I’m going to preface this with: All voices are beautiful. All voices are valid. There are women with deeper, warmer voices and men with higher, brighter voices. And that’s okay. To complicate things more, every culture experiences gendered voices in their own ways, so what may come across as “masculine” in one culture may be perfectly “feminine” in another. Why? Because these are artificial terms that are constantly changing.
A 1998 study by the University of South Australia compared recordings of Australian women ages 18-25 from 1945 and the early 1990’s. What they found was that the fundamental frequency (average number of oscillations per second) had lowered by 23Hz over the decades, from around A#3 to about G#31. That’s an entire whole tone!
There’s a lot that can be said about why female voices might have dropped over the years – from the fact that lower voices are taken more seriously in capitalist society, to powerful women being called “shrill” all the time (oh and we haven’t even mentioned the fact that these studies and averages are based primarily around white people in the Western World because science comes with its own biases) – but that’s not what you came here for!
The point is, don’t let society tell you how you should act or sound. Like since when have they been right about anything? Cool, thanks!
But hey, we all have our own transition goals, and whether your voice is a point of dysphoria for you or you want to learn for safety, that’s super valid. HRT doesn’t do anything to the voice for us trans girls so we just get to become vocal scientists if we struggle with our voices, and that’s where these lessons come in!
Diaphragmic Breathing, Straw Phonation
Lip Trills, Falsetto
Vocal Tract Length, Head Voice