Music Vocal Medium: Voice Types and Classifications

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30 Questions

What is the most natural form of music?

The sound of the human voice

What type of singing voice is pitched between soprano and contralto?

Mezzo Soprano

What produces the tones in bowed string instruments?

Using a bow of horse hair

What is the lowest female singing voice?


What is the intermediate male singing voice?


What is the highest male singing voice?


What are some of the combined arts that make up drama and theater?

Music, dance, painting, sculpture, and architecture

What is a key characteristic of a tragedy in motion pictures?

The central character's flaw leads to a sad or disastrous end

How are motion pictures recorded?

Using specially designed cameras that capture images on rolls of film

What is the purpose of a projector in motion pictures?

To display images on a screen

What is a key feature of cinema as an art form?

It is both an art form and a business

What is the role of sound in motion pictures?

To accompany the visual elements of the film

In what century did jazz originate?

19th and early 20th centuries

What is a characteristic of rock music?

Musical experimentation and drug-related/anti-establishment lyrics

In what decade did alternative music gain popularity?


What is dance considered to be?

The oldest of all arts

What is a way dance communicates to the audience?

Through the body of the dancer

What is a purpose of dance as a performing art?

To tell a story, set the mood, or express an idea

What is the typical length of a feature film or documentary movie?

1 1/2 to 2 hours

What is the purpose of special effects in movies?

To make the movie more realistic

What is the characteristic of a melodrama?

Good always wins

What is the primary function of comedy in drama?

To make the audience relate to human weaknesses

How do animated movies create the illusion of movement?

From a series of two-dimensional drawings or computer-generated images

What is the typical outcome of a melodrama?

The villain is punished and the hero is saved

What is the primary goal of educational films?

To provide instruction on various subjects

What is the role of the producer in a motion picture?

To handle the finances of the production

What is the primary responsibility of a screenwriter?

To write interesting pieces of work as motion pictures

What is the role of the director in a motion picture?

To guide the actors and production crew

What do actors do to prepare for their roles in a film?

They prepare themselves mentally and physically

What is the outcome of the producer's effort in a motion picture?

A finished film is distributed to theaters

Study Notes

Vocal Medium

  • The human voice is the oldest and most popular medium for music, being personal and natural.
  • The human voice has been classified into different types, including:
    • Soprano: the highest female singing voice.
    • Mezzo Soprano: a female singer with a voice pitched between soprano and contralto.
    • Contralto: a female singing voice that is low and rich in quality.
    • Tenor: the highest adult male singing voice.
    • Bass: a male singing voice that is low and rich in quality.
    • Baritone: a male singing voice that is between tenor and bass.

Instrumental Medium

  • Instruments produce sound by blowing, beating, plucking, or using a bow.
  • String instruments provide basic orchestral sounds and produce tones through the vibration of stretched strings.
  • There are two types of string instruments:
    • Bowed strings: produce tones using a bow of horse hair (e.g., violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass).
    • Plucked strings: produce tones by plucking the strings with a finger or plectrum (e.g., guitar, harp).

Drama and Theater

  • Genres of drama include:
    • Tragedy: presents life as solemn and serious, with a central character who becomes arrogant and meets a sad or disastrous end.
    • Comedy: the opposite of tragedy, portraying human weakness and limitations, and evoking laughter from the audience.

Genres of Music

  • Pop music: originated in the 1950s and is inspired by rock and roll.
  • Jazz: originated in African-American communities in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Blues: originated from African Americans in the Deep South of the United States in the late 19th century, incorporating spiritual songs, work songs, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads.
  • Rock music: evolved from rock and roll and pop music, characterized by musical experimentation and drug-related/anti-establishment lyrics.
  • Alternative music: a style of rock music that emerged from independent music in the 1980s and gained popularity in the 1990s.


  • Dance is the oldest of all arts, using the body to communicate ideas or feelings to the audience.
  • Dance can be a personal expression, telling a story, setting a mood, or expressing an idea.

Genres of Motion Pictures

  • Feature films: typically last from 1 1/2 to 2 hours, portraying fictional stories or stories based on real events.
  • Animated movies: use images created by artists/animators, creating the illusion of movement from a series of two-dimensional drawings, three-dimensional objects, or computer-generated images.
  • Documentary movies: provide information on a particular topic or subject.
  • Melodrama: emphasizes the battle between good and evil, with good always winning.
  • Comedy: portrays human weakness and limitations, evoking laughter from the audience.
  • Educational films: intended to facilitate learning at home or in the classrooms, providing instruction on various subjects.

People Behind a Motion Picture

  • Actors: play the roles of characters in the film, preparing themselves mentally and physically for the role.
  • Producer: handles finances, including paying for production, hiring actors and crew, supervising production, and distributing the finished film.
  • Screenwriter: writes scripts for motion pictures, such as the Star Wars Saga, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Director: studies the script, plans and visualizes the film, and guides actors and the production crew.

Test your knowledge of the different types of voices in music, from Soprano to Contralto. Learn about the classifications of the human voice and its role in music. This quiz covers the basics of music vocal medium and its development as an art form.

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