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General >> General Discussions >> Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
(Message started by: Jar El Amar on Oct 31st, 2007, 2:11am)

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by Jar El Amar on Oct 31st, 2007, 2:11am
This is the quality of topics & members that we really need to support in this Forum

thanks for your effort

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by madge on Oct 31st, 2007, 6:53am
aah thank you la stupenda its a nice topic

i really like yuma summac !! i never heard of her before

have u ever heard of mercedes sosa? the argentinian diva she has  such an amazing voice very deep and emotional

or the bolivian diva Luzmila Carpio? shes very interesting too

i also like libertad lamaraque from argentina its mostly tango but i like her, although i heard she has many unreleased songs

they have such amazing voices in south america we really have to put them under the spotlight

what about the voices of  amalia rordriguez and misia ?
how r they considered?
they have such amazing voices

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by shooby on Oct 31st, 2007, 9:31am
DEAR La_Stupenda
really i appereciate this amazing topic , appreciate ur manner in handling such issue , the technical professional way in analyzing these great voices , although i think it might be a very hard topic for those people who never study vocaleese or even study music ....
but really u rock !!!
for me am too happy to know this usefull informations and facts about those .. thx


Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by Jorje286 on Oct 31st, 2007, 9:37pm
It's really very subjective. I don't think you can come up with strict objective standards.

Personally, I don't care about technique as much as I care about beauty of tone and conveying emotions through your voice and interpretation of the music and lyrics.

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by fayik_wala_nasii on Nov 1st, 2007, 5:15am
dear la Stupenda
I would like to clarify some points that you mentioned
first of all magida el roumi does not have better technique, in fact her problem is the way she produces her voice, she has very big letters that go back to her throught espacially the "A" AND AL HAMZAT.
what about fairouz voice, one can not take it as a whole there are a lot of stages. AND I allow myself to say that nobody can duplicate the quality that fairouz used to give during her early career (baldati ghabatoun jamila, ba3dana, loubnan el akhdar, biya3 el khawatem movie)
during that period fairouz had the beautifull timbre, and a very GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD technique.
Fairouz is an Alto and is never considered to have a soprano voice, however if she vocalized more she would have become easily a mezo soprano.
the highest note which I can remember for her right now is the "mi" in tayr el werar. this mi was in very good shape in most of the recordings which allows me to say that she have higher notes, because when talking about a voice as the singer goes either higher or lower from his/her register the notes start to become weaker and weaker until he/she reaches no more notes . thus having a good "mi" (also loud "mi" , and in the 1970's "not when she had the perfect voice") means for sure there is a FA and maybe a SOL and a La (where the quality the quality is weaker and weaker). this means that she is an ALTO that can easily become a Mezo through excercising.
One more point about magida el roumi, magida can not sing quarter tones and this is due to technical deffect and not because she does not have these notes as she says in interviews.
because usually people that grow up in western communities and they don't listen to quarter tones from childhood they will not have these notes not because they have differences in their vocal chords but becuse they are not used to them in the contrary magida el roumi is the daughter of halim el roumi and I know very good how much she was introduced to oriental music from her childhood and the fact that she does not have these notes is due to her BAD technique

note that if interrested we can talk more about the voice of fairouz And how she changed the technique of ARABIC SINGING
(so for a singer who have changed the arabic singing technique you can not say she doesn't have a good technique however for sure her voice passed through ups and downs that we can discuss and maybe relate them to her life and psychology, Remember that Maria Callas which in her beginings had a perfect technique due to stress she lost all her technique )

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by fayik_wala_nasii on Nov 2nd, 2007, 12:39am
dear la_stupenda
I agree with you about the quarter tones and thus no need to add more
what about the notes I thought it is clear because I was saying that fairouz is a kind of high ALTO that can become easilllllyyyyyyy a Mezzo if she practices on these notes more thus what I meant was a mi4 (else how would I say she can become a mezo easily If meant the mi of the contralto)
Also I have not said that her highest note is the mi4 but it is the highest note that I remembered when posting SO she may have higher notes
(no need to clarify to which octaves does the FA and the SOl That I mentioned belong for sure they are the FA4 AND SOL4 )

One more thing in your first post you say " and a relatively extensive vocal range (which extends to maximally 2 octaves" while in your reply you say
"I am sure I heard a soprano C6/Do5 from Fayrouz in Beirut hal tharafat and a Low contralto G3/Sol2 in Ghannaytou makkata." which means according to you that what we heard from fairouz is 2.5 octaves and since she may have more notes that we haven't heard this means her voice spans more than the 2 maximal octaves you talked about.

what about the C6/Do5 in Beirut hal tharafat I don't remember it and unfortunately I don't have the record now to check it

