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Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?

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Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by Kizarvexis   » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:25 am

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Various female characters in RFC books, not all Honorverse, have a soft, furry, contralto voice, most notably Michelle Henke (Alicia DeVries is also described so). So what does that sound like?

Searching online didn't point me at anything other than Henke, so does someone have better Google-fu to share please? Or dispensations from on high?
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by tlb   » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:57 am

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Karen Carpenter was a contralto with a 3 octave range. Contralto is the lowest range for a regular female voice and the least common (from what I have read).
Here is a video from a Russian version of The Voice for
Yuliana Belyaeva
Here is another performer with a deeper voice:
Juliana Strangelove
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by Kizarvexis   » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:37 pm

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tlb wrote:Karen Carpenter was a contralto with a 3 octave range. Contralto is the lowest range for a regular female voice and the least common (from what I have read).
Here is a video from a Russian version of The Voice for
Yuliana Belyaeva
Here is another performer with a deeper voice:
Juliana Strangelove


Shiny. I found all kinds of info on contraltos on the net, but the furry part is what I could not find.
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by tlb   » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:56 pm

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Kizarvexis wrote:Shiny. I found all kinds of info on contraltos on the net, but the furry part is what I could not find.

One explanation I found said that there are three different types of contralto voices in music: coloratura, lyric (described as velvety) and dramatic. I assume that furry was RFC's word choice for what was otherwise called velvety. This is from Wikipedia:
Within the contralto voice type category are three generally recognized subcategories: coloratura contralto, an agile voice specializing in florid passages; lyric contralto, a voice lighter in timbre; and dramatic contralto, the deepest, darkest, and most powerful contralto voice. These subtypes do not always apply with precision to individual singers.

However these are best described in opera and might not apply as well to popular stars such as Cher or Katy Perry (both being listed as contraltos).

PS. maybe it means there is a purr to their voice.
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by Kizarvexis   » Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:06 pm

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tlb wrote:
Kizarvexis wrote:Shiny. I found all kinds of info on contraltos on the net, but the furry part is what I could not find.

One explanation I found said that there are three different types of contralto voices in music: coloratura, lyric (described as velvety) and dramatic. I assume that furry was RFC's word choice for what was otherwise called velvety. This is from Wikipedia:
Within the contralto voice type category are three generally recognized subcategories: coloratura contralto, an agile voice specializing in florid passages; lyric contralto, a voice lighter in timbre; and dramatic contralto, the deepest, darkest, and most powerful contralto voice. These subtypes do not always apply with precision to individual singers.

However these are best described in opera and might not apply as well to popular stars such as Cher or Katy Perry (both being listed as contraltos).

PS. maybe it means there is a purr to their voice.


The purr seems like a good reason for the furry part.

Here is an interview with a great lyric contralto, to give an idea I would guess. I can see with your purr idea added, that may be more like what RFC is describing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNKdgINTVp8

P.S. At the beginning the question is in German I believe, but Mrs Ferrier responds in English.
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by SharkHunter   » Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:22 pm

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I always thought maybe someone like Rita Coolidge? (Here's a link to one of her better songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv3IyfMvZIc

...or possibly Bonny Raitt's speaking voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkCu5_WKOyw

Sort of nice, smooth, but not buttery. And with a wicked sense of humor that would twist any mere mortal feller's brain into a knot when she scores with that bit of a rasp that would make it "furry".
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by Daryl   » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:52 am

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Eartha Kitt.
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by tlb   » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:06 am

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Daryl wrote:Eartha Kitt.

For extra purr in a contralto, Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by Daryl   » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:25 pm

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tlb wrote:
Daryl wrote:Eartha Kitt.

For extra purr in a contralto, Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.

Listen to "I'm just an old fashioned girl".
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Re: Soft, furry contralto. What does it sound like?
Post by tlb   » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:47 pm

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Daryl wrote:Eartha Kitt.

tlb wrote:For extra purr in a contralto, Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.

Daryl wrote:Listen to "I'm just an old fashioned girl".

Thank you, I do not remember that one.

However I loved "Santa Baby", "My Heart belongs to Daddy" and "C'est Si Bon" (which I particularly enjoy, the French gives it a special purr).
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