#AtoZChallenge: M is for MELLIFLUOUS

41 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2015, Language, Music, Writing/Blogging
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#AtoZChallenge, Day 13: M is for MELLIFLUOUS, The Doglady's Den
Day 13, April 15




(of a voice or words) sweet or musical; pleasant to hear.
“the voice was mellifluous and smooth”
synonyms: sweet-sounding, dulcet, honeyed, mellow, soft, liquid,
silvery, soothing, rich, smooth, euphonious, harmonious, tuneful, musical

“mellifluous dinner music”

I have a “thing” for mellifluous voices, especially those is the lower registers; baritone and bass for men, contralto (aka alto) for women. Please spare me that male falsetto stuff! 😛 (Except for Neil Young, whom I adore, regardless!) It was first popularized by Frankie Valli in the early 1960s, then again by Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees during the Disco era (late 70s). I liked Barry’s voice much more before he started doing that! For example:

He’s technically a tenor, not a baritone, but the voice is beautiful, don’t you think?

Most of the old-time crooners, like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were baritones,
as are the modern day ones, like my favourite, Michael Bublé:

His range is so extensive, a more accurate description might be “Baritenor”.

For a true baritone voice, Jeff Martin, front man of the Canadian band
The Tea Party is a prime example. Gives me goose bumps!
(Comparisons to Jim Morrison of The Doors abound)

Nigerian/British singer Sade has an amazing voice!

Here’s a couple of famous contraltos you might recognize:

For those who read music, the vocal ranges are illustrated below:


This is one topic I could expound upon in an effervescent manner forever, but these posts are supposed to be short. Brief aspirations to become a professional singer (I even took lessons in 1976/77), ended with the realization that my (alto) voice was mediocre, at best. Doesn’t stop me from singing, though. The shower has great acoustics!

Do you sing? What’s your vocal range?
What style of voice attracts you the most?

Looking forward to your comments!


AtoZChallenge 2015
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Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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41 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: M is for MELLIFLUOUS

  1. Great post! The Bee Gee’s singing Tomorrow. It was eerie to know how their tomorrow had happened. My biggest memory is an 9 track we played over and over in college.
    I believe Jeff Martin sounds better than Jim Morrison, but I can hear the similarity. At first when I glimpsed tea party, I thought, oh no they are in Canada too? I know you have heard of our crazy “Tea Party” in the states. I can’t wait for them to burn out. I’m glad someone else has taken the name. Name rehab was be a great blog theme. lol

    1. Oh, let me tell you about this, Ann! 😀 The Tea Party band was around before the American political party started up. In fact, the band turned down big bucks from the politicos, who wanted to purchase their domain name, teaparty.com. I say HURRAY for the band! They don’t care that they’ll never make it big in the U.S. because of it. (They have a huge following in Canada, as well as Australia.) They even had T-shirts made with the slogan “No Politics…..Just Rock and Roll”. You can read the story here: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/the-tea-party-knocks-back-milliondollar-offer-from-us-political-movement-20141015-1167lq.html
      I adore Jeff Martin’s voice so much and agree, he does sound better than Jim Morrison. ♥

  2. Mellifluous – nice word, and an underestimated one, I’d say! I don’t understand musical terms, but I know that I like listening to baritones – something very attractive about them!

  3. I love the word ‘mellifluous’ though have never used it, yet! And yet, I think I will tomorrow…for a good reason… 😉 I have been singing since a young child. However, joined various choirs over the years since my early 20’s and since. I have quite a range from tenor (not sure how low) to soprano 1, close to a C and yet, I think I can or have at times hit it! 😉 Similar to you, I prefer alto or contralto voice for women as otherwise the voice sounds like a little girl which I hear way too often! (You have a nice voice by the way as I heard you on the video yesterday!) I also love women who sing tenor or baritone, though sometimes the deep rich voice of bass is wonderful as well, especially in a choir! 😉 <3

    1. You must be a good singer, Elly, with a range like that! 🙂 I agree that women with higher voices sound “girly” as do men with higher voices. LOL Not my favourite, for sure. (Although Neil Young gets a pass because I love him anyway.) Thanks for the compliment. People have told me I’d make a good DJ. Guess I missed my true calling, after all. 😉 I’ll be sure to check your next post….

  4. Great post, Debbie and what a wonderful word Mellifluous is. It just sounds smooth and musical. Enjoyed the music videos, too. Hard to believe Barry Gibb sang like a normal guy. A real mixture of styles there. Fun stuff!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Cathy. Yes, Barry Gibb had a beautiful voice before he started using that falsetto. The Bee Gees were huge in Europe when I lived there (late 60s). I was so “in love” with Barry at age 13! He replaced Davy Jones of the Monkees. LOL

  5. Oh, those Bee Gees with their nonsensical songs in very high voices… Still, they were Brothers Gibb, so we gavc them as pass.

