voice-pitch property CSS Reference

Definition and Usage

The 'voice-pitch' property specifies the "baseline" pitch of the generated speech output, which depends on the used 'voice-family' instance, and varies across speech synthesis processors (it approximately corresponds to the average pitch of the output). For example, the common pitch for a male voice is around 120Hz, whereas it is around 210Hz for a female voice.

Name: voice-pitch
Value: <frequency> && absolute | [[x-low | low | medium | high | x-high] || [<frequency> | <semitones> | <percentage>]]
Initial: medium
Applies to: all elements
Inherited: yes
Percentages: refer to inherited value
Media: speech
Computed value: one of the predefined pitch keywords if only the keyword is specified by itself, otherwise an absolute frequency calculated by converting the keyword value (if any) to a fixed frequency based on the current voice-family and by applying the specified relative offset (if any)


voice-pitch: <frequency> && absolute | [[x-low | low | medium | high | x-high] || [<frequency> | <semitones> | <percentage>]];



A value in frequency units (Hertz or kiloHertz, e.g. "100Hz", "+2kHz"). Values are restricted to positive numbers when the 'absolute' keyword is specified. Otherwise (when the 'absolute' keyword is not specified), a negative value represents a decrement, and a positive value represents an increment, relative to the inherited value. For example, "2kHz" is a positive offset (strictly equivalent to "+2kHz"), and "+2kHz absolute" is an absolute frequency (strictly equivalent to "2kHz absolute").


If specified, this keyword indicates that the specified frequency represents an absolute value. If a negative frequency is specified, the computed frequency will be zero.


Specifies a relative change (decrement or increment) to the inherited value. The syntax of allowed values is a <number> followed immediately by "st" (semitones). A semitone interval corresponds to the step between each note on an equal temperament chromatic scale. A semitone can therefore be quantified as the difference between two consecutive pitch frequencies on such scale. The ratio between two consecutive frequencies separated by exactly one semitone is the twelfth root of two (approximately 11011/10393, which equals exactly 1.0594631). As a result, the value in Hertz corresponding to a semitone offset is relative to the initial frequency the offset is applied to (in other words, a semitone doesn't correspond to a fixed numerical value in Hertz).


Positive and negative percentage values are allowed, to represent an increment or decrement (respectively) relative to the inherited value. Computed values are calculated by adding (or subtracting) the specified fraction of the inherited value, to (from) the inherited value. For example, 50% (which is equivalent to +50%) with a inherited value of 200Hz results in 200 + (200*0.5) = 300Hz. Conversely, -50% results in 200-(200*0.5) = 100Hz.

x-low, low, medium, high, x-high

A sequence of monotonically non-decreasing pitch levels that are implementation and voice specific. When the computed value for a given element is only a keyword (i.e. no relative offset is specified), then the corresponding absolute frequency will be re-evaluated on a voice change. Conversely, the application of a relative offset requires the calculation of the resulting frequency based on the current voice at the point at which the relative offset is specified, so the computed frequency will inherit absolutely regardless of any voice change further down the style cascade. Authors should therefore only use keyword values in cases where they wish that voice changes trigger the re-evaluation of the conversion from a keyword to a concrete, voice-dependent frequency.

Computed absolute frequencies that are negative are clamped to zero Hertz. Speech-capable user agents are likely to support a specific range of values rather than the full range of possible calculated numerical values for frequencies. The actual values in user agents may therefore be clamped to implementation-dependent minimum and maximum boundaries. For example: although the 0Hz frequency can be legitimately calculated, it may be clamped to a more meaningful value in the context of the speech synthesizer.


h1 { voice-pitch: 250Hz; } /* positive offset relative to the inherited absolute frequency */
h1 { voice-pitch: +250Hz; } /* identical to the line above */
h2 { voice-pitch: +30Hz absolute; } /* not an increment */
h2 { voice-pitch: absolute 30Hz; } /* identical to the line above */
h3 { voice-pitch: -20Hz; } /* negative offset (decrement) relative to the inherited absolute frequency */
h4 { voice-pitch: -20Hz absolute; } /* illegal syntax => value ignored ("absolute" keyword not allowed with negative frequency) */
h5 { voice-pitch: -3.5st; } /* semitones, negative offset */
h6 { voice-pitch: 25%; } /* this means "add a quarter of the inherited value, to the inherited value" */
h6 { voice-pitch: +25%; } /* identical to the line above */

Relative articles