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by fayik_wala_nasii on Nov 2nd, 2007, 6:36am
for me to have a perfect voice
being perfect means having the best in everything and since This can not exist we need to have a compromise, which means an acceptable level of everything.
a very big voice in terms of range without a beautifull timbre is nothing, and a beautifull timbre with off key notes is not acceptable at all.
for me I like fairouz a lot since I can see that she has a beautifull timbre, a good technique when compared to arabic singers (you know we can not compare fairouz to callas or sutherland in term of technique because it is a different kind of ART. In Opera a PERFECT TECHNIQUE IS A MUST BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFICULT PARTS AND RUNS). SO I think Fairouz have the perfect technique for Oriental singing (note that this is a generalization because i some concerts she may be tired or even in some recordings however in general)
for me there works for fairouz which I see as perfect like(biya3 el khwatim movie, RAJ2OU3N, kifak inta album, and many others)
I don't encourage anymore that she uses the pianissimo, because she may loose the projection of her voice and the voice can go to the inside.
What about her new recordings I like her voice in bayti sgheir bi canada (eventhough it is not the perfect voice but the voice is fully projected to teh outside)
while if we compare the sabbah we massa of BTD2000 and the Cd version I find that there is more voice projection in BTD 2000 WHICH IS BETTER.
(I think that i heard once that fairouz prefers to sing nowadays with full voice unlike Ziad who preferes her pianissimo and in this point I totaly agree with Fairouz because for her current voice singing a whole piece in pianissimo can strain her voice as in ya mariam (wala kif CD))
I like the works of Fadia el HAJJ, I like the voice of julia boutros which is progressing (but not her works especially the new ones), For sure OUM Koulthoum has her own characteristics eventhough she is not my best style
What about Opera I like the Early Recordings of Callas. also I like Tereza berganza, elizabeth schwarskoph etc...
What about male singers I like Fritz Wunderlich, fischer dieskau, dmitri hvorostovsky

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by sawairbina on Nov 2nd, 2007, 8:17am
I don't think the word "perfect voice" can be used in a sentence without mentioning Mariah Carey. While she has a different singing style than Fairouz and all other Arabic singers...her voice is something really quite unique.

She is able to cover all the notes from the alto vocal range leading to those of a coloratura soprano and her vocal trademark is her ability to sing in the whistle register. She has a five-octave vocal range.

In fact, if you check on youtube, you can see a video of a live performance of her when she hit an F7# !!

Now I'm not saying that being able to sing extremely high automatically makes you a great singer...but she does use it in her songs in a remarkable impressive way. And she is unmatched in her ability to conduct melismas. She is the one who harnessed this and really made it her trademark. If you watch American Idol...you'll notice that 80% of the singers try to sing in her style (and fail miserably).

So in all, Mariah's voice is truly something of a wonder!

Only other artist I can think of that is quite at her level is Whitney Houston who has a pretty powerful set of pipes herself. These two are the queens of powerful voices and have both been referred to as only "The Voice" in many media publication


Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by sawairbina on Nov 2nd, 2007, 5:43pm
My dear, you need to have a seat and listen to a few Mariah songs to know that she is not simply SCREAMING the high notes to make us all go "WOW"....its a controlled way of singing that only a few people (and opera singers obviouslly) can attain.

everyone, (especially you), check out this video:


I'd LOVE to see you SCREAM that.....

And so what if this Mado Robin chick can hit that high note. Only a small fraction of people enjoy that type of music. Mariah, on the other hand, used her whistle register in all her songs and made it mainstream---and it was definitely not just SCREAMING.

Mariah is synonymous with the words "whistle register"...ask ANYONE and they'll tell you that. No one's gonna mention some French granny who died 50000 years ago.

Get with the times hunny

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by 7kini_7kini on Nov 3rd, 2007, 12:22am
Fight Club! a3ssabkoun...
each one his taste and we have t respect that... even Grannies ! ma heikkk?
plus whats ur problems with high notes and all these techniques... Majida el Roumi has a bigger voice then Fayrouz is she more loved?? Sutherland have a better technique then Callas but whos la Divina?
ur 3ared 3adalet does not impress me its either we are moved by a voice or not ...

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by fayik_wala_nasii on Nov 3rd, 2007, 2:34am
Mariah carey for sure has a big range however I agree with la_stupenda about her technique.
screamed high notes and unprojected pianissimo(most of the time).
technically there is a great tendancy when you sing pianissimo to start talking the notes instead of singing them and I think Mariah is part of this category.
however one can't deny that this is how POP is being sang from many years and so I as a taste don't prefere such a technique.
look at bhibak ma ba3ref of fairouz it is a Classical POP song but still the projection and the technique that fairouz uses in these songs is very similar to the classical technique SO the voice is always projected to the head with a minimal stress on the consonants.
SO POP must not mean that the position of the voice can be alternated from the throught, to the chest and to the head. In a song the voice must be well positioned in one place and adding effects to the song must not change the position of the voice. So when I have a pianissimo I must not wistle it but I must sing it at lower volume and when I have a fortissimo I must not amplify using my chest if previously in the song I was using a head voice. because doing this will make the song loose its coherency. as if I have a singer singing eah part of the song on a different day or on a different year and thus I will have something similar to patch work

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by sawairbina on Nov 3rd, 2007, 7:23am

looks like this sista can't recognize that my homegirl is SANGING. im not wasting my breath on this chick....let her keep listenin to her italian tenors .

pity you don't mean nothin.

