Key Difference – Baritone vs Bass
A voice type is a specific singing voice identified as having particular characteristics such as vocal weight, vocal range, tessitura, vocal timbre. Baritone and bass are two types of male voice types. The key difference between baritone and bass is their range; baritone is the range between tenor and bass whereas bass is the lowest male voice type, having the lowest tessitura of all voice types.
What is Baritone?
Baritone is the most common male voice type. This range is between tenor (highest) and bass (lowest). However, this is not at all ordinary; the power and weight of this voice has a very masculine feel. Thus, this voice type is typically used for roles such as noblemen and generals in operas. Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville are some famous examples of baritone roles in operas.
The typical baritone range is from A2 (the second A below middle C) to A4 (the A above middle C. This range may also extend up to C5 or down to F2. Baritone can be further classified into several sub-categories based on range, timbre, weight or dexterity of voice. There are often nine subcategories: baryton-Martin, lyric baritone, coloratura baritone, heldenbaritone, kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, baryton-noble, dramatic baritone, and bass-baritone.
What is Bass?
Bass is the lowest male voice type and has the lowest tessitura of all the voices. The bass range typically ranges from E2 (the second E below middle C) to E4 (the E above middle C); however, some basses can sing from C2 (two octaves below middle C) to G4 (the G above middle C).
Bass can also be categorized into six subcategories: basso profondo, basso buffo, bel canto bass, dramatic bass, basso cantante, and bass-baritone. In operas, bass voices can play a wide variety of characters such as villains, comic-relief characters, and other sub characters. However, in a choir, bass singers may have monotonous melodic lines.
What is the difference between Baritone and Bass?
Baritone vs Bass
|Baritone is the range between tenor and bass.||Bass is the lowest range.|
|The typical baritone range from A2 to A4.||The typical bass range from E2 to E4.|
|Roles in Opera|
|Baritones play characters of noblemen and generals due to the power and weight of the voice.||Bass singers can play a wide variety of characters including villains and comic characters.|
|Baritone is the most common male voice.||Bass voice is usually found in adult males.|
|Baritone has 9 subcategories: baryton-Martin, lyric baritone, coloratura baritone, heldenbaritone, kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, baryton-noble, dramatic baritone & bass-baritone.||Bass has 6 subcategories: basso profondo, basso buffo, bel canto bass, dramatic bass, basso cantante, and bass baritone.|
Summary – Baritone vs Bass
Baritone and bass are two male voice types. The difference between baritone and bass depends on their voice range. Bass is the lowest male voice type. Baritone lies in the range between tenor, the highest, and bass, the lowest. The roles played in operas and the parts sung in choirs also differ according to this voice type. Both bass and baritone can also be further divided into subcategories.
1.”Baritone voice range on keyboard” By Bcharles – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”Bass voice range on keyboard” By Bcharles – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia