Kurt's Singing Voice

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/12/2012, 9:50 am

^ So, i guess what you meant is NTBND is the perfect song for Kurt to showcase his vocal and dancing skills, then? Wow, this must be one of the few times where Glee has done something right and great about kurt Razz I'm well-pleased...

Thanks for giving the permission, Marie bisou I'm still a bit hesitant to send it to them after the idea pop into my mind as i'm afraid of the consequences that might happen after that...I hope I'll have the courage to do that during the hiatus. *praying*

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/13/2012, 3:44 pm

Marie, do you think Kurt could nail a straight male lead in the future (probably in S4) based on all the performances that he has done on Glee? (I'm sorry if you've already answered this somewhere else...)

Besides, have you commented on the WSS songs in ep 3.05? If you have, can you please give me the link? I just wanna look at your comments on Blaine's vocal in Tonight and One hand, one heart. I thought his singing is pretty bland and the song is only tolerable because of Rachel. However, the reviews on Something's coming (which I didn't bother to finish the song during FLF) on 3.02 says that he would be a perfect Tony so I just wanna take a look at your expert opinions. blushh

I realise I've been asking lots of questions lately Embarassed I should probably tone it down if it bothers you.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/13/2012, 4:18 pm

BlueJazz wrote:Marie, do you think Kurt could nail a straight male lead in the future (probably in S4) based on all the performances that he has done on Glee? (I'm sorry if you've already answered this somewhere else...)
You mean performance wise? Chris can do it, but I don't know if Kurt can do it. He can't pass for straight, remember? But he could learn how to act better at NYADA.
Singing wise of course he can play a male lead, if RIB will allow it. He has the vocal range.

As awesome as it was: the fact that Chris did not sing the Phantom nor NTBND in their original keys (to make sure it would sound more 'Kurt'-like the way they did it on Glee), is quite telling in how the writers want to portray Kurt's performing abilities on the show.
Kurt not auditioning with a Tony song in WSS was another very telling clue: Kurt should be portrayed as not being able to pass, and one way to do that is make him sing either a female Broadway song, or a male Broadway song in a higher key.

I will watch Kurt's development in NYADA as a male Broadway performer with Argus eyes, very carefully, and I'm sure there will be moments where I will either roll my eyes or rage. tonguue

Besides, have you commented on the WSS songs in ep 3.05? If you have, can you please give me the link? I just wanna look at your comments on Blaine's vocal in Tonight and One hand, one heart. I thought his singing is pretty bland and the song is only tolerable because of Rachel. However, the reviews on Something's coming (which I didn't bother to finish the song during FLF) on 3.02 says that he would be a perfect Tony so I just wanna take a look at your expert opinions. blushh
I've commented on the KHAT about Blaine singing Tony and that got us another Blarren stans attack. :angry:
I'm still thinking about making a WSS review, but it would be a very controversal and polarizing review, and right now on GF that's not a wise idea. I'm still thinking about it. Maybe after a while, when everything has quieted down a bit.

I realise I've been asking lots of questions lately Embarassed I should probably tone it down if it bothers you.
Doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother you. tonguue


Last edited by Glorfindel on 5/13/2012, 5:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/13/2012, 4:45 pm

Glorfindel wrote:
I will watch Kurt's development in NYADA as a male Broadway performer with Argus eyes, very carefully, and I'm sure there will be moments where I will either roll my eyes or rage. tonguue


Hmm...I think I'll have the same reaction as you if the writing doesn't improve Rolling Eyes

I'm so sorry that you've gone though the "fight" with Blaine stans on GF. (I'm not surprised , though) I'll just read the Blaine's voice review on GF at the moment.
You're most welcomed to review on WSS songs in here if you feel like doing it. You can always ignore it if it's too painful to do as I know how that stroryline pissed you off Evil or Very Mad I sincerely hope that the next musical that Glee will be doing would be much better than this mess dryy

PS: thanks for the nice Sebastian gif bisou

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  ChrisColferFan1 on 5/14/2012, 2:22 am

In my opinion Chris has one if not the best singing voices on Glee.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/14/2012, 5:18 am

FanofChrisC&MaxA1 wrote:In my opinion Chris has one if not the best singing voices on Glee.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  ColferInspired on 5/14/2012, 5:54 am

Glorfindel wrote:
BlueJazz wrote:Thanks for answering my questions in such a detailed way . I hope they are not too silly for you Embarassed
No questions are silly.

I'm also sad that so many people don't appreciate Chris' voice, only because it is out of the 'main stream'. It just proves how badly informed they are, because countertenors, or high male voices in general, have been active and popular throughout history. They have a right to be heard, just like any other voice.

But people are determined to not like what they don't know.
I cooked Brussels sprouts today. Two of my three kids won't eat them because they've decided beforehand that they will not like them. When I ordered them to eat a sprout they did so with a distasteful face and of course: they hated them.
That's the mindset of some people concerning Kurt's high notes: they think they are 'shrill' and 'thin', when those notes are probably rounder and fuller than a woman's, because of the male timbre. But they just won't give it an honest chance.

Well, their loss.


I never thought Chris high notes were shrill and 'thin'.

I found his voice beautifully unique. I love every song he has done (don't shoot me, but I loved "Candles").

I get excited when he has a solo, or a duet or a part in a song. His voice brings me happiness and joy. He is a pure joy to listen to.

