Austrian, Czech, and Swedish researchers conducted a study on just how unique Mercury’s famous singing and speaking voice was.
Originally conducted to determine whether Mercury’s range span four full octaves, they weren’t able to confirm the fact, but came across some other interesting conclusions along the way.
Researchers discovered through comparison of singer Daniel Zangger-Borch who can impersonate the late singer’s voice, that Mercury used subharmonics. A technique most often used by throat singers, subharmonics use the ventricular folds, which humans usually never use, so the fact that he achieved this is unbelievable. He also had vocal cords that moved a lot faster than most at 7.04 Hz, even beating out opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.
After conducting listening studies on six different interviews it was revealed that Mercury was a baritone, even though many people believe he was a tenor. Mercury once turned down an opera duet because he thought fans wouldn’t recognize his baritone voice.
If you’re interested in the scientific details you can find the study here.
Just listen to that voice:
Also, if you’re a fan of Mercury’s you have the chance to win a notebook of his. According to NME, the notebook was used by him around the end of his life between 1988-1990 and contains full and partial lyrics to 19 of Queen’s final songs. This valuable memoir will be sold on June 29th at Bonhams’ entertainment memorabilia auction for an estimated value of £50,000-£70,000.
(Photo courtesy of Freddie Mercury via Facebook)