A contralto (lowest female part) and countertenor (highest male part) sing a duet


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/20/a-contralto-lowest-female-par.html


Wow - it almost looks like they are lip syncing, but I figure that is just my brain confronted with what it doesn’t expect.


although it would be pretty rad if they dramatically revealed that they are both just really good ventriloquists…


Heeeey - we don’t see her left hand, or either of his…


They are lip syncing. That could still be their real voices, but the audio was definitely pre-recorded.


Uncanny valley.


You can tell by the pixels. Wait…


I thought a countertenor was, by definition, a castrato, and they were no longer manufac… er… trained?


“What are two bricks for, master?”

“Training, son, training.”


No, a countertenor sings the same range as an alto. Completely natural, for some men.


Obvious lip-synching, and not even very good.

I’m also convinced their voices are switched, because a countertenor is really just a tenor with a really developed upper register. They still have the same chest voice that a regular tenor has. Even if they sing the same notes, the countertenor will sound like they are capable of hitting deeper notes.


A quick search of the InterWebs shows that they are who they are, so I don’t believe the voices are switched. I’d hesitate to call the guy a countertenor for the reasons you pointed out. It’s more like a falsetto (and I realize there’s a can be a fine line between the two).


When I say “switched” I mean the man is singing the woman’s part and vice versa.

Huh? A countertenor is just a regular tenor who can sing high notes. If you want to call that a falsetto instead, so be it. Countertenor is the correct term for that though.


Ah OK, I misunderstood!


A countertenor is another word for a male alto voice and at least half, usually more, of the upper part of their vocal range will be sung using the falsetto part of their voice. This guy is definitely a countertenor and not a tenor.

A countertenor (or contra tenor) is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of the female contralto or mezzo-soprano voice types, generally extending from around G3 to D5 or E5,[1] although a sopranist (a specific kind of countertenor) may match the soprano’s range of around C4 to C6.[2] Countertenors often are baritones or tenors at core, but rarely use this vocal range in performance.

Wikipedia - Countertenor


Yes, and that head voice is precisely what we’re hearing here. Even though they are singing the same notes, the guy’s voice sounds like it can go deeper if only he switched from head voice to chest voice.

Not only from the Wikipedia article you linked, but from the onebox itself.


Welcome to Boing Boing, comrade.


Sting. Barry Gibb.



Now I want to hear a version where they sing the “correct” parts, with the Nick Cave lines really high-pitched and the Kylie lines really low…