Singing is not my thing, but I do appreciate and love your reviews.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 5/14/2012, 6:16 am

Whenever you are reaching very high notes you will likely sound "shrill" or "thin". Because Chris is a man and his high voice is still distinctively male, it's very "weird" to a lot of people who are not used to it. My 90+ father in law hated Whitney Houston because "she is always screaming" (in his exact words). To him belting very high like WH is the same as "screaming", but he loved Barbara Streisand and found her voice soothing and lady-like. But most younger people would consider belting like WH or Amber as something very normal because that's the style - just about every other person on IA or those singing competitions are singing like that. Yet somebody singing in his high register is considered "shrill" or "thin"? Just like a lot of people have trouble trying new or exotic foods, people's ears are also having trouble accepting unusal sounds.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/14/2012, 8:12 am

^There's a saying in the Netherlands, that translates like this: "What the farmer doesn't know he doesn't eat."
Meaning that farmers, who grow and harvest 'ordinary' food known to them for centuries/generations, are not willing to eat exotic and/or new vegetables or fruit, because they don't know them and therefore they don't like/trust it.
Perhaps they should look a little further than their own back yard?

ColferInspired wrote:I never thought Chris high notes were shrill and 'thin'.

I found his voice beautifully unique. I love every song he has done (don't shoot me, but I loved "Candles").
'Candles' is still my most favorite Klaine duet, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Smile

I'm used to hearing countertenors sing (and all other varieties of human voices), so I never found Chris' voice out of the ordinary, and certainly not shrill or thin. But I know that a lot of people are not used to a voice like that, so I get some of their confusion.
But still: even when you're not used to it, I find it hard to take that other people dismiss Chris' high register as 'wrong' and 'bad'. It's not bad, it's not wrong. It's just different, and it baffles me how rigid and conservative people still are, especially people who watch Glee and should cherish the 'different ones', the underdogs.

And it infuriates me how 'fans' want to make Chris/Kurt/Glee sing in his low register only. There's nothing wrong with any high note Kurt/Chris has sung on the show, not even the 'It's All Over' high F, or his notes in 'Candles', for that matter.
Although I would love to hear Chris' lovely lower register explored more too, especially since they are definitely connecting Kurt's effeminacy and his inability to pass partly to his high (singing) voice in season 3 (and it didn't use to be like that in seasons 1 and 2). But I would never want him or Glee to abandon his falsetto altogether.
Chris has a vocal range of 3 octaves. In season 2 Glee let him use only 2: the middle and highest octaves. It's not wrong of his fans to want to hear the lowest octave sometimes as well, but it is wrong to want him to stop singing in his highest octave. Those people are not real Kurt fans.
If not for the beauty of the high notes themselves, they should appreciate the uniqueness of Kurt, and those high notes are a big part of Kurt's uniqueness.

On the other hand: Glee really has to learn how to use Kurt's voice better. I have a feeling the Anders brothers know how to use Chris well, but the songs and little parts in group numbers RIB pick for Kurt are usually not good, not this season anyway.
For instance:
NTBND's lyrics and character in the musical 'The Boy from Oz' fitted Kurt's storyline perfectly, but music wise (as in: Kurt's vocal range and the song technically not being strong enough for an audition) it was a bad choice. Thankfully to the arrangement (the higher key and the glory notes) it turned into an excellent song. That success, however, is on the Anders brothers, not RIB.

Another example would be 'Big Girls Don't Cry': that song has a certain 'little girl' feeling/timbre to it that it can't easily transfer to a boy, and that goes both for Chris and Darren (and for Lea too: she's not a little girl with a tiny voice, Jenna would have been a better choice). Chris still sang BGDC well, but placing his higher chorus right after Lea's lower verse (which suited her voice very well) in the show version made his voice jut out more in comparison. In the iTunes version it was Darren's voice that jutted out because it was too low in comparison to Lea's and Chris'. The show version only had him sing in the chorus, harmonizing with Lea, and that sounded absolutely lovely: the awkward (beginning of the) verse was cut out.
Kurt's BGDC chorus sounding 'too high' in the show version was also an editing fault: the original arrangement itself made very good use of Chris' voice. But because it was scripted that Kurt had to respond/'interrupt' Rachel's singing, they edited out the other voices in the chorus and 'forced' Kurt to come in all alone after Rachel's lower verse. That is a classic example of a writer/director who knows nothing about music butchering a workable music arrangement and chopping it up to fit a scene.

And I'm giving parts of my reviews away..... again. blinkk Razz


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Delight on 5/14/2012, 8:49 am

Glorfindel wrote:
Another example would be 'Big Girls Don't Cry': that song has a certain 'little girl' feeling/timbre to it that it can't easily transfer to a boy, and that goes both for Chris and Darren (and for Lea too: she's not a little girl with a tiny voice, Jenna would have been a better choice). Chris still sang BGDC well, but placing his higher chorus right after Lea's lower verse (which suited her voice very well) in the show version made his voice jut out more in comparison. In the iTunes version it was Darren's voice that jutted out because it was too low in comparison to Lea's and Chris'. The show version only had him sing in the chorus, harmonizing with Lea, and that sounded absolutely lovely: the awkward (beginning of the) verse was cut out.
Kurt's BGDC chorus sounding 'too high' in the show version was also an editing fault: the original arrangement itself made very good use of Chris' voice. But because it was scripted that Kurt had to respond/'interrupt' Rachel's singing, they edited out the other voices in the chorus and 'forced' Kurt to come in all alone after Rachel's lower verse. That is a classic example of a writer/director who knows nothing about music butchering a workable music arrangement and chopping it up to fit a scene.

