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Falsetto   /fɔlsˈɛtˌoʊ/   Listen
Falsetto

adjective
1.
Artificially high; above the normal voice range.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Falsetto" Quotes from Famous Books



... was continuing, in his thin falsetto, in reply to a query. "It wasn't the wounds that made me faint. It was the exertion I made in the struggle. I was too weak. No; so little moisture was there in my system that I didn't bleed much. And the amazing thing, under the circumstances, was the quickness with which I healed. ...
— Michael, Brother of Jerry • Jack London

... criminologist in the best falsetto tone he could muster. Then he disconnected with a smile. This was turning the tables with a vengeance. But he knew that he must be getting away from the den before the possible investigation by Warren or his lieutenant. There were many things he would have liked to study ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... are for the most part only nascent; and most that pertains to the true kingdom of mature manhood is embryonic. The wisest requirements seem to the child more or less alien, arbitrary, heteronomous, artificial, falsetto. There is much passivity, often active resistance and evasion, and perhaps spasms of obstinacy, to it all. But the senses are keen and alert, reactions immediate and vigorous; and the memory is quick, sure and lasting; and ideas ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... divided into three registers—the chest, medium and head. In a man's voice of lower quality this last is known as "falsetto," but in the case of a tenor he may use a tone which in sound is almost falsetto, but is really a mezza voce, or half voice. This latter legitimately belongs to a man's compass; a falsetto does not. The most important register is the medium, particularly of tenors, for this ...
— Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing • Enrico Caruso and Luisa Tetrazzini

... was already transpiring. In his falsetto voice he fairly screamed: "It is the slave Turan who stole the woman Tara from your throne room, O-Tar. He desecrated the dead chief I-Mal and ...
— The Chessmen of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... grumbled Vic, stooping reluctantly to pick up the old hoe-handle he used for a staff. "What ridge?" He paused to thunder up at her, his voice unexpectedly changing to a shrill falsetto on the last word, as frequently happens to rob a mancub of his dignity just when he ...
— Starr, of the Desert • B. M Bower

... sent for. He was a tall, gaunt, sallow man of about thirty, with small gray eyes, a fine, falsetto voice, pitched in the minor key, and his speech the rude dialect of the mountains. His face had as many expressions as could be found in a regiment, and he seemed a strange combination of cunning, simplicity, undaunted courage, and undoubting faith; yet, though he might pass for ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 • Various

... undeceived them both. To the sergeant he said, 'Will you or will you not enter the charge?' To the village solicitor he gave the name of his lawyers, at which the man wrung his hands and cried, 'Oh, Sir T., Sir T.!' in a miserable falsetto, for it was a Bat Masquerier of a firm. They conferred together ...
— A Diversity of Creatures • Rudyard Kipling

... headdresses, took part, and also the women and girls, decked in their best, with ear-rings and armlets, and terrapin shells filled with pebbles fastened to the outside of their legs. They kept time with foot and voice; the men in deep tones, with short accents, the women in a shrill falsetto; while the clay drums, with heads of taut deer-hide, were beaten, the whistles blown, and the gourds and calabashes rattled, until the air resounded ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume One - From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1769-1776 • Theodore Roosevelt

... vast bent brow one could hardly see his eyes, behind the blue glasses that seemed always ready to fall as he inclined too far his fat head with its timid and yet all-powerful glance. When he spoke in his falsetto voice, his chin dropped in a fold over his collar, and he had a steady gesture with the thumb and index finger of his right hand to retain the glasses from sliding down his short, ...
— The Secret of the Night • Gaston Leroux

