In the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, which took place this weekend, the highest note in the competition’s history was sung by the Israeli contestant Eden Alene in her song ‘Set Me Free’.
Alene performed a B6 whistle tone – the third B above middle C (C4). Her performance resulted in Israel finishing 18th in this year’s leaderboard, with 93 points.
A ‘whistle tone’ is a note sung in the highest register of the human voice, lying above the falsetto register.
The previous record holder was Maja Blagdan in 1996, who performed for Croatia. The song included a G6 note.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra tweeted the news, giving a few other examples of iconic high notes from the classical and pop worlds.
Something very musically special is happening at #eurovision tonight. Eden Alene of Israel sings a B6 whistle tone – the highest note ever recorded in the competition 🍷— BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (@BBCSO) May 22, 2021
Let us put that into context for you… pic.twitter.com/8hDYvfunZi
A B6 is exactly half an octave higher than the top note in the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
Previously in the competition, other high notes have included the C7 sung by Swedish entrant Pernilla Wahl in 1985.
The winner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was the Italian entry, rock band Maneskin, who become the first group from Italy to win since 1990. The UK finished in last place, with zero points.
This year’s competition took place in Rotterdam, because the 2019 winner was Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands. The previous iteration of the competition was held in Eden Alene’s home country of Israel however, thanks to Netta’s 2018 win with ‘Toy’.