Ah! Thanks for revealing that tidbit to me neutre

When I first heard BGDC in the episode, I felt that Kurt's voice didn't really flow smoothly from Rachel's verse (I suppose it's the high/low register difference that made the contrast stand out more); and what I couldn't understand is that it didn't sound that way in the full version of the song. Sigh... it was a rare opportunity to do another epic Hummelberry duet and they wasted that opportunity.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/14/2012, 9:00 am

fantastica wrote:Just like a lot of people have trouble trying new or exotic foods, people's ears are also having trouble accepting unusal sounds.

So true!! iagree I applaud you for saying that rooots I guess we are a group of special/unusual people, then, huh ? Wink I kinda like that neutre

Same as you guys, I don't feel that Chris' higher register sounds shrill or thin (some even said that he's screeching, which is just offensive dryy ) at all (even in "it's all over" which he hit and high f)! I think his higher register is probably one of the most powerful higher register I've heard before (including female vocalists) and it's probably because Chris uses the technique mentioned by Marie to strengthen his higher register. I don't think reaching high notes will make you "shrill" or 'thin" (but of course thinner than lower register ). It depends on the technique you use and how you use your voice in a song , I think.

Sadly, candles is my least favourite Klaine duet, my favourite is either BICO or LIS. It's a bit sad that one of the fav couples in the show only sing best during Xmas tonguue But, whatever as they are not the best duet partners anyway. I enjoy hummelberry duet 100 times more than I enjoy a Klaine duet, so...

I absolutely with Marie about wanting Chris to explore his lower register more (it's probably out of his comfort zone but he might like it if he likes challenges, right?) and not abandoning his falsetto. Falsetto is definitely Kurt/Chris' signature voice and it has to stay!

Do anyone of you know why Hugh win a tony for playing Peter allen in the boy of oz? I know that NTBND is not a vocally challenging song and I'm just curious about the key factor that makes him win as I've never heard of that musical before Kurt sings it.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/15/2012, 6:24 pm

I just found out this little piece of information (from the Nationals setlist thread on GF):

Apparently Kurt and Blaine were not originally meant to sing in Paradise By the Dashboard Light but Adam Anders decided to put them in anyways. Based off what Alex Anders tweeted, it seems Adam Anders is the one who puts Chris and Darren in songs even if RIB or the script doesn't call for it.

Response by another poster:
I think you're confusing Paradise with Big Girls Don't Cry. Kurt's and Blaine's parts of Paradise are going to be in the show, and were therefore scripted. The Anders brothers are allowed to put whoever they want on the verses not in the show (which, I believe, is why we sometimes get really cool combinations that we get annoyed with not being in the show later - it's the Anders brothers playing around, sometimes with great results), but the writers determine all the singing that makes it into the show itself.

Look at the first graphic (ignore the 2nd one):


The light blue columns in the first graphic indicate small solos in group numbers that mostly get cut. Look at the difference between Kurt and the others: Kurt has had 8 (!) of those small solos. The others all had 1-3.

That is quite some information, if it's true. It would mean that the Anders brothers keep putting Kurt in the group numbers, and they are therefore responsible for a large amount of songs that Kurt actually got to sing in, and not RM.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 5/15/2012, 6:29 pm

if the anders brothers didn't do that, kurt would sing much less! that really bothers me!

and it worries me about the next season,
Spoiler:
since there are some hints/indications that they may want kurt to go into fashion instead. and that means they don't have to bother to explain why he won't sing anymore. :angry:


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Emile on 5/15/2012, 6:32 pm

Ugh. If this is true, it's sad. No
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  valkeakuulas on 5/15/2012, 6:54 pm

I think they are music proffs who just enjoy finding "new sounds" and I would think that using Chris' voice is making their daily job a lot more interesting then just autotuning the hell out of a normal singer. The only interview I've seen about them was the Swedish SVT documentary where an entire episode focused on the revival of Don't Stop Believing, and in that Anders was shown to be very passionate about finding new elements about old songs and brining them back. I can imagine how interesting it is for them to fit Chris' voice to all of these songs he's made a guest apparance in. Kudos for them working in a huge cross fire sometimes, but in the end Fox and Murphy Productions are paying their wages so that has to dampen their enthusiasm now and then. neutre

@Glorfindel. I've been meaning to thank you for these graphics, since they are perfect way to show everyone how the music is really distributed. Kurt sings, but not when it's considered plot wise. Not that anyone is really singing anything plot wise in Season 3.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/15/2012, 7:10 pm

valkeakuulas wrote: Not that anyone is really singing anything plot wise in Season 3.
Was there a plot in season 3? unsure

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 5/15/2012, 7:24 pm

^ yes but it's not important and I don't remember.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/17/2012, 5:57 am

I think I have to send a thank you tweet the Anders brothers after the season finale even though we're not sure the info is true or not. They deserve some appreciation neutre

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 6/6/2012, 12:36 pm

I finally was able to finish my review of 'Music of the Night'.
I hope it is good: I have been fretting over this one for a week now.
Since this forum uses another lay-out than GF it will take some time to put the review up here and I don't have the time now (tomorrow I will do it), but for now I'll put a link to GF here: Music of the Night.

