Researchers Use Science To Explain Why Freddie Mercury's Voice Was Like No Other

April 20, 2016

A group of Austrian, Czech, and Swedish researchers have used science to explain why Freddie Mercury was one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

freddie mercury singing voice science

Using a mix of archival Mercury performances and interviews for data, researchers confirmed that Mercury was extremely skilled at modulating his voice.

One intriguing element of Mercury's singing was how he could sound finessed at times and rough at others. The researchers noted this may have been due to his vibrato frequency, a few notches above the standard for classically trained vocalists.

freddie mercury science
Screenshot from official published study

The researchers also found evidence that Mercury used subharmonics in his singing by vibrating his ventricular folds, a technique typically used only by Tuvan throat singers.

The use of subharmonics "aids in creating the impression of a sound production system driven to its limits, even while used with great finesse. These traits, in combination with the fast and irregular vibrato, might have helped create Freddie Mercury's eccentric and flamboyant stage persona."

Read the full study, originally published in the journal Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, here.

If you need a refresher on how great his voice truly was, click play on the video below.

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