alto

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.

While occasionally men are described as altos — in which case, the word describes a fairly high pitched singing voice — it more often describes a woman whose voice is lower than a soprano. The word alto can also refer to other instruments, including saxophones and flutes, at specific pitches. Alto originally described a man's high voice, from a Latin root, altus, or "high."

Definitions of alto
  1. noun
    the lowest female singing voice
    synonyms: contralto
    see moresee less
    type of:
    singing voice
    the musical quality of the voice while singing
  2. noun
    the highest adult male singing voice
    synonyms: countertenor
    see moresee less
    type of:
    singing voice
    the musical quality of the voice while singing
  3. noun
    the pitch range of the lowest female voice
    see moresee less
    type of:
    pitch
    the property of sound that varies with variation in the frequency of vibration
  4. noun
    a singer whose voice lies in the alto clef
    see moresee less
    types:
    countertenor
    a male singer with a voice above that of a tenor
    type of:
    singer, vocaliser, vocalist, vocalizer
    a person who sings
  5. noun
    (of a musical instrument) the second highest instrument in a family of musical instruments
    see moresee less
    type of:
    pitch
    the property of sound that varies with variation in the frequency of vibration
  6. adjective
    of or being the lowest female voice
    synonyms: contralto
    low, low-pitched
    used of sounds and voices; low in pitch or frequency
  7. adjective
    of or being the highest male voice; having a range above that of tenor
    synonyms: countertenor
    high, high-pitched
    used of sounds and voices; high in pitch or frequency
  8. adjective
    (of a musical instrument) second highest member of a group
    alto clarinet or recorder”
    Synonyms:
    high, high-pitched
    used of sounds and voices; high in pitch or frequency
Word Family
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