Vocal Range and Voice Profile: Beyoncé (Updated 2021)

Range: G2 – G#5 – F6 (D7)

Longest Note: 14 seconds

Vocal Fach: Coloratura Mezzo-Soprano (4 Octaves)

Vocal Rating: Virtuoso

Analysis: Easily one of the most skilled pop vocalists of the 21st century, Beyoncé was trained classically at a young age, helping to capture almost all of her exceptional vocal prowess early on. She is a vocal technician as a result, with an exceptional musical ear to augment her performances. [1]While her pitch is exceptionally sharp, it is not necessarily perfect, as can be seen with some acapella performances.

Her breath control is one of her strongest assets, providing a solid foundation for the rest of her voice to excel. It allows her to dance while singing without sounding tired and switch between the two acts easily.[2]However, she does notably and admittedly use playback to support this. Her grunts and growls are deployed with a healthy technique, as she not only replicates this distortion repeatedly but also achieves a clear sound on the same notes. This is because she twangs her throat above the vocal cords to distort the sound rather than using the cords themselves.[3] A great staccato singer, which is one of the most difficult techniques to master for an instrumentalist (“I Care”). Of course, she can deliver stunning legato passages as well.

This breath support also gives her exceptional dynamic control, singing both soft and loud phrases with ease and swell from one to the other seamlessly. Perfectly even crescendos and diminuendos that demonstrate excellent musicianship.[3]See the cadenza of “Dangerously in Love” live. She can additionally hold notes for extended periods with or without vibrato and without wavering in pitch. The vibrato is well controlled and gives the 3rd lung illusion, as it oscillates evenly but can also be slowed or sped up.[4]Beyonce Knowles, The Voice of Our Generation

Finally, her natural agility combined with her breath support makes it possible for Beyoncé to execute a myriad of different vocal techniques, including roulades, trills, sforzando, mezza voce, and messa di voce.[5]Id. As a coloratura, she demonstrates exceptional fluidity and agility, singing long, complex melismas and vocal runs effortlessly while remaining perfectly in key and even utilizing different scales. As a vocalist with near-perfect control of her passagio, she can sing phrases that transition between different registers and ranges of her voice with ease.

Beyoncé can flip between her chest and head voices effortlessly and maintains agility to nearly every note in her range. Her lower notes are nicely supported all the way down to C3, while she can phonate well into baritone vocalists’ territory in the 2nd octave. She again excels in this area of her voice, which exemplifies her attention to detail. Most women vocalists would choose to ignore or underutilize this part of the range to focus more on the higher registers. She loses some clarity and ease in this part of her range live, although this should be expected. 

As she ascends, she maintains a chest dominant sound that is placed quite well, maintaining a bright and powerful ring up to Eb5. Above this point, while she still carries support, she has more difficulty sustaining these notes as they are outside of her tessitura. While these notes were occasionally shrill in her younger years, she now seems to exclusively execute these notes with distortion instead of with a clear sound.

The head voice is well-supported and resonant and is full all the way up to Eb6, well past the standard range of a coloratura mezzo. She has notably carried support all the way up to a C6 with an operatic-like execution.[6]See the promo for the Mrs. Carter World Tour featuring “I Been On.”At the highest extremes of her range, Beyoncé knows to pull in the corners of her mouth to brighten and support the sound, as can be seen when singing the live climax of “Crazy in Love.”[7]This video also shows that while Beyoncé has been a skilled vocalist throughout her career, her voice reached top form roughly around the 4 era, when her technique and sense of intonation fully … Continue reading

Finally, she again demonstrates excellent musicianship with her phrasing, by manipulating her tone, rhythms, and volume to create different emotional effects. While being able to move listeners with dramatic, sorrowful vocals is one demonstration, she also plays scorned and angry exceptionally well, as well as empowering. Her lack of unique tone leads some to brand her as “boring,” though this characteristic is completely subjective, as is the criticism that she “fails to move” someone emotionally. 

What sets Beyoncé apart from the rest of her peers and today’s pop vocalists in general is not just these individual aspects of her voice, but how she can combine them all to create new and exciting performances and recordings. With expert control over her instrument, Beyoncé is a virtuoso in her craft.

 


What is Beyoncé’s vocal range?

Beyoncé’s vocal range is just shy of four octaves, spanning G2 – G#5 – F6.

What is Beyoncé’s vocal fach or voice type?

Beyoncé is a coloratura mezzo-soprano. She has incredible fluidity and dexterity to her voice along with the weight and timbre of a mezzo-soprano.

References

1 While her pitch is exceptionally sharp, it is not necessarily perfect, as can be seen with some acapella performances.
2 However, she does notably and admittedly use playback to support this.
3 See the cadenza of “Dangerously in Love” live.
4 Beyonce Knowles, The Voice of Our Generation
5 Id.
6 See the promo for the Mrs. Carter World Tour featuring “I Been On.”
7 This video also shows that while Beyoncé has been a skilled vocalist throughout her career, her voice reached top form roughly around the 4 era, when her technique and sense of intonation fully developed. The earliest vocals show a tendency to fall flat on the highest notes and become throaty and slightly shrill.

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