Countertenor, in music, the highest male voice, between tenor and soprano. Once widely cultivated, especially in Renaissance England, counter tenor singing declined during the 19th century. Since that time, female contraltos have generally replaced male countertenors in choral groups. In the 20h century the art of countertenor singing has been revived most notably by Alfred Deller and Russell Oberlin.
Countertenor, properly sung, is not a falsetto. It has the clarity and resonance of a naturally produced voice. The term "male alto" is sometimes used as a synonym for countertenor.