alto

[Al┬Ěto]

An alto is a woman with a relatively low singing voice. In a choir, alto describes the lowest singing part written for a female voice.

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Formerly the part sung by the highest male, or counter-tenor, voices; now the part sung by the lowest female, or contralto, voices, between in tenor and soprano. In instrumental music it now signifies the tenor.

Noun
the pitch range of the lowest female voice

Noun
the highest adult male singing voice

Noun
the lowest female singing voice

Noun
a singer whose voice lies in the alto clef

Adjective S.
(of a musical instrument) second highest member of a group; "alto clarinet or recorder"

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Adjective S.
of or being the highest male voice; having a range above that of tenor

Adjective S.
of or being the lowest female voice


n.
Formerly the part sung by the highest male, or counter-tenor, voices; now the part sung by the lowest female, or contralto, voices, between in tenor and soprano. In instrumental music it now signifies the tenor.

n.
An alto singer.


Alto

Al"to , n.; pl. Altos . [It. alto high, fr. L. altus. Cf. Alt.] 1. (Mus.) Formerly the part sung by the highest male, or counter-tenor, voices; now the part sung by the lowest female, or contralto, voices, between in tenor and soprano. In instrumental music it now signifies the tenor. 2. An alto singer. Alto clef (Mus.) the counter-tenor clef, or the C clef, placed so that the two strokes include the middle line of the staff. Moore.

Formerly the part sung by the highest male, or counter-tenor, voices; now the part sung by the lowest female, or contralto, voices, between in tenor and soprano. In instrumental music it now signifies the tenor.

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Usage Examples

Adele Adkins' retro-soul debut, '19', was striking less for her songs than for that voice: a voluptuous, slightly parched alto that swooped and fluttered like a Dusty Springfield student trying to upstage her teacher, or at least update the rules.

Misspelled Form

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