... when it began to dwindle by a band of workers in the moonlight beyond the open windows. In his effort to keep warm somebody had started a hymn, which was vigorously accompanied by a beating of numbed feet on the scattered husks on the floor. Above the volume of sound old Adam's quavering falsetto could be heard piping on like a cracked ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... Salvation Army with her protegee (religion had all the attraction of the impliedly forbidden to the Madigans), and was discovered by Francis Madigan one evening on C Street, putting up a fluent prayer in a nasal tremolo—an excellent imitation of the semi-hysterical falsetto of the bonneted enthusiast ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... reveries were broken. In the shallow water of the ford down at the river splashed a horse's hoofs and she heard a voice singing in the weird falsetto of mountain minstrelsy an old ballade which, like much else of the life there, was a heritage from ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... from below. The whole scene was so remarkable, that it required some effort to realise the fact that I was not in a dream. Christian stood at the top invisible, jodeling in a most unearthly manner, and developing an astonishing falsetto power, only interrupting his performance to assure me that he was not coming down again; so I was obliged to measure the breadth of the fall by myself. I chose a part where the ice was not very steep, and where occasional points of rock would ...
— Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland • George Forrest Browne

... Some show a decided preference for certain kinds of music, and actually try to imitate it. Gross tells of a friend of his who had a dog with which he often gave performances. The dog would accompany his master, when he sang in falsetto, with howls that were unmistakably attempts at singing, and which readily adapted themselves to the pitch of the tone. This was a musical accomplishment of which he was ...
— The Human Side of Animals • Royal Dixon

... hole or ditch and empty it into troughs, whence it spreads over the field. The screeching of these wheels can be heard for miles, and the grotesque Chinese figures stepping up, up, up in pairs, yet never ascending, the women singing in shrill, falsetto voices, and the incessant gabble of conversation, makes a picture of industry the like of which is to be seen in no ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle Volume II. - From Teheran To Yokohama • Thomas Stevens

... microcosm of your profession. Bring then above all ignorance, to which add confidence, audacity, and effrontery; as for diffidence, equity, moderation, and shame, you will please leave them at home; they are not merely needless, they are encumbrances. The loudest voice you can come by, please, a ready falsetto, and a gait modelled on my own. That exhausts the real necessaries; very often there would be no occasion for anything further. But I recommend bright colours or white for your clothes; the Tarentine stuff that lets the body show through is best; for shoes, wear either the Attic ...
— Works, V3 • Lucian of Samosata

... excitement, slammed and locked the door and pointed to a heavy sideboard. "Drag it here!" he shrieked in a high falsetto. "The street is crammed with men belonging to the Seventh Regiment, and they have a short way with Kings they don't like. The instant they see how they have been tricked they will be after you like a pack of wolves. I have sent a messenger for help. I dared ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... the Romeo of the tall young surgeon, singing falsetto like a fat German angel dressed in loose-fitting khaki, with his belt undone. There were charades in the tent. The boy from Barts' did remarkable imitations of a gamecock challenging a rival bird, of a cow coming through a gate, of a general addressing his troops (most ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... in ecstasy). Eh, lass, yer du keep us old 'uns in order. (He bursts into a falsetto chuckle, loses the note, blushes and buries his head in ...
— The Holiday Round • A. A. Milne

... takes place about the end of June—the young crows with their bob-tails, soft wings, and falsetto voices are brought by their parents, whom they nearly equal in size, and introduced to society at the old pine woods, a woods that is at once their fortress and college. Here they find security in numbers and in lofty yet sheltered perches, and here they ...
— Wild Animals I Have Known • Ernest Thompson Seton

... mouth also widened to a set smile, and he softly hummed snatches from the beautiful air Alessandro Stradella had sung during the Benediction service. It was a mere thread of a squeak of a falsetto voice, but it had at least the merit of being perfectly in tune, and his musical memory ...
— Stradella • F(rancis) Marion Crawford

... faculty of making himself at home, and on being on good terms with everyone, wherever he was, made love to Mother Paumelle, in the drollest manner. The dropsical woman, who had retained her cheerfulness in spite of her misfortunes, answered him banteringly in a high falsetto voice which appeared as if it were put on, and she laughed so heartily at her neighbor's jokes, that her large stomach looked as if it were going to rise up and get onto the table. Little Herbon had seriously undertaken the task of making the ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 1 (of 8) - Boule de Suif and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... of his range. He continues falsetto, but changes the tune to Let Erin Remember]. I'm afraid I'm boring you, Nora, though you're ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... was in an incoherent rage. The lieutenant was contracting his eyebrows in a scowl and clenching his fists in frustration. In a voice, soaring into the falsetto, the Swami demanded that he be sent back to Brooklyn where he was appreciated. The lieutenant had orders to stay with the Swami, but he didn't have any orders about returning either to Brooklyn or the Pentagon. I managed, at last, to get the lieutenant seated ...
— Sense from Thought Divide • Mark Irvin Clifton