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by ahmad_amman on Nov 3rd, 2007, 7:26am
But are Abdul wahab and abdul halim tenors????
it is a known fact that their voices are quite weak dont you agree? :)

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by ahmad_amman on Nov 3rd, 2007, 7:44am
Wadi Safi

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by pcm on Nov 3rd, 2007, 2:03pm
ahmad,wadi3 el safi might be holding a concert lailet il new year in amman..bs i dont know wain..i just got the news but i dont know details!

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by Rony on Nov 3rd, 2007, 6:20pm
This is definitely an interesting topic La_Stupenda (allow me to call you LS; it's shorter :)). From the looks of it, it seems that you and Fayek know a thing or two about singing technique to say the least, that's if you haven't actually studied vocal technique (so have you?). I, on the other hand, have a general public's knowledge of the science of human vocals, but I do know a thing or two about music since I play the piano.

So, to answer your question LS: there is no such thing as a perfect voice if you mean by that absolute perfection. I'm sure everyone is aware of this but I would like to make my point nonetheless. Perfection is a term we people use not to mean absolute perfection but to refer to near-perfect qualities. Yet how would we actually know what's perfect and what's not? Has anyone seen or experienced perfect to know what it's like? Perfection is God's and God's alone. Perfection has no place on earth because of this world's tendency toward disorder (the 2nd law of thermodynamics) and because everything is relative (even time is). So, in order to answer you question, I am going to change it a bit. Instead I will ask myself the following question: "What makes a voice beautiful, captivating, successful?". Again, what's beautiful to one person might not be beautiful to another, but large numbers of people do have some agreement on what is beautiful and what is not. We are after all individuals of the same species, and will always have our common grounds no matter how different we can be from one another.

Before I answer the question, I have a few points to make.  
1. You stated that Fairouz "does not have a great singing technique". How do you define a great technique? And is there really one technique that applies to all singers? The answer is of course not. Different vocal techniques go with different singing genres and styles. Opera is different from pop singing, oriental/arabic singing, Byzantine Christian chanting, Islamic chanting and so forth. One could say, however, that scientifically speaking, all techniques can be classfied using the same norms, but again, what is really a great technique. You said Fairouz had tonal quality, agility, and a good vibrato, and this, to you, has nothing to do with technique?! You seem to relate great technique with extensive vocal range and shear vocal strength. If you do, then howler monkies, lions and bats have great technique!
Let me tell you this my friend. There is no way in hell Fairouz could have become as famous as she is it weren't for her IMPECCABLE technique (impeccable as in excellent and not as in perfect :) ). Let me ask you this: how do you outline a beautiful tone and timbre if you don't have the technique to do it. Hoda's sister has good technique! Because she uses her voice appropriately, hitting the right notes and showing off her tonal beauty! From here, I define good technique as the mastery of voice control. And Fairouz does it extremely well. Please do me a favor and listen to Aatini Nnay, Sakana Llayl, and Ya Bani Oummi to state a few, and then talk to me about good technique.

2. I agree with you LS that Fairouz is a natural Mezzo Soprano/Soprano. Not because she trained to become one, but because she was born one! And in terms of vocal range, Fairouz's cords span a good 3 octaves. In addition to that she can sing in the mezza voce as no one can in the Arab world, with impeccable technique. So that's a whole other dimension even if it might not count towards her vocal range. You see, that's what i love about Fairouz; her voice has multiple dimensions. There's always more you can get out of that voice of hers. I like to say that she always has this "extra-dimension".
So basically, vocal range is hardly anything without a beautiful timbre. I listened to the clip of Yma Sumac you posted. Thank you for sharing it with us. But she is no doubt a freak of nature that woman! I felt very uncomfortable listening to her. If people really wanted to listen to freakishly high and low notes they would only have had to wait for an ambulance to pass by or for a train wagon to brake, making that awful, high-pitched, squeaking sound.

