This theme was covered in a CNN article in 2016, but in the face of Freedie Mercury’s Birthday born on September 5, 1946, we published this article as a tribute.
Freddie Mercury’s voice was unique and a group of researchers analyzed it to delve into the aspects that made it incredible.
The study Freddie Mercury: acoustic analysis of the fundamental frequency of speech, vibrato and sub-harmonics was published in the Speech Therapy Phoniatrics Vocology magazine and analyzes the vocal capabilities of Queen’s vocalist.
The Austrian, Czech and Swedish team of researchers used archival recordings to immerse themselves in the sound of Mercury’s voice, which has been described as “a force of nature with the speed of a hurricane”.
“Freddie Mercury was one of the best known singers of contemporary music in the 20th century,” says the survey. “This study presents an acoustic analysis of the production of his voice and singing style, based on the perceptual and quantitative analysis of the sound recordings available to the public”.
The study found that Mercury, who died of HIV-related complications in 1991, was a master at modulating his voice. The results included evidence that he used “subharmonics” to vibrate his ventricular folds, a technique normally found only in throat singers.
“Perceptibly irregular (and generally faster), Freddie Mercury’s vibrato is clearly heard in the sustained notes of famous songs like Bohemian Rhapsody or We Are the Champions +, and appears to be one of the fundamental pillars of his vocal style,” says the study .
The survey was released shortly after news that a notebook with Mercury notes, with lyrics of 19 songs, would be auctioned in June.