And I'd love some feedback, because I'm not sure if what I concluded in this review is what you might think too..... unsure

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  tanita_mors on 6/6/2012, 12:51 pm

i will read the review latter, but have you heard the acapella version of it ? it's even better without music. if his voice was a little bit darker - a few semitonals lower (correct me if i'm wrong) - it would be perfect for the stage right now as far as i'm concerned.

http://k004.kiwi6.com/hotlink/rlxpb282j0/3x18_the_music_of_the_night.mp3


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 6/6/2012, 2:26 pm

Thanks for the acapella version. I hadn't heard it yet.

And yes: a few semitones lower and Chris would make an excellent Phantom. That's one of the conclusions of my review. neutre

He can hide his babyface behind the mask and make-up. Razz

If only.....

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 6/8/2012, 5:02 pm

After the finale of season 3 everything I had already written down for this review had to change. Suddenly the audition songs ‘Music of the Night’ and ‘Not The Boy Next Door’ had to be viewed in a different light, and the joy for these songs turned into anger.
I’ve decided to get that anger out in this review, and keep the ‘Not The Boy Next Door’ review as pure and as positive as possible.
So beware: this will get dirty. beam

---------------------------------------------------------------------

REVIEW: Music of the Night (MOTN).

Finally the moment of the NYADA auditions arrived in episode 18: 'Choke'.
Fortunately for Kurt the 'choke' in the episode title did not refer to him but to Rachel. Kurt nailed his audition song, but it wasn't 'Music of the Night'. Although Kurt rehearsed this Phantom of the Opera song for at least 3 months, in the end he chose another song to audition with: ‘Not The Boy Next Door’. wub

By showing us Kurt in the Phantom mask in the previeuws and spoilers, Glee managed to melt down the mind of half of the Kurtsies: Kurt would sing a Phantom song!?! We couldn't wait till First Listen Friday.
But First Listen Friday came and went and there was no Phantom song. So they would wait till Monday to release the song, right? Nope, wrong again.
Although we were relieved they didn't cut the MOTN performance from the show entirely, as we suspected, how bitter was the disappointment that we only got this snipbit of the song, and it wasn't even released fully on iTunes. Thank God for the clever Kurtsies who copied MOTN from the episode, made an mp3 and put it online.

According to the narrative, 'Music of the Night' was the safe choice for Kurt, and it's true: MOTN is sung at many audition, and rightfully so. It's a good song that shows a big vocal range, good vocal techniques, and emotional turmoil of the character.
Unfortunately Kurt was not allowed to show this vocal range and emotional turmoil the song showcases. I would have paid good money for that, and I think Glee missed an opportunity here. But to keep the myth of Kurt not being a good Tony (who has the same vocal range as the Phantom), the myth of Kurt not being a good male romantic lead at all, intact, we were robbed of a full MOTN performance of Chris. I'll explain why I came to this conclusion, but first let's go to the youtube videos:

Michael Crawford (the original Phantom of the Opera):


Gerard Butler (the 'movie' Phantom):


Kurt:


Lyrics:
Here are the lyrics of the complete song. I've put the lyrics that Kurt sang in red:

"Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination
Silently the senses abandon their defenses

Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor
Grasp it; sense it, tremulous and tender
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night

Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams
Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before
Close your eyes; let your spirit start to soar
And you'll live as you've never lived before.

Softly, deftly music shall caress you
Hear it, feel it secretly possess you
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind
In this darkness which you know you can not fight
The darkness of the music of the night

Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before
Let your soul take you where you long to be

Only then can you belong to me

Floating, falling sweet intoxication
Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation
Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in
To the power of the music that I write

The power of the music of the night

You alone can make my song take flight
Help me make the music of the night"


Now, that's not much, is it? blinkk
Basically Kurt only sang one chorus, and to do that they cut 2 1/2 chorusses into 1. They conveniently left out the verses, and I say "conveniently" because it matters in the way Kurt's voice was portrayed in this 'audition'. I'll elaborate later.
(lol: I sound like a Discovery channel documentary: “Learn more of why Kurt’s MOTN was butchered….. after the commercial break.”)


The Phantom of the Opera: is he a tenor or baritone?
The role of the Phantom can be sung by both a tenor or a baritone. The highest notes are not too high for a baritone, and the lowest notes can be a challenge for a tenor, but it’s doable.
It’s more a matter of personal preference. A baritone Phantom can delve deeper into the darker side of the character, the manipulative, moody and broody Phantom. A tenor Phantom can be more ‘Angel of Music’ like, the persuavive, seductive, but mentally unstable side of the character. A good performer, baritone or tenor, can portray both sides, and give us a complete 3-dimensional character.
The Phantom sometimes alternates between low and high register in some of his songs, especially in ‘Music of the Night’, or at least: when not actually switching to high register the singer makes his voice and timbre thinner and higher in certain parts. This is done to create and express a certain emotion and mood, just like the darker low register is used to express other emotions. The Phantom has many, conflicting emotions: he’s a complex character. As said: a good performer can do both sides of the spectrum.