From here, the timbre quality of the voice is everything! Don't ask how high Fairouz can sing, but how high she can sing without disturbing the delicate human ear. A "perfect" voice is a captivating one. And Fairouz does not only have that, but she has it all: vocal strength, stealth, agility, ability to hold a note for a long time, ability to sing various styles and genres, and last but certainly not least, the most beautiful voice of all! Fairouz might not be the best at any one single voice quality (except may be for absolute vocal beauty and uniqueness), but she has the best combination of the various vocal qualities, and that is what makes her what she is. Fairouz fe3lan fe3lan, Allah khala2a w kassar el elib.

I liked how one reporter described Fairouz. He said: "How happy must God have  been when he created Fairouz?" She definitely is MY "perfect voice"!!!    

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by sawairbina on Nov 3rd, 2007, 7:08pm
amen brother! tell it like it is, son!  couldnt have said it better myself

ya HEARD la_stupenda (or should I say STUPIDa) haha jk

that girl is just an inexperienced 18 year old who has a very narrow view in the world of music...

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by Rony on Nov 4th, 2007, 10:00am
Sawarbina, I'm glad we agree. Though i suggest we keep this discussion as neutral as possible. We are only here to discuss topics.

LS, I'm glad we can discuss this as objectively as possible as we did, although one is always subjective to a certain degree.

You mentioned a few techniques or vocal gymnastics that Fairouz hasn't been heard performing. It actually might just be that she has never actually tried them. You see, Fairouz's objective was never to sing opera or strictly western styles. That was useless to her because Arabic audiences don't appreciate it much. From here, there was always this blending in her songs, except for her purely oriental songs. She is the master of oriental song, yes, but she is equally the master of westernized Arabic song! That's what i meant when i mentioned her versatility.

Another point i forgot to mention is that mezzo-sopranoes are the luckiest of the categories in terms of vocal richness, color, and timbre beauty. The wider your vocal range the poorer your vocal richness. Compare Fairouz to Majida El Roumi for example, who is a natural soprano, or Asmahan or Umm Kulthum. Sopranoes try to compensate for this "poverty" in richness with shear strength and vocal gymnastics. Again, Fairouz had it all. The best mix of everything. That is why her voice is nothing short of a wonder of nature.

Also, another point i need to make is why Fairouz had a vocal meltdown in the mid-1980s. I believe it was due to two factors. One, Fairouz had been as active as she could be from 1949 to 1979 until she broke up with her husband. That's 30 years straight of continuous activity, and her voice tired prematurely. But she basically did in 30 years what most other singers like Majida, Umm Kulthum and others will do or did in 60. Two, the civil war in Lebanon had a deep impact on her voice. Vocals are after all subjected to everything the body undergoes, especially stress!

That's all for now. But I do have a suggestion. Could you please benefit us from your knowledge of vocals? If it's possible, could you post a list of useful terminology with brief explanations so that everyone on this forum can have a basic knowledge of the science? thx.

And btw, where you from originally?

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by Alfred on Nov 20th, 2007, 7:49pm
Hello all:)

I wish I had time to reply to this topic, but the truth is that I don't:( I had written a few weeks ago a lengthy  reply and when I clicked the "post" button, my computer froze and I lost it all....maybe it was for my benefit cause my reply would have made a few fans angry:)

Anyway, to be brief, with the hope of writing in details in the near future, a scientific evaluation of a voice remains what it is: scientific. Without degrading its value and its contribution to musicology, it doesn't add anything to the way the audience responds to the voice. Most of the people who listen to vocalists have no or little clue about techniques, octaves, modes and all the musical jargon and react simply to the impact of the voice on their ears.

So, Fairuz's great impact on her audience results from the perception that her timbre is beautiful. Yuma Sumac's voice might cover 5 octaves, but her impact is limited in comparison with Fairuz, Umm Kulthum, and Callas.

And to say that Umm Kulthum's great popularity is mainly the result of her technique is like saying tabbouleh is tasty because of the lemon, and neglecting the other ingredients. Unfortunately, the legacy of Umm Kulthum is largely unknown and what is available does not give this great voice justice, especially when most people know her voice in her advanced age, in the 60s and 70s. I am blessed to have so many of her rare recordings and the least one can say is "Allahou Akbar". There is a reason beyond technique that she is adored by millions of Arabs.

Well, I guess I wasn't that bried, was I?:)



Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by charlie on Jan 11th, 2008, 10:09am
Dear all

Contributing to this thread - first of all a Happy New Year.

I arrived at this thread trying to communicate with people who have been working or would be interested in helpinh with a project I've been working on. The project is a book  on the lives and careers of two great singers from opposite sides of the world. One is Fairouz of Lebanon and the other Mercedes Sosa of Argentina.

my search gave me the link to this thread - but before I go any further I would like to see if this thread still attracts the interest of people who originally wrote in it.

Best regards to all from Greece

Title: Re: What makes a "perfect" voice?
Post by Rony on Jan 12th, 2008, 3:43pm
Hi Charlie. I would be glad to help in any way i can.

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