Range (music)

A pitch is a term that voices or musical instruments are sorted according to their tonal range with the in music. Here, the range that can be generated physically in normal function of the vocal organs physically or instrument applies. The most common vocal ranges are soprano, alto, tenor and bass.


Voices can be roughly divided into the four vocal registers soprano, alto, tenor and bass. In addition, still regularly mezzo-soprano and baritone are used. Most of the choral literature comes out with these vocal ranges, with vocal ranges can still be divided into individual voices, for example, Soprano I and Soprano II. In addition to the voice of the people are also often referred to by their tones of voice, such as " He's a tenor ."

In solo parts, the required range is often considerably greater than in the above-mentioned subdivision. One out of the range also differs more technical and musical demands that the match to the singing voice, the so-called " vocal category ".

Along the perimeter of a voice, there is also the concept of " Tessitura " or " tessitura " indicating the typical and easily reproducible extent. After Peter -Michael Fischer Tessitura includes the professional singers about two octaves and usually begins only in the middle of the lower octave. The entire vocal range from phonic zero (lowest, just walking sound) includes the professional singer after Fischer 2 ½ to 3 octaves. The majority of the voices belongs to the middle vocal ranges. Real Bass ( phonic zero to D) are for men only represented 5%, profound basses are rare.

Musical Instruments

The division into different tones of voice is also used for many musical instrument families. Here, too, are soprano, alto, tenor and bass the most common terms, however, there are more vocal ranges for instruments that can not be achieved by singers. Higher instruments can thereby assigned names such as sopranino, garklein, Soprillo or Piccolo, deeper are called great bass, double bass or sub-bass.

In the Renaissance period the first families of instruments have been developed. To all the voices to be able to perform a set on similar instruments, most of the instruments to ensembles with at least three different pitches were expanded ( treble, alto / tenor and bass). However, it was based not just on the pitch of the corresponding human voices. Instruments who carried out the bass function in their family, such as Bass Recorder (actually alto ) or Bassrankett ( lowest note counterpoint F) were quite sound an octave higher or lower than a human bass voice.

Also, position references for later developed instruments often differ from the analogous human voice, if only because almost all of today's orchestral instruments exceed the human voice in the range by far. The bass clarinet, for example, includes the human voice also measured the tenor and alto.