I'm writing a vocal song and I'm worried about the range of the melody..

for example in C Major key what is the lowest and highest melody I could go ?

I appreciate every answers..but..I don't want answers like is your song do whatever you want or anything like that

I want to know the accurate average range of a melody so I could use it as my standard point to work on

  • 2
    What kind of singer would you like to sing the song? A man? A woman? Will you be singing it? Is it for a specific singer? Every singer has their own range. Aug 13, 2018 at 14:05

3 Answers 3


An important point is that it isn't the key the song's in that dictates the range a song is in, it's the highest and lowest notes. A key cannot dictate the range, but in order to put the range of a song into something comfortable to sing, its key may have to be changed. If you've written a song in, say, C, and the vocalist says it's too high to sing, it will need taking down, maybe to Bb, A, or even lower. Then the problem may be that the low notes are not easy to sing. In this case, the whole range of the song may be too great for that singer.

Each singer will have their own comfortable range in which to sing. That's from a good low to a good high note. A singer cannot say they always sing in Eb, or G, or whatever.(Although I have heard 'singers' say that). Each song will have its individual highest/lowest note,- its range. Not its tessitura, that's subtly different.

Another aspect is - what voice is it written for? Soprano, alto, tenor or bass? And some who are, say, tenors, will have a greater vocal range than others, so it's not cast in stone. There are suggested highest/lowest notes for each voice, but everyone varies. If you make your song an octave and a half range, in whatever key, that's usually o.k. for most, but you may well have to change the key of the whole song if it's an alto singing instead of, say, a soprano.

For an insight into an answer, you could check out as many songs as you like, noting each one's highest and lowest notes. Then check the key of each, out of interest. Most pop type songs will have not a large range, as they are designed to be sung by the fans, whose ranges may well not be huge.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Dom
    Aug 13, 2018 at 15:52

If you want EVERYONE to be able to sing it easily, keep within an octave, Bb - Bb. Key is irrelevant.

If it's to be sung by a man (and you're a man) write within a range that YOU can sing. If it's to be sung by a woman, borrow one!

If you're writing for a trained soprano or an operatic bass - well, I guess that if you were in that musical world you wouldn't need to ask :-)


As a general rule, keeping it between A3 to C4 on the low end and B4-C5 on the high end works for most female voices. For male voices, lower this an octave.

However, another thing to keep in mind is where the majority of the notes in your song fall. This is the tessitura Tim refers to in his answer. This is very important, because even though, for instance, a tenor's range may be a G4 on the high end, having him sing an entire song within the range C4-G4 will sound different than having him sing C3-C4 with the occasional "power" note above middle C.

Therefore, I would strive to keep most of the song within the C4-G4 or C4-A4 range right in the middle of the whole range I mentioned in the first paragraph (an octave lower for male singers), with the climax of the song perhaps approaching the C5 (C4 for males) or the notes in its neighborhood.

Hope this helps! Happy writing!

  • Exactly which A to C are you referring to? The OP seems to need that crucial info!
    – Tim
    Aug 13, 2018 at 13:19
  • I didn't give specifics originally because the males and females will sing two different octaves, and I had thought my answer would be clear, but I can see the confusion, so I edited to clarify. Thanks!
    – Kevin H
    Aug 13, 2018 at 13:24

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