World record: Lowest note sung by a woman

May 2, 2021 • 3:15 pm

Okay, shoot me, as this is clickbait from HuffPost, but how can I resist not listening to the lowest note known to have been sung by a woman.

The facts:

Joy Chapman, a singer from Surrey, British Columbia, has officially set the Guinness World Record for “Lowest Note Ever Sung By A Female.”

Chapman’s noteworthy achievement came in February after she hit a C# note at 34.21 hertz (cycles per second) with her talented pipes.

Chapman has been singing all her life and noticed her voice was more versatile than the voices of other singers.

. . . . But it was only in the last few years that Chapman decided to take a deep dive into doing low notes.

“Working with many vocal coaches over the years, I found it strange that they did not want me to continue scaling down the piano,” she said. “They always stopped part way and just said, ‘that’s low enough, you’re freaking me out now.’ I didn’t realize why they stopped me or that what I had was so unique.”

But with the help of her niece, who is also a singer, Chapman began researching the lowest possible note a human being could sing.

Her niece discovered that in 2019, British singer Helen Leahey sang from a D5 to a D2 note at 72.5 hertz, but she was confident her Aunt Joy could beat that.

You can see Chapman win the high honor for the low note in the video below, but don’t get too attached to that record.

And here’s her achievement:

14 thoughts on “World record: Lowest note sung by a woman

  1. Yeah, ‘sung’ ? I guess I have no idea what sing means, if that nonsense is included !

    1. I understand the New York Philharmonic is looking to fill in a some seats in its rumbling-stomach section.

      You should try out.

  2. Yeah, this technique is old hat for the Tibetan monks, who use it to lay down these ungodly low fundamentals for their chants. I have limited experience with this technique and can tell you it involves singing a straight tone then forming a particular node with the vocal cords that suddenly drops the pitch one octave, that is, one half the frequency of the original note one was singing. This technique requires a delicate touch to locate the proper node as well as a lot of air to sustain the lower note. I believe this technique draws on the fact that a closed tube’s fundamental frequency is one half that of an open tube. I invite those more knowledgeable about acoustics than I to elaborate on this or correct me. Anyway, here are some of those aforementioned Tibetans.

  3. My stomach is commanding me to puke after hearing that note. What’s the point? Maybe now she can perform the Basso Profundo Bullfrog Blues.

  4. Richard Feinmann and a friend were on a quest to visit the throat singers of Tuva about 1980. Tuva was a tiny “republic” deep inside the USSR, nearly impossible to visit. Feinmann died of cancer before the visas were granted. See wikipedia on “Tuva or Bust”.

  5. Mezzo soprano here. The lowest note I get reliably is C3, the one she starts out with, and that already is somewhat painful to the vocal chords (not so much the ears). How about the males here? By the way, she doesn’t sound like a throat singer to me, she just sounds deep. But then I know nothing about singing techniques.

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