... rooms of a certain Scotch bishop invariably drove him out of them, "Peter Paul, Bishop of Claridge's," he called him. To Von Beust (the Austrian Chancellor), who spoke English in a rapid half-intelligible falsetto, he gave the name of Mirliton (penny trumpet). His allusions to Mirliton and to the Bishop frequently mystified Madame Novikoff's guests. For he loved to talk in cypher. Canon Warburton, kindly searching on my behalf his ...
— Biographical Study of A. W. Kinglake • Rev. W. Tuckwell

... easily released. I trust you will not mourn too heavily for him, or allow his death to stop your life. It would not be right. No trouble came near his stainless heart, no shadow of sin; his old age was a peaceful day which lasted until sunset. He was a creature that had no falsetto in a single fibre of his being, no shadow of affectation. He kept like this through all our complicated existence in this artificial world, absolutely unconscious of the hollowness and pretension and sham that ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... and conversed with a neighbor, and With (likewise) a high falsetto; And he stabbed his forefinger into his hand As if it had ...
— Shapes of Clay • Ambrose Bierce

... interpreted their own way, and also the fact that she had come from Duluth,—probably of "ordinary" people. Surely not a girl's girl, nor a woman's woman! But one to be reckoned with when it came to men. Isabelle was conscious of her old reserve as she listened to Conny's piping, falsetto voice,—such a funny voice to come from that large person through ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... stuff, and there seemed less room for us than ever, except in the hateful cabin. The boys sang monotonously "for wind," quite convinced that the next breeze would be due to their efforts. A fat old man sang all night long in falsetto in three notes; it was unbearably silly and irritating, yet one could hardly stop the poor devil and rob him of his only pleasure in that dark night. We felt damp, restless and sleepless, and tried in vain to find some comfort. Next evening we reached the entrance of Tesbel ...
— Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific • Felix Speiser

... widow, with a stress on the exclamation peculiar to herself—two notes of deprecating falsetto. 'How can you say it is good of me, when I'm sure there are no words for your kindness to us all! If only you knew our debt to your friend, Mr Earwaker! To our dying day we must all remember it. It is entirely through Mr. Malkin that we are able to leave that most disagreeable ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... so derisively and possessed a heart so full of tricks and surprises that there was no dependence to be placed upon him. The eternal smile hovering around his temples and thick lips, and the mocking falsetto voice, impaired the good impression that might otherwise have been made by his nobly cut face and a pair of large hands, from which New Year's presents, benefit performances, and gratuities were continually ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... run away?" But Smerdyakov did not deign to reply. After a moment's silence the guitar tinkled again, and he sang again in the same falsetto: ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... torrent of ideas, clothing them in the first words that came to his facile tongue, enforcing them by blows of the fist or the most violent gestures, and yet, again, modulating the roar of passion to the falsetto of satire or the whisper of emotion. His short, thick-set frame, vibrating with strength, doubled the force of all his utterances. Nor did they lack the glamour of poetry and romance that might be expected from his Italian ancestry. He came of a Genoese stock that ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... dogged scorn a principle of life to maintain himself at the height which his courage warranted. His thickness of wit was never a bar to the success of his irony. For the irony of the ignorant Scot is rarely the outcome of intellectual qualities. It depends on a falsetto voice and the use of a recognized number of catchwords. "Dee-ee-ar me, dee-ee-ar me;" "Just so-a, just so-a;" "Im-phm!" "D'ye tell me that?" "Wonderful, serr, wonderful;" "Ah, well, may-ay-be, may-ay-be"—these be words of potent irony when uttered with a certain ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... Harriet Penny watched the departure of the girl, and before she was half-way across the clearing the little woman appeared in the doorway, commanding, begging, pleading in shrill falsetto, not to be left alone. Hearing the cries, the girl quickened her pace, and without so much as a backward glance passed swiftly down the ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... to her, and repeated it with outstretched finger, "Tip, tip, Pete!" He spoke in a falsetto voice. Did he mean Peter? Did he take her for a man? Behind him on a pillow lay something hairy; it was a toupet; she now saw that he was bald on the crown. "Tip, tip, Pete!" she ...
— The Bridal March; One Day • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... that Hidest Thyself," there is an abundance of fictitious emotion and spurious rhetoric. From beginning to end there is a painful strain that never relaxes, reminding us of singers who pitch their voices too high and have to render all the upper notes in falsetto. An attempt is made to employ poetical imagery, but it ludicrously fails. The heaven of the Book of Revelation, with its gold and silver and precious stones, is nothing but a magnified jeweller's shop, and a study of it has influenced the style of ...
— Arrows of Freethought • George W. Foote

