The Evolution of the Female Broadway Belt Voice: Implications for Teachers and Singers

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Elsevier Inc.
Summary Background Traditionally, the female belt range extended to C5, but in current rock/pop Broadway productions, women are often required to belt up to an F5. This recent extension of the belt voice beyond C5 is a significant change, and female musical theater singers need effective strategies to produce these higher belt notes. Methods The study is a qualitative design composed of two data collection methods: interviews with four nationally recognized master musical theater voice teachers and 17 of their female belt students, and observations of the master teachers working with these students in their private studios. Results There was much consensus among the teachers and singers on the strategies of producing the higher belt range, such as incorporating more head voice involvement with closed vowels and maintaining a speech-like quality. Singers report that they produce high belt notes with more of a mix vocal approach. Teachers suggest that female voice type may determine the extent of a singer's ability in this high belt range. Conclusions The high belt will be narrow, based on closed vowels, mixing in some degree of head voice function. Although this study has revealed some guidelines for the female musical theater high belt and similar strategies among master teachers, voice teachers should be aware of the variability of their female musical theater voice students.
Musical theater, Teaching, Singing
Roll, C. (2016). The Evolution of the Female Broadway Belt Voice: Implications for Teachers and Singers. Journal of Voice, 30(5), 639.