tenorless, adj.
/ten"euhr/, n.
1. the course of thought or meaning that runs through something written or spoken; purport; drift.
2. continuous course, progress, or movement.
3. Rhet. the subject of a metaphor, as "she" in "She is a rose." Cf. vehicle (def. 8).
4. Music.
a. the adult male voice intermediate between the bass and the alto or countertenor.
b. a part sung by or written for such a voice, esp. the next to the lowest part in four-part harmony.
c. a singer with such a voice.
d. an instrument corresponding in compass to this voice, esp. the viola.
e. the lowest-toned bell of a peal.
5. quality, character, or condition.
6. Music. of, pertaining to, or having the compass of a tenor.
[1250-1300; < ML, L: course, continuity, tone, equiv. to ten(ere) to hold + -or -OR1; r. ME ten(o)ur < AF < L, as above]
Syn. 1. sense, import, content, substance, gist.

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High male voice range, extending from about the second B below middle C to the G above it.

In the polyphony of the 13th–16th centuries, the tenor was the part that held (Latin, tenere: "to hold") the cantus firmus. Tenor voices are often classified as dramatic, lyric, or heroic (heldentenor). In instrument families, tenor refers to the instrument in which the central range is roughly that of the tenor voice (e.g., tenor saxophone).

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▪ vocal range
      highest male vocal range, normally extending approximately from the second B below middle C to the G above; an extremely high voice, extending into the alto range, is usually termed a countertenor (q.v.). In instrument families, tenor refers to the instrument of more or less comparable range (e.g., tenor horn).

      In the polyphonic (multipart) music of the 13th–16th century, tenor referred to the part “holding” the cantus firmus, the plainsong, or other melody on which a composition was usually built. The highest line above was termed superius (the modern soprano), and the third added voice was termed contratenor. In the mid-15th century, writing in four parts became common, and the contratenor part gave rise to the contratenor altus (the modern alto) and contratenor bassus (the modern bass). The term tenor gradually lost its association with a cantus firmus and began to refer to the part between the alto and bass and to the corresponding vocal range.

      Tenor voices are often classified as dramatic, lyric, or heroic (heldentenor). In plainsong recitation of psalms, tenor refers to the reiterated note on which most of the syllables fall.

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