There's a lot of power and mystery surrounding the whistle tone register, and for a good reason. Singing this high and sounding great while doing so is something like a superpower.
The whistle tone register, also known as the flute register or flageolet register, is the highest register that we, as humans, can sing from. It's above the chest voice, head voice, and even your falsetto voice.
It's called the whistle register because it literally sounds like a whistle!
The whistle range starts, on average, around a D6 in the soprano range, and trained singers can usually go up to an octave higher comfortably.
There are some legendary singers out there who have perfected this register in their voice, so let's discuss some of my all-time favorites!
Often credited with popularizing the use of whistle tones in contemporary music, Mariah Carey is renowned for her extensive vocal range and control. She has famously used this technique in many of her songs, such as "Emotions" and "All I Want for Christmas Is You."
One of the early pioneers of the whistle register in popular music, Minnie Riperton is best known for her 1975 hit "Lovin' You," where she showcases her remarkable five-octave vocal range, including her ability to sing in the whistle register.
A modern pop star with a wide vocal range, Ariana Grande has demonstrated her ability to sing in whistle tones in various performances and songs, such as in her track "Imagine."
Known for her powerful and versatile voice, Beyoncé has occasionally used whistle tones in her music. While she is not as frequently associated with whistle register as some others on this list, she has showcased this ability in live performances.
Christina Aguilera is known for her impressive vocal abilities and range, and she has demonstrated the use of whistle register in some of her live performances, although it's not a prominent feature in her recorded music.
Tori Kelly, an American singer and songwriter, has showcased her whistle register ability in various performances. Her control and range have been praised, and she's known for incorporating impressive vocal techniques into her music.
Known for her hit "I Love Your Smile," Shanice is another talented singer who has demonstrated the ability to use whistle tones. Her vocal range and skill have been recognized since the early stages of her career.
An R&B and jazz singer, Chanté Moore has been noted for her use of the whistle register. Her vocal prowess is evident in songs like "Chante's Got a Man," where she showcases her range and control.
A Filipino singer and actress, Regine Velasquez is known for her wide vocal range and is recognized for her ability to sing in the whistle register. She is considered one of the best-selling Filipino artists of all time.
A Kazakh singer known for his extraordinary vocal range, Dimash Kudaibergen can comfortably perform in the whistle register. His performances often showcase his ability to navigate through multiple vocal registers with ease, including the whistle register.
Although it's a tricky thing to do and even more tricky to do in a manner pleasing to the ears, vocal experts like insist that we all have access to this register in our voices, even males!
This means that all of your favorite singers who don't use their whistle tone may be able to level up even further if they practice with the right instruction or teacher.
The key to remember with the whistle tone is that everyone's is different, depending on their range. Since males have access to this range, you can imagine their octaves will start much lower than D6.
For women, the whistle tone isn't just limited to soprano singers either. Altos can have a clean and crisp whistle range that is still a bit lower than the average D6 starting whistle register for sopranos.
I am an alto singer with a whistle register staring at C6!
The thing I find interesting about whistle tone in music is that it is used much more often with higher notes in the pop music world in comparison to the classical music world.
Soprano singers in classical music who have easy access to this range, as well as the tendency to perform fast, with trills and ornaments, are referred to as coloratura sopranos.
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