Singer: Born or Made?

Written By: Sufian

Talking about singing, Some people are able to sing well, and some people make it awesome by hitting the perfect notes with a beautiful body language. In other word, some people are just a better singer than the others. But it’s no difference than some people being better runners, football players, swimmer, guitarist, or even a good writer.  According to (Vennard, 1967), singing is not a natural skill, but an art. Singing is very mechanical. There is much to be said about the shape of the skull, resonance of the space in the nasal cavity, and how much air can be pushed out of the chest.

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But let’s come back, since we are not talking just about singing, but about singing well. Mechanics are just going to get you so far. You also need to hear the music, and then understand it. What musicians calls “pitch”, scientist call it “frequency” And sound frequency is the measure of the wave isolation of that sound per second, measured in Hertz. Having good pitch requires the ears to pick up the precise frequency, the brain to recognize a certain frequency in Hertz, and then direct the vocal cord to reproduce that sound. There, the brain has to hear what is coming out tweak it ever so slightly and constantly. It is difficult, but to be honest, it takes practice to match pitch.

Musicians nailed that down through practice. But there is a study conducted, and they found that one out of five musicians that they tested could not control their vocal muscles very well, and 35% of them could not match their voice with a correct note. But both musicians and non-musicians were able to listen to and match a pitch using a slight

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instrument. Only 5% could hear the difference in pitch. But again, it is possible to develop this with practice. Training our voice is similar to going to the gym, and training any other muscle.

So, to get back to mechanical things and break some little hearts, yes, some musicality is in born. Human sound and vocalization is a big part of our cultural social development. Group of humans sing together to bond, we’re celebrating just for fun. This means, social groups that value singing may have looked from musical characteristics in their mates throughout history.

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A study was conducted and the researcher found that there are “musical genes” in human that influence perception, memory, even participation in music. Mechanically speaking, a singer is a piano, or a guitar. Different instruments will produce different sound or tone even with a same pitch. And same goes to human. Every person have a different tone and sound. People from different genetic background tend to have different size of nasal cavity which will influence the sound of their vocal. This will lead to a certain beneficial singing ability.

But what do you think? Why some people are just better singer? Practice or providence? Are singers born or made? You decide! 🙂


Vennard, W. (1967). Singing: The Mechanism and the Technic. Oxford: Carl Fischer .