I am looking for a single word, most likely an adjective, to describe a voice like Dolly Parton's voice in the song Go Tell It On the Mountains. The first adjective that comes to my mind is "sheepish" but this has a negative connotation. Maybe vibrating? Does anyone have a better word choice?

Example sentence: The [sheepish] voice of the singer seduced the audience.

Again, I am looking for a word that does not have a negative connotation to describe a singer's voice similar to Dolly Parton's in the song.

  • There is a Music.SE, maybe you find better answers there. music.stackexchange.com
    – Helmar
    Oct 30, 2016 at 11:49
  • 1
    I would have said she was "crooning".
    – WS2
    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:54
  • @Rahony I modified the question to be less about Dolly Parton's voice but more about an adjective to describe a singer's voice that is similar to Dolly Partons. I believe this makes the question less opinion-based and more about a single word choice to describe someone's voice. If you think there is anything else I can do to make it less opinion-based let me know in the comments. Oct 30, 2016 at 18:50

2 Answers 2


Ms. Parton uses quite a lot of vibrato, which Merriam-Webster describes as

a slightly tremulous effect imparted to vocal or instrumental tone for added warmth and expressiveness by slight and rapid variations in pitch

So tremulous or any of its synonyms (shaking, vibrating) would work.

  • Thanks @Gnawme . Vibrato sounds just right. I also read someone using the word "warbling" but from what I read warbling implies bad singing while vibrato is a desirable quality. Tremolo is another word for describing similar voice. I do not quite get the difference between vibrato and tremolo. singlikeastar.com/singing-tips-how-to-sing-with-vibrato Oct 30, 2016 at 5:48
  • A tremolo is much wider (varies more in pitch) than a vibrato, usually by the composer's intent (such as in baroque music, where tremolos are used as ornamentation). Also, tremolos are often executed on instruments that aren't actuated by breath (such as keyboard and string instruments) to emulate vocal vibrato.
    – Gnawme
    Oct 30, 2016 at 18:41

A velvet ebullient warble with a sagacious twang of congenial expertise.

  • Thanks for the answer, it is detailed and precise but I had to look up 4 words in the dictionary. Do you know of something simpler? Oct 30, 2016 at 3:13
  • 2
    "Mellifluous", is quite general, but conveniently onomatopoeic.
    – user86073
    Oct 30, 2016 at 3:19
  • Haha @user, you had to use a dictionary.
    – Mitch
    Oct 30, 2016 at 20:11

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