For those of you who remember Mariah was in the Guinness Book of World Records not to long ago for having a five octave range and singing a G7# when she sang the National Anthem. But that’s not true. The note she sang was a B6. You can play this note on the piano if you don’t believe me. However it was later found out that there was some tampering going on with the sound equipment and so she’s supposedly no longer in the book.
If you’ve been musically trained you know that octaves are arranged C D E F G A B and then C’. There are 8 octaves on the piano and to count octaves you start with the lowest note and count to the same note in the next octave until you get the range. Now in order for Mariah to sing all eight octaves she’d have to be able to sing several notes lower than what any man can which is impossible even for someone with her range. The lowest most men can sing is a G2 while there are those like Viktor Wichniakov (a male opera singer) who can sing C2 (C1 in European standard). Mariah’s lowest note she ever sung was C3 at the end of My All, and the beginning of Emotions, and You’re So Cold–not A2 or D3 like some people keep saying.
A singer’s true range is measured by the number of notes they can actually SING–not necessarily HIT. You see, in actuality Mariah can only sing up to D7. The E7 she hit on Emotions (album version), the F7 she hit on All in Your Mind, and the G7 she hit in 2 live versions of Emotions were all done when she was either congested or sick. You see in order to access what is called the flageolet register the vocal cords are held closely together and a high pitched sound moves up into the sinus cavities. When a singer is sick or congested the vocal cords become swollen making it easier to access this range but it can throw a singer off a little when this happens. This explains why none of Mariah’s songs with the exception of Emotions, and All In Your Mind have been written to go higher than D7. Mariah herself has said that she’s hit notes she can no longer do. If you’ve ever heard the clip of Mariah singing All In Your Mind acapella you’ll notice she can’t go higher than D7. You can find that clip by going here
You’ll also find a clip of Mariah singing her G7 and a G7# (it was unintentional because it didn’t match the melody) But I doubt some of the accuracy of what the author has written about Mariah’s range. That’s why I’m telling the information now so that nobody will get confused. Now if you have been paying attention Mariah’s range (C3 to D7) is 4 octaves and 1 note.
Next Mariah has 2 top vocal registers she can use. One is called the “Whistle Voice” and the other is called “Super Head Voice”. Contrary to popular belief whistle voice can be used by both females AND males. That’s right–MEN can do it too. The only reason hardly anybody uses it is because the voice can be hard to control since the sound is moving into the nasal cavity and so it sounds soft and has a low volume. Super head voice on the other hand has a higher volume and a sharper sound and it doesn’t really move up in the sinus cavities. It DOES take a little more effort than whistle voice but it’s easier to control. It also sounds higher than whistle voice but it’s the EXACT same range–whistle voice has a lower volume because the tone of the voice is airy while super head voice isn’t.
And guys CAN sing as high as women. And woman CAN learn to sing as low as men (alto’s are most likely able to do this). The lower your is the wider you can develop your range with practice. If you’ve heard of Adam Lopez then you probably know he can sing D7 using super head voice. Technically he doesn’t hold the record for highest note ever because Betty Wright also uses super head voice and when she appeared on Making the Band II (when she was teaching Sara how to control her voice) she sang Eb7 which is higher than D7 by a semitone so if anybody holds the record for singing the highest note ever it’s neither Mariah or Adam it’s Betty Wright. Mariah could HIT those notes when she was sick but she couldn’t hold them because THE NOTES IN THE 7TH OCTAVE ARE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO ACTUALLY SING. I don’t expect many people to know this but this is the reason why no opera has ever been written in the 7th octave.
In conclusion I would also like to say that it IS possible to have a range wider than Mariah (Mariah fans don’t hate me for this because I’m a fan of her too) I have a range wider than Mariah (since I’m a baritone) I can sing down to a Bb1 and up to a G6 or higher) But neither Whitney Houston or Christina Aguilera have a wider range. Whitney has a 3 octave range (C3 to C6–she did C6 on How Will I Know) and Christina has close to a 3 and a half octave range (E3 to G6#–the note she sang on The Christmas Song was D6 in super head voice).