... as soon as I get home and give her her orders. I shall never burglarize another house—at least not until the June magazines are out. It'll be your little sister's turn then to run in on me while I am abstracting the U. S. 4 per cent. from the tea urn and buy me off with her coral necklace and a falsetto kiss." ...
— Whirligigs • O. Henry

... glistened amongst the heavy leaves of the mamayes and the orange-trees, whilst from the Chaco rose the mysterious voices of the desert night, and from the outskirts of the town the wailing Indian Jarabis and Cielitos sung in a high falsetto key to the tinkling of a cracked guitar, but broken now and then by the sharp warning cry 'Alerta centinela!' of the soldiers on the walls. Could one have landed there, one would have felt much as a sailor feels, dropped on the beach of Eromango or on some yet ...
— A Vanished Arcadia, • R. B. Cunninghame Graham

... now in every limb. Escape was almost his. He knew he could not be done away with. "I'll give her to him!" He staggered toward Lopez, "I will! I swear I will!" he screamed, his words reaching a high falsetto. ...
— The Bad Man • Charles Hanson Towne

... all good books, because its mother could not help it. Behind every page and between the lines you see the fevered toss of human emotion and hot ambition—these women were rivals. There were digs and scratches, bandied epithets in falsetto, and sounds like a piccolo played by a man in distress, before all this; and these are not explained, so you have to fill them in with your imagination. But the Bernhardt is the bigger woman of the two. She goes her splendid pace alone, and all the other woman can do is ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... and enabling him to render even these excepted parts after a tuneful, elaborate, and never ignoble method of his own, might debar him from giving them their highest interpretation,—or, at least, from sustaining it, without sharp falsetto effort, throughout the entire passage of a play. In a few impersonations, where Kemble, with all his mannerisms and defective elocution, and Macready, notwithstanding his uninspired, didactic nature, were most at their ease and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866 • Various

... into a falsetto, and shrieking vile curses he threw the empty revolver over his shoulder and leaped to the ground. Mead's watchful eye caught the gleam of a steel blade in the sunlight. He dropped his burden upon the ground, in the shade of a clump ...
— With Hoops of Steel • Florence Finch Kelly

... hopelessly lost in, even without its many blind-alley branches. Now and then we came upon another shaft-opening that seemed a bottomless hole a few feet in diameter in the solid rock, from far down which came up the falsetto voices and the stinking sweat of peons, and the rap, rap of heavy hammers on iron rock-bars. But we had only started. Far back in the gallery we took another hoist and descended some two hundred feet more, ...
— Tramping Through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras - Being the Random Notes of an Incurable Vagabond • Harry A. Franck

... public charge! The people rely upon you! If you won't, for some reason of your own, come to the rescue now, when you are publicly called upon, you'll be a ruined man!" The voice of the Boss ascended in a shrill falsetto ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... Little Girl resumed her beloved falsetto chant, rhythmically all the while with her puny iron-braced legs beating the tune into the White Linen ...
— The White Linen Nurse • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... amori, past, present, and future; he evidently thinks me very odd for having none to entertain him with in return; he points out to me the pretty (or ugly) servant-girls and dressmakers as we walk in the street, sighs deeply or sings in falsetto behind every tolerably young-looking woman, and has finally taken me to the house of the lady of his heart, a great black-mustachioed countess, with a voice like a fish-crier; here, he says, I shall meet all the best ...
— Hauntings • Vernon Lee

... walk in the Bois de Boulogne a boy called out "A bas Dumollard!" in a falsetto squeak. Dumollard, who was on duty that walk, was furious, of course—but he couldn't identify the boy by the sound of his voice. He made his complaint to M. Merovee—and next morning, after prayers, Merovee came into the school-room, and told us he should go the round ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... ill-used by a recent fever? It was Nina he was thinking of. Don't I remember how I used to hear him coming along the garden-paths in the Villa Reale—if there were few people about you could hear his vile falsetto a mile off—and ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... [Harsh sounds.] Stridor. — N. creak &c. v.; creaking &c. v.; discord, &c. 414; stridor; roughness, sharpness, &c. adj.; cacophony; cacoepy[obs3]. acute note, high note; soprano, treble, tenor, alto, falsetto, penny trumpet, voce di testa[It]. V. creak, grate, jar, burr, pipe, twang, jangle, clank, clink; scream &c. (cry) 411; yelp &c. (animal sound) 412; buzz &c. (hiss) 409. set the teeth on edge, corcher les oreilles[Fr]; pierce the ears, split the ears, split the head; offend the ear, grate upon ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... surprise, and the like. One of the worst instances is in 'In Memoriam', where what is appropriate to the simple sentiment finds, as it should do, corresponding simplicity of expression in the first couplet, to collapse into the falsetto of strained artificiality in ...
— The Early Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson • Tennyson

... called, of Roads and Bridges was my principal companion. He was generally intelligent, and could have spoken more or less falsetto on any of the trite topics; but it was his specially to have a generous taste in eating. This was what was most indigenous in the man; it was here he was an artist; and I found in his company what I had long suspected, that enthusiasm and special knowledge are the great social ...
— Essays of Travel • Robert Louis Stevenson

... I am going to say!' cried Nikolai Artemyevitch in a falsetto shriek, suddenly losing the majesty of his oratorical pose, the smooth dignity of his speech, and his bass notes. 'You ...
— On the Eve • Ivan Turgenev

... the courtyard at midnight the Christmas singers from the town; the blacksmith rolling a great bass, the crockery-seller who sang falsetto, and a fool of the village who had slept overnight in a manger on the holy eve a year before and had brought from it, not wit, but a voice from Heaven. A miracle ...
— The Truce of God • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... of indecision. It was not of him that Margery got her firm round chin, or her steadfast eyes that knew not how to quail, nor aught of anything she owed a father save only her paternity, you'd say. And when he spoke the thin falsetto voice matched the weak ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... Denis should have rushed on, but Mr. Denis did not rush on. The play stopped. Mr. Denis was not in the library, the improvised greenroom; Mr. Denis did not appear when his name was called in stentorian tones by Ralph, or in pathetic falsetto by Charles. In short, Mr. Denis was not forthcoming. A rush up-stairs on the part of most of the young men brought to light the awful fact that Mr. Denis had retired to his chamber, a prey ...
— The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers • Mary Cholmondeley

... It came down out of the northwest, like a cloudburst. It hummed and sang, and then it whined, and then it screamed, screamed in a high falsetto that made you think poor old Mother Earth was in her last throes! The snow was fine and hard, really minute particles of ice, and not snow at all, as we know it in the East, little sharp-angled diamond-points that stung the skin like fire. It came ...
— The Prairie Wife • Arthur Stringer

