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counter- +‎ tenor


countertenor ‎(plural countertenors)

  1. adult male singer who uses head tone or falsetto to sing far higher than the typical male vocal range
  2. male singing voice far higher than the typical male vocal range
    • 2014 August 8, Rupert Christiansen, “The truth about falsettos [print version: 12 August 2014, p. R8]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1]:
      The term countertenor first appeared in England during the mid 17th century. However, the style of singing originated in Elizabethan cathedral choirs, eventually falling out of favour during the Romantic period.
  3. (Older) a part or section performing a countermelody against the tenor or main part

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