contralto

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contralto

(kəntrăl`tō), female voice of lowest pitch. Originally, the term denoted a second voice set against (contra) a high voice (alto); thus, a second high voice. Since most second parts were for a high male voice or a low woman's voice, the term came to mean a low woman's voice, pitched about a fifth below the soprano. See also 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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; 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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; voicevoice,
sound produced by living beings. The source of the sound in human speaking and singing is the vibration of the vocal cords, which are inside the larynx, and the production of the sounds is called phonation.
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Contralto

 

a female voice of low range. The chest voice (ending with A-flat or B-flat of the first octave) is its most characteristic and expressive register. It has a rich, deep timbre. Among the opera parts calling for a controlto are OI’ga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Konchakovna in Borodin’s Prince Igor. Composers have often written the parts of boys and youths for a contralto; some examples are Vania in Glinka’s Ivan Susanin and Siebel in Gounod’s Faust.

contralto

1. Music the lowest female voice, usually having a range of approximately from F a fifth below middle C to D a ninth above it