Counter-tenor

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Counter-tenor name applied to alto when sung by a male voice (so called because a contrast to tenor)
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. contra, against.

Usage

In literature:

Now if he'd been a tenor or counter chap, we might ha' contrived the rest o't without en, you see.
"Under the Greenwood Tree" by Thomas Hardy
Mine is a counter tenor.
"Man And Superman" by George Bernard Shaw
The chapels have choirs of good voices which sing in concert, tenors, trebles, and counter-tenors.
"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. IV." by Robert Kerr
This collaboration accounts for the change of the contralto parts to counter-tenors.
"Musical Memories" by Camille Saint-Saëns
Well, things was rougher, you see, fifty years ago, and I got a nip from the counter-tenor behind me that I remembered.
"A Thin Ghost and Others" by M. R. (Montague Rhodes) James
Originally it signified, in choral music, the part next higher than the alto, given to the falsetto counter-tenor.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 2" by Various
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In news:

Our guest this week is celebrated and much-lauded counter-tenor Andreas Scholl.
Our guest this week is celebrated and much-lauded counter -tenor Andreas Scholl.
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