Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Everett McCorvey


The range and use of the tenor voice in classical music has long been established since the late 19th century. It is widely accepted among pedagogues that the range is C3-C5 (with obvious exceptions depending on the fach). However, with the advent and development of the American Musical as a genre since the early 20th century, the ‘tenor’ has taken on an entirely new direction and range altogether. Several well-known sources have stated that the ‘Broadway tenor’ has a range of A2-A4. This is (as it widely accepted in the classical profession) the range of a baritone. The catalyst of these changes include vaudeville, composers, social trends, and probably most important, the invention and proliferation of the microphone. This study will analyze a cross section of repertoire in order to demonstrate this downward shift of vocal range, and demonstrate some of the main reasons why this shift occurred.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)