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Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478685
10/20/06 10:07 PM
10/20/06 10:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,480
Alexandria, Egypt
Bassio Offline OP
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Bassio  Offline OP
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Alexandria, Egypt
What is the note range of soprano, alto and bass on the piano keys?

It helps when you point out a voice in a fugue for example.

Anyone can help?

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Re: Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478686
10/20/06 10:44 PM
10/20/06 10:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,111
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CrashTest Offline
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Well, in a Fugue, if there are four voices - the top will be the Soprano, and then down the line to Alto, Tenor, Bass, etc.

There is not a range necessarily, although generally the range is close to what a singer's range is, for Baroque music. The order will always be SATB in a four voice fugue, although you may have to leave out a voice for certain parts that are less than that.

Re: Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478687
10/20/06 11:04 PM
10/20/06 11:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 9,868
pianojerome Offline
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Are you writing a fugue, Bassio?

The ranges changed a lot over time. Way back about 1000 years ago or so, the range for each voice (not SATB back then, but still several voices in polyphonic music) was confined to one octave. (Remember, monks and untrained troubadours had to sing this stuff - so the ranges had to be pretty easy!)

Then, some composers got pretty daring and extended the ranges a little.

Then, later composers got even more daring and extended the ranges a little more.

Then, later composers got even *more* daring and extended the ranges way more.


Crash is generally right, though - the ultimate limit, for singing, is the range of the singer's voice.

BUT

On a piano, we are writing/playing music on the piano, and not on the human voice, so the ranges can be extended much farther.


A long time ago, some bigwigs realized that it would solve a lot of compositional problems if the soprano and alto stayed within an octave of each other, and if the alto and tenor stayed within an octave of each other. (The bass can do whatever it wants, within reason). There's probably some good advice there, but you don't need to follow it strictly.

I guess my point is, it depends, and there isn't really one set of ranges for these voices on the keyboard.


Sam
Re: Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478688
10/21/06 06:48 AM
10/21/06 06:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,480
Alexandria, Egypt
Bassio Offline OP
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Bassio  Offline OP
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Alexandria, Egypt
hmm .. thanks for your replies guys

i thought that these had specific (somewhat "official") ranges for example from lower C to the C the octave above or sth laugh

Is it the same way for human voice?
How do i know if my own voice is bass, alto, tenor or soprano anyway if there are no specific ranges?

I guess my voice is bass. smile

Re: Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478689
10/21/06 06:59 AM
10/21/06 06:59 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
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Netherlands
mahlzeit Offline
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Re: Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478690
10/21/06 07:38 AM
10/21/06 07:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 2,846
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Max W Offline
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I think an octave apart is too wide - it's more like a 5th apart (apart from a soprano which I believe would be a 4th higher, if my memory serves me correctly). But as Sam said there isn't any need for set ranges on a piano.

Re: Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478691
10/21/06 10:05 AM
10/21/06 10:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 9,868
pianojerome Offline
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The ranges overlap, and of course it is different for every person. Some people can hardly distinguish a half step. Others can span 2 octaves.

But Bassio asked "How do I know if my own voice is bass, alto, tenor, or soprano anyway if there are no specific ranges?"

There are general ranges, but as I said, they overlap. (If you ever take a music theory class, they will tell you never to cross voices in a part-writing!) If your voices is really really low, then you can safely say you're a bass. But it is very possible that you can sing notes that are generally unique to bass (but not all) and also notes that are generally unique to tenor (but not all) -- you might be in between! (called 'baritone', and this is a very common voice range for guys)


Remember also that Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass are not the only voice ranges. Those are the four used in SATB writing... but there is also mezzo-soprano , baritone, contralto, baritenor, bass-baritone...

This page gives you a general idea for ranges:

http://www.library.yale.edu/cataloging/music/vocalrg.htm

But notice how they overlap quite a bit.


Sam
Re: Soprano, alto and bass on the piano, Where? #478692
10/21/06 11:40 AM
10/21/06 11:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 124
Cape Breton
caperflutist Offline
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Posts: 124
Cape Breton
it is not only range that determines your voice type. I am an alto and I have a lot of high notes. On a good day I hvae F in bass clef up to B above treble clef. My voice is darker than a soprano. I had never guessed I was an alto until I auditioned for a high level community choral and that is where I was placed. It's always best to sing in for an experienced choral director or voice teacher to determine where you really lie


Ya lyublyu ruskuyu muzyku

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