The Art of Falsetto: Katie Noonan sings Blackbird

I’ve just finished a five-day intensive course on voice anatomy and production – all sorts of useful information on the various muscles and such involved in singing, and how to use these structures in different ways and combinations to make different sounds.  And that has to be the worst description ever, but it’s been an exhausting five days, so it will do for now.

Anyway, in the course of teaching us about falsetto voicing, one of our instructors played us a brief excerpt from this clip, and I fell in love:

Isn’t it wonderful stuff?  I don’t think I’ve heard Katie Noonan sing before, but she is just lovely, and the way she keeps that falsetto sound so clean and pure all the way up to the top note at the end is amazing.

It’s also really handy if you are trying to figure out what falsetto sounds like, I might add.  Since falsetto isn’t a style I use all that much, it’s good to have some examples to listen to.  But this is worth listening to regardless of its educational uses!

Here’s the original, sung by the Beatles, and particularly Paul McCartney.  It’s very nearly as gorgeous… and strange to me, because I grew up on early Beatles, and I don’t remember them ever being this mellow!  Nor do I recall any birdsong in their other music…
And now I’d better go to bed, before I succumb to the temptation of testing out my belting skills again.  They are very patchy, but just occasionally I get it right, and then I get to watch Andrew’s ears get very nearly as flat as those of the cats (I didn’t know humans could make that face, but Andrew can).Have a mellow and falsetto-filled evening (the falsetto part is optional).

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