This makes the Phantom an excellent role for Chris to play in about 15 years or so. There are some low parts that may be difficult (and are perhaps too difficult for Chris now), but with training I think that can be overcome. I see no hinderance for Chris to sing the Phantom in the future.
Now, wouldn’t that be loverly? Smile


The sabotage of the Phantom:
The MOTN was supposed to be the wrong choice for Kurt: safe, boring, unfitting for his personality, and to show us that they used some very clever tricks, most of them I can appreciate, and some I detest as a voice coach.
These tricks were very effective, because after the episode aired there was a lot of buzz going around on Phantom sites and tumblr, and a few offended Phantom lovers even made accounts here and came directly to me to protest in this thread and by PM. Glee isn't the only fandom with some very determined fans. Rolling Eyes The Phantom fans I discussed MOTN with were fervently against Kurt/Chris ever singing the Phantom: they did not think he did MOTN justice. Only after I explained the sabotage to them did they back down.

And of course: despite the sabotage, the Glee viewers still loved Kurt's rendition of MOTN, especially the Kurtsies: Kurt may not have been an eligible Phantom, but Chris truly sang like an Angel of Music here.

How did they manage to 'sabotage' Kurt's MOTN?

The tricks they used:
- Kurt's costume: the cape was too shortly cut and the boots were too long. Kurt looked like Puss in Boots or a kid dressed up as a superhero for Halloween, not a dark and sinistre, adult Phantom.
- Chris' acting: he gave a perfect mix of Kurt trying too hard and not quite getting it. His hand gestures, his prancing around on stage, trying to look mysterious. wub
- Tina's desinterest: besides giving a perfect shade of Sarah Brightman's Christine performance (Razz), Tina's bored faces were very telling.
- The music: instead of the normal full orchestra the Glee songs get (even when there's no musician in sight or someone is only playing guitar or the piano), MOTN had an irritating thin piano tinkling and 'elevator-music' strings accompaniment.
- They did not allow to let Kurt sing with the full capacity of his voice. And it is with this last 'trick' that I have trouble with.


The beportrayal of Kurt's voice:
Let’s take the lyrics Kurt sang and divide them in low register and high register:
(Bold = low register)

"Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world
Leave all
thoughts of the world you knew before
Let your soul take you where you long to be

Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in
To the power of the music that I write
Help me make the music of the
night"


The key:
'The Music of the Night' was transposed 4 semitones higher than the original of Michael Crawford (Gerard Butler's movie version is 1 semitone higher than Michael Crawford's, so that would make a difference of 3 semitones with Kurt). This had the result that Kurt's Phantom sounds higher and less powerful than what the Phantom is supposed to sound like (powerful as in dark, mysterious, strong, not as in beautiful/better vocal technically).
The key change almost forced Chris into switching a lot between low and high register in MOTN. Most notes are right around the E4-F4, and although that's quite low in Chris's breaking point range, the softer singing style they chose for MOTN make it almost impossible for Chris not to break on those (relatively) low notes. It's mostly a technical thing, and very hard to explain. It comes down to that some melodies 'ask' for a register switch at a certain point, because that's the easiest or most logical place to switch if you look at the lyrics, notes and composition.

If the key had stayed the same as the original, those switches would not have been necessary or as obvious as they are now. And although switches and high register are very nice when it is Chris singing, it also takes some of the power, dark timbre and 'determination'/direction of the voice away, and the Phantom role really needs that power and dark timbre.
What they established with the key change was to enhance Kurt's trademark, namely the register switches and his high register, which got Kurt the 'fashionable soprano' nickname. This is clever of the music arrangers, but it sadly only showcases a part of Kurt's voice, the middle and higer parts, and ignores another part of his voice: the darker lower part that makes the Phantom the Phantom.

The singing style:
As said in the previous paragraph: Chris goes to high register fairly early and often in MOTN, even though he can go much higher in his lower register if he wants to.
If you listen to the versions of Michael Crawford and Gerard Butler, you can hear that in certain parts of MOTN, they too, like Chris/Kurt, alternate between low and high register (or 'color' their timbres higher and thinner at some points in MOTN), to emphasize certain emotions of the Phantom: mysterious, 'begging'/pleading, passionate, even a bit mentally disturbed. So in that regard Chris did an amazing job, giving those feelings and that timbre to the bits of MOTN he got to sing. wub

But the specific lines Kurt sang in MOTN were not supposed to be sung in that higher timbre: those lines were supposed to be sung much stronger and 'darker', because the emotions at that point in the song are different, more persistant and overpowering.
The coloring towards the higher timbre is mostly in the beginning of MOTN, but Kurt did not sing those lines: the part of MOTN we got to hear was cut in Glee to the moment when the song was already almost finished. The lines Kurt did sing however, were not sung in the style of the ending of MOTN, but sung in that 'higher' timbre/style of the beginning. By doing it this way they took out the build-up in the song, there was no crescendo (increasing the volume and intensity throughout a melody), and no strong ending.
To add to that: by taking all Kurt's almost random lines of MOTN out of context of the original song, there is no strong build up to that ending: no emotional roller coaster and no feeling of climax.
So the singing style itself was true to the original of MOTN, but it was the wrong moment for Kurt to sing that style in the song. We only saw the last part of MOTN, but that wasn’t a climaxed ending, as it was supposed to be.

