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

Taeyeon1

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

Strengths/Achievements

  • 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

Weaknesses

  • 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

Registers

  • 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.

Agility

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 which had a full and resonant quality. She also had many good notes in the Bb4 to C5 range for example the Bb4s and C5s 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, however 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. Taeyeon D5s have become fairly consistent with support, for example her D5s in “Fine”  from her My Voice 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 were pushed causing the tone quality to become small, thin, and slightly whiny even though they were supported.

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 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.

Musicianship

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.

Rating

Proficient Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Videos by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

Best Vocal Performance(s)

 

Analyzed by Pandayeu
(Originally analyzed by zhx)

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

  1. hello! could i bother you guys to ask you about taeyeon’s head voice in this performance?
    particularly the f#5’s in 2:48 and 3:15 & the e5 in 3:25

    (hope that embedding worked)
    i’m pretty sure the e5 is supported, but i’m a little less sure about the f#5’s

    anyways, thank you guys for your hard work!

    Like

    1. Both of the F#5s and E5 were supported in head voice. Goodness this song is so beautiful. It truly is only of my favorites off the My Voice album it seems so personal to her and the vocal direction is just beautiful. Those head voice notes were really pretty some of her best especially the first F#5.

      Like

      1. i know, right? i thought her head voice sounded gorgeous there, but i just wanted to be 100% sure about the technical aspect of it haha. thank you!

        Like

    2. she seems to be getting better at head voice!! I think she’s been practicing her technique and it’s so nice to see her developing her voice ❤

      Like

  2. Can someone tell me if her notes in D5 for feel so fine, fine, and you are are resonant? Is her head voice F#5 and B5 resonant? D5 is starting here at 10:56 and head voice near end of the video.

    So sad she did not come to the Philippines i want to hear her sing

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, it is appearing in my comment for me but maybe it is an error. here is the link again thanks

        Like

      2. This video is fairly long are there any ones that you are especially wondering about? Because there are many D5s in this video and it’s kind of hassle to go through and filter them lol.

        Like

  3. Is this okay? sorry i cannot narrow it down more i can not tell which are better than each other
    1)11:14-11:20
    2) 12:28-12:48
    3) 12:57
    4) 3:13/22/31
    thank you for analysis!. and F#5-B5 is at 17:31

    Like

    1. 1. The first one is a little bit closed because she didn’t really do the vowel correctly, however it is supported. The second one is a lot more opened I wouldn’t necessarily call it resonant, but it was fairly open and the placement was good.

      2. For the first one..again it’s the vowel. Oh really isn’t her vowel. It’s an open vowel, but somehow she closes the back of her throat when singing on it. I should add this to her analysis. So the second is a lot more open and forward due to the video quality I can’t really say it’s resonant..Third D5 this one is really nice. I would call it resonant. Fourth D5 this one was tight like the first one.

      3. This one was a little bit tight. I feel this is from the days when she was probably tired.

      4. She pushed it just a little bit, but the support was there. 2nd D5 this one was resonant. 3rd D5 This one was open and supported

      4. The F#5s were really good they were popped forward very nicely they had a good resonance to them. The B5s were strained.

      Like

      1. Thabk you lots and lots for answering pandayeu! Did she show any sign or form of improvement since her latest comeback?

        Like

      2. Like consistent improvement? No, however I was impressed by some or her Eb5s and E5s they werent really supported, however they were a lot more open and free.

