What is alto?

  • (noun): The highest adult male singing voice.
    Synonyms: countertenor
    See also — Additional definitions below


The musical term alto, meaning "high" in Italian (Latin: altus), refers to the second highest part of a contrapuntal musical texture and is also applied to its associated vocal range, especially in choral music. More rarely it describes the highest male solo voice type (usually designated countertenor), and it is also the root word of contralto, the lowest standard female voice type. When designating instruments, "alto" likewise can refer either to the corresponding vocal range (alto flute & alto trombone, respectively the lowest and highest common instruments of their families) or to musical role (treble or alto recorder and alto clarinet, with ranges of F4-F6 and G2-B♭5).

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Some articles on alto:

Alto Adige
... (German and Ladin Südtirol, Italian Sudtirolo), also known by its Italian name Alto Adige, is an autonomous province in northern Italy ... It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol ...
La Calisto - Roles
... Cast, November 28, 1651 (reconstruction) (Conductor Francesco Cavalli ) La Natura alto Tomaso Bovi? L'Eternità soprano Margarita da Costa? Il Destino soprano Catterina Giani Calisto soprano ...
... some of them are Alto del Aguacate (Avocado Hill), Alto de San Andrés, Alto de Segovia, Alto del Duende and El Tablón ...
Torent Alto
... The Torent Alto (or Torrone Alto, Italian "high tower", or Torrone d'Orza) is a mountain of the Swiss Lepontine Alps, located on the border between the cantons of Ticino and Graubünden ... The Torent Alto consists of three ridges and faces ...
Blue Delight - Personnel
... flugelhorn Tyrone Hill - trombone Julian Priester - trombone Marshall Allen - alto saxophone, flute, oboe, clarinet Noel Scott - alto saxophone ...

More definitions of "alto":

  • (noun): A singer whose voice lies in the alto clef.
  • (noun): The pitch range of the lowest female voice.
  • (adj): Of or being the lowest female voice.
    Synonyms: contralto
  • (adj): (of a musical instrument) second highest member of a group.
    Example: "Alto clarinet or recorder"
  • (noun): The lowest female singing voice.
    Synonyms: contralto
  • (adj): Of or being the highest male voice; having a range above that of tenor.
    Synonyms: countertenor