The Database Analysis
Voice type has been broken into three categories: low, medium, and high. The inclusion of a medium key is to better aid those singers whose voices do not settle into the extremes of low or high – most often, the music for mezzo-soprano voices and often baritone voices are found here. For this category, both range and tessitura to better reflect the appropriate voice type; range is the first indicator of this, followed by each songs tessitura.
Like voice type, this category can be rather subjective, and was generally viewed in a more conservative lens. Vocal level has been divided into three categories: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The intent of this database is for students at the high school level through professional. When evaluating songs for level, the years of study were used as a primary guideline. While age should be taken into consideration when selecting repertoire, using the student’s length of study and their current vocal abilities will result in a better choice of repertoire. Below is a rough indicator or vocal level in accordance to consecutive years of study:
Beginning: 0-2 years
Intermediate: 2-5 years
Advanced: 5+ years
Again, teachers and singers should use their best judgement regarding years of study and vocal level. Along with this, the musical requirements of the song (range, tessitura, sostenuto, agility, construction of the vocal line, piano accompaniment) were taken into consideration. A song classified as “beginning” is aimed towards better establishing technique, and will likely feature a smaller range and tessitura, a scalar vocal line, limited dynamic requirements, and a consonant piano accompaniment that doubles the voice. An “advanced” song, on the other hand, will assume the singer is more settled in their vocal technique, and will have a wider tessitura, include longer phrases that many require more frequent agility, have more specific and frequent musical markings, and an independent, complex piano accompaniment.
Range has been denoted purely from the vocal line. In several instances, a composer or publisher have provided an option line (or ossia) to better fit a singer. Unless a song was written specifically for a male voice, all ranges have been recorded in the treble register.
Tessitura has been selected after careful study of the score and reflects the ranges of pitches that most frequently occur in the song. If the tessitura of a song shifts at any point, that is noted in the “Vocal Line” category.
The composers selected language in use in the song. If a song can be performed in multiple languages, this is currently listed in two separate entries.
In this category is a brief description of the role of the piano, both in conjunction with the vocal line and on its own, as well as the primary style and texture of the accompaniment. The language used to describe the role of the piano should be similar throughout the database in hopes to clarify the description. Other important notes considering the pianos rhythm, treatment of harmony or degree of difficulty may be indicated here.
Vocal Line includes miscellaneous information pertaining to the vocal line, including the setting of the vocal line, its construction (scalar or leaps), relation to harmony or the piano, use of rhythm, shifts in tessitura, use of extra-musical markings, or notes dealing to mood or performance of the song.
To better assist in locating the included music, this final category will indicate current publications including the work or a link to the score in the public domain (IMSLP).