Friday, March 8, 2013

Vocal Range and Profile: Mariah Carey

Range: Eb2 - A5 (Bb5) - B7 (C8)
Exclamation: C8 (Background of 'Your Girl')
Longest Note: 20 Seconds (Lead the Way)
Vocal Type: Whatever her mood for the day is. Okay, Coloratura Light Lyric Soprano. (5 Octaves, 4 Notes)
Vocal Rating: Star
Recommended Listenings: Without You, We Belong Together, Emotions

Vocal Positives: 
Able to go from a high octave belt to an airy whisper within the space of a word. Has incredible low and high notes that are complimented by an ability to pitch an exact note without the need of vocal runs. When vocal runs are utilised by Mariah Carey they are incredibly accurate and always sympathetic to the song's key signature, tempo and style, thus giving her the moniker the "Queen of melisma."She can do melismas in Jazz, Minor and Major scales. It's a skill that can be utilised in each of the registers, as well as travelling through them. Technically a brilliant singer.

Mariah Carey's low range is dark and heavy, though the weakest part of her range. The midrange can either be thick and slightly nasal- See the Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel album- or airy and light, almost as if whispering. The belting voice is elastic and bright, with the lower half being more resonant- see Without you to compare the low and higer part of the belting register. As Mariah Carey's voice ascends the belting range, up into the fifth octave, its timbre begins to thin, as it's mixed with the head voice, but it remains bright and clear throughout, as well as having a bell-like ring. She is able to use voice cracks with control, in situations where she uses it to be emotive.

The head voice and whistle register are easily accessible and can both have their timbre modified depending on what is artistically called for; being either fuller and piercing or softer and airier. As well as being able to pitch notes with incredible accuracy in the whistle register, Mariah Carey is capable of articulating words- see Bliss- and singing within the register for long periods of time without vocal fatigue-see Angels Cry Interlude.

Carey also has unparalleled register transitions, switching from chest to head, head to whistle, and even chest to whistle without as much of a pause.

Vocal Negatives:
Low notes, in early recordings Eb3 but most often around a C3, are hit by dropping the larynx, an unhealthy technique. This results in some notes being missed in live performances. As she has aged, the voice is often coarse and she also seems to be less comfortable in the whistle register.

(This profile is heavily modified from DivaDevotee, some lines were added and some parts were removed.)