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October 21, 2003

THE COUNTERTENOR

La Scena Musicale
Daniel Taylor

As in any voice category, singers can and do use very different approaches to their vocal production. Today, there are basically two types of countertenor, one based on falsetto and the other on non-falsetto singing. The term falsetto refers to the effect of having air flow create a hole in the middle of the vocal folds. Emphasis is put on using the sinus as a focus of the resonance and the sound is then produced by the vibration of the tissue located on the sides of the vocal cords (see Peter Giles's book on the basic countertenor technique). Other countertenors vibrate their cords in the same way as most singers do. To demonstrate this phenomenon, both Andreas Scholl and I had our vocal cords filmed with a laryngoscope.

In our case as, in any other voice-type, the sounds are produced with the vocal cords stretched and therefore thinner, as pitch increases, thereby giving greater range to the normal voice. More

Posted by acapnews at October 21, 2003 4:01 PM

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