        Like

  4. Ahmin/Pandayeu or anyone, correct m if i’m wrong please :

    Low notes :
    Tiff/Jessica > Seo/Tae >>> Sunny

    Mixing :
    Tae >> Seo/Sica > Sunny/Tiff

    Head Voice :
    Sunny > Tae > Seo >> Tiff > Sica

    Pitch concistency :
    Seo > Tae/Sica >> Tiff/Sunny

    Agility :
    Tae > Seo/Sica > Tiff> Sunny

    Overall :
    Tae >> Seo/Sica > Sunny > Tiff

    Like

  5. Hello guys :)) I red this comment on/in (weak english😂 It’s on isn’t it 😏) youtube and I honestly disagree with it just because ally+Perrie Eb5 seems more comfortable than taeyeon then they are better ! If they all aren’t supporting no one is technically anything better right ??? Also taeyeon did show support i believe 4 times in her Eb5 while they didn’t… ( I’m not trained but I do think something is off on Perrie D5 she seemed comfortable till C5/C#5) , since you’re not analyzing ally or Perrie I won’t complain but is his opinion right about tae? here’s the comment ——— teayeon is consistently supported up to C#5/D5 still her D5 is inconsistent, and she’s resonant consistently up to C5/C#5. Perrie is supported up to D5 consistently and resonant up to D5 consistently. The placement of Perrie is better in the middle register, and her upper register has less tension than Taeyeon, Taeyeon had a lot of tongue tensions in the upper register lol.. In the head register Perrie is consistently supported up to C6, which is better than ally, and resonant up to B5/C6, while Taeyeon is supported up to F5/F#5 but with NO resonance and her support is still really inconsistent in the head register, her placement is pretty average in this register. The only register when Taeyeon is better is the low, Perrie is supported down to A3 and below that she sings with an low larynx, while Taeyeon is supported down to G3/G#3 and below that she can sings with an neutral larynx. Globally Perrie is proficient to good, Taeyeon is proficient, so obviousely Perrie wins. Ally is proficient to good too. Taeyeon’s mixed register is the weakest here. Ally’s low register and middle register is better than Taeyeon. Falsetto’s notes of Taeyeon are really shrill, while Perrie’s falsetto notes are well controlled and are relaxed. Globally : Perrie > Ally >>> Taeyeon. Perrie and Ally are on the level of Luna, not Taeyeon. Taeyeon’s Eb5 is strained, pushed, very tight and at time closed throat. Ally’s Eb5 is better because she has less tensions and is more relaxed. Both of them are unsupported above D5. So yes Perrie and Ally are “much” better than Taeyeon…..

    Like

  6. Hello! I love your blog and this analysis im so happy I found it. I have a few questions if you don’t mind.
    It says in the strength and achievement part: “At times head voice can be produced up to F#5/G5”
    Shouldn’t this be B5 because Fine performances or she is inconsistent other than that?

    You also talked about her using a chestier mix before and now a lighter one. Is this something she can change at will?

    When she regressed above c#5 is this due to physical damage to her vocal chords?

    Could you tell me what notes are at 0:19, 0:25 and 0:38? Are they resonant/supported or did she struggle?

    Lots of question hope you didn’t mind

    Like

    1. 1. I just haven’t gotten around to updating that. Also it doesn’t really matter because it’s still strained. It doesn’t make a real difference y’know?

      2. Her mixing style changed due to her using a more effective and healthier technique. It doesn’t really have much to do with her stylistically, but yeah she can change it depending on what she is going for.

      3. Well, I can’t really answer that for certain because I can’t look inside of her voice lol. But the regression was the result of fatigue and not using a very effective technique.

      4. They’re all supported.

      Like

      1. Ah, since it is strained the only thing that would mean is she has the range which isn’t that important correct?
        For the video, were you able hear what notes those were? And if you say supported that means they are not resonance notes right? Thank you!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah pretty much. They are all D5s I believe. Yes, that’s exactly what the means, however I don’t like judging notes based of fancams because of all of the noise pollution, feedback, and overally quality. So those notes could be resonant or something, but I am edging on the side of caution.

        Like

  7. Sorry if this is too many questions. Could I just get an answer for the last 2 instead about the regression above C#5 and the video thank you !

    Like

  8. Hello! I was wondering how many times does she need to support Eb5 until it can be included in her supported range ? How exactly do you measure consistency? I’m sorry if that sounded rude or anything. I’m genuinely intrigued !

