Ombra mai fu - a High Song Sung by a Man

by Eva
(Adelaide Australia )

Hi I found it really interesting that music from this era is sung in a different key to what is written. Love to know more about why etc. Thanks


Hi, Eva,

The "key" is not the issue. Check out this video featuring the singing of Andreas Scholl, and then glance over the comment section regarding "counter tenor," "falsetto," and "castrati." It is a fact that talented young boys were occasionally castrated, growing up in a certain musical era to sing women's roles (women not being permitted onstage in some cultures & times). Castrati would have powerful voices, with their big chests. There is a story that Handel himself caught wind of a rumor that he was destined to be castrated for this purpose and RAN AWAY - but I don't know if there is any truth to the story.

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