon, but Taeyeon’s voice isn’t as loud so she and Seohyun were blending in a lot more and it was harder to tell. For both of them, Tiffany’s harmony was very easy to hear and Seohyun’s was the softest because she was using falsetto. It is a lot easier to hear the melody, Taeyeon on C5 to Bb4, and the lower harmony which must be G4 to F4 for Tiffany in the first video. In the second video I hear Taeyeon going C5 to Bb4 and Seohyun’s D5 in the background, but Tiffany didn’t sing F4, she sang D4 so she sang a different harmony but was still in key. It was the octave down from Seohyun.


      1. Hello,

        Ah, sorry for sending it twice. I didn’t see it post so I thought something had gone wrong.

        Yeah, I agree that this is probably the only time when MR Removed videos are helpful since they tend to cause a lot of fan fighting. I see, so Seohyun, as usual, is singing the highest note. I had initially thought so but that second video made it really hard to tell.🙂 Thanks so much for going so in detail and clearing up the confusion for me.

        Liked by 1 person

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