Bobby McFerrin

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Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:22 pm

STATUS: EMBRYONIC

Voice type: Baritone / Complete Jazz Band
Vocal range: F1-E♭6

Significant high notes:

E♭6 ("The Foggy Land"/ improvisation with Adam Pierończyk live in Warsaw 2002)
C♯6 (Performance with Richard Bona live in Montreal, Unidentified performance in "Bobby McFerrin's  HIGHEST / LOWEST notes!" YouTube video)
C6 ("Bach Improvisation")
A5 ("Dance With Me", "Furry Sings the Blues / Hejira" live)
G♯5 ("Good Lovin'")
G5 ("Spain" live in Bratislava 1986)
F♯5 ("Pavane, Op. 50", "Don't Worry, Be Happy")
F5 (Audience participation performance in concert with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 1995)
E5 ("Scarborough Fair" at Free the Slaves concert City Winery NY December 2012)
E♭5 ("Good Lovin'", "Opportunity")
D5 (Improvisation on Sesame Street)
B4 ("Don't Worry, Be Happy")
B♭4 ("Blackbird" live, "Thinkin' About Your Body", "Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale" live, Audience participation performance in concert with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 1995)
A4 ("Ave Maria" live)

Significant low notes:

F1 (Unidentified performance in "Bobby McFerrin's HIGHEST /  LOWEST notes!" YouTube video)
G1 (Unidentified performance in "Bobby McFerrin's HIGHEST / LOWEST notes!" YouTube video (clip credited as E♭1))
B♭1 ("Bach Improvisation", Performance with the Yellowjackets at Jazz in Marciac 2012)
B1 ("Pink Panther", "Say Ladeo")
C2 ("Pink Panther", "Spain" live in Bratislava 1986, Duet with audience member Vienna 2 June 2010)
D2 ("Come Together", "Drive", "I Can See Clearly Now" live, "Thinkin' About Your Body")
E♭2 ("By the Sea", "Don't Worry, Be Happy", "Good Lovin'", "Opportunity")
F2 ("Thinkin' About Your Body")
.....................................................
This thread has no colour code: anything in a different colour is a link.

Bobby McFerrin is an innovative vocalist probably still best known for his a cappella hit Don't Worry, Be Happy. With or without words or accompaniment, his voice is a remarkably versatile instrument which uses very creatively and with an infectious sense of fun. His live performances often feature improvisation and audience participation.

Possiby the best audience singalong ever:


A stunning performance with Chick Corea and his band:


Previous orphaned thread:

Anonymous wrote:
Voice type: Baritone
Vocal range: B1-G♯5

Significant high notes:

A5 ("Furry Sings the Blues / Hejira" live)
G♯5 ("Good Lovin'")
F♯5 ("Pavane, Op. 50")
E♭5 ("Good Lovin'", "Opportunity")
D5 (Improvisation on Sesame Street)
B4 ("Don't Worry, Be Happy")
B♭4 ( "Blackbird" live, "Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale" live, "Thinkin' About Your Body")
A4 ("Ave Maria" live)
F4 ("Say Ladeo")

Significant low notes:

B1 ("Pink Panther", "Say Ladeo")
C2 ("Pink Panther", Duet with audience member, Vienna 2 June 2010)
D2 ("Come Together", "Drive", "I Can See Clearly Now" live "Thinkin' About Your Body")
E♭2 ("By the Sea", "Don't Worry, Be Happy", "Good Lovin'", "Opportunity")
F2 ("Thinkin' About Your Body")

original thread by T., just posting this from a backup.  Will write more stuff later, have to go.  Please post more notes, we know he has a non modal G♯5.
wonka wrote:The picture is way too large
bradphone wrote:
1:35  Bb4.




0:35 A4.


0:06 a quick C5.
Around 1:37 i hear a very short E5..

Guest wrote:
wonka wrote:The picture is way too large
no its not
Pepe Forever wrote:
Purple wrote:
wonka wrote:The picture is way too large
no its not

How dare you to deny the inmensity of Bobby?!?!?!   Mad  Evil or Very Mad  Rage
Foo wrote:This thread sucks.
Super Bread wrote:
Foo wrote:This thread sucks.

holy shit youre right Cringe  someone with ample knowledge about bobby should remake the thread
Foo wrote:
Dr. Frank N. Fagggot wrote:
Foo wrote:This thread sucks.

holy shit youre right Cringe  someone with ample knowledge about bobby should remake the thread

I don't know many of his songs, but in JUST ONE SONG (Opportunity, which is a cover), there are notes all over the 4th octave and up to C#5 and D#5. And he also goes down to easy and bassy-sounding D#2's. That's maybe the best display of his range. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa4eNnw3mZky
bradphone wrote:
1:01 D2

0:20 D5
Celice wrote:The album Paper Music is something that probably wouldn't have occurred to anyone other than Bobby McFerrin to make: he conducts an orchestra playing classical music and uses his voice in place of one of the conventional lead instruments. He finishes on a nice F#5 here (about 4:56) http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Pavane/2HYhVy?src=5
Celice wrote:
bradphone wrote:

Around 1:37 i hear a very short E5..
Too short for me to pitch easily, but if you're sure or if someone else can confirm, I could add it.
B6 wrote:I doubt it. If there's something that high in that passage, it's too short for me to even notice it, whatever my parameters.


Last edited by Celice on Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:24 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  INFINITE POTATO on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:04 am

Doesn't he have an F#1? I can't remember where but I think I heard one somewhere
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:57 am

Ace of Spades wrote:Doesn't he have an F#1? I can't remember where but I think I heard one somewhere
I don't remember it being mentioned, but I did a YouTube search for "Bobby McFerrin vocal range" and found this video

which credits him with F1 and Eb1 (the captions in the video itself also list B0 but the description doesn't, so I guess the uploader decided that one was actually a B1, which sounds more like it to me). Can anyone confirm any of those? I'm not very good at 1st-octave pitching.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Karl on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:48 am

0:49 is an A1!

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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:09 pm

Thanks Karl - so A1 is the note at the start of that slide down? (C#2 - Bb1 - slide from A1 to somewhere really low, possibly Eb1?) I'm still not sure about the Eb1, but his F1 earlier in the compilation sounds pretty clear to me.

Another A1 about 6:24 there?
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  INFINITE POTATO on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:18 pm

Do you think maybe he could start on A4? He sounds like he has a lot of nice high notes.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  BioHazard634 on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:20 pm

Celice wrote:Thanks Karl - so A1 is the note at the start of that slide down? (C#2 - Bb1 - slide from A1 to somewhere really low, possibly Eb1?) I'm still not sure about the Eb1, but his F1 earlier in the compilation sounds pretty clear to me.

Another A1 about 6:24 there?
Sounds like a B♭1 to me, unless he slides down a half step for a second at the end.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  INFINITE POTATO on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:25 pm

BioHazard634 wrote:
Celice wrote:Thanks Karl - so A1 is the note at the start of that slide down? (C#2 - Bb1 - slide from A1 to somewhere really low, possibly Eb1?) I'm still not sure about the Eb1, but his F1 earlier in the compilation sounds pretty clear to me.

Another A1 about 6:24 there?
Sounds like a B♭1 to me, unless he slides down a half step for a second at the end.
\
I agree
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:58 am

BioHazard634 wrote:Sounds like a B♭1 to me, unless he slides down a half step for a second at the end.
I believe he does.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Karl on Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:11 am

I don't hear him get lower than B♭1 there.

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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:14 am

Do you hear it as one constant note (starting about 6:23) or do you think he starts it higher than the Bb1?
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  BioHazard634 on Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:05 am

Celice wrote:Do you hear it as one constant note (starting about 6:23) or do you think he starts it higher than the Bb1?
Yeah, it starts at C2 before that, and then goes to B♭1 and stays there.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:18 am

I'm hearing the preceding syllable as C2.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  BioHazard634 on Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:34 am

Yeah, that's what I meant.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:17 am

I'm hearing that last syllable as starting on a moderately sustained B♭1, sliding down to A1, briefly back up to B♭1 and then a little below A1 at the end. I hear the A1 pretty clearly but if I'm really the only person who does, I could just list the B♭1: it's not like the A1 is range-expanding.
Relistening to that range video, I do hear him sliding down to E1 or so (about 0:49/0:50).

Still not sure about the claimed E♭1: if it's there, it's too short for me to pitch (and Karl would disapprove if I slowed it down).
Ace of Spades wrote:Do you think maybe he could start on A4? He sounds like he has a lot of nice high notes.
I think you're right: even though he is a baritone, he has high notes all over the place. Notewatching him could get a bit like notewatching Mike Patton Smile A4 is probably a sensible threshold for "significant high notes" here.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Karl on Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:25 am

Celice wrote:Relistening to that range video, I do hear him sliding down to E1 or so (about 0:49/0:50).
Spoiler:

Compare it with the E♭1 here: http://youtu.be/cqlB2-QuBbs?t=3m59s

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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:45 am

Obviously JD's is a better note, but I find it difficult to use that one to compare the pitch since there are other singers singing different pitches.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Karl on Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:53 am

http://youtu.be/nytjlKCIK0E?t=5m25s
Compare to this A1 then.

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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:23 pm

He sings some great harmony E♭5 on "Don't Worry, Be Happy", and an additional F♯5 line towards the end. 5:03 Great C2.

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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:17 am

Nice. I love the way his duet partner does it too! I've added that and the F#5 from Don't Worry, Be Happy. He has so many songs with multiple good high notes that I'll probably stick to just listing the highest from each song (though I've left the previously-listed B4 from Don't Worry, Be Happy for now, but I might remove it when we have more B4s listed).
I inherited this thread with song titles in alphabetical order, and I'd like to keep it that way but a lot of his live performances are at least partly improvised, and I often don't even know which ones are based on pre-existing tunes never mind what they are, so I think I'll list the known song titles in alphabetical order for each note first, followed by descriptions (e.g. date and venue of performance/ title of YouTube video) for the rest.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:12 pm

Karl wrote:http://youtu.be/nytjlKCIK0E?t=5m25s
Compare to this A1 then.
Aw, now that one's messing with my head because it seems to have some sort of weird illusion note near the end that sounds it like it should be lower but probably isn't... thanks Karl! Pff Laughing The Bobby McFerrin one may be an illusion too - I tried clipping it but couldn't isolate anything lower than G1. What do you make of 1:02 in the range vid? It was captioned as B0 but I guess the uploader changed their mind because the description gives his range as Eb1-Db6. The clip sounds like it's somewhere in the mid-1st octave to me?


I found the source of the C6 - 3:48

That performance also includes a Bb1 about 1:55.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:21 am


E♭6 @ 7:28. I haven't checked the lows in that performance yet.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Starman on Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:24 am

OP is looking good Celice! Great job! Thumb up
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Celice on Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:37 am

That would make it a nice round 5 octaves if the Eb1 in the range video existed Sad Any suggestions for a more creative "Voice Type"? Though he is indeed a baritone, somehow that doesn't seem to cover it.
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

Post  Starman on Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:39 am

Celice wrote:That would make it a nice round 5 octaves if the Eb1 in the range video existed Sad Any suggestions for a more creative "Voice Type"? Though he is indeed a baritone, somehow that doesn't seem to cover it.

''Extremely versatile and fun Baritone'' lol I know that sucks xD
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Re: Bobby McFerrin

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