Not using the power belt:
To take away that strong climax even more, they left out the significant strong power belt note at the end.
The last note in the line "Let your soul take you where you long to be." must be sung in low register. It is the most powerful note in the song, and at that exact moment the Phantom shows his determination and his power over Christine. In the original this note is a G4sharp (A4 in the Gerard Butler version). In Glee this is a C5, which is very high for Chris to sing, but not too high: he has sung it in low register before (I Am The Greatest Star). But it would be better if they had not made the key change that high and made it a B4 or B4flat (Rose's Turn) instead.
It doesn't matter anyway, because Kurt did not sing this note in low register, he sang it in high register, taking away the 'darker power' by doing so (although that note is absolutely beautiful in itself).

Instead of the power belt this line needed they used the singing style of the 1 other line that has the same melody in MOTN: "Close your eyes; let your spirit start to soar." That line ends in high register (or softer 'colored' low register). In the song there is an explanation for this: the Phantom is seducing Christine at that point, luring her into the dungeons by sweet and persuasive words, like the snake who seduced Eve in Paradise.
The 2nd time the same melody is sung in the original, the line that Kurt actually sings ("Let your soul take you where you long to be.") the Phantom is losing his patience and is showing more determination and power. This should have been the climax, followed by the softer last lines. By taking the climax power belt note out, they took the peak out, and Kurt’s MOTN fell flat.

The cut lines and verses:
And here's the last trick they used to 'weaken' Kurt's version of MOTN: Michael Crawford and Gerard Butler sang the whole song, and they were able to show their entire vocal range and all the emotions the Phantom conveyed in MOTN. You really need the whole picture to follow these mood changes of the Phantom, and it makes him that interesting, 3-dimensional character.
They deliberately took out the strong lower parts of MOTN, sung in low register: the lower line in the last chorus ("The power of the music of the night."), and the powerful, seductive and even sexually charged verses. By showing us only the lighter and higher parts of MOTN, the darker side of this mysterious Angel of Music disappears, and only the Angel remains. A beautiful angel, yes, but not the twisted Phantom.

Kurt was not allowed to sing those tempting and sinister low verses because then we would have seen that, despite of the key change, Kurt's lower range fit the Phantom style perfectly and that Kurt's singing voice is very well able to pass for straight.
They did this to Kurt's voice before, in 'I Am The Greatest Star': they deliberately cut out the strong low register parts of that song, so Kurt would sound less suitable for a male lead role at his WSS audition.


The safe choice that reined in the unicorn:
The narrative wanted it that MOTN was shown as not being the right choice, not the right fit for Kurt. In itself that is a good observation to make: for 2 1/2 seasons Kurt has been struggling with wanting to sing girl songs and others not allowing him or punishing him for it.
Showing now that Kurt was not comfortable singing a male song (even though he auditioned for Tony and longed to play the romantic male lead roles in his future career in 'I Am Unicorn' Rolling Eyes ) was a great way to give us an incling as to why Kurt prefers girl songs, and how that might set him back on his career path as a musical theatre performer.
Kurt not feeling comfortable being the Phantom, even him not being able to 'pass' in this song, was a continuation of his unicorn/effeminacy storyline of episode 2. And this ‘problem’ would be a nice challenge Kurt could try to conquer or utilize, once he was studying at NYADA.

Kurt made a mistake at the WSS audition by singing a girl song. The journey was supposed to be that Kurt learned from that mistake and therefore he chose MOTN, a male Broadway song, as his NYADA audition song, his safe choice. I think that MOTN would not have shown Kurt's personality the way NTBND did, but that is another discussion. Vocal wise MOTN fits Kurt's vocal range and timbre, and it is an excellent song to show the emotions Kurt is able to convey so well. MOTN was a good choice and a safe one.
But the story was that the safe choice was not the right choice, so Kurt's MOTN had to be awkward and uncomfortable. However: showing Kurt being a dorky Phantom and not able to convincingly lure Christine/Tina to the dungeons, and by sabotaging the music and clothing, was not enough for Glee. They had to sabotage Kurt's voice too, just like they sabotaged it in his WSS audition, because effeminate Kurt is not allowed to sing in the lowest parts of his vocal range anymore, unless…..

The risky choice that was meant to set the unicorn free:
Kurt sang another song at his audition. Not a ‘girl’ song, not a romantic male lead song. The song Kurt sang was ‘Not the Boy Next Door’: the risky choice, the audition song that got him that high praise from Carmen Tibideax.
Kurt could not pass for straight to sing a romantic male lead, and he could not go back to the wonderful female power ballads (although I would have loved to hear Carmen’s comment if Kurt had sung ‘Rose’s Turn’, ‘Le Jazz Hot’ or ‘I Am The Greatest Star’ at his audition). So what to do? If you can’t beat them, join them, and that’s what Kurt did.
In order to give his best at the NYADA audition Kurt resorted to a song from ‘The Boy from Oz’, the life-story of a flamboyant gay man. Kurt flaunted his not-being-able-to-pass status as an addition, an asset, not a flaw or disadvantage, just like Peter Allen did. To say it in Kurt's words (Showmance): "It's the song, it's really gay." Razz

