How Deep is your Voice?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by S.A.M., Sep 26, 2007.

  1. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,515
    Yeah, it probably has something to do with status that goes along with being a lead singer. As you said, tenors usually sing lead melodies, so all the attention is on them. So they're sort of like the more brightly colored, ostentatiously whistling birds. Of course they're getting the action. The spotlight's on them.

    So in music the tenor voice range naturally puts the owner of the voice in the spotlight. That's an entirely different and separate game from the rest of life. I'd still be open to the idea of deeper-voiced guys getting more action in other arenas. But who knows. If it were true, about deep-voiced men creating more progeny, there would have to be a lower limit to how deep the voice can get without it becoming impractical and then at some time when that point is reached, when that threshold is finally reached, there would be no benefit to either strategy. There would be trade-offs. It's not sustainable for deeper-voiced men to always be better at procreation. Maybe at some time, in history, but again, there's only so deep a voice can get until it constrains other things that aren't related to sex.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    It's pretty easy to tell. Sing along with the average pop tune by a male vocalist. If it's a struggle to reach the high notes, you're a second tenor like most men. If you find yourself singing along an octave lower, you're a baritone. Obviously you don't want to pick somebody like James Hetfield of Metallica, who only has a range of half an octave. Or Steve Perry of Journey, whose range is so high that only bar bands with female singers can cover him well.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    But there is a general correlation between the pitch of the voice and bodily size:
    the taller the body, the longer the vocal chords, the deeper the voice.

    Taller men (but not professional basketball-player-tall) are typically considered more attractive, more masculine.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    A few things:

    Some people have a psychological issue that manifests as their usual voice being above their natural pitch.
    For example, there are tall, big men with thin voices. The reasons for this are sometimes psychological, anxiety plays a part.
    This phenomenon would possibly be easier to find in Western culture than in a population native tribes.

    Western men are becoming effeminate, one of the signs is a still relatively tall body, but a higher pitch of the voice.
     
  8. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,862
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,102
    As with the self-descriptions of the German Ubermensch, the reality of the Republican crowd varies considerably from its marketing.

    Black guys have deeper voices than white guys, and these days more kids, in the US. But the influx of big family Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Indian guys, with their tense high pitched voices and darker skin, might level the stats a bit.

    I've noticed that different people talk in different parts of their actual range - by culture and by personality. How did they determine the vocal ranges of their data subjects?
     
  10. superstring01 Moderator

    Messages:
    12,110
    One person is anecdotal. Statistics aren't absolute. There are always exceptions. You are one.

    ~String
     
  11. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    554
    Should not the real question be, especially where mates are concerned: How deep is your love? Or am I living in a world of fools? Breaking me down? When they all should let me be?
     
  12. superstring01 Moderator

    Messages:
    12,110
    Deeper voices come about through higher testosterone levels during critical times during puberty. Those critical times also influence overall sex drive. Men with higher sex drive will--as a result--produce more children.

    On the other side, females (not all) do have a statistically higher tendency to find deep voiced men attractive, and the lower male voice does have a more seductive effect on women.

    Net result: more bang bang, more babies.

    ~String
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    It's a little overblown to call it a "psychological issue." Stress tightens our muscles, including our vocal cords. That raises the pitch of our speaking voice. Nonetheless the size and shape of the cords remains the same so this phenomenon can't increase our vocal range and allow us to speak in higher tones than normal. So the net result, as we forgo use of the lower tones in our natural vocal range, is a narrowing of the range, which manifests as less expressivity: more of a monotone.

    This happens to most of us with greater or lesser frequency. Men and women.

    Time of day usually has an influence too. When I get up in the morning my body is relaxed and I can speak very deeply. As the day progresses I lose the low notes. I've more than once diligently practiced a song all day and gotten it perfect, then show up at the club to sing it at 10pm and discover that I can't hit all of those beautiful low notes.
    Why do you say that? Because we've become less violent and more caring? You gals have been exhorting us to be more civilized since the early harbingers of the love-and-peace movement in the 1950s. For the goddess's sake, we burned our fucking draft cards for you! (I never quite understood how burning your bras was supposed to be reciprocation, but I guess you never promised to be less mysterious.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    ) Now that you've gotten what you asked for, don't complain! Or as the saying goes, "Be careful what you want: you just might get it."

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Mrs. Fraggle is delighted with my needlepoint masterpieces. And she wears a bra.
    That's a gene pool in western Africa, where most of the slaves for the Western Hemisphere were captured. Elsewhere on the continent you don't hear that.
    In the music biz we joke that Mexican-American male vocalists sound like they learned to sing by listening to old Richie Valens records.
    I don't know how it's done in every study, but the sure-fire way is to get them to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" (the national anthem of the United States) with a piano to establish the key. It's an incredibly difficult song because it has a range of a thirteenth (middle C to high G in the key of C) which is the limit of what most people can reach without musical training. The third note (oh-oh SAY) is the middle C and the high note that kills everybody at the ballgames (and the rockets' RED GLARE) is the high G. You keep adjusting the key until the person can just barely hit the highest note and the lowest note, and that establishes his or her range.

    Most professional singers have high ranges (soprano for women, first tenor for men) so most songs are keyed to exploit that. This is why regular folks like us often find it difficult to sing along with the radio: we can't hit those high notes.

    People with lower ranges (altos and second tenors or baritones) are generally regarded as "more expressive" or simply "sadder," and this is why so many country & western male singers have such low voices for their ballads of lost love, despair and betrayal.

    I have a relatively low voice and I've been told that I should start my own Hank Williams tribute band. I love his songs and have been singing them since I was in high school and they were still on the top 40. It's a tempting idea... except I'm not sure I want to play in those clubs!
    These days when the fertility rate in the Western countries has fallen below replacement level (less than 2.1 children per woman) I think the impact of overall sex drive on the size of one's brood is pretty low. You don't have to be a big hit with the ladies and have intercourse very many times in order to have two children.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Remember the scene in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" where the Protestant couple was looking out their window with disgust at the veritable army of children in the home of the Catholic couple next door? The husband spits out, "Bloody Catholics! Every time they have sexual intercourse they have to have a baby!"

    The wife's brow furrows as she starts counting on her fingers. Finally she says, "But it's the same with us, dear. We have two children."
    Remember back in the 1960s when "soul music" became a genre and all those Afro-American guys were singing in falsetto like castrati? I'm still scratching my head over that.
     
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    Look up "psychogenic voice disorders," "voice as indicator of psychopathology."



    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Sure. But everyone's voice changes temporarily due to anxiety or other stress, even if the "temporary" may stretch out into a couple of weeks while waiting to see if we get that new job. I don't really agree to counting that as "psychopathological."

    You might meet someone in the office who's always stressed out when she's in the office because the boss keeps hitting on her and she needs the bloody job and this isn't a jurisdiction where sexual harassment claims are taken seriously by the authorities. But if you get to know her and see her out in the real world her voice might be pitched a minor third lower.
     
  16. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Yeah, there was a lot of falsetto going on in those days. Remember Mick Jagger squeaking "Emotional Rescue?"

    Who started it? I'm thinking of the Beach Boys. I don't remember anybody doing it before them.
     
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    There are psychopathological changes to the voice, and they can consistently last for years or decades.
     
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    I think so. Or no one popular anyway.
     
  20. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,592
    I guess you forgot about Frankie Valli?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  21. seagypsy Banned Banned

    Messages:
    1,153
    I have my doubts about the research in the OP. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they at least TRIED to create the perfect control group and that all particpants were men who do not have an ethical attachment to monogamy and that they personally pride themselves on making as many babies as possible. Unless they only used men with breeder mentality (perhaps this Hadza culture is like that, I don't know) then I don't think their results could really be accurate. Also an individual woman's taste can change over time. My first husband had a deep Barry White voice and I thought it was sexy. But after a few years of him beating the hell out of me I grew to associate the low voice with the sound of terror and now I have an instinctive fear of men with deep voices. Unfortunately I tend to be afraid of anyone sharing too many of his physical traits. I have to force myself not to judge a man as a threat just because he is tall, black, slender and having a deep voice. I have 3 children with him though, mainly because he was forceful in such areas of marriage. Had I been able to get away from him promptly we would have only had one. I have one child from my second marriage who was a high pitch voiced Pakistani guy. Don't let me get started on him. I actually get along with my first husband fine now. But the second one, well. The first husband admits he has at least 3 children other than my own and the second husband now has a total of 5 children with 4 different women.

