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Joni's Vocal Range Print-ready version

by Alex61 The Range Place
September 1, 2016

Roberta Joan "Joni" Anderson
Vocal Range:> B♭2 – A5
Voice Type: Blue Mezzo (1965-1984) / Cloudy Contralto (1985-present)

Born in 1943, Joni Mitchell is widely considered to be one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time. After a difficult start in music which saw her resort to busking and give a child up for adoption due to her being unable to care for it, Joni first received exposure as the songwriter behind the Judy Collins hit "Both Sides, Now", before making a breakthrough in the latter half of the folk-dominated sixties with albums like Clouds. From here, Joni's success continued to grow - albums like Blue resonated with listeners because of their deeply personal lyrics, while her later albums kept fans pleased as Joni ventured into different genres of music. Whether it be her distinct wide-ranging contralto vocals, unique "Joni-tuned" guitars or her deep, thoughtful lyrics which often provided an interesting insight into life, there's something truly significant about Joni Mitchell's mark on music, and there's no denying that Mitchell has made had an impact on popular music in a way that very few other artists have.

In her early days, Joni's timbre was noticeably different to her sound now - with very wide and noticeable vibrato, she would frequently reach into her upper register comfortably with a blissful falsetto while still being able to reach some smooth lower notes with ease. She was a mezzo-soprano through the late sixties and seventies, with her voice standing out among other singer-songwriters due to its unusual comfort in the fifth octave. As time went on, Joni's voice (most likely due to a combination of age and smoking) lowered noticeably, with Joni in the late eighties onwards struggling to reach the high notes she had once reached with ease while finding more resonance in the lower third octave. Her voice nowadays is closer to that of a contralto than to that of a mezzo-soprano, having lowered substantially more than other singers from the seventies. Despite being known as a songwriter primarily, Joni's voice is arguably the most underrated aspect of her music, with her strong falsetto ("A Case of You", "Big Yellow Taxi", "Car on a Hill"), wide vibrato ("The Arrangement", "Woodstock") and smooth lower notes in her late career ("Impossible Dreamer", "Nothing Can Be Done") helping her stand out from the then otherwise male-dominated music industry.

Significant High Notes:

A5 ("Car on a Hill", "Rainy Night House")

G♯5 ("Another Sleep Song" live Wembley 1974, "Big Yellow Taxi" live BBC 1969, "Chelsea Morning", "Down to You")

G5 ("California" live The Johnny Cash Show, "Lakota", "Rainy Night House", "The Arrangement", "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio")

F♯5 ("A Case of You" live London 1974, "Big Yellow Taxi", "Black Crow", "California", "Car on a Hill", "Chinese Café/Unchained Melody", "Ladies of the Canyon", "Morning Morgantown", "Shadows and Light", "The Arrangement", "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines", "The Gallery", "Trouble Child")

F5 ("A Case of You", "All I Want", "California" live The Johnny Cash Show, "Get Together" live with Crosby, Stills, Nash, "Man to Man", "Rainy Night House", "Sweet Sucker Dance", "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines", "This Flight Tonight", "Woodstock")

E5 ("A Bird That Whistles (Corrina, Corrina)", "Big Yellow Taxi", "Blonde in the Bleachers", "California", "Chelsea Morning", "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter", "Help Me", "In France They Kiss on Main Street", "Jericho", "Just Like This Train", "Ladies' Man", "Ladies of the Canyon", "Let the Wind Carry Me", "Let's Sing Out Theme" live Let's Sing Out 1966, "Lucky Girl", "Man to Man", "My Old Man", "Paprika Plains", "River", "Song to a Seagull", "Songs to Aging Children Come", "Tax Free", "The Arrangement", "The Last Time I Saw Richard", "Twisted")

E♭5 ("A Chair in the Sky", "A Case of You", "All I Want", "Carey", "Electricity", "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "Number One", "Overture - Cotton Avenue", "Roses Blue", "Song for Sharon", "Sweet Sucker Dance", "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines", "The Tenth World", "This Flight Tonight", "Woodstock", "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio")