But this time Kurt was allowed to sing in his total vocal range: the triumphant and confident high notes, and the strong and powerful low register. Here the music producers of Glee made yet another association/connection between (will) power and low register, only this time they allowed Kurt to use that lower range instead of hiding it. Kurt’s singing voice was set free at last.
Everything came together for Kurt, every painful lesson was learned, he finally found out how he could use who he was to an advantage (just as he did in ‘Le Jazz Hot’ when he had no duet partner). Maybe Kurt is a precious unicorn who didn’t fit in in high school, but he’d be damned if he'd let that hold him back.
And you know what? It worked. It worked for Carmen and it worked for the Glee viewers: NTBND was one of Kurt’s greatest successes on Glee. This would have been a good, inspirational and powerful message to send, a message that even justified the means of limiting Kurt’s voice and kicking him where it hurts for a whole season, except for..... "I didn't get in.".
God, I still can’t believe they did this to Kurt and destroyed their own uplifting story. Evil or Very Mad

If setting up Kurt’s humiliation of not exciting Beiste’s ladyparts at his WSS auditions was only created to make clear that male lead roles are still not Kurt’s strongest point when he rehearsed his safe choice MOTN (a song that wasn’t even used at the real audition: not because it showed Kurt couldn’t do it, but because it was considered boring to both Kurt and Carmen), only to create some doubt of if Kurt was suitable to be a Broadway performer after all (where his sexual orientation and effeminacy should not be a problem at all); and if they do not intend to continu this not-able-to-pass storyline next season at NYADA, than what was the use of putting Kurt through all that rejection and pain? There was no visible journey, no visible learning process, and in the end no satisfying resolution: Kurt still can’t pass, Kurt never got a lead in ND, and Kurt didn’t get into NYADA. :angry:
There better be some payback next season.


Low register <> high register, aka "here we go again": unsure
Singing in low register, or belting, can emphasize determination, strength, anger. It is more ‘powerful’ vs. the ‘weaker’ high register. It's a vocal technical/music composition trick, not a hidden mysogenic message. It's not even strictly male related: women do it in their songs too (just listen to Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You', or any female Broadway power ballad). That's how it works in singing and music in general: it's an effect.
MOTN demonstrates that even: the same line sung in different registers shows different emotions and circumstances (see the paragraph: "The power belt"). Chris often uses this effect in his songs too: AIWNSG, Le Jazz Hot. Whenever he (Kurt) gets determined or angry, Chris switches to low register.
You should know by now that I think both registers have their merits, I love Chris for all his 3 octaves, and I love Kurt for his preference of female Broadway ballads. I really don’t want another discussion about that.
But by making Kurt fail his WSS audition because he could not possibly pass for straight, and emphasizing that by giving him a 'girl' song and then cut the 'stronger' low register parts,…. and by doing the exact same thing (cutting the stronger low register parts) in his intended NYADA audition song, a male song that clearly didn't 'fit' effeminate Kurt, Glee brought this upon themselves this time.

Granted: all these 'tricks' they applied, helped to paint the picture of the wrong song choice better. In a TV show you cannot be too subtle, and Glee is never shy of using the sledgehammer approach: I get it. But it left a foul taste in my mouth, especially considering the end result.
What is vexing me in this 'sabotage' of the Phantom and the WSS audition, is that they mixed 2 things up: that may not matter to a casual viewer, but it matters a lot to me:
They ignored/hid part of Kurt's vocal range and connected that to him not being able to sing a male lead role convincingly.
Even if Kurt does not want to sing as a male lead, he still can sing as a male lead whenever it is required. He's proven it enough in seasons 1 and 2,even in snipbits in season 3 (ABC, Loveshack). Kurt was perfectly fine singing RiffRaff, or as a tenor in other songs (Blackbird, 4Minutes), even a bass (Funk): he has the vocal range and the ability, and that’s canon.
But in season 3 all that changed: Kurt’s voice got limited to the middle and upper ranges, and his lower range was mostly ignored.

In season 3 the emphasis in Kurt’s singing voice was mainly on his middle and high register, not only in his audition songs, but overall (My Favorite Things, Ben, I Have Nothing, Big Girls Don't Cry). And when Kurt used his beautiful low reciting voice in his Romeo & Juliet audition, he was laughed off stage because of it: such a manly voice cannot belong to fashionable soprano Kurt Hummel. dryy
At the same time in season 3, Kurt was not allowed to sing songs of (aka identify with) male singers who had similar voices as he has: Michael Jackson and the BeeGees. They deliberately kept Kurt away from those artists and songs, artists and songs that showed that a high voice can be a mainstream, even popular, male voice-type.
Instead Kurt got a Whitney Houston song in the original key, and he was given a really high (girl) part in 'It's All Over', a part the fandom has still not recovered from.
They even had a ‘funny’ storyline of Kurt getting a solo at Nationals because he could match VA’s Unique vocal wise, but he could only do that if he put on a dress: so singing high means singing like a drag queen?
That’s quite some disturbing characterisation here, and when deliberately treading on the paths of Kurt’s effeminacy and the inability for him to pass for straight in season 3 (when there was no problem for Kurt to pass for straight on stage in seasons 1 and 2), it’s even insulting. I could let this all slide in seasons 1 and 2, but RIB definitely intentionally made it part of season 3.

