Seo In Young’s Vocal Analysis

Vocal Range

C3 ~ F#5 (2 Octaves, 2 notes and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

A3 ~ C5

Voice Type

Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Support is mostly clean and consistent throughout the fourth octave
  • Able to maintain a non-nasal tone quality with enough openness
  • Able to maintain steady support up to B4/C5 consistently
  • Support is present in her chest voice down to A3
  • Able to maintain tone despite lack of support down to F3
  • Able to harmonize relatively well
  • Able to transition into her head voice/falsetto without too much trouble
  • Nasality is rarely ever present in her singing
  • Possibly the strongest vocalist in Jewelry to date

Weaknesses

  • Lacks in terms of throat openness so she’s unable to produce fuller resonance
  • Vocal runs are generally sloppy and lack clarity
  • Unable to show support above C#5
  • Throat closes very quickly as she ascends in the fifth octave
  • Tends to push more air than necessary, numbing her vocal cords as she sings higher
  • Head voice is underdeveloped and, lacks support and projection
  • Lower range below A3 is underdeveloped and lacks support
  • Shows issues with vowels such as “Aye (애/에)”

Registers

  • Lower register: Very extensive in range, being able to sing down to C3 with a decent amount of tone around E3 and above. Support and development of her chest voice are mostly absent until about A3.
  • Mixed register: Consistently supported and ease is present throughout the fourth octave. Support is carried with consistency up to C5, but becomes weaker and less prominent as she sings higher, quickly disappearing on D5.
  • Upper register: The least explored part of her voice. Usually occasionally for embellishments, harmonies or for higher parts in songs with more of a change in dynamics.

Agility

Coming from an older generation of idols who mostly stuck with very typical bubblegum straight pop, with some occasional ballads and maturing into more of a dance pop diva, Seo Inyoung rarely relies on vocal runs. When she does sing them, it is possible to hear that that part of her voice has been neglected and never truly developed. She does not possess the ability to sing individual notes clearly and precisely, instead sliding around the center of pitch and sloppily singing the runs without accuracy in pitch nor rhythm. The result are runs that often sound guessed and mushed together. Examples of this include “마법의 성,” “슈퍼스타,” “처음 느낌처럼” and “Anymore.”

Overall analysis

Seo Inyoung originally debuted as a replacement member of Star Empire’s female idol group Jewelry in 2002. She was one of the longest running and most known members of the group, going onto releasing solo albums and participating in various other projects such as guest appearances in TV shows and numerous appearances on Immortal Song 2. Although originally debuting and maintaining an innocent image from her early years, she is mostly known as a dance-pop diva with numerous hits with Jewelry as well as as a soloist, under her international alter-ego and stage name “Elly.” She’s been known for her singing, as well as her powerful yet light voice. Her voice most definitely would be categorized as a soprano for its naturally higher tessitura and passaggi.

The lower portion of her range is one that’s seen some improvement over time. During the beginning of the career, Seo Inyoung’s main focus was more of a cutesy type of singing. With this type of singing comes a slightly raised high larynx, a narrowed throat shape and a very forward and nasal placement. This all together creates what’s known as “aegyo singing,” alongside breathiness. As such, this type of singing often neglects the lower portion of one’s range as most of the time they stay within their mid-ranges and are unable to really explore their chest voices. Seo Inyoung is no different, however as her music matured, so did her approach to her singing. As such, she started exploring a much lower range overall. This helped her create a much better overall connection with her chest voice muscles, being able to maintain tone much lower than before, as heard with the F3’s in “사랑..그놈.” Even as low as F#3 and G#3, as heard in “헤어지자“, some degree of support is being engaged although the development of her vocal cords still lacks the proper connection to maintain clear tone. Examples of her lower range include the E3’s in “애인있어요” and “사랑이라 쓰고 아픔이라 부른다,” as well as G3’s in “잘가요 로맨스,” and her lowest note to date, the C3’s in “세수.” Support in her lower range starts becoming present starting around A3 and Bb3, as heard in “마법의 성” and “헤어지자.”

