vocal music

What is Vocal Music? The 5 Different Types You Need to Know

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The human voice is one of the most potent instruments in music. Many types of vocal music include solo performances and vocal ensembles. In this article, we’ll look at five examples of vocal music you can find in any city, large or small. Some of these may surprise you!

What is Vocal Music?

Vocal music typically refers to any song whose vocals are the main focal point of the track. It can include a solo voice, chorus, duets, and more complex combinations.

Generally, a vocalist sings lead when singing the melody on a track. Harmony vocals often go with lead vocals. They may have a subordinate role to the melody. 

In some cases, harmony vocals can serve as another melody alongside the lead. Backup singers may sing along with one or more melodies in unison or in octaves. Backup singers may also harmonize with other backup singers.

5 Types of Vocal Music

There are several different types of vocal music that people listen to every day. 

Vocal music encompasses everything from opera to beatboxing. It can be as diverse as it is powerful and moving. So how do you define it?

Here are five types that best illustrate its fantastic scope:

1) Opera

Opera music has become one of the most popular forms of music worldwide. Some would even say that it rivals rock and pop music in terms of popularity.

Opera traces its origins to Italy in the 1500s. That year, Jacopo Peri's work La Dafne was performed in Rome at a wedding banquet by an ensemble known as La Peri. 

A subsequent work, L'Euridice, changed everything. It was written in 1600 but not performed until almost 170 years later. L'Euridice introduced opera as we know it. 

Some famous composers include Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini. Some notable performers include Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Beverly Sills. 

Opera was originally meant to be performed as entertainment for nobility and royalty. Modern Opera carries on elements of classical vocals and Italian music.

2) Gregorian Chant

Gregorian chant is one of the most ancient forms of Western vocal music. This music derives from ancient plainchant.

Gregorian chant is a collection of sacred vocal music traditionally performed by monastics. The history of Gregorian chant is long and complex. St. Gregory I inspired the name of this chant. 

It wasn't until the 7th century A.D. that Charlemagne codified standard usage. It contained both melodies and texts that are still in use today. People then expand upon them over time.

To make it uniform, he used elements of music familiar to Latin cultures at that time. These include plainsong as well as adding his unique style of rhythm. 

This method of chant hasn't changed much since its introduction. Today, you can hear this chant in cathedrals and other sacred spaces worldwide.

3) A Capella

The history and characteristics of acapella music are as old as song itself. Whether in ancient civilizations or the modern-day, Acapella is prevalent. It finds importance in social settings and the evolution of musical styles. 

Acapella music was born out of the need to replicate songs using only the human voice. It does this without the help of instruments or technology. 

With time, it became an art form in its own right. The characteristics make it stand out from traditional Western music even today.

Early Acappella was born out of necessity. Street performers didn’t have access to instruments when they wanted to sing. So they found ways to make music without them. 

It led to a style more focused on vocal skill than traditional music-making. It still maintains popularity in certain musical traditions. 

Because there is no instrumentation in most Acapella, vocalists can be more creative. They can display remarkable range and control of their voices. 

4) Pop

Pop is a catch-all term for accessible, catchy, simple, or commercial music. It's sometimes called Top 40 music or mainstream music. Pop refers to any popular form of music (rock, country, hip-hop) enjoyed by a mass audience. 

What constitutes pop music today is vastly different from what was popular in 1956.

The 60's decade marked a rebirth for American music. Detroit was home to some of America's most popular Motown artists. Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and Marvin Gaye are all legends from there. 

The 1970s gave birth to multiple genres, including disco, punk, glam rock, heavy metal, and folk. Then came Jimi Hendrix. His distortion-heavy style influenced generations of guitarists to come.

The 1980s was a decade defined by pop music. Michael Jackson ushered in a new era of pop music, which some call New Wave or New Romanticism. 

This movement combined elements of rock, funk, soul, and dance. It creates an upbeat sound that appealed to audiences around the world.

The 1990s were all about girl power. TLC, Destiny's Child, Missy Elliott, Alanis Morissette, and Christina Aguilera lead the way. 

It’s now a virtual free-for-all in terms of styles. Artists today mix melodies from all over Pop music history.

5) Beatboxing

If you've ever heard someone beatboxing, you know it can be an impressive display of vocal music skill. 

A beatboxer creates music and sound effects using their mouth, lips, tongue, voice, and body. A single beatboxer typically performs unaccompanied, but groups can comprise multiple beatboxers.

Beatboxing is popular in hip-hop music. It has also become prevalent in other genres such as pop, rock, R&B, jazz, techno, and reggae. It's not uncommon to hear beatboxing in film scores or video game soundtracks. 

Beatboxing as we know it today started in the 1980s as an element of hip hop. At first, beatboxers were only using their mouths to produce beats. It soon evolved into creating full tracks with nothing but their mouths. 

Recently, beatboxers combine all types of sounds from electronic instruments with their voices. Today, thousands of recognized beatboxers collaborate to create a wide range of music. 


Many vocal music recordings today come with instrumentation. Sometimes an artist will release a vocal-only version for select songs. It can be challenging to find the Acapella for many songs released today. That's why some people are looking for vocal removers.

To get an Acapella for any song, you can use Notta Online Vocal Remover. This application will automatically isolate the vocals in any song. All you have to do is upload an audio or video file. You will have a downloadable version of the vocals and the background music within a few minutes.

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