The baffling thing about this is that when Kurt sang the few lines he was allowed to sing as Michael Jackson (Black or White), Freddie Mercury (We Are The Champions) and Fred Schneider (Loveshack), the fandom reacted very positive: they loved it, and we could all hear how Chris could sing this well if they had allowed Kurt to be more than a box that only has 4 sides to it. fanny2

And if Kurt had sung MOTN in the original key (I’d suggest the Gerard Butler key), he would have been able to sing this song wonderfully, without compromising who he is or conforming to the norm: there still would have been enough moments in that song for Kurt to show his beautiful upper range and register. MOTN was perfect for Kurt’s voice, and it would be a foreshadowing of what a voice like Kurt’s can become in the future.
I cannot shake off the feeling that Kurt was not allowed to show a succesful MOTN because he was not supposed to be a good Tony, a romantic leading man. And that brings us back to WSS: was Kurt rejected because he auditioned with the wrong song? Was he rejected because the directors were pre-conditioned and could not see beyond the fashionable soprano Kurt, since season 3 was supposed to be how Kurt was viewed by others? Or was he rejected because he really could not pass for straight?
Questions, but no answers, although the way MOTN and NTBND turned out to be in the narrative in the end suggest the latter: that Kurt could not pass for straight. If that is so, I really need a follow-up on this. Because the only one who really didn’t care if he could pass for straight or not, the dean of NYADA, praised Kurt, but didn’t let him in….. yet.


Last remark:
This show and its writers have shown over and over again that they have no scrupules/hesitations to expose and emphasize the physical 'flaws' or quirks of their actors (Matt's hair and butt chin, Cory's body, Lea's nose, Jane's age). In season 1 and 2 I could reason away the (unintentionally?) wrong presentation of Kurt's voice as a desinterest of RIB, or them being unaware/not used to countertenors, or them going for the cheap joke.
But by showing us that they know how to effectively sabotage Kurt in MOTN, and by choosing a song and making a music arrangement that showcased Kurt’s singing voice absolutely right in NTBND, any excuse I can make for RIB and the music arrangers that they lack the knowledge to utilize Chris' voice properly has flown out of the door.
This season Kurt’s singing voice was deliberately limited to tell a story, a story that lead nowhere except to insult and injury, and when Kurt’s voice finally was set free, it got the highest praise, but the story still ended in defeat.

And since Kurt's (countertenor) voice is already something people are not used to and is a constant discussion point in this fandom, I could have done without the ignoring of the lowest octave of Kurt's vocal range, the depiction of Kurt’s voice overall in season 3, and certainly without him not being deemed talented and special enough, so that the girl who choked got into NYADA over him.
How often do I have to write down that Kurt’s highest notes are just fine and within the range of a countertenor, a legit male singing voice? How often do I have to write down that Kurt can sing 95% of the solo parts the other guys get, everytime the argument comes up that Kurt cannot sing in a competition because his voice does not fit in? I'm so sick and tired of that discussion, and this did not help.
Kurt cannot sing a (romantic) male lead role, he cannot sing with the bros at competition: he is not a real boy.

I sincerely hope that Sarah Jessica Parker will be this Pinocchio's Blue Fairy in season 4, who tells him that he done good, and grants him his wish upon a star.


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 6/15/2012, 6:32 am

Marie, I have posted a reply to your song distribution analysis in "songs and singers of Glee" in GF and I've request you to post the analysis or at least the competition song distribution in KSV and CCFF since you've worked hard on it and I feel that fans should acknowledge it. I'm just reminding you here since it seems that you didn't visit the thread these days and I just want to let you know about this earlier. No pressure, though, you can visit reply my request whenever you're free fanny2


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 6/15/2012, 9:06 am

^ I saw your post in the SaSog thread. I haven't commented on it yet, because I don't want to start another song distribution war over there. I'm too tired of these fan wars, tbh, especially so soon after the finale episode and the new Rachel<>Kurt war.
So I've been waiting if someone else responds to your post on GF. If they don't, I'll leave it at that. The facts are there to read and everyone can draw their own conclusion: it is not hard to miss how Kurt got screwed at competitions. Pointing at it too loudly is only going to cause more "Oh, please stop whining!" responses. dryy
But the cold numbers don't lie, and they are in the song distribution review. It's the passive agressive approach, I guess. fanny2

Also: that thread is for general Glee discussion, and I don't want to focus too much on Kurt in there: people already know I'm not unbiased, and there's been enough said about Kurt (and Puck) being shafted at competitions (and Tina with the song distribution in general) in the episodes threads of 'Props', 'Nationals' and 'Goodbye'.

People who visit the KSV already know how much Kurt got in competitions (=almost zero), and I don't think a comparison of all the Glee kids is allowed in a thread devoted to 1 character, so I can't post it there. Although I've commented enough on it in the KSV to make people notice (and it will probably pop up again if/when I review his 1 crummy line in 'Paradise By The Dashboardlight').


But I will put the final results of the season 3 numbers of the song distribution in here, if you like. I'm not sure if it should be put here (in this thread) or on the general Glee discussion thread. I'll think about it a bit and decide tonight. neutre

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 6/15/2012, 4:32 pm

^It's ok if you don't wanna put the competition song distribution in KSV and CCFF, a sentence that mentioned how Kurt got screwed over in competitions is enough, I guess. I just hope that more people will acknowledge it, that's all neutre Well, the song distribution is you work so i'm fine with whatever you decide is the best fanny2

From your comment above, i think I might have crossed some lines in my post in "songs and singers thread". Embarassed I was quite pissed when I wrote it so I didn't realize anything wrong with it since I thought those were the truths. Do you think I should delete some parts of it? I kinda need your advise here. Even though those were my real opinions, I don't want to cause another fan war, either :(

PS: I knew I would cause troubles in forums after posting too much humhum I should probably repost it in the "snark & bark thread". I think it would be appropriate tonguue

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