Key Difference – Head Voice vs Chest Voice
Our voices can make sounds in different ways since our vocal cords are complex and can vibrate in a number of modes. Head voice and chest voice are two terms in vocal music that can refer to either a vocal resonance area or a type of vocal register. The key difference between head voice and chest voice is the area of your body which feels the majority of resonance. When one sings with the head voice, the vibration is felt around the upper half of the face whereas when one sings with the chest voice, the vibration is felt around the lower neck and sternum.
What is Head Voice?
Head voice can refer to a type of vocal register or a vocal resonance area. Vocal resonance refers to the area in the body that feels the majority of resonance when a person is singing. When a person sings with head voice, he or she will feel vibration around the upper half of your face; in this instance, the principal resonator is the sinuses despite the resonation of other vocal structures.
The head voice is associated with light, bright tones that are higher in pitch. According to David Clippinger, all voices have a head register whether male or female, or soprano or bass. He also claims that the both men and women switch register at the same absolute pitch. Head voice is often confused with falsetto, which is typically thinner than the head voice.
What is Chest Voice?
Chest voice also refers to a type of vocal register or a vocal resonance area. When a person sings in chest voice, he or she’ll feel more vibrations around the lower neck, and sternum. You can feel these vibrations by putting your hand in the middle of your chest while speaking in a regular voice. Chest voice is often associated with deep, warm, thick and rich tones.
A person’s voice doesn’t always use a distinct vocal mode; it should always mix the resonance areas, while one predominate over the others. The voice is a more of a spectrum which contains all vocal modes including head voice and chest voice.
What is the difference between Head Voice and Chest Voice?
Head Voice vs Chest Voice
|When one sings with the head voice, the vibration is felt around the upper half of the face.||When one sings with the chest voice, the vibration is felt around the lower neck and sternum.|
|Quality of Sound|
|Head Voice is associated with light, bright tones.||Chest Voice is associated with deep, thick and rich tones.|
|Head voice produces sounds which are higher in pitch.||Chest voice produces sounds which are lower in pitch.|
Summary – Head Voice vs Chest Voice
Head voice and chest voice are two important terms in vocal music. The main difference between head voice and chest voice is the resonance area. When you sing with head voice, you’ll feel more vibrations in the upper face whereas when you sing with chest voice, you’ll feel more vibrations in the lower neck and sternum.
1. Clippinger, David A. (1917). The Head Voice and Other Problems: Practical Talks on Singing. Oliver Ditson Company. p. 24.
1. “Philosophy of vocal culture – a textbook of vocal training and preparation for song interpretation (1900) (14780426094)” By Philip, Frank – Source book page (No restrictions) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Woman Wearing Black Scoop Neck Shirt Using Microphone With Stand” (Public Domain) via Pexels