... with a grayish beard threw branches on the fire, which was enveloped in thick, whitish smoke. The damp branches, falling on the fire, crackled and rustled plaintively, and the accordion teasingly played a lively tune, while the falsetto of the singer reinforced ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... heard the peons acclaim him, as gradually they began to understand that there was to be no more unhappiness. But it was curious how far, far away the sweet music sounded, even when some belated "Viva el Senor Emperador!" cracked in ludicrous falsetto. For the poet-prince these human chords might have been the strings of a harp, softly touched. And as far ...
— The Missourian • Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

... from popular Pekin revues on the drum, cymbal and one-stringed fiddle. There were the actors apparelled in the gorgeous costumes of old Cathay strutting mechanically through their parts, the female impersonators squeaking in shrill falsetto and putting in a lot of subtle fan-work. And there was the ubiquitous property-man drifting in and out among the performers, setting his fantastic house in order. We were actually within a mile of the Vimy Ridge, but we might ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, April 16, 1919 • Various

... to know in advance that some brave answer was forthcoming. The man on the table with his hands behind him surveyed the crowd again with the gaze of simple dignity, looked down on the commandant, and raised his voice. It was an unexpected, high, almost falsetto note, that in the silence carried all across ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... resounded through the ship as it was repeated in the variety of basses of the boatswain and his mates, at either hatchway—one of the youngsters of the watch running down at the same time to acquaint the officers, in his shrill falsetto, with that which had been roared out loud enough to startle even the deaf purser. The first-lieutenant, followed by the master, brushed by him, and was up the ladder before his supererogatory communication could ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... no call-boy. Stage footmen wait at the sides to carry in screens, small tables, and an odd chair or two, to represent houses, city walls, and so on, or hand cups of tea to the actors when their throats become dry from vociferous singing, which is always in falsetto. All this in the face of the audience. Dead people get up and walk off the stage; or while lying dead, contrive to alter their facial expression, and then get up and carry themselves off. There is no interval between one play and the next following, which probably gives rise to the ...
— The Civilization Of China • Herbert A. Giles

... do as he liked with it!" said a mild, piping falsetto; "And so far, he has made it beau-ti-ful!—beau-ti-ful!" carved with traceries of natural fruit and foliage, which were scarcely injured by the devastating mark of time. But rough and sacrilegious hands had been at work to spoil and deface the classic ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... the recoverers of our great seventeenth century writers against the devotees of "correctness," and that in the very same context he makes the unpardonable assertion that Gibbon's manner is "the worst of all," and that Tacitus "writes in falsetto as compared to Tully." This is to "fight a prize" in the old phrase, not to judge from the catholic and universal standpoint of impartial criticism; and in order to reduce Coleridge's assertions to that standard we must abate ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... and hand upon the stage, for the poor fellow was feeble, the moment he got himself erect with his face to the audience, he plunged into his song, if song it could be called, executed in a cracked and strained falsetto. The result, enhanced by the nature of the song, which was extremely pathetic and dubiously moral, must have been excruciation to every good ear and every sensitive nature. Long before the relief of its close arrived Hester had made ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... its brilliant coloring. When, at about noontime, I received it from them I was in the vestibule of my uncle's house, a place always kept tightly closed during the hours of intense heat. From the wing of the house I heard my cousin singing in the thin and plaintive falsetto of a mountaineer; he often sang in that manner, and when he did so his voice always gave me a feeling of unusual melancholy as it broke the stillness of the late September noons. He sang over and over the same old refrain: "Ah! Ah! The good, ...
— The Story of a Child • Pierre Loti

... D., and one day questioned him as to his private regard for Mr. B. of the hotel. "A fine fellow B. seems," I said, "very friendly and entertaining. What do you think of him?" "What do I think of him?" he shouted in his falsetto. "I know he's the biggest blank liar in Morocco." It was pleasant to meet, even in Morocco, such a rare case ...
— An Australian in China - Being the Narrative of a Quiet Journey Across China to Burma • George Ernest Morrison

