Freddie Mercury's voice explained by science

The findings were recently published in the journal Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology.

by Austin Stallings
Journalism Intern

Scientists have conducted a study explaining the majestic entity that is Freddie Mercury’s voice.

Freddie Mercury’s voice has been described as, “a force of nature with the velocity of a hurricane, which was escalating within a few bars from a deep, throaty rock-growl to a tender, vibrant tenor, then onto a high-pitched, perfect coloratura, pure and crystalline in the upper reaches.”

Mercury is ranked 18th in the Rolling Stone list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. Mercury died in 1991 from bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS at the age of 45.

Rumor has it than Mercury’s voice spanned four octaves; however, researchers weren’t able to confirm this. However, what they did uncover is Mercury’s insane ability to modulate his voice. Researchers have noted that his high vibrato frequency gave him the ability to sound finesse at some times, and rough at other times.

The researchers also found evidence that Mercury used subharmonics in his singing by vibrating his ventricular folds, a technique typically used only by Tuvan throat singers.  As the researchers write, the use of subharmonics “aids in creating the impression of a sound production system driven to its limits, even while used with great finesse.

Their findings were recently published in the journal Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology. “Overall, based on perceptual assessment, Freddie Mercury seemed to have ample control over vocal registration,” the study states.

Another popular rumor about Freddie Mercury is that he never took a vocal lesson in his life. If that rumor were true it would be insane to think that Mercury could master a top notch vibrato as well as subharmonics all on his own. Then again, he is Freddie Mercury, right?

The entire study can be found here.

The Gayly- 04/25/16 @ 5:16 p.m. CDT