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contralto

A contralto is the very deepest female voice in opera. A contralto generally sings the harmony when she's singing with another woman.

While it's mainly classical music that uses the term contralto, it's also occasionally used in jazz to describe a very low female singing voice. If a man is singing the same notes and range as a contralto, he's called a countertenor. Like most musical terms, contralto is an Italian word. Its roots are contra-, "against or opposite," and alto, a slightly higher voice — in other words, "the next voice after alto."

Definitions of contralto
  1. noun
    the lowest female singing voice
    synonyms: alto
    see moresee less
    type of:
    singing voice
    the musical quality of the voice while singing
  2. noun
    a woman singer having a contralto voice
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    examples:
    Marian Anderson
    United States contralto noted for her performance of spirituals (1902-1993)
    Ernestine Schumann-Heink
    United States operatic contralto (1861-1936)
    type of:
    singer, vocaliser, vocalist, vocalizer
    a person who sings
  3. adjective
    of or being the lowest female voice
    synonyms: alto
    low, low-pitched
    used of sounds and voices; low in pitch or frequency
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