    My current and final husband who will only escape this marriage through his own death whether by his choice or mine, has only one child of his own. His voice is mid range. But his procreative activities have been controlled by a set of ethics that does not permit him to run around like an animal proving his manhood by making babies that he has no intention of providing for.

    I have another suggestion for the possibility of voice playing a role in who gets to make the most babies.

    As a karaoke host, I get to observe people who are being controlled by their reptilian brain. You know, drunken idiots driven by hormones and not intelligence for the most part. When you reduce us to our most primal urges then we can see how we act outside of ethical, moral, or even just plain practical constrictions.

    I have seen the best and worst of all vocal ranges sing. It has been my observation that even personal confidence doesn't seem to matter to a drunken woman in heat. And neither does the pitch of a man's voice. However, the men who can sing well, who can carry a note, they almost always walk out with numbers. I knew a guy who wore a diaper and had really bad personal hygiene on top of it. He was an avid karaoke singer and even plays bass in a band. If he goes out for karaoke, and has a good night where his voice doesn't crack (which is about 50% of the time) drunk chicks would come and give him their number. That doesn't mean he went home with them or that after they got to know him they weren't grossed out by the fact that he would not make any effort to control his soaking wet diaper situation but in a drunken state of mind even the fact that he wreaked of urine did not deter them from giving their number to him if in fact he sang very well.

    I have not conducted any studies personally and these are merely my observations. Take from it what you will. But the ability to sing well seems to be something that is appreciated in many species, such as whales and birds. Their survival depends on it.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    The Beach Boys and the Four Seasons both debuted in 1962. I don't remember which band I heard first.
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    I always identify sociology as one of the softest of the "soft sciences," in a league with economics. Experimentation is difficult, unethical, or downright illegal. It's impossible to identify, much less control, all influential conditions. Etc.!
    Some of the life stories I hear from people make me cry. On behalf of all decent men everywhere, I apologize. Unfortunately that apology and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee.
    What is it with American women and Middle Eastern Men? I must know a dozen women who married Muslims from Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and various other countries, and divorced them a year later. In other American bride/foreign groom couples, it seems like it's more often the husband who runs away.
    My ethics have successfully prevented me from fathering any children: I had a vasectomy 40 years ago.

    I notice there's a whole new vocabulary springing up in inner cities for these situations. The women you impregnate and falsely promise to take care of are your "baby moms."
    Wow. One of my best buddies (who is also the lead singer in a band) is a KJ. His gigs are often nights to remember. He's managed to attract all the best singers in three counties; many of them front bands and come to karaoke to try out new songs. I've been singing for sixty years and I'm not good enough to be in his lineup for "all-stars" night. We all have a couple of beers, but none of the singers ever get plastered.
    My problem is that my voice is on the border between second tenor and baritone. I can't cover most male singers, just the handful in my register like Hank Williams and Kid Rock. The software can only lower the key by three half-steps and that's not enough when you need half an octave. So I mostly cover girl singers and just sing an octave below them. For some reason the gals really love it when I do Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy."
    Me too. A classic Ventures signature model Mos-Rite. When I take it into a music store everybody says, "Look, a museum piece!" I'm never sure if they're talking about me or my axe.
    Nobody comes to this place to hook up. It's a regular crowd and occasionally a spark is struck, but most of us are married and some even bring spouses. (Mine is 3,000 miles away in California so I can't bring her.)

    BTW, back on topic, one of my best-received songs is "What It's Like" by Everlast. The women all sing along on the second verse, "Mary got pregnant from a boy named Tommy, said he was in love..." They're pounding their fists when I get to the line, "They called her a killer and they called her a sinner and they called her a whore."

    Maybe you should come out to Maryland!
    Whale "songs" appear to be vocal communication. The way they sound to us is merely the result of them having no vocal apparatus and having to, basically, talk through their noses. It may be an exaggeration to call it language, but so far in the species that have been studied (some of the toothed whales or "dolphins" because they don't dive as deep and we can keep up with them) each individual has a unique identifying call or "name," and each pod has a longer unique sequence of sounds that may be something like a national anthem, a team cheer, or a marching cadence. ("I don't know but I been told/Orca ass is mighty cold/Sound off one two/Sound off three four. . . .")
     

Share This Page