Move over, countertenors and sopranists. Someone has set the record for the highest vocal note sung by a male. On 27 December 2017, Wang Xiaolong of China set the Guiness World Record for just this achievement. Broadcast on the Happy Camp programme of Hunan TV Station, in Changsha, China, Wang, who hails from the city, performed the feat before a “live” audience.
With officials from the Guinness World Records present, complete with their electronic measuring equipment, Wang managed to sing the E8 note. That note has a frequency of 5,243Hz, well above the highest frequencies that humans typically manage.
Where exactly is the E8 note? On a standard piano keyboard, there are about seven octaves in all, numbered 1 to 7. The last note, located in the upper register, is C8. The note that Wang sang, E8, does not exist on the keyboard and would have been located two tones away from the last key C8. How Wang managed such a feat is anyone’s guess but he did it, not just before a “live” audience, but also with Guinness officials in attendance.
Prior to this record, the record for the highest vocal note sung by a male was held by Adam Lopez, who sang the C#8 - the black key just one semitone higher than the last key, C8.
With more people pushing the envelope, one can’t help wonder what might come next in the quest to make the highest-pitched sounds!