... is execrable, being a high, nasal falsetto, and the dancing, or rather swaying on their tiny feet while waving overhead a dirty cloth in their beautifully-shaped hands, is feeble in the extreme. A band of musicians is usually engaged, after protracted haggling, to enliven the proceedings. Two ...
— Life and sport in China - Second Edition • Oliver G. Ready

... varying with the motion of the windlass. This requires a clear voice, strong lungs, and much practice, to be done well. This fellow had a very peculiar, wild sort of note, breaking occasionally into a falsetto. The sailors thought that it was too high, and not enough of the boatswain hoarseness about it; but to me it had a great charm. The harbor was perfectly still, and his voice rang among the hills as though it could have been heard for miles. Toward sundown, a good breeze having sprung up, the ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... sitting nearest to join in, but now sounded down by the door a light street song. Notes struggled against notes, words against words, guitar against whistle. The women's strong, trained voices contested with the boys' hoarse falsetto, with the men's growling bass. When the street song was almost conquered, they began to stamp and whistle down by the door. The Salvation Army song sank like a wounded warrior. The noise was terrifying. The ...
— Invisible Links • Selma Lagerlof

... atmosphere is pestilential. People sit with their elbows in your sides; they squeeze past you every half-hour. It was one of my bad moments; I have a great many in Europe. The conventional perfunctory play, all in falsetto, which I seemed to have seen a thousand times; the horrible faces of the people; the pushing, bullying ouvreuse, with her false politeness, and her real rapacity, drove me out of the place at the end of an hour; and, ...
— The Point of View • Henry James

... shrieked her husband, in shrillest Devon falsetto, "be you mazed? Be you mazed, lass? They promised me two gold nobles before I'd lend them ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... Shakespeare's idea have been so to order things that the full strength of the man should not appear in the play, as it did not in fact, till after his fall? This view will both explain and justify the strange disguise—a sort of falsetto greatness—under ...
— The New Hudson Shakespeare: Julius Caesar • William Shakespeare

... for you," interrupted a voice, which began in a shrill falsetto and ended in a gruff bass, as a flushed, dusty, long-legged boy burst in, with a bleeding hand ...
— Kitty's Class Day And Other Stories • Louisa M. Alcott

... forward was to deposit the baby on the snow with its head downwards by mistake, whereat it began to scream vociferously. This scream was accomplished by Davie Summers creeping below the stage and putting his mouth to a hole in the flooring close to which the baby's head lay. Davie's falsetto was uncommonly like to a child's voice, and the effect was quite startling. Of course Whackinta tried to soothe it, and failing in this she whipped it, which caused it to yell with tenfold violence. Thereafter losing all patience, she covered its face and stuffed its ...
— The World of Ice • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... did not dress to please, or one who seemed pleased with her dress. And not only young ladies, but old ladies and old gentlemen, and everybody, ought to make their dress a concord and not a discord. But Saratoga is pitched on a perpetual falsetto, and stuns you. One becomes sated with an interminable piece de resistance of full dress. At the seaside you bathe; at the mountains you put on stout boots and coarse frocks and go a-fishing; but Saratoga never "lets up,"—if I may be pardoned the ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... who has brought us hither shouts in his Bedouin falsetto, in order to get the light switched on again, but the infinite thickness of the walls, instead of prolonging the vibrations, seems to deaden them; and besides, who could hear us, in the depths where we now are? Then, groping in the ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... A high falsetto voice from the gathering' audience cried: 'Oh, ye bad boy, come here till I skelp ye!'—and there was a general laugh, in which the hapless object did ...
— Wee Macgreegor Enlists • J. J. Bell

... youth who is taking lessons from a comic actor in voice-production not to carry his precepts so far as to imitate the female falsetto, the senile tremolo, the obsequiousness of the slave, the stuttering accents of intoxication or the ...
— The Dramatic Values in Plautus • William Wallace Blancke

... peanuts—others going about with halfpenny buttonholes of gelsomina, each neatly folded up in a vine-leaf to keep the scent in—three independent piano-organs and a brass band in the middle distance—an enthusiastic blind singer, a survival of Demodocus in the Odyssey, with a falsetto voice and no bridge to his nose keeping a group of listeners spellbound in the foreground with their favourite ballad, illustrated by a large sheet of oil paintings in eight tableaux, about the man who murdered his wife and mother with one bloody knife—there ...
— Diversions in Sicily • H. Festing Jones

