Contralto or alto?

• Sep 12, 2010 - 13:26

This isn't really to do with the software, so much as it is just a general question as to which term is most appropriate on my score... I realise that a contralto is a person who sings in the alto range, so if my score requires multiple contraltos to be singing on the same stave, should the stave be called "Contraltos" or is "Altos" still acceptable? I know that either way my intentions will be obvious, but I'd like to know which is most correct.



I would suggest to call the stave “Alto“ in singular or plural, if it is meant to be more than one singer (=choir).
For a solo voice you can be more specific, like "Contralto".
I think, Contralto means a mans voice, singing in its very highest range, like a very high tenor.
Alto - on the other side - would probably mean a mans voice singing °falsetto° or a low woman's voice.
Some choirs for earlier repertoire like to blend more than one kind of these voice types in their Alto section, so to give it a more balanced sound.

In reply to by kbundies

I think you might be confusing contralto with counter-tenor. A contralto is a woman with an alto range. Thusly, a woman who sings in an alto range is not an alto (as a soprano singer has a soprano range) but a contralto. My question was simply wether it would be correct to refer to the section singing alto as altos, to highlight there being more than one. To be more specific, I am writing for two choirs each of 16 persons, with each choir being represented over 8 staves (SSAATTBB).

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