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Tenor

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Type of Singing Voice:

Tenor

Definition:

It is the highest male vocal range. It is lower than the alto but higher than the bass. This type of voice is usually used mainly to play the role of a hero in an opera. During the 13th to 16th century, the tenor voice was used for plainsongs.

Range:

It is from the second B below middle C to the G above.

Word Origin:

The word tenor came from the Latin word tenere meaning ‘to hold." This is because during the time of polyphony, tenors "held" the melody.

Famous Tenors:

Three of the most famous tenors of our time are; the late Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

Roles of Tenors in Famous Operas:

In the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserabes, the role of Jean Valjean is played using a tenor voice. Also, the role of Lt. Cable in Richard Rodger's South Pacific and the role of Mr. Snow in the musical Carousel both use the tenor voice.

Samples:

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