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#1
Old 02-03-2007, 12:04 PM
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How would Frank Sinatra's voice be characterized? Bass, tenor or what?

I'm listening to Frank Sinatra and he has (to me) an uttlerly unique sound. How would his tonal range be characterized? Use simple terms, I'm not up on technical music terms.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:05 PM
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He's the middle category between your two: baritone.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:07 PM
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I would say he's on the lower end of the baritone range. I've discovered that Ol' Blue Eyes and I have very similar vocal ranges, and my voice teacher dubbed me a "Bass-Baritone."
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:21 PM
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You might enjoy this article on Baritone for some insight into the topic. You'll be able to find Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby among the examples of popular baritones. Other fascinating topics are covered.
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:00 PM
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When Sinatra met Pope Pius, the Pope asked him what tenor parts he had sung (presuming Sinatra was an opera singer) and Frankie had to correct him - "I'm a baritone, your holiness", or so the story goes.

It's also possible Frank had Jilly Risso beat the Pope up for making the mistake too, I guess.
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamboman
When Sinatra met Pope Pius, the Pope asked him what tenor parts he had sung (presuming Sinatra was an opera singer) and Frankie had to correct him - "I'm a baritone, your holiness", or so the story goes.

It's also possible Frank had Jilly Risso beat the Pope up for making the mistake too, I guess.
This reminds me of the Shecky Greene bit where he said that Frank saved his life one time. Shecky said a couple of guys were beating the shit out of him in the casino parking lot and Frank came up and said, "That's enough."
#7
Old 02-04-2007, 12:24 AM
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Definitely baritone. I know a guy whose voice is almost identical to Sinatra's. I've heard him sing, and there's an amazing similarity. And he's a baritone.
#8
Old 02-04-2007, 08:33 AM
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Sinatra's vocal genius--aside from his inimitable phrasing and timing--was more than his being a baritone. His voice had exceptional resonance, timbre and shading. As he aged and smoked cigs and drank scotch, the coloring of his voice grew darker, smokier and richer, just like a good wood-fired molasses.

Listen to Sinatra's early years. He was much closer to being a tenor. By the late 80s, he was a deep baritone.

Figaro could expound on this better.

Last edited by Carnac the Magnificent!; 02-04-2007 at 08:33 AM.
#9
Old 02-09-2007, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnac the Magnificent!
[snip]coloring of his voice grew darker, smokier and richer, just like a good wood-fired molasses.
::summoned by Carnac...::
Now *that's* love talking! (complete aside....just the other day I got an email from someone who took offense at my having described a certain soprano's voice as "silvery" in a biography I wrote. "Creamy, warm,...even a hint of mint, maybe, but CREAMY?!" she said. I love that stuff. Wood-fired Molasses indeed!)

Anyhooo...chalk me up as a "baritone" vote for Sinatra. Even though his voice was lighter in tone quality when he was younger, he still had a warmth in the middle and low range that would be uncharacteristic for a true tenor, and the climactic notes in songs (I'm thinking for instance of "Everything is Rosy Now" from his Count Basie sessions) don't tend to be any higher than F or F# above middle C. Compare that with a genuine pop tenor, like, say, Sam Cooke, who routinely popped out As and B-flats and who never relied on the lower end of his voice for expressive effect. It simply wasn't as interesting.

On a more general note, I think it's easy to overlook how high male singing in the pop realm tends to be. A voice with any richness -- Sinatra is a prime example, as is Elvis -- tends to strike listeners as being much lower in pitch than it actually is.
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