About & Our Criteria

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Vocal Analyses

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

This blog was made with the intent to share knowledge and share vocal analyses from different vocalists in K-pop. Nobody in the blog is a hater or an anti-fan. The analyses give positive and negative points and are all constructive criticism, nobody is telling you to hate or not listen to your favorite idol vocalist. We’re only letting you know what their vocal skill based on what vocal technique and music theory is from a musically professional standpoint. If you’re confused about rankings, categories and such, click the about and our criteria page. This post will also include the information existing in that page if you’re unwilling to click through just click read more. Otherwise click About & Our Criteria and most questions should be answered. We try to back up all our points with substantial evidence from the singers’ performances, we thoroughly listen to their performances from past and present. No one in this blog claims to be an all knowing expert, we’re all learning and everyday we learn more and more, just as we respect your opinions, please respect ours, which were influenced by the knowledge we have and the way we’ve been taught. We encourage healthy discussions about technique! Thank you.

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This blog is dedicated to compile vocal analyses done by our contributors in order to satisfy everyone’s curiosity regarding their idols’ vocal. The analysis will be based solely on VOCAL TECHNIQUE, not tone, timbre, emotions, stage presence, etc.

The analysis might change according to their latest performance.

If you would like your idol to be analyzed feel free to drop the question in the comment box. If you feel that the analysis is not accurate, you could suggest a video or recording and give us the reasoning behind your disagreement. We will gladly alter the vocal analysis page of the respective idol if your reasoning behind it is proven.

Comments will be moderated. Constructive discussions are welcome. Bashful and hateful comments will be deleted. Every idol mentioned here is talented in their own way. Even so, we are focusing solely on their vocal capabilities and we try our best to give an objective analysis regarding the matters.

So far, we will use this system as our judging criteria. We will elaborate more once it’s established. It goes from best to worst.

TERMINOLOGY

Tones/Semitones/Notes/Key
A key of a song means within the key signature of the song. There are 12 notes in total, C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B and back to C, completing one full octave. A tone is from a note up two semitones, so the distance between C and C#/Db is a semitone, whereas C and D are a full note apart. A major Key will follow a tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone pattern, so C major is C D E F G A B C. Although there are no sharps or flats between E and F or B and C, they’re a semitone apart. # stands for sharp and b stands for flat and whether or not you name a note sharp or flat depends on the key, i.e. C# major and Db major are the same key with different names, C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# and Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db, on a piano the same notes are played, just with different names.

Intonation
Being able to stay in pitch and in key. Good intonation means not going sharp, flat or singing a note that isn’t within the chord progression and/or key of the song. Going sharp means slightly above the pitch but not really hitting a note above, so like a note in between C and C#, and flat means a note that’s slightly below pitch, so a note in between C and B, for example.

Larynx Position/High Larynx/Low Larynx/Neutral Larynx
The larynx is the part of the body where the vocal cords are located. The vocal cords are very small and are divided into two parts that vibrate against one another in order to create sound. The speed of the vibration generally determines the pitch someone sings in. Much like tuning a guitar, the more stretched the vocal cords are and thinner they become, the higher the pitch and the thicker they are, the lower the pitch is. In order for a note to be hit, one should have a relaxed opened sound in the larynx, without any restrictions from the throat muscles. If the larynx is pushed down, it creates a froggy and fake “soulful” tone, if it’s pulled up, it creates a thinner, squeezed and tight quality to the voice. The natural state of the larynx is being neutral when it’s relaxed, if it’s forced either up or down, that means the muscles in the throat are creating tension and the larynx is trying to reposition itself in an uncomfortable and unnatural position to hit notes that are not within the individual’s supported range. 

Tonality/Tone Production
The way tone and sound is produced through good support. The voice comes out stable, without any laryngeal restriction nor tension, tone is clean and has the true sound of the individual’s voice type, without an uncentered pitch, excessive breathiness, nasality and tension.

Vibrato
The shift between two notes rapidly within, normally, a sustained note. The difference between the notes is usually less than a semitone. A forced throaty vibrato is usually produced artificially by using the throat, instead of the natural vibrato that comes out once the vocal cords are relaxed with good breath support.

Stability
The stability of the voice, meaning it’s not off pitch and it doesn’t sound wobbly, shaky and unsupported.

Registers
Chest voice, lowest range. Head voice, highest range. Mixed voice, the belting area of the voice.

Support
How the individual vocalist uses their correct breathing technique with the diaphragm to better support, project and hold their voice together.

