Top 10 reasons for [your voice type]

I thought I would share these with all the vocalists and singers on this board:

Top Ten Reasons for Being a Soprano

  1. The rest of the choir exists just to make you look good.
  2. You can entertain your friends by breaking their wine glasses.
  3. Can you name an opera where an alto got the man?
  4. When sopranos want to sing in the shower, they know the tune.
  5. It’s not like you are ever going to sing the alto part by accident.
  6. Great costumes-like the hat with the horns on it.
  7. How many world famous altos can you name?
  8. When the fat lady sings, she’s usually singing soprano.
  9. When you get tired of singing the tune, you can sing the descant.
  10. You can sing along with Michael Jackson.

Top Ten Reasons for Being an Alto

  1. You get really good at singing E flat.
  2. You get to sing the same note for 12 consecutive measures.
  3. You don’t really need to warm up to sing 12 consecutive bars of E flat.
  4. If the choir really stinks, it’s unlikely the altos will be blamed.
  5. You have lots of time to chat during soprano solos.
  6. You get to pretend that you are better than the sopranos, because everybody knows that women only sing soprano so they don’t have to learn to read music.
  7. You can sometimes find part time work singing tenor.
  8. Altos get all the great intervals.
  9. When the sopranos are holding some outrageously high note at the end of an anthem, the altos always get the last words.
  10. When the altos miss a note, nobody gets hurt.

Top Ten Reasons for Being a Tenor

  1. Tenors get high-without drugs.
  2. Name a musical where the bass got the girl.
  3. You can show the sopranos how it SHOULD be sung.
  4. Did you ever hear of anyone paying $1000 for a ticket to see The Three Basses?
  5. Who needs brains when you’ve got resonance?
  6. Tenors never have to waste time looking through the self-improvement section of the bookstore.
  7. You get to sing along with John Denver singing “High Calypso”.
  8. When you get really good at falsetto, you can make tons of money doing voice-overs for cartoon characters.
  9. Gregorian chant was practically invented for tenors. Nobody invented a genre for basses.
  10. You can entertain your friends by impersonating Julia Child.

Top Ten Reasons for Being a Bass

  1. You don’t have to tighten your shorts to reach your note.
  2. You don’t have to worry about a woman stealing your job.
  3. …Or a pre-adolescent boy.
  4. Action heroes are always basses. That is-if they ever sang, they would sing bass.
  5. You get great memorable lyrics like bom, bom, bom, bom.
  6. If the singing job doesn’t work out, there’s always broadcasting.
  7. You never need to learn to read the treble clef.
  8. If you get a cold, so what?
  9. For fun, you can sing at the bottom of your range and fool people into thinking there’s an earthquake.
  10. If you belch while you’re singing, the audience just thinks it’s part of the score.

What, nothing on baritones?

Those were great, screech-owl! And I could see so many TRUTHS in there, too! :slight_smile:

Baritones and mezzo-sopranos are kind of in that “no man’s land”: not high enough to activate the garage door opener, nor low enough to sub-communicate with elephants.

I’m working a few additions. Feel free to add your own.

That’s great screech-owl. I’m an alto and the first choral piece I ever performed in public was the Cherubini Requiem, which, I think, has about 8 whole measures of nothing but an “a” with maybe one measure of “g” mixed in for variety!

What’s the difference between a soprano and a terrorist?

You can negotiate with a terrorist.

What’s the difference between a soprano and a pirhana?

The lipstick.

What’s the difference between a soprano and a pit bull?

The jewelry.

What’s the difference between a Wagnerian soprano and the average All-Pro offensive lineman?

Stage makeup.

What’s the difference between a Wagnerian soprano and a Wagnerian Tenor?

About 10 pounds.

How do you tell if a Wagnerian soprano is dead?

The horses seem very relieved.

What’s the first thing a soprano does in the morning?

Puts on her clothes and goes home.

What’s the next thing a soprano does in the morning?

Looks for her instrument.

What’s the difference between a soprano and a Porsche?

Most musicians have never been in a Porsche.

What’s the definition of an alto?

A soprano who can sightread.

A jazz musician dies and goes to heaven. He is told “Hey man, welcome! You have been elected to the Jazz All-Stars of Heaven–right up there with Satchmo, Miles, Django, all the greats. We have a gig tonight. Only one problem–God’s girlfriend gets to sing.”

How many tenors does it take to change a light bulb?

Four. One to change the bulb and three to bitch that they could have done it if they had the high notes.