D5 ("A Bird That Whistles (Corrina, Corrina)", "A Chair in the Sky", "Banquet", "Blue", "Blue Motel Room", "Chinese Café/Unchained Melody", "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire", "Dancin' Clown", "Dog Eat Dog", "Fiction", "Girl of the North Country" live The Johnny Cash Show, "Harry's House/Centerpiece", "Help Me", "I Don't Know Where I Stand", "Just Like This Train", "Ladies of the Canyon", "Lakota", "Let the Wind Carry Me", "Marcie", "Me and My Uncle" live Let's Sing Out 1965, "Moon at the Window", "Morning Morgantown", "My Old Man", "Nathan La Franeer", "Night in the City", "Overture - Cotton Avenue", "Paprika Plains", "People's Parties", "Raised on Robbery", "River", "Roses Blue", "See You Sometime", "Shadows and Light", "Shiny Toys", "Sisotowbell Lane", "Songs to Aging Children Come", "Talk to Me", "The Arrangement", "The Pirate of Penance", "The Tenth World", "Trouble Child", "Twisted", "Willy", "You Dream Flat Tires", "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care")

C♯5 ("All I Want", "Black Crow", "Blonde in the Bleachers", "Blue", "Born to Take the Highway" live Let's Sing Out 1965, "Cactus Tree", "California", "Car on a Hill", "Carey", "Come in from the Cold", "Conversation", "Electricity", "Good Friends", "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "Harry's House/Centerpiece", "Help Me","I Don't Know Where I Stand", "I Still Miss Someone" live The Johnny Cash Show, "Lesson in Survival", "Let the Wind Carry Me", "Let's Sing Out Theme" live Let's Sing Out 1966, "Little Green", "Love", "Morning Morgantown", "My Old Man", "My Secret Place", "Nothing Can Be Done", "Number One", "Song for Sharon", "Songs to Aging Children Come", "Sweet Sucker Dance", "The Gallery", "The Long Black Veil" live The Johnny Cash Show, "The Pirate of Penance", "The Reoccurring Dream", "The Same Situation", "This Flight Tonight", "Underneath the Streetlight", "Urge for Going" live Let's Sing Out 1966, "Woodstock")

C5 ("A Chair in the Sky", "Banquet", "Barangrill", "Blue Motel Room", "Blonde in the Bleachers", "Blue Boy", "Both Sides, Now" live with Mama Cass 1970, "Come in from the Cold", "Coyote", "Dancin' Clown", "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter", "Edith and the Kingpin", "Fiction", "For Free", "Free Man in Paris", "I Don't Know Where I Stand", "I Had a King", "Ladies' Man", "Lucky Girl", "Man to Man", "Marcie", "Me and My Uncle" live Let's Sing Out 1965, "Michael from the Mountains", "Moon at the Window", "My Secret Place", "Nathan La Franeer", "Otis and Marlena", "Overture - Cotton Avenue", "Raised on Robbery", "See You Sometime", "Shadows and Light", "Solid Love", "Song to a Seagull", "Snakes And Ladders", "Snakes and Ladders", "Talk to Me", "Tax Free", "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines", "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", "The Last Time I Saw Richard", "The Reoccurring Dream", "The Three Great Stimulants", "The Windfall (Everything for Nothing)", "The Wolf That Lives in Lindsey", "This Flight Tonight", "Trouble Child", "Urge for Going", "Wild Things Run Fast", "Willy", "You Dream Flat Tires", "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio")

