My range extends down to a low D; I forget how high I can go. I'm 14 years old and my music teacher is saying that I'm a Russian bass.

What exactly is a Russian bass voice?

  • If you are 14, beware of making decisions about your vocal future by looking up blogs on the internet. Get yourself the best vocal advice you can. It might not be expensive. There might be a teacher at school or a choirmaster at church or someone else you can trust. Good luck for the rest of your vocal career. – Jerome Deakin Jun 18 '16 at 1:31

A Russian bass is a person that can easily reach a deep-ranged basso profondo. It is named like this, because these notes appeared in a lot of Slavic composers' works.

Per Wikipedia:

Many basso profondos have trouble reaching those notes, and the use of them in works by Slavic composers has led to the colloquial term "Russian bass" for an exceptionally deep-ranged basso profondo who can easily sing these notes. Some traditional Russian religious music calls for A2 (110 Hz) drone singing, which is doubled by A1 (55 Hz) in the rare occasion that a choir includes exceptionally gifted singers who can produce this very low human voice pitch.


Well, Praetorius "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei Deinem Wort" version in 17 voices had one voice going down to at least low C, possibly contra-A (don't remember exactly). I remember because our director had to scratch together all eligible singers for that low voice, so I sang bass instead of the usual tenor.

That's not even Russian but still German, but admittedly in a setting with 4 choirs. Russian singers will not infrequently be able to sing contra-A with conviction, and some go quite lower.

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