Harrington, George Henry (2019) Voices that ‘don’t fit’: case studies in the reception of ‘queer’ high male singing voices. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The human voice has historically been synonymous with identity and provides a
platform where genderqueer, androgynous and trans identities can be explored. This
thesis investigates the social and cultural implications of a ‘voice that does not fit’.
There is an exploration into how voices ‘do not fit’ either, social expectations or how an
artist feels their voice does not fit them; or rather the voice fits their bio-sex, but their
bio-sex does not fit their gender identity. The project looks into the social expectations
of voice and the personal accounts of how artist have had to deal with these
expectations. The study is navigated by looking specifically at the reception of different
queer voices in both modern and historic society. There is also an emphasis on vocal
training and its implications to resultant pitch, timbre, identity and reception.

The different case studies in this project are all ‘voices that do not fit’ in one way or
another. They are all defined as being voices that are by society’s expectations ‘nonnormative’.
The case studies are categorised in several ways: the voice of a castrato
(Alessandro Moreschi); a ‘cis’ identifying person with a voice that does not fit societal
expectations (Javier Medina); a transgender voice without any hormonal treatment
(Wilmer Broadnax); and a transgender voice that has undergone hormone treatment
(Alexandros Constansis, and an anonymised participant who has followed
Constansis’s suggested vocal training). These four case studies are grouped into two
correlating pairs with both pairs providing a modern and historic case study along with
one that has undergone medical treatment and one that has not. The first pair of case
studies is Alessandro Moreschi and Javier Medina and the second pair is Wilmer
Broadnax and Alexandros Constansis.

FINAL THESIS - Harrington.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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