B4 ("Banquet", "Be Cool", "Big Yellow Taxi", "Black Crow", "Blue", "Blue Boy", "Both Sides, Now", "Chelsea Morning", "Conversation", "Dog Eat Dog", "Down to You", "Electricity", "Girl of the North Country" live The Johnny Cash Show, "Happy Birthday 1975 (Rap)", "I Had a King", "I Think I Understand", "Impossible Dreamer", "In France They Kiss on Main Street", "Judgement of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune)", "Just Like Me" live Let's Sing Out 1966, "Lakota", "Lesson in Survival", "Little Green", "Love", "Lucky Girl", "Morning Morgantown", "Night in the City", "Nothing Can Be Done", "Paprika Plains", "People's Parties", "Ray's Dad's Cadillac", "Shadows and Light", "Shiny Toys", "Sisotowbell Lane", "Slouching Towards Bethlehem", "Tax Free", "That Song About the Midway", "The Beat of Black Wings", "The Boho Dance", "The Gallery", "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", "The Last Time I Saw Richard", "The Only Joy in Town", "The Same Situation", "The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms)", "The Three Great Stimulants", "This Circle Game", "Twisted", "Two Grey Rooms", "Underneath the Streetlight", "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care")

B♭4 ("A Case of You", "Barangrill", "Both Sides, Now", "Cactus Tree", "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire", "Come in from the Cold", "Don't Interrupt the Sorrow", "Edith and the Kingpin", "Fiction", "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "Harry's House/Centerpiece", "I's a Muggin' (Rap)", "Michael from the Mountains", "Number One", "Otis and Marlena", "Raised on Robbery", "Roses Blue", "Sex Kills", "Solid Love", "Song for Sharon", "The Jungle Line", "The Pirate of Penance", "The Wolf That Lives in Lindsey", "Urge for Going", "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio")

A4 ("A Strange Boy", "Be Cool", "Big Yellow Taxi", "Born to Take the Highway" live Let's Sing Out 1965, "Cherokee Louise", "Chinese Café/Unchained Melody", "Cool Water", "Coyote", "Down to You", "Free Man in Paris", "Furry Sings the Blues", "Good Friends", "God Must Be a Boogie Man", "Harry's House/Centerpiece", "I Still Miss Someone" live The Johnny Cash Show, "I Think I Understand", "In France They Kiss on Main Street", "Jericho", "Judgement of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune)", "Ladies' Man", "Marcie", "Me and My Uncle" live Let's Sing Out 1965, "Moon at the Window", "Passion Play (When All The Slaves Are Free)", "People's Parties", "Ray's Dad's Cadillac", "Refuge of the Roads", "See You Sometime", "Shades of Scarlett Conquering", "Sisotowbell Lane", "Slouching Towards Bethlehem", "Smokin' (Empty, Try Another)", "Talk to Me", "That Song About the Midway", "The Boho Dance", "The Dawntreader", "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", "The Only Joy in Town", "The Priest", "The Same Situation", "The Windfall (Everything for Nothing)", "Wild Things Run Fast", "Woodstock" Travelogue version, "You Dream Flat Tires")

Significant Low Notes:

G3 ("A Case of You" live London 1983, "A Strange Boy", "Amelia", "Blonde in the Bleachers", "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire", "Court and Spark", "Dog Eat Dog", "Down to You", "Dreamland", "Fiction", "For Free", "For the Roses", "Free Man in Paris", "God Must Be a Boogie Man", "Happy Birthday 1975 (Rap)", "Harry's House/Centerpiece", "I Had a King", "In France They Kiss on Main Street", "Jericho", "Just Like This Train", "Ladies' Man", "Lesson in Survival", "Lucky Girl", "Man to Man", "Nathan La Franeer", "Night in the City", "Off Night Backstreet", "Overture - Cotton Avenue", "Paprika Plains", "People's Parties", "River", "Shiny Toys", "Sweet Bird", "The Dawntreader", "The Fiddle and the Drum", "The Last Time I Saw Richard", "The Priest", "The Same Situation", "The Tenth World", "The Three Great Stimulants", "The Windfall (Everything for Nothing)", "Tin Angel", "Trouble Child", "Twisted", "Two Grey Rooms","Willy", "Woodstock" Travelogue version, "You Dream Flat Tires", "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio")

