countertenor

countertenor, 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. Countertenors were required during the Renaissance and Baroque periods when women were not permitted to sing publicly. See also castrato.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on countertenor from Fact Monster:

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  • tenor - tenor tenor, highest natural male voice. In medieval polyphony, tenor was the name given to the ...

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