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The counter-tenor range

The term countertenor refers to the highest male voice. Many countertenor singers perform roles originally written for castrati in baroque operas. Except for a few very rare voices (such as the American male soprano Michael Maniaci, or singers with a syndrome such as Kallmann's) singers called countertenors generally sing in the falsetto register, sometimes using their modal register for the lowest notes. Historically, there is much evidence that "countertenor", in England at least, also designated a very high tenor voice, the equivalent of the French haute-contre, and something similar to the "leggiero tenor" or tenor altino. It should be remembered that, until about 1830, all male voices used some falsetto-type voice production in their upper range.


Countertenor: from about G3 to E5 or F5
Sopranist: extend the upper range to usually only C6, but some as high as E6 or F6
Haute-contre: from about D3 or E3 to about D5

Countertenor sub-types: There are several sub-types of countertenors including Sopranist or male soprano, Haute-contre, and modern castrato.

Instruments and Voices
Woodwinds Flute (Piccolo/Alto/Bass)RecorderOboe (Cor Anglais/Oboe D'amore/Heckelphone)Clarinet (E♭/Bass/Contrabass)

Bassoon (Contrabassoon)SaxophoneBagpipes

Brass HornCornetTrumpetTromboneEuphoniumTubaSaxhorns
Keyboards PianoOrganHarmoniumHarpsichordClavichordCelestaAccordion
Percussion Tuned: TimpaniGlockenspielChimesVibraphoneXylophoneMarimbaCrotalesMusical sawHammered Dulcimer

Untuned: Snare drumBass drumTriangleCymbalsGongsTom-tomsShakersDrumset

Electronic ThereminOndes MartenotSynthesizerElectronic Wind Instrument
Stringed Bowed: ViolinViolaVioloncelloContrabass

Plucked: HarpGuitarMandolinBanjo

Voices Female: SopranoMezzo-soprano (often mistaken with Alto)Contralto (often mistaken with Alto)

Male: TrebleCountertenorTenorBaritoneBass-baritoneBass