countertenor(redirected from Contratenor)
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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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. .
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an adult male voice with an alto range
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005