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Voice - Alto

In a 4-part music piece, the alto is the second highest vocal range. Normally it meant the highest male voice or a male using his falseto voice. For females, the alto voice is called contralto. Alto is lower than the soprano but higher than the tenor.


Between the F below middle C to the second D above.

Word Origin:

Alto is Italian for "high". It's derived from the word contratenor altus referring to the vocal range above that of a tenor.

Types of Alto Voices:

There are 2 main types:
  • Contra tenor: refers to the natural or falsetto male voice
  • Contralto: refers to the lower-register female voice too called the alto female

Famous Altos:

  • James Bowman - alto male singers (counter tenor)
  • Kathleen Ferrier - alto female singers (contralto)