What do you see if you look up a soprano’s skirt?

A tenor.

How do you tell if a tenor is dead?

The wine bottle is still full and the comics haven’t been touched.

How do you put a sparkle in a soprano’s eye?

Shine a flashlight in her ear.

Where is a tenor’s resonance?

Where his brain should be.

How do you tell if a bass is actually dead?

Hold out a check (but don’t be fooled: a slight, residual spasmodic clutching action may occur even hours after death has occurred).

How do you tell if a bass is dead?

What’s the difference?
Who cares?

In the last act of Don Giovanni, there is always a statue which is replaced at some point by a real singer, a bass (the Commendatore). How can you tell when the switch has occurred?

The “statue” starts looking a bit stiff.

How many basses does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. They’re so macho they prefer to walk in the dark and bang their shins.

High School Chorus Jokes

What is the difference between the men’s final at Wimbledon and a high school choral performance?

The tennis final has more men.

How does a young man become a member of a high school chorus?

On the first day of school he turns into the wrong classroom.

What is the difference between a world war and a high school choral performance?

The performance causes more suffering.

Why do high school choruses travel so often?

Keeps assassins guessing.

What’s the definition of an optimist?

A choral director with a mortgage.

What is the difference between a high school choral director and a chimpanzee?

It’s scientifically proven that chimpanzees are able to communicate with humans.

OMG, Zenster, those are hilarious (unless you are a soprano or tenor, I suppose :smiley: ).
Anything for baritones and mezzos?

For our Glee Club t-shirts this year, we used a shortened version of that list (just the soprano and alto ones, since we’re a women’s college). My mother, who is also a chorister, found it immensely amusing. I’ll have to send her the tenor and bass ones, since I hadn’t seen those before.

I sing tenor. Nothing pisses off the boys more than nailing those high notes… :smiley:

And since most mixed-choral music that mere mortals get to participate in is arranged for SATB, you usually find the mezzos singing with the altos and the baritones with the basses.

I’m a baritone myself, and I remember TRYING to stand with the tenors during a MESSIAH once, and it really didn’t work out at all.

When you break down by sex into smaller vocal ensembles, you see soprano/mezzo/alto girl groups and tenor I/tenor II (or melody)/baritone/bass barbershop quartets.

The messiah has two types of parts for the guys. Obscenely High and “Talks with Whales” deep. In contrast, the Baritones don’t get much to do.

This is one of the things I enjoy so much about being in a single-sex chorus, a lot of our music is SSAA so there’s a lot more for those of us in the middle. I’m officially designated an Alto I, so where we have 3- or 4-part divisi I don’t have to go too low.

The Chorale at my university was directed by a Counter-Tenor. Have you heard one of these guys? He’d sing the soprano part on Beethoven’s 9th, just to show how it was supposed to be done. And I thought I had a range!

No, he wasn’t a castrati. At least, I don’t think so.

We did one piece of music (I don’t even remember what it was anymore) that was divided SSAATTBB. Fun!


A lot of the music we do is arranged by our accompanist, Jerry, who is an amazingly talented man. One of the things we love most about him is in his arrangements the altos get the melody at least once. We! Love! Jerry!

Yup. Had one singing the boy soloist part in Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” - phenominal.

Nope, it’s a legitimate voice type. There was a thread about the castrati not to long ago in GQ.

Even more fun when the conductor mixes up the choir so you are fell like you are nowhere near someone singing your part. That seperates the vocalists from the singers!

Soprano II and proud of it, dammit. :slight_smile:

Even if the only place I ever sang was in my church’s contemporary choir in college. I was the “Harmony Queen.” Every year we’d go through the routine of “Don’t satnd near Amy. She doesn’t sing melody.”

And I also never needed a mike. DAMN I miss singing…

Forgove me for butting in on your little choir party but I have a question.

I guess it’s not cool to be an alto, that’s what I’m gathering here.

See, i am a decent singer but I always just assumed i was an alto.

But how do you know? How do you REALLY know?

Just wondering…

No, no, Turp, you got it all backwards! The altos are the COOL ONES! Quick 'n’easy way to tell whether you’re an alto or soprano? Find a piece of choral music and try to sing both parts, the one that feels more comfortable is you.

I’m a mezzo-sporano, but because I have the largest range out of anyone in my choir, I get all the alto II parts. Fun! The thing I hate the most is when a note that’s a teensy bit low but easy for me to hit has to be taken an octave up because I’m the only person on my part who can sing it. Arrrrgh.