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Falsetto (It.; Fr. fausset; Ger. Falsett, Fistelstimme)locked

  • V.E. Negus,
  • Owen Jander
  •  and Peter Giles


The alto or higher range available to most adult male singers through a technique whereby the vocal folds vibrate/undulate in a length shorter than usual, known as the second mode of phonation. Falsetto is usually associated exclusively with the male voice, though it is available to and employed in that of the female. This phonatory mode has been equated with ‘unnatural’ as opposed to ‘natural’ (partly through misleading philological usage) even though falsetto can be achieved and employed by almost everyone at will. Therefore, the correct term, second-mode phonation (or pure ‘head’-register) is preferred here to ‘falsetto’, except in the interests of convenient brevity....

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Early Music