In the aria "Queen of the Night", is there a name for the "screaming" part located here:

I also hear it used in other arias sometimes. Is it a technique or just a phrase (sequence of notes) that certain arias have?

  • Doesn't have to be an operatic aria, btw. See, e.g., Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brazileros #5 May 30, 2017 at 11:38
  • the link is dead.
    – Dom
    Jun 18, 2019 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


Coloratura. It's what coloratura sopranos are named after. Basically coloratura are fast broken chords or melodic patterns subdividing syllables. While all vocal types can use that embellishment, the time/frequency "Unschärferelation" gives the soprano the best pitch at producing well-rounded individually recognizable notes at comparatively fast speed. Also the upper singing pitch of coloratura sopranos clashes with formant production making it hard to deliver recognizable vowels, so using filler syllables and/or redundancy is an easy expedient.

  • 3
    I was going to suggest "scat singing," but people might have believed me :-) May 30, 2017 at 11:37

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