Her mixed voice is one in which most change can be heard. When going from her innocent concept, her singing used to be poorly supported and often overly breathy. This can be heard when listening to her older performances, such as “왜 모르니.” As she transitioned into her sexy-concepts and solo performances, her vocals matured well into a lot better connection between breath and vocal cords. She started maintaining her larynx in a more neutral position while maintaining the connection of her vocal cords more steady. This alongside better diaphragmatic breathing allowed her to better developed a strong sense of support throughout the fourth octave. This can heard with the ease she shows when singing songs that are written mostly around the Bb3 ~ Bb4/B4 range, where she shows no signs of struggle and maintains and even column of sound throughout. An example could be “너를 원해.”

However as she ascends in range, issues start to arise. Support can be quite consistent for her around C5, where she’s able to keep her throat mostly opened while maintaining support. Many examples can be heard in “애인있어요,” “세수,” “마법의 성,” “잘가요 로맨스,” “사랑하면 안되나요” and “사랑이라 쓰고 아픔이라 부른다.” However as soon as she explores a range slightly higher, her vocal cords quickly give out and her larynx becomes raised. Around C#5 some support can be carried, as heard in “헤어지자,” however due to the lack of development of her vocal cords and too much air passing through, she tends to push more air with a light and head-dominant approach, becoming thin, quieter and tighter as heard in “너에게 안겨” and “고백,. This only becomes more apparent the higher she sings, with her sound becoming much smaller in volume as she ascends in range. Examples include the D5’s in “Cinderella” and “처음 느낌처럼,” Eb5’s in “못다 핀 꽃 한송이” and “,” E5’s in “사랑이라 쓰고 아픔이라 부른다,” “처음 느낌처럼,” and “마법의 성,” F5’s in “너풀거리듯,” and F#5’s in “너풀거리듯” and “밤차.”

Her least explored and least developed register is her upper register. Although most songs stay within her supported range without going too high and staying within her chest voice and mix, she does have instances of showing her falsetto and head registers. When she sings in her head voice, there’s an absence of strong support, so she often pushes more air and ends up letting her throat close. An example would be the E5 in “애인있어요.” Inconsistently she produces head voice, but more often than not her upper register consists of a breathier, softer falsetto where although a focused sound can be achieved with an “Oo (우)” vowel, she lacks the connection and stretch of her vocal cords, as well as a lack of support overall. This can be heard in “세수,” “처음 느낌처럼,” as well as the F#5 in “Anymore.” It is unknown what the true limit of her head voice is at this point.

Overall she’s a vocalist who’s developed her character and is often overlooked for her singing. Although her image focuses mostly on her as a dance-pop act, she is actually got the basics down for her singing and performs with decent technique throughout her range. She’s able to maintain support even into the fifth octave, which many sopranos have issues with. She does not usually have issues with nasality, nor does she struggle with opening her sound just enough to produce a large enough volume output in her songs. Her sense of dynamics is decently developed, although the lingering tension in the lower portion of her jaw can cause her not to be opened enough to produce bigger resonance at this point. However her current level of skill is sufficient to carry through most of her repertoire and she should be commended for her improvement and work ethic as she’s proved to really want to take her musical career further through her singing.

Musicianship

Seo Inyoung’s roots musically lie mostly in a dance pop background. She does get credit for being able to make songs that are generally more on the ballad side fit a Burlesque-y kind of vibe, such as her re-edition of “마법의 성.” Musically and melodically, she puts more of her effort into dynamically conveying the message of a song, instead of altering the song and making it too different from the original. In her own covers and performances, she tends to stick to the original melody of a song and focus more on the overall delivery of it with accuracy and putting on a good show.

Rating

Average to Above Average Vocalist

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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About ahmin3

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

14 thoughts on “Seo In Young’s Vocal Analysis

  1. Hi. I thought she’d be an Above Average vocalist at first sight, but as I read the analysis, being Average to Above Average is just. My question is, do you think Jessica is a bit better than her? Having a better lower register, occasional resonance, and some supported C#5’s and D5’s entire her career?

    Like

    1. I wonder who you could be Not Steven. I guess we will never know. Actually if you read that out loud, you’ll see it’s not grammatically incorrect nor is it a typo.

      Like

  2. Oooh I didn’t know her ! Thanks for introducing underrated vocalists.. I feel like people are missing a lot of good vocalists unfortunately… I will definitely check videos of her performances
    May I ask who is going to be analyzed next ? I love your analysis T_T

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ahmin, when will come Twice Jihyo’s vocal analysis?
    In the future of the analyzes you will share, Jihyo wrote in 2017,when i see this im excited. Im waiting for Jihyo^^

    Like

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