I have understood that baritones like to choose a key which is a major (or minor) third below the comfortable key for a tenor. If I, a tenor, sing Twinkle twinkle little star in F the baritone would sing it in C#.
This is what I have been told. Is this true? And if this is false then what is the truth about this? I am asking this as I have had problems singing with men who have low voices.

2 Answers 2


Yes, that's about right. Baritone is an 'in-between' range. Not as high as tenor, not as low as bass.

Note that voice categories are not solely about how high or low you CAN go. It's about where the voice sounds best.


Yes, typically baritone vocal ranges are around a minor third lower than tenor ranges (~A2-A4 vs ~C3–C5). Wikipedia has some handy images depicting where each range usually sits:

Tenor range: Piano keyboard with tenor range highlighted Baritone range: Piano keyboard with baritone range highlighted

These images are for the most common ranges (or average ranges) for tenor and baritone voices. There are exceptions to every rule (singers like Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder are great examples of baritones who can sing considerably higher than the average baritone), but it is a good rule of thumb.

Obviously, transposing down isn't necessary if the song you're singing doesn't reach the higher tenor extremes, just as it wouldn't be necessary to transpose a baritone part up for a tenor to sing if it wasn't particularly low.

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