Is there a name for the opposite of falsetto?

When a woman sings below her natural voice?

A good example of this is The Pointer Sister’s Automatic. That’s the oldest Pointer singing “Automatic” in the chorus. Any other examples of the opposite of falsetto?

Do you just mean “chest voice”?

Falsetto isn’t exactly head voice, it’s a bit higher. but chest voice would be a good opposite. You could kind of apply “basso profondo”

I always heard “chest tone.” Falsetto was known in my Madrigal group as “head tone.”

Not necessarily higher, but rather a slightly different mechanism. The vocal chords don’t fully adduct, and only the very edges vibrate. I can bring my falsetto production down well into the “normal” range of my voice.

There is a lot of terminological confusion surrounding “head tone” - mostly because many choral conductors use it as a substitute for falsetto. Don’t let that obscure the fact that there is in fact an actual “head” register that can be developed and accessed that is quite distinct from falsetto.

But back to the OP…

The only extended register typically discussed at the bottom of the vocal range is the “growl” register, also called “straw bass” or in German “strohbass.” There is debate about whether or not it’s a real vocal register, or just a modulated vocal “fry,” but that isn’t likely to be solved difinitively any time soon.

Almost definitely. Most women can sing quite a ways down into the typical male ranges, though usually not loudly. I know a number of sopranos who can produce D or even C below middle C before bottoming out. It’s not pretty, or loud, but it’s all natural. And just chest voice in the extreme.

p.s. Since the OP asked specifically about the female voice, it’s worth adding that the female equivalent of falsetto is called “whistle tone.” You hardly ever hear it, and many women can’t access it at all, but it’s very striking. Think “early Mariah Carey” and you’ve got the picture.

Falsetto as we think of it isn’t really applicable to the female voice. Women who are used to belting (musical theater style, pop style), or who have over-developed chest registers sometimes experience the same “break” in the voice that men do when they suddenly flip into their falsetto range on high notes, but it isn’t actually the same thing physiologically. In those cases women are just flipping up into an underdeveloped head register that sounds wimpy because it hasn’t been strengthened or integrated into the rest of their voice.

Would this be the sort of thing that Minnie Riperton used to do?


someone had to say it

I misread the Title to read"…the Opposite of Fellatio" :smiley: and just had to drop in and see where this was going.

Sorry to disturb. Carry on.

In Soviet Russia, penis sucks you!

Kathleen Turner was great at this when she played Chandler’s father “Helena Highwater,”

Please clarify…was Kathleen Turner great at what? The Opposite of Falsetto, or the Opposite of Fellatio? :smiley:

That’s when she opens her mouth and nothing audible comes out, but every dog within three city blocks starts baying.

I don’t know the real answer but if I were in charge of the vocal dictionary I would call it bravado :slight_smile:

I think that’s where you stick your head in the guy’s penis.

Thank you, Peter Morris! My sisters and I always talk about falsetto vs. realetto.

This may be something of a silly question, but which C is middle C? If I were reading, say, a regular alto’s sheet music, which one is it? Is it the one that’s below the staff?

Sorry. I’ve sung a bit and I’ve played some instruments, but I have absolutely no grasp of music theory or anything. I just play the notes that are on the page.

That’s the one… The first ledger line below the staff.

Joni Mitchell, Sinéad O’Connor, and Dolores O’Riordan all do a thing that sounds exactly like switching to falsetto in males, though in a female vocal tone. But it’s nowhere near the ‘whistle’ of Maria Carey or that woman who does that “Lovin’ you, is easy 'coz it’s beautiful, doo doo doo doo ‘n’ doo [sup]WOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooOOOO[/sup]” thing. What is it they’re doing?

Every time I hear that I think of a donkey exploding.