A musician analyzes the isolated vocals of Judy Garland on the 1939 recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Wings of Pegasus musician Fil Henley quite skillfully analyzed the brilliant, isolated voice of a 17-year-old Judy Garland performing the 1939 recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Tonight we listen to the isolated voice of a 17-year-old Judy Garland in 1939!

Henley was really impressed with Garland’s natural ability to glide from note to note through the use of glissando. He also compared her voice to an instrument, noting how well her use of vibrato captured the semitones in the song. He also pointed out his incredible vocal control at such a young age.

Another thing I want you to pay attention to is her voice, how she sounds relative to her age. She was seventeen when she recorded this. It doesn’t sound like the voice of a 17 year old. It sounds mature, it’s so controlled. It sounds like someone who’s been singing for 30 or 40 years because of the level of ability we can when isolated – It’s just at a totally different level of voice from any other 17 year old.

Here is the original scene from The Wizard of Oz.

Henley previously did an analysis of Garland’s voice during a live performance in 1963