Matthew Bellamy's vocals
Work-in-progress article expanding on Matt's voice and related aspects.
Studio vs. live
In the studio recordings of Muse songs, the majority of vocals are generally recorded by Bellamy. He frequently overdubs his voice with multiple layers, drawing comparisons to Queen on later albums.
When performed live, these layered vocals have historically been divided up amongst the band members according to their vocal range. As Dom does not sing, generally Chris will sing one harmony line while Matt sings lead. Since Morgan Nicholls became a permanent live member during the Black Holes And Revelations Tour, he has also sung additional harmony, though his voice is usually less audible than Chris or Matt.
Use of playback
In the band's earlier years, they were staunch opponents to the use of playback. At a Chantry Park performance of Muscle Museum in 2000, the band were forced to use playback, but Bellamy convinced the organisers to let him sing live. This became the infamous "Hey you crazy kids!" performance, filled with wailing, screaming and other nonsensical vocals. When the playback tape began to cut out half-way through Muscle Museum, Bellamy opted to end the performance.
At some point during the Drones World Tour, the band began to play some harmony lines from tape. Usually this occurs where Matt is already singing lead, and the harmony is too high for Chris or Morgan to hit, such as during Knights of Cydonia or Stockholm Syndrome. During the heavy mid-section of The Globalist, Matt does not sing at all, but his multi-layered studio vocal is played from tape, apparently triggered by Dom humming into a microphone.
While Matt is usually not shy about hitting his high falsetto notes live, he has often avoided hitting high full-voiced notes in a live setting.
Starting with the Absolution Tour, he would often use falsetto to sing belted high notes, such as in Sing for Absolution, Ruled by Secrecy, and City of Delusion. In some cases, such as The Small Print, Hyper Music, or Follow Me, he might instead hand off the highest notes to Chris.
Matt also likes to lower the key of live songs, but usually only by a half step, for Sing for Absolution, Starlight, MK Ultra, and Madness, to name a few. Occasionally he will play Fury down a whole step.
2014 laryngitis and aftermath
In 2014, Matt contracted a bout of laryngitis, resulting in a show being cancelled at the São Paulo Grand Metropoloe. The following gigs at Lollapalooza and Coachella were marked by a lack of vocal range, with Matt asking the crowd to help him sing.