countertenor

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countertenor,

a male singing voice in the altoalto,
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.
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 range. Singing in this range requires either a special vocal technique called falsetto, or a high extension of the tenortenor,
highest natural male voice. In medieval polyphony, tenor was the name given to the voice that had the cantus firmus, a preexisting melody, often a fragment of plainsong, to which other voices in counterpoint were added.
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 range. Countertenors were required during the Renaissance and Baroque periods when women were not permitted to sing publicly. See also castratocastrato
[Ital.,=castrated], a male singer with an artificially created soprano or alto voice, the result of castration in boyhood. The combination of the larynx of a youth and the chest and lungs of a man produced a powerful voice of great range and unique sound.
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countertenor

an adult male voice with an alto range
References in periodicals archive ?
Countertenors are a niche element of the classical music world -- according to Khodr there are only 52 working countertenors -- but in these baroque-obsessed times, when Handel operas seem to be more frequently revived than the crowd-pleasers of Giacomo Puccini or Georges Bizet, it can be tricky for a countertenor to offer something new.
His vocal range spans six octaves - even more than soul singer Mariah Carey - and ranked a countertenor, he is the male equivalent to a female mezzo-soprano.
Handel Operatic Arias (Virgin Veritas 7243 5 45326 2 7): David Daniels is the countertenor exponent of arias written for Handel's greatest castrato singers: Senesino, Nicolino, Carestini, and Caffarelli.
As personified by the exciting young bass Denis Sedov and the charismatic soprano Christine Goerke, evil and hatred nearly wipe the floor with the good guys, despite acclaimed countertenor David Daniels' vocally lush performance in the title role.
23) And did late Tudor countertenors suddenly fall mute when faced with a Lord's Prayer recited on an a or b[Flat]', as is the practice in many modern choirs?
THE German countertenor was nominally the star attraction but it was the singing of Klara Ek which stole the show.
Neither the front nor back cover of the disk give any indication that Darryl Taylor happens to be a countertenor, and an impressively gifted one at that who manages to breathe invigorating new life into the chestnuts that we've heard many times before.
These days, such roles are taken either by women or by countertenors, who are able to attain the dulcet tones of the upper registers without recourse to the rather brutal method of castration.
It's wonderful to see the positive effect of liberation on a cultural phenomenon," In a sense, Daniels has single-handedly paved the way for a whole generation of new countertenors.
The same low pitch has been used, again misguidedly, on the disc of music by Croft; so have falsettist countertenors, though more appropriately, for this type of vocal production seems to have become increasingly common in England during the 1690s.
More than 360 composers are included; not surprisingly, given the strong presence of countertenors in Great Britain, the preponderance is British, but a wide range of nationalities is represented.
And Andreas Scholl, probably the hottest property among our current countertenors, recreates these characteristics with a skill which can only leave the listener aghast with admiration.