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The Science Behind Why Freddie Mercury's Voice Was So Damned Compelling
His speaking voice was a baritone, but his falsetto? Swoon.
Scientists have studied the voice and vocals of one of the greats of pop music, Freddie Mercury of the band Queen. And the results?
1) He used subharmonics in a way that very few people can. Other than Tuvan Throat Singers, that is:
(Also, listen for the subtle melody that accompanies the low-throated growl in this clip).
That subharmonic vibration also helped give him his "growl," which he used quite frequently.
2) His vocals chords simply moved faster than those of most people. Most vibratos (the oscillation between pitches that great singers employ, especially when holding a note) are between 5.4 and 6.9 Hz. Mercury's was 7.04 Hz, and that is close to what would be considered a "vocal tremor," which creates a wavering and unsteady voice. Yet he had amazing control over that same voice, even as it came close to careening out of control. It really was like he pushed his voice to the absolute limits of what it was physically capable of doing, riding that edge but not going over it. It makes the vocals more emotionally compelling precisely because he's on that edge.
3) It's been widely reported that Mercury could sing through 4 octaves, but this study could not back that up; at 12 semitones per octave, that would be 48 semitones. They could only detect an impressive 37 semitones in the recordings that exist. I mean, it's still possible he could have hit 48 semitones, it's just that there is no recorded example of him reaching that far.
Just listen to his amazing scat-style singing in the "isolated vocals" version of "Under Pressure" in the clip below, which Mercury's band Queen recorded with another great vocalist, David Bowie.
Especially the part at 02:00 — man, the dude had some pipes.
The science behind all of this is in an article posted on Taylor Francis Online in the Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology section.
Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.
- U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
- Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
- While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
High frequency gravitational wave generator.
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
A craft using an inertial mass reduction device.
Credit: Salvatore Pais
Laser Augmented Turbojet Propulsion System
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
The world's 10 most affected countries are spending up to 59% of their GDP on the effects of violence.
- Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year.
- That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet.
- Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs.
- Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget.
- Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19.
The lush biodiversity of South America's rainforests is rooted in one of the most cataclysmic events that ever struck Earth.
- One especially mysterious thing about the asteroid impact, which killed the dinosaurs, is how it transformed Earth's tropical rainforests.
- A recent study analyzed ancient fossils collected in modern-day Colombia to determine how tropical rainforests changed after the bolide impact.
- The results highlight how nature is able to recover from cataclysmic events, though it may take millions of years.