Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(793 words)

1. Term and vocal characteristics

The term castrato (Italian, from Latin castratus, ‘emasculated’) refers in general to a man who has been castrated, and in particular to a type of singer that appeared in European music between around 1550 and 1900. When carried out before puberty, castration restricts the growth of the larynx because of reduced testosterone production, so that it reaches a size about halfway between the averages for adult females and (uncastr…

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Grotjahn, Rebecca, “Castrato”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 April 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021995>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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