The choir usually sings in four parts: soprano, alto, tenor and bass:
- Soprano is the highest voice part, and is suitable for women and boys (before their voices break).
- Alto is usually sung by women, but can be sung by male countertenors.
- The tenor part is usually sung by men, but we do have some female tenors in the choir.
- Bass is the lowest part, and is sung by men with lower singing voices.
Here is a way of testing your vocal range and deciding which voice is most comfortable for you. Try singing these scales, starting on the lower note (remember that the low note for tenors/basses is an octave below the low note for sopranos/altos).
You may want to warm up your voice before singing the higher scales. One simple way of doing this is to sing the lower scales a few times before attempting the higher ones.
If you feel comfortable singing the scales from G-major (low version) to D-flat or E-flat major, then you should try singing either alto or bass. If you are happy singing the higher two scales (a high F-major or high G-major), then you can try tenor or soprano.
On the music score these ranges look like the picture below – these are the ranges you are expected to cover easily in the music we sing. If you find that you’ve been singing in the “wrong” section then swap – it’s as easy as that! You’ll find that you can cover the notes more easily in the future.