... leadership of the shaman, who does not himself sing, but only starts each song. The women never sing at these gatherings, although on other occasions, when they get together by themselves, they sing very sweetly. It is quite common to hear a primitive kind of part singing, some piping in a curious falsetto, others droning a ...
— Navaho Houses, pages 469-518 • Cosmos Mindeleff

... from monochrome to polychrome; we have the distinct trio, the golden yellow in the sky, the blue in the sea, and the red in the figures in the boats,—as in a vocal trio we have the only three possible musical sounds of the human voice, the soprano, the basso, and the falsetto of the child's voice. All these colors are distinctly asserted and perfectly harmonized in a most exquisite play of tints, but it is still no more like Nature than the trio in "I Puritani" is like conversation. Turner never ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... legitimate bases of comedy were largely subordinated to exaggerated pathos, and in the domestic melodrama the experiences of insignificant persons of the middle class were presented for sympathetic consideration in the same falsetto fashion. Both forms (indeed, they were one in spirit) were extreme products of the romantic return to sentiment and democratic feeling. Both were enormously popular and, crossing the Channel, like Thomson's poetic innovation, exerted a great influence on the drama ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... proper. Now and then the dancers give vent to what is supposed to be an imitation of the hikuli's talk, which reminded me of the crowing of a cock. Beating their mouths quickly three times with the hollow of their hands, they shout in a shrill, falsetto voice, "Hikuli vava!" which means, ...
— Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) • Carl Lumholtz

... remained unchanged—unless, perhaps, she was prettier, lovelier of face and figure than ever before; but in her beautiful dark eyes only the direct intelligence of a child answered his gaze of inquiry; and her voice, too, had become soft and hesitating, and the infantile falsetto sounded in it at times, ...
— The Younger Set • Robert W. Chambers

... notes of violins wailing despairing love. And Isidro, seated on the bamboo ladder of his house, went through an independent performance. He sang "Good-night, Ladies," the last song given to the school, sang it in soft falsetto, with languorous drawls, and never-ending organ points, over and over again, till it changed character gradually, dropping into a wailing minor, an endless croon full of obscure melancholy ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... pretty. Let me look at it,'" began Madame de Guiraud in a falsetto voice, as she rose with a silly expression on ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... and a machine-gun popping. There is a troop train just behind us that they may be potting at, or some gunners in the village, or the R.E. camp. There have been two aeroplanes over us this afternoon. You hear the shell coming a long way off, rather like a falsetto motor-engine, and then it bursts (twice in the trees of this wood where we are standing). There is an endless line of French horse transport winding up the wood on the other side, and now some French cavalry. The R.T.O. is now having the train ...
— Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915 • Anonymous

... man in a sharp falsetto voice. "I reckon if you're Mistress Scarlet, you're the one I'm ...
— Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective - Or, The Crime of the Midnight Express • Frank Pinkerton

... man with kid gloves and a top-hat entered the shop. It was growing dark, and he had peered carefully about before entering. He hurried up to Jason Philip, and said in a cracked falsetto: "How about the new publications? Anything very fine?" He rubbed his hands, and stared stupidly from under his thin, reddish lids. It was Count Schlemm-Nottheim, a cousin of the Baron von Auffenberg, the leader ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... said," he went on, screwing up his nose and speaking in a falsetto to express the intensity of his scorn—"she said she was afraid ...
— Cecilia de Noel • Lanoe Falconer

... falsetto seemed to hang muffled in upper space, above the fog that settled low on the water, like a dense and milky sediment of the air. The moonlight fell into it strangely. We seemed to breathe at the bottom of a shallow sea, white as snow, shining like silver, and impenetrably ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... common is a laugh; a harsh, senseless laugh. The effect is to terrorise, to paralyse its prey. It is wicked. It climbs up