    Like

    1. I feel I have answered this before on this same analysis lol. There really isnt a set number we just have to play it by ear really. I don’t know how to explain this because I can’t really use numbers for it. But really Taeyeon isnt close to having Eb5 in her supported range, at least not yet.

      Like

      1. I see.. and I apologized for having you to answer it again ( didn’t go through all the comments in its entirety ) I feel like setting up a certain standard would be a good idea but I guess it doesn’t really apply to everything lol. It does sound silly to put numbers for it. I can’t wait to see her improve more though and I’m a big fan of the blog!

        Like

      2. Yeah, we just really can’t lol. Because let’s say they only have two Eb5s and both of them were supported, well that’s not consistency because we have only heard two Eb5s. So we cant really say they support Eb5s when we dont have enough information. It definitely takes a lot of performances lol

        Like

  9. Do you agree if i said taeyeon have rock styled vocal ? Which is quite rare in kpop , it shows in the way she sang & more importantly , the genre she chose for her singles ( pop-rock ) , she reminds me of Kelly Clarkson or alanis morisette . Pop-rock genre seems to be her favourite & the style she chose to express herself as singer.

    Like

    1. I’m not really familiar with rock music, however I don’t really believe saying Taeyeon sings with a rock style is the most accurate. I mean I don’t really know; I haven’t put much thought into it.

      Like

  10. Hello Ahmin or Pandayeu,

    I just noticed Taeyeon seemed to be belting a E5 here:

    Devil’s Cry L.A. 2012 live

    1.Can you let me know how the note was hit? @ 1:35

    2. Also at the beginning @0:30-0:40, is that her voice? Is she using vocal fry to sound so different?

    Thank you!

    Sara

    Like

      1. Thank you for the fast reply Ahmin3! So this note is well supported but not resonant because it is pushy? Pushy = shouting quality?

        Like

      2. She sounded tight and somewhat flat. 0:55 was better, it lacked the pinginess of the placement for resonance. So yeah just supported, Taeyeon gets fatigued easily.

        Like

      3. if it is tight does that mean it was strain?
        You say that Taeyeon gets fatigue easily. Can I ask what is the relationship of this to how she did in the performance? Is that why she was tight?

        Like

      4. It means there’s tension. It’s only strained if it’s too tight. Yes, Taeyeon sounded fatigued and lacked stamina.

        Like

    1. She has been so busy with her solo album + concert then 10th anniversary so she must be fatigued as you say.

      Do these mistakes she makes when she is fatigued are considered as flaws in her technique and consistency, and is getting fatigued easily considered a weakness?

      Like

      1. I can’t say for sure, to an extent it’s technical, but many times people are just more prone to getting tired and are less resistant. Which is why we can be lenient towards fatigue.

        Like

  11. Hi, there is new reality show called Idol School i’m sure you’ve heard it

    Can i ask was this girl really good in singing, her score in singing was the best among others

    Her name is Natty i already time tag it here

    thank you

    Like

      1. Too many people are asking about this. I’ll copy-paste:
        “She didn’t give her a perfect score, she just said perfect in English. I don’t see the part where there’s a score like 100/100. She was just complimenting her expressiveness and her Korean, she wasn’t talking about her singing technique at all actually.”

        Like

      2. whoa really? i tried search with some keyword in this blog but couldn’t find it that’s why i asked here. sorry for that

        she got 9.8/10 score. and what i wonder was, is she actually singing well and compared to others?

        Like

      3. I would rather not comment on her singing or anybody singing on that show because I don’t think any of them, the ones I heard, were singing free of tension at all and this song only goes up to B4.

        Like

  12. Hi there, this is Taeyeon’s D5 in her debut stage (1:06)
    Could you tell me is that D5 supported?
    Thank you with love.

    Like

    1. Im not going to watch it, but if it’s not Tae>Seo/(Jess)>Sunny>Tiffany then it’s not correct. We have our analyses and a chart already ranking them, therefore if it is anything than those then we don’t agree with it.

      Like

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