Placement vs Resonance vs Projection
Resonance is the optimum sound a vocalist should focus on when singing. It is a full, clean and round sound that won’t sound thin, constricted or small. A vocalist who’s resonant will use different types of placements, i.e. their voice will be placed either in their chest, head or mask (cheekbones area, not nose) to project their voice, in each individual register. A vocalist may be able to be resonant in their mixed voice by normally placing their voice in their mask with chest resonance, or as they go higher, with head resonance. A resonant sound is always going to be a projected sound, now resonance doesn’t mean loud, because a loud sound may still be pushed and strained. You may project but still have tension, but in true resonance tension should not be present. Resonance is produced when the vocalist is able to support their voice. In other words, they have developed vocal cords that are able to connect fully in a healthy manner, without breathiness coming between them nor too much constriction, against the right amount of air pressure. Then the supported sound is enhanced with the proper placement of sound, while keeping the soft palate lifted, the larynx position not high, the swallowing muscles, jaw, tongue And throat relaxed and the jaw dropped so as to amplify the sound of the voice. The combination of an open throat, support, relaxed singing and proper placement is what creates healthy resonance in singing.

Vocal Range vs Supported Range vs Tessitura
Vocal range means the individual’s lowest singable note to the individual’s highest singable note.  A tessitura will depend on the individual’s voice type and where their voice sits most comfortably, shines the most and could project the best. A supported range includes notes outside the tessitura where the individual’s voice type may not be naturally inclined to project well in, however so due to the vocalist’s own ability, they’re able to still maintain tone production, support, projection and stability. e.g In classical music, sopranos’ tessituras are something in between A3/C4 to  A5/C6, however in contemporary music a soprano singing as high as C6 is very uncommon and unnecessary; a contemporary soprano, for an example Luna, is able to keep resonance consistently up until Eb5, which is almost ideal for a soprano who should be able to carry that resonance up until A5 without a problem. However so she’s also able to sing down to G3 with correct support, which although is outside her voice type’s natural tessitura, she’s still able to keep support and projection down there.

Musicianship/Musicality
Musicianship is the act of changing any song given to you and making it your own, usually on the spot. This includes melodic changes, rhythmic changes and added embellishments. Musicality is the act of interpreting music correctly according to each individual genre of music, by adding the correct use of vocal effects (e.g. raspiness, breathiness, growls, vocal runs, vibrato) and playing with the song musically by adding dynamics (e.g. singing softly, loudly, powerfully on the right moments of each song).

Passaggi/Vocal Bridges
A passaggio or a vocal bridge is an area of the voice where one’s voices transition naturally from one to the other in the modal register. Usually for males, the distance between the first passaggio, from chest voice to mixed voice, and the second passaggio, from mixed voice to head voice, is only about a 4th apart, whereas for females it’s about an octave apart. Passaggi are important for one to be able to tell what someone’s voice type is. A register break or the highest note you can sing in your chest/mixed voice before transitioning into head voice is NOT your first passaggio. The first passaggio is a note in your range where your voice naturally feels a switch of muscle coordination in your vocal cords. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a chest dominant or balanced mixed voice above your first or even second passaggio. Lyric tenors usually have their passaggi around D4/Eb4 and G4/Ab4, whereas lyric baritones have their passaggi at B3 and E4. Lyric sopranos are usually at F4/F#4 and F5/F#5.

Legato/Staccato
A musical phrase usually will last a couple of bars. During a phrase, the melody may be played/sung smoothly connected without every note sounding chopped up, whereas staccato means emphasizing every single note separately with minor less than a second breaks in between every note. Legato is the most basic form of singing through correct breath control and support.

Agility
Vocal agility is an embellishment and it means, being able to sing many notes accurately and quickly, by separating each individual note while still being able to connect them within one sung vowel. Those are usually called melismas or vocal runs.

CRITERIA

The new labels on the blog will classify vocalists and label them within their own stylistic choices, vocal register development, supported ranges and where their strengths lie. This isn’t to say anybody is better than anybody. This will merely classify them within their own styles. A vocalist may fit into more than one category at a time.

MH Vocalists: Mid-Range Head Voice Vocalists

Vocalists in this category haven’t developed their head voices very high but are able to use them within a relatively low to mid range in their voice type’s tessitura. They maintain connection at will and are able to access their head voices at will.

Sopranos: Up to at least D5 up to G5/G#5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Up to at least C5 up to F5/F#5
Tenors: Up to at least A4 up to D5/Eb5
Baritones: Up to at least F4 up to Bb4/B4

HV Vocalists: High Head Voice Vocalists

Vocalists in this category have developed a relaxed and open sound in their head voices. They can manipulate dynamics, qualities within their head voices, they maintain supported qualities and manipulate the placement in their head voices well.

Sopranos: Starting Around A5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Starting around G5
Tenors: Starting around E5
Baritones: Starting around C5

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

Vocalists within this category generally perform the best within their mid-belting mixed voice range. Once they go high, they might have issues with keeping their throats as opened as they were in their mid belting ranges. They must be able to produce resonance in their mixed voices to be classified in this category.

Sopranos: Up to at least C5 up to D5/Eb5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Up to at least Bb4 up to C5/C#5
Tenors: Up to at least G4 up to A4
Baritones: Up to at least Eb4 up to F4

HB Vocalists: High Range Belters

Vocalists in this category perform best and have the most ease within their upper mixed voice ranges. They are able to keep an opened sound without losing tone quality, without losing support and without losing volume while still being relaxed. They must be able to produce resonance in their mixed voices to be classified in this category.

Sopranos: Starting around E5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Starting around D5
Tenors: Starting around Bb4
Baritones: Starting around F#4

M Vocalists: Mid-Range Vocalists

Vocalists in this category are those with relatively narrow supported ranges, whose strengths lie in singing within an octave of their range without going too high or too low too often. They generally keep support within a mid one octave range, but outside of that strain can become more apparent and intense.

Sopranos: Falling somewhere within A3/Bb3 ~ Bb4/B4
Mezzo-Sopranos: Falling somewhere within G3/G#3 ~ G#4/A4
Tenors: Falling somewhere within E3 ~ F4/F#4
Baritones: Falling somewhere within C3 ~ C#4/D4

ML Vocalists: Mid-Low Range Vocalists

Vocalists in this category have somewhat developed their lower ranges, but could still further develop the strength in the vocal cord development, projection, support and connection as they descend lower in range.

Sopranos: Going down to about G#3/G3
Mezzo-Sopranos: Going down to about F#3/F3
Tenors: Going down to about C#3/C3
Baritones: Going down to about A2/G#2

LR Vocalists: Low Range Vocalists

Vocalists in this category generally develop their lower ranges well and are comfortable singing lower than most within their voice types. They have developed chest voices, sung without tension, with connection, projection and ease.

Sopranos: Anywhere starting on F#3 and below
Mezzo-Sopranos: Anywhere starting on E3 and below
Tenors: Anywhere starting on B2 and below
Baritones: Anywhere starting on G2 and below

S vocalists: Stylistic Vocalists

Vocalists within this category usually prefer to sing in a specific specialized generally breathy way, narrowing their genre to keep themselves true to their style. They can often prefer breathiness, soft singing, throatiness and falsetto over singing with more connection and belting with more openness/roundness in tone.

C Vocalists: Commercial Vocalists

Vocalists in this category lack in terms of clarity of tone and overall management of airflow. They don’t necessarily prefer stylistic qualities like breathiness or soft singing. Instead they prefer to sing in a way that’s specific to their own music only, preferring to sing with high larynxes, or more air pressure, etc.

MA Vocalists: Melismatic/Agile Vocalists

This category is exclusive for the vocalists who have learned to how to properly move their vocal cords from note to note, at the center of pitch, with precision, control and ease. They have flexible vocal cords that respond to changes in pitch without sliding through them, but instead hitting each single note at a time with accuracy.

WR vocalists: Well Rounded Vocalists

Vocalists in this category have developed their ranges to sing within a variety of genres and styles while keeping a strong connection between their vocal cords and air management to sing with minimal strain within a wider range, from chest voice to mixed voice to head voice. The development of each of those registers should be both consistent and balanced.

For further question you can check our “The Team” page and contact us directly if you’d like.

Regards,

Ahmin & Pandayeu

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

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10,697 thoughts on “About & Our Criteria

    1. Actually I really wanted to hear you sing myself. And I’m not disappointed I did. Sure there are a few moments of lack of stability, you’re shaky and ever so slightly pitchy. But I’ve heard much more troublesome singing before, trust me. This is actually nice, you have a nice voice! You’re holding back quite a bit, but your pitch isn’t bad, your diction could be more opened. But you’re not tone deaf at all. Don’t ever listen to anybody who says that. Don’t ever listen to someone who gives criticism without being constructive. Criticism that isn’t helpful is just ignorance and misinformation.

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      1. Thank you so much 😀 actually im really aware that im shaky (especially the last part haha) did some few recordings before but the video file is too large that’s why i had to look for my old phone and shoot really fast before my parents come home and im actually holding back because i feel like i sing really loud and i dont want to disturb my neighbors

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    1. And also, our choir (yes I’m in a choir yay) is introducing a Lax Vox tube to relax our voice, so I don’t know if you have heard of it and what do you think about it. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Hi. I don’t know if this is allowed here but I really wanted to know what to ask because I couldn’t tell. In a song called “So Good” from Red Velvet’s recent album, at 2:23 to 2:29 Seulgi did a riff and ended with a low note and it sounds like a B3 or C2. I’m learning music and I don’t want anyone wasting their valuable time in my silly questions but if possible, could someone correct me? Link to song: https://youtu.be/jXQg_1NvF4U

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    1. Allowed here, where? On this page? I’d really rather you ask a question about a vocalist that’s been analyzed on their analysis page. This is about Seulgi, so Seulgi has an analysis, there should be no reason this question couldn’t have been posted there where other fans would see it and find the answer themselves whenever they like. Instead nobody would think to look here for this answer. I’m okay with a question about pitch that’s specific. I’m so confused by the notes you used actually. B3 or C2? Those notes are so far away though. Did you mean B2 or C3? Because those are a semitone apart, while C2 and B3 are almost two octaves apart. I heard the riff and the last note sounds like F#3 to me.

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  2. hey not sure if anyone asked about them before or if you are familiar with the group
    but I would like to know if yuqi the lead vocalist can support(0:30)? also miyeon the main vocal sounds like she can support even to my untrained ears but I wonder are her high notes strained(0:55, 1:14)?

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  3. I’ve seen some people saying that Xtina isn’t really a mezzo, but a coloratura or full lyric soprano. What are your thoughts on this Ahmin?

    Also would you give Jihyo a supported range? I know you probably won’t since she hasn’t been analysed yet but I was mainly wondering if she could support B4’s and lower that G#3.

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    1. I am pretty sure she supports B4 but Jihyo’s lower range has always seemed very underwhelming below Bb3. So G#3 sounds hard to believe. As for Christina, I don’t know. I have also wondered, but I just don’t know.

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      1. So Jihyo’s supported range would be Bb3-B4 then? Not too bad I suppose. I suspect she can’t produce resonance, can she?

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  4. Also! I was browsing through some comment sections in which you said overall, japanese vocalists are not too impressive.
    There’s a female trio called “Kalafina” that sung a lot of openings/endings for anime such as Kara no Kyoukai, Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica.
    I was wondering if you’ve heard of them? I feel like they have decent technique or at least they can support. Although they’re not Korean, would you mind if I link you a couple of short videos to ask about them? I’m really curious, but I’d understand if you’d rather not.

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    1. I’d really rather not, and did you say openings/endings? I know a couple of songs from Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica, at least I must have heard them once in my life. If they had support, I feel I’d have taken notice of it.

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      1. The songs are “To the beginning” (fate/zero op) and “Magia” (madoka ed), maybe you’ve heard them lol.
        Oh okay, don’t worry and thanks anyways~

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    2. Ahmin’s expressed before he hasn’t heard any Japanese vocalists who have shown proper support so that might be able to help considering Ahmin doesn’t usually check videos of non k-pop singers unless it’s a very specific question!

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      1. Yes, I stated that in my initial comment, I already knew, but thanks for the explanation nonetheless.
        However I highly doubt Ahmin has listened to every single Japanese vocalist in existence and I am sure at least some are able to support, even if it’s not a common thing. It’d be strange if there wasn’t a single Japanese vocalist in the entire world who could sing with proper support, and that’s why I asked.
        (sorry if I sound rude, it’s not my intention)

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  5. Hello i just want to ask something everytime i try to hit notes around E4-F4(im a guy) there are times i feel too chesty and theres something on my throat, but there are times i can feel the sound is bouncing above my mouth something like that and i dont feel any constriction on my throat. Can you tell me what is that feeling when the sound is like bouncing/passing above my mouth?? Thank you.

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    1. No, I’m afraid without hearing you I can’t really explain what you’re feeling. Singing is a sound, I can’t guess things without hearing what they sound like.

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