F♯3 ("Big Yellow Taxi", "Blue", "Both Sides, Now", "Cactus Tree", "Cherokee Louise", "Conversation", "Cool Water", "Electricity", "Ethiopia", "Girl of the North Country" live The Johnny Cash Show, "Good Friends", "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", "Judgement of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune)", "Just Like Me" live Let's Sing Out 1966, "Let the Wind Carry Me", "Little Green", "Love", "Morning Morgantown", "My Old Man", "Passion Play (When All The Slaves Are Free)", "People's Parties", "Ray's Dad's Cadillac", "Roses Blue", "Shades of Scarlett Conquering", "Shadows and Light", "Slouching Towards Bethlehem", "Song for Sharon", "That Song About the Midway", "The Dawntreader", "The Gallery", "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", "The Jungle Line", "The Only Joy in Town", "This Circle Game", "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care")

F3 ("Amelia", "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire", "Coyote", "Dancin' Clown", "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter", "Dreamland", "Fiction", "For the Roses", "Harry's House/Centerpiece", "Ladies' Man", "Lakota", "Man to Man", "Moon at the Window", "My Secret Place", "Overture - Cotton Avenue", "Paprika Plains", "Rainy Night House", "See You Sometime", "Sex Kills", "Shadows and Light", "Solid Love", "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines", "The Fiddle and the Drum", "The Reoccurring Dream", "The Silky Veil of Ardor", "The Tenth World", "Urge for Going")

E3 ("Banquet", "Big Yellow Taxi", "Blue Motel Room", "Blonde in the Bleachers", "Car on a Hill", "Chinese Café/Unchained Melody", "Cool Water", "Court and Spark", "Coyote", "Dancin' Clown", "Dog Eat Dog", "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter", "Ethiopia", "Furry Sings the Blues", "Good Friends", "Impossible Dreamer", "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", "Jericho", "Just Like This Train", "Love", "Lucky Girl", "Night Ride Home", "Nothing Can Be Done", "Off Night Backstreet", "Raised on Robbery", "Shades of Scarlett Conquering", "Shadows and Light", "Shiny Toys", "Slouching Towards Bethlehem", "Tax Free", "The Beat of Black Wings", "That Song About the Midway", "The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms)", "Twisted", "Two Grey Rooms","Underneath the Streetlight", "Wild Things Run Fast", "Willy", "Woodstock" Travelogue version, "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care")

E♭3 ("A Case of You" Both Sides Now version, "Barangrill", "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "My Secret Place", "Number One", "Solid Love", "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines", "The Reoccurring Dream)

D3 ("A Strange Boy", "Be Cool", "Big Yellow Taxi" Shine version, "Blue Motel Room", "Both Sides, Now" Both Sides Now version, "Chinese Café/Unchained Melody", "Coyote", "Dancin' Clown", "Dog Eat Dog", "Fiction", "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", "Moon at the Window", "Night Ride Home", "One Week Last Summer", "Passion Play (When All The Slaves Are Free)", "Sex Kills", "Shiny Toys", "The Beat of Black Wings", "The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms)", "Two Grey Rooms", "Woodstock" live Massey Hall 2013, "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care")

C♯3 ("Both Sides, Now" Both Sides Now version, "Impossible Dreamer", "Number One")

C3 ("Big Yellow Taxi" live 1999 PWWAM, "Number One", "The Three Great Stimulants")

B♭2 ("Furry Sings the Blues" live Massey Hall 2013)

..................................................................

*Underlines mark notes that are obscured in the song mix/harmonies.

*Italics mark non-melodic notes.

*Bold marks notable examples of the singer's capabilities.

Questionable Notes

F2 ("Furry Sings the Blues" live Massey Hall 2013)

...................................................................

Questionable notes are any notes with a questionable significance. In short, this acknowledges notes that I am aware exist, but do not want to contribute to the singer's range. These involve (but are not limited to) weak vocal fry, uncontrolled slides, very short notes, notes hit at an unspecific pitch and notes where it is unclear who is singing. For more information, see this thread.

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