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singing voice the range of which is lower than the soprano by the interval of a fifth. More generally, the term refers to the register in which this voice sings, i.e., the second highest part in a four-part musical texture, and to instruments utilizing this register. See countertenorcountertenor,
a male singing voice in the alto range. Singing in this range requires either a special vocal technique called falsetto, or a high extension of the tenor range.
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(graphic arts)
The negative which is electrodeposited during the preparation of plates for printing currency.


1. the highest adult male voice; countertenor
2. (in choral singing) a shortened form of contralto
3. a singer with such a voice
4. another name for viola
5. a flute, saxophone, etc., that is the third or fourth highest instrument in its group
6. denoting a flute, saxophone, etc., that is the third or fourth highest instrument in its group


(1) A Web-based e-mail client from AOL that organizes incoming messages into attractive folders. Launched in beta in 2012, Alto works with AOL mail as well as other e-mail accounts.

(2) The desktop computer from Xerox that pioneered the mouse/icon/desktop environment. Developed at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), it was the progenitor of Xerox's Star and Apple's Lisa and Mac. Designed in 1973 with built-in Ethernet, it had 128K of RAM, a 608x808 screen and a 2.5MB removable hard disk. About 1,000 Altos were in use by 1979. See PARC.

Alto Computer
The first graphical user interface created for business purposes was working more than 10 years before the Macintosh was introduced. (Image courtesy of Palo Alto Research Center.)