First used at the end of the 15th century, the term “baritone” originates from the Greek barytonos, which translates to “deep-sounding.” It lands smack dab in the middle between the deep, low tones of the bass and the higher notes of the tenor. Baritone voices have a distinctly mellow quality often with great flexibility that allow them to play a wide array of characters from heroes to villains.
The baritone is the most common male vocal range, but, as you will see in Baritone Unbound: Celebrating the Uncommon Voice of the Common Man, there are few opportunities for the voice in show business today. Why should we care, you ask? Well, let’s take a look at some of history’s baritones (you’ll be surprised at how many names you recognize) to see just how valuable they are in our cultural landscape:
This Canadian singer-songwriter/actor has skyrocketed to the top of the charts from the moment his first album debuted in 2003. His sultry sound has been compared to Frank Sinatra’s (who, surprise, surprise, was also a baritone).
Born in the USA in 1949 (see what I did there?), Springsteen has been delighting crowds since the 1970s with his unique brand of heartland rock and poetic lyrics: