When you think of rock music and the personalities that have marked this musical genre, the name Freddie Mercury cannot be missed. Died in 1991, Queen’s iconic, charismatic, eccentric frontman, with his spectacular vocal performances, has truly marked the course of an entire musical genre, becoming a model for inspiration, a goal many singers and aspiring singers want to achieve.
And it’s not just about musical taste. His voice was truly incredible: science has explained why and has given certainties to anyone convinced of it.
A group of Swedish, Austrian and Czech experts performed an in-depth acoustic analysis of Mercury’s voice and compared his singing skills to that of professional singer Daniel Zangger-Borch, the only one in the world who could perfectly match Freddie’s singing characteristics. The results? Beautiful, just as it often happened when we talked about things that affected this famous musician.
First, although Mercury’s vocal extension was believed to have her voice similar – if not superior – features compared to a soprano, the Queen singer was actually a baritone, with mid frequencies attested at about 117.3 Hz, so a very, very special baritone.
But besides that, what really makes Freddie’s voice extraordinary is the vibrato. This singing technique is usually measured in humans at 5.4 or 6.0 Hz, but the frequencies of Mercury’s vibrato reached 7.04 Hz, a value that made his style famous, with vocal cords likely moving significantly faster than the average singers.
Exactly the vibrato, along with the fact that, in order to achieve the extensions that characterized his voice, he used the subharmonic singing style – in which the ventricular cords vibrate along with the vocal – made Freddie Mercury a rocker of its kind.
This time, therefore, Mercury’s talents have been confirmed by careful scientific analysis. Whether or not you like his style, Queen’s leader was undoubtedly a unique and hard-to-imitate singer, probably the greatest in rock history.