What is a contralto? Definition


2018-04-10 21:00:30




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Singing voice – is a musical instrument. As with other types of instruments: plucked instruments, strings, brass, percussion – it has individual characteristics according to which can take a certain place in the classification.

what is a contralto

For many centuries, there have been many such gradations and a huge number of criteria to evaluate votes. As in other areas of the arts, this classification is rather arbitrary, and subjective evaluation. Still - what is a contralto? It's a female singing voice with special properties.

Categorization of votes

Classification Systems of the voices and their owners in vocal art set. Sometimes they are placed on the power (the volume and duration of playback of the same note), some – for its flexibility, mobility, clarity of sound, virtuosity. And for singers, singing in the choir and performing solos using different signs of the votes. For example, what is a contralto from the perspective of choir and ensemble singing? It corresponds to voice or vocal party called the viola.

The Most common classification range is directly dependent on the sex of the singer. She first appeared in the XVI century. From those times originates the compliance of the highest male voice the lowest female. Access Church singing, – to development mind the vocal art had only men. Party high for of votes performed either by boys or castrati, which in childhood was carried out in order to preserve the pitch of their voices. Today, these parts in the operas performed by singers who have developed the technique of singing falsetto. Such singers called contramurada.


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Female singing voice

To Understand what contralto, easy, heard, note how high sound confident in the executable a singer vocal work. Have a contralto range is the lowest note, played a female singing voice: from f small octave to f (g) of the second octave. Pitch available for contralto, measured with the instruments, gives the numbers from 150 to 650 Hz.

what is a contralto in music

The highest range of the female singing voice is a soprano. The name derives from Italian sopra – "over, over". The range of notes available for owners of the voice – from La of the small octave to f(La) the third octave. Depending on other voice characteristics: tone, register, mobility, etc., there are several categories adopted in Opera and chamber singing. It's dramatic, lyric, coloratura soprano and connecting with them – lyric drama, lyric coloratura, as well as the high and agile voice coloratura-soprano svitavou. Secondary numeric expression height of this tone – 250-1046 Hz, high - coloratura soprano – 1400 Hz.

Mezzo-soprano (mezzo – "the middle half") – the average height of the female voice (220-880 Hz). Its operating range is – from La of the small octave to La of the second octave. Allocate the same species as the above-described timbre, usually without intermediate steps.

What is a contralto in music. Definition

Contralto-the lowest range available for music playback female singer's voice. A real contralto, which features a particularly expressive and confident performance of notes in the low register – very rare. Full-bodied, thick and powerful sounding notes small octave brings it closer to the male votes.

what is a contralto in music definition

Has Long been aware of the value of such singing heritage, to understand what is a contralto voice, found a line among the musical instruments, in tune with his velvety sound and color. It is believed that most fully this woman's voice correspond to a string – viola and cello.


The range in which the voice of the singer is able to reveal all the best qualities that are most comfortable for the singer – here only the main contents of complex and specific characteristics of the voice, called tessitura.

Usually the singer having a contralto, not have a equally confident the whole range of sounds related to that voice. The upper register notes often sound dramatically, especially in comparison with lower. Here they join with the mezzo-soprano, and singer with a characteristic voice, very often successfully performed in operas passionate contralto party.

Classic Stars contralto

It is special, unique, deep, powerful bass sounds range contralto - the richness of that voice. It is particularly valued and appreciated by connoisseurs of vocal art. It was typical of the most famous singers, Opera divam past: the Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861-1936), Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953), Marian Anderson (1897-1993), the Bark of Antarova (1886-1959), and many others. Among today's singers, whose voice is recognized as a true contralto, best known Podles Eva, Lina Mkrtchan, Sarah Mingardo.

 what is a contralto voice

Has Long been recognized the uniqueness of this voice. Therefore, even the classical repertoire contains not so many parties for him. Often they were written for the characters of the boys. The most famous are the Olga“Eugene Onegin" Vanya ("Ivan Susanin" Glinka), Konchakovna from Borodino "Prince Igor" Angelina (“Cinderella” Rossini), Ulrika (‘masquerade’ Verdi), Erda "Rheingold", "Siegfried" (R. Wagner). Special emotional coloring contralto makes it peculiar characters, often having light negative traits, or strong, expressive, “intelligent” – sorcerers, witches, villains, etc.

Extracurricular Contralto repertoire

Many musicians, artists, and educators concerned with the theory of classical vocal art, strongly disagree with the situation when reasoning about what is a contralto in music, being in respect of the singers belonging to the stars of pop and jazz or a performing rock songs. They believe that there is a huge fundamental difference in the approaches, in the ways of sound shaping.

something contralto photo

But there are those who belong to this classification of variety of votes quietly. They are real professionals who know what is a contralto. Photos of women with very low female voices - in encyclopedias on the history of show business, they are full of many glossy magazines. This is a truly outstanding individuals: Judy garland, Marlene Dietrich, Tina Turner, cher, Amy Winehouse, Annie Lennox, Lana Del Rey, Olga Kormukhina, and many others. In addition, for the characteristics of the contralto and apply extraordinary “music” terms: sensual, husky, sexy and smoky.

All of them: performing classical music, and those who "another story” - maximum inherent in the use of vocal data that they received from nature and have developed through hard work.

Article in other languages:

BE: https://tostpost.com/be/mastactva-zabavy/24863-shto-takoe-kantral-ta-vyznachenne.html

DE: https://tostpost.com/de/kunst-und-unterhaltung/24880-was-ist-alt-definition.html

ES: https://tostpost.com/es/arte-y-entretenimiento/24907-qu-es-el-contralto-la-definici-n-de.html

KK: https://tostpost.com/kk/ner-zh-ne-oyyn-sauy/24844-b-l-kontral-to-any-tau.html

PL: https://tostpost.com/pl/sztuka-i-rozrywka/24779-co-to-jest-kontralt-definicja.html

PT: https://tostpost.com/pt/artes-e-entretenimento/24782-o-que-contralto-defini-o.html

TR: https://tostpost.com/tr/sanat-ve-e-lence/24850-nedir-kontral-to-tan-m.html

UK: https://tostpost.com/uk/mistectvo-ta-rozvagi/24831-scho-take-kontral-to-viznachennya.html

Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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