This article is about the female voice type. For a male singer able to sing in the soprano range, see sopranist. For other uses, see Soprano (disambiguation).

A soprano [soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261  Hz to "high A" (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody. [1] The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano. The lyric soprano is the most common female singing voice. [2]


The word "soprano" comes from the Italian word sopra (which means above), [3] as the soprano is the highest pitch human voice, often given to the leading female roles in operas. [4] "Soprano" refers mainly to women, but it can also be applied to men; " sopranist" is the term for a male countertenor able to sing in the soprano voice range, [5] while a castrato is the term for a castrated male singer, typical of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, [3] and a treble is a boy soprano who has not reached puberty yet and still able to sing in that range. [3]

The term "soprano" is also based on the Latin word superius which, like soprano, referred to the highest pitch vocal range of all human voice types. [3] The word superius was especially used in choral and other multi-part vocal music between the 13th and 16th centuries. [3]