Eurovox lecture on female tenor research

There is a misunderstanding over what female tenors should do in order to match their fellow male tenors in vocal sound colour in a classical choral setting. Yes the male tenors are singing on the top of their voice and the women are singing in their lowest part, but, where vocal range and registration are coming together, adjustment of the vocal tract and breath flow should follow comparable patterns no matter male or female. Thus, both sexes should be able to create a “melting” vocal sound quality under the right conditions.

To test this hypothesis, a research project has been designed in which amateur choral tenors, men and women, were invited to sing a serial of vocal exercises which were recorded.  Voice characteristics in both gender groups were determined and compared with the aid of voice analysis software. It is possible to describe a set of technical vocal skills that female tenors need to learn. The shout like voice quality is investigated in more detail.

The author makes a call to action to all singers, conductors, teachers and singing professionals which are interested in female tenors, to become active  “Female Tenor Fans”.  Together it will be possible to help mixed classical choirs in Europe to find their new tenors.

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