    I was sort of hoping M would be for Myke, but hey, that’s just me. 🙂

    1. I loved the Brothers Gibb, Myke, but more so from 1966-1975. How sad that Barry is the sole survivor. ♥
      Hey, maybe we could do a blogger interview in future. “All About Myke”. 🙂 (I’m serious – this summer, perhaps?)

  6. I enjoyed singing as a child. I was even in the elementary school chorus for two years. When I was 12, at sleepaway camp, I auditioned for a role in the chorus of a show, and the new musical director of the camp (we never had a “musical director” before) declared my voice was horrible. I don’t remember his exact words but it was harsh, considering this was not a music camp or a performance camp but simply a camp for inner city type children designed to bring them out of the city for three weeks. I could have been rejected in a kinder way. I do enjoy various professional singers but I will never, ever, sing in public to anyone, ever again.

  7. Great selection of videos! I’ve always love the sound and feel of The Tea Party’s music, and when I moved to Windsor I discovered that they were originally from here! I thought that was rather cool.

    1. Another Tea Party fan! 😀 And yes, you live where they came from. Definitely cool! Have you experienced them live? We’ve seen them twice and were blown away, each time. Jeff Martin’s musical and vocal prowess are incredible! And, he’s SO sexy! Glad you enjoyed the videos.

      1. Not yet, but they do come back to Windsor occasionally so you never know! Although, come to think of it, I think I DID hear them from afar when they were here a couple of years ago. Our house is near the water, not too far from the Riverfront Plaza, and we often hear concerts as clear as day when the wind is right!

  8. Mellifluous, ah yes, even the word itself sounds mellifluous. Russ’ dad, Jack Russell, had the most mellifluous voice; just thinking of it brings me shivers up my spine. He was a baritenor, but oh so dreamy. Like you, I tend to prefer the lower range; I think Renata Tebaldi is about the only soprano who never grated on my nervous system. Although my speaking voice is in the upper ranges (about mezzo soprano) and anything but mellifluous, my singing voice actually starts at B in the G Clef down to B flat in the Bass Clef. When I was younger, though, I could sing as high as the high C or D and still reach that low B. And I sang on a professional level in Italy. I couldn’t sing the high notes at home, though, unless I wanted my hound dog to sing right along with me.

  9. Mellifluous is a word that I like but doubt that I’ve ever used. I like mellifluous voices and their are voices that are generally considered less mellifluous such as Neil Young or Bob Dylan that I enjoy as well. It most depends on the song.
    I also like Frankie Valli and Barry Gibb–male falsetto can be kind of weird, but I think they pulled it off well mostly because of the song choices.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    1. Horrors! I must have been really tired when I wrote this. How could I have forgotten Neil?! Yes, he is definitely the exception as I adore him and his music, regardless. I’ve amended the post to reflect that. Bob Dylan is a fantastic song writer and I can listen to him sing, sometimes, like “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, but sometimes it’s better to hear his material performed by others. “All Along the Watchtower” comes to mind. 🙂 You’re right, Lee, it does depend on the songs. Franki Valli never did anything for me, but I do like a few of The Bee Gees disco numbers. Still, my preference is the previous era, from 1966-1974. They had so many beautiful ballads. I guess they were the 60s equivalent for “EMO” music.

  10. Loved your comment about the great acoustics in the shower! Lol. Wow, I love this new word (to me): it sounds like what it means. A beautiful word to say…very fluid, I like the way it rolls off and over the tongue. Great music choices to illustrate the different vocal ranges. Loved Michael Buble. He’s new to me. As is Jeff Martin: definitely similar to Jim Morrison. Haven’t heard any Sade in a long time. And you can never go wrong with Tina Turner and Cher: OMG, powerhouses, both! Interestingly, I was just talking about vocal ranges and my Junior High school chorus experiences the other day: I hated my chorus teacher and I never forgave her for making me be a part of the soprano group because I’m definitely an alto. So for most of the time, instead of singing I just mouthed the words and then when we had to do solos, I’d be conveniently out sick that day. Hated that bitch! (Gee, ya think I have some unresolved anger there??) 🙂 Great post Debbie!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Michele and the music. 🙂 That chorus teacher of yours obviously made a big mistake. It’s difficult to sing soprano when your voice is naturally lower. Do you still sing?

    1. It does, doesn’t it? 🙂 You must have a great range to sing soprano, when you’re an alto. Thanks so much for visiting and have a good weekend.

  11. I love to sing 🙂 I used to run the local church choir and I loved it. I’m a soprano and my preferred range is quite high. My favourite voice to listen to is the male alto, I think that sounds amazing. If you’ve ever heard the titles to Cadfael – that is the sound I love most.
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    1. I admire anyone who can sing soprano, as it would be difficult for me (except the occasional note). Not familiar with Cadfael, but I’ll Google it. Thanks, Tasha. 🙂