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[Ital.,=above], female voice of highest pitch. The three basic types of solo soprano are coloratura, lyric, and dramatic. The coloratura has a great range and impressive vocal agility; the lyric soprano has a light, pretty voice; and the dramatic soprano has a sustained power suitable for operatic roles. The voices of boys who have not reached puberty are generally in the soprano range and replace women's voices in some church choirs. In the 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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 of the 18th cent. the quality of a boy's voice combined with the lung power of a man made for vocal powers of great brilliance (see eunucheunuch
[Gr.,=keeper of the couch], castrated human male, particularly a chamberlain of a harem in Asia. The custom of employing eunuchs as servants in wealthy or royal households is very ancient; it reached its epitome at the court of Constantinople under the Byzantine emperors,
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). The highest-pitched member of various families of instruments is termed soprano, e.g., soprano saxophone.



(1) The highest singing voice. The range is from middle C to C two octaves above middle C, although some voices may have a higher compass ranging to D through F. A well-developed head register is a necessary quality for a soprano. Sopranos are usually women or children. In a chorus, the treble voices of boys sound especially pleasing. In the 16th through the 18th century, singing by castrati was quite common.

Three primary classifications of women sopranos exist: dramatic, lyric, and coloratura. There are also lyric-dramatic and lyric-coloratura sopranos. The dramatic soprano is distinguished by powerful sound over the entire range and a strong low register. The lyric soprano has a softness of timbre, flexibility, and great expressiveness in sustained melodies. The coloratura soprano is distinguished by agility in the execution of ornamentation and passage-work, transparency of timbre, and lightness and freedom of tone in the high register.

(2) The highest vocal category in a chorus.

(3) The high-register variants of some musical instruments.


1. the highest adult female voice, having a range approximately from middle C to the A a thirteenth above it
2. the voice of a young boy before puberty
3. a singer with such a voice
4. the highest part of a piece of harmony
a. the highest or second highest instrument in a family of instruments
b. (as modifier): a soprano saxophone
References in periodicals archive ?
Soprano singer Sandra Hay will begin by performing at a free lunchtime carol concert at the Warwick Row church on Tuesday, at 1.10pm.
Summary: Forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn has joined soprano singer Hayley Westenra to launch the Royal British Legion's poppy appeal.
"Opera is a European phenomenon, something that the young people here aren't so familiar with, but the fact that Dima is Palestinian makes it really interesting."Dima Bawab is a young, promising soprano singer, recently graduated from the Conservatoire National Superieure de Musique et Danse in Paris, with roots in Palestine.
Maria Callas Classical Italian operatic soprano singer; known
Despite selling millions of albums as a soprano singer, the 16-year-old - who has sung for two USA Presidents and royalty around the world - is determined that her music develops as she grows older.
Ten years after she firstly stepped into the world of singing and gained fame based on the beauty and pureness of her voice, young Lebanese soprano singer Hiba Tawaji comes to perform for the first time in Egypt, answering hundreds of anticipated loyal fans' consistent requests for a live show.
Soprano singer Amelia Lewis, who has been chosen to sing in St Paul's Cathedral
They include Ysgol Glanaethwy musical director Cefin Roberts, singer and performer Caryl Parry Jones, soprano singer Rhian Lois and presenter and events producer Stifyn Parri.
Filipino soprano singer Gerphil Geraldine Flores wowed the judges when she sang The Impossible Dream (from the musical Man of La Mancha) during the grand finals of the Asia's Got Talent (AGT) on May 7, 2015.
And Royal Academy of Music and former Birmingham Conservatoire student, Holly Czolacz, also from Hudders-field, will deliver a performance as a soprano singer. The enterprising musician also founded the Bitesize Opera in London.
The soprano singer sang pieces from operas including La Traviata, Manon, Porgy and Bess, and Annie Get Your Gun.