D3 ~ C6 (2 octaves and 5 notes)
G3/G#3 ~ C#5/D5 (without head voice)
G3/G#3 – C#5/D5 ~ F5/F#5 (with head voice)
- 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 B5 and resonance up to F#5
- 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.
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 his appreciation for his label mate’s skill.
During her rookie years, TaeYeon used more chest resonance in her chest voice; therefore causing her to have a richer and fuller tone production. However later on, she switches to a lighter, brighter and slightly airier approach. For example in her 2008 performance of “Reflection,” TaeYeon utilizes a significant amount of chest resonance in her chest voice and mix resulting in a richer and more womanly sounding tone, as opposed to her performance of “I Love You” in 2013 where tone quality was lighter and brighter in her chest voice and mix. This change is even noticeable when comparing mixed voice notes from then with more recent ones. For example in the way she approaches the C5 in “Dear Mom.” The C5 from this 2009 “Dear Mom” performance has more chest resonance and slightly fuller tone quality, whereas the C5 from this 2011 “Dear Mom” performance has a brighter tone production, but better resonance. Her switch to a lighter approach is neither negative or positive as it does not positively or negatively affect her voice.
In her mixed register Taeyeon uses a lighter and brighter approach , especially when compared to the beginning of her career. At the beginning of her career, Taeyeon had considerable development up to C5/C#5 accompanied by a strong, forward, and resonant sound within that range. For example the C#5s in “Baby Baby” had consistent support and occasional resonance, especially the C#5 from this “Baby Baby” performance having full, forward and resonant quality. She has also produced many good notes from this era in the Bb4-C5 range as well, for example in “Want and Resent” resonating C5s. Also during this time TaeYeon supported a D5 during her radio performance of “Counting Kisses with You.” Although this D5 in particular was not resonant, it had connected support and power. However, this was a very rare occurrence. Taeyeon’s mixed voice above C#5 was very underdeveloped at this time which resulted in many of her D5s from “Into The New World” being strained.
Fast forward to 2010 not much happened for Taeyeon technically, except for her having her first studio F5 in “Wake Up” from the Hoot mini album in 2010. In 2012 SM Entertainment introduced 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. The F#5s in “Twinkle” proved to be incredibly difficult for her; not only were they were the strained, but also many of them fell flat because she did not have vocal stamina for them. 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 mirrored the quality of the F#5s of “Twinkle”:strained, pushed and flat. After consistently straining her voice during that promotion period, Taeyeon began to have difficulty singing above C#5. In 2013 Girl’s Generation released ”Dancing Queen” and “I Got A Boy” both less taxing vocally than “Twinkle” and “Baby Steps”, however she was still unable to handle the D5s because of effects of the previous promotion.Although the “Dancing Queen” D5s were all quite strained and pushed 2013 was still a good year for her vocally. In 2013 Taeyeon produced some of her best C5s/C#5s and even had some success above above C#5. For instance Taeyeon’s C5s in “Lost in Love” had a very clean resonance and even vibrato; she even managed to bring resonance and support up to Eb5 while performing “Express 999” several times.
Taeyeon has made significant improvement in her mixed register by expanding her support range from C5/C#5 to C#5/D5. The D5 improvement 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 which was very different from her D5s in previous years, and the phrased D5s in “Bump It” also had good support. Taeyeon solidified her improvment with her performances of her song”I” from her solo EP I. Moving forward, Taeyeon D5s have become fairly consistent with support, for example her D5s in “Fine” from her My Voice album were supported with good placement having a strong and full tone quality. However, she has a tendency to push her D5s because of them being at the top of her supported range, for example her D5s from performance of “Fine” on Sketchbook. However Taeyeon has shown she is completely capable of producing resonance on D5, for example her D5 in “U R” from her Butterfly Kiss concert and her D5 in “Feel So Fine” from Persona; despite the quality of the fancams, both notes have a very supported, projected, and clear sound.
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. In recent years, Taeyeon has become more solid and consistent supporting G3/G#3 for example her G3s in “I Got Love” had a very full tone quality and projected well as well as sounding very comfortable and easy for her. This is because the muscle co-ordination in that area has strengthen and she is also committing to her chest voice better.
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. In more recent years, TaeYeon has significantly improved in the G5-B5 range being able to vocalize more easily up there. For instance, her B5 in “Fine,” although strained, has significantly more openness and support than her Bb5 in “Gemini” from her I mini album. In addition, she has also shown more openness and resonance towards the top of her supported range, such as her F#5s from “When I was Young” which had a very strong connection to the support system with a very pure and whole sound.
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.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Videos by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
Video by: Avatarkyungsoo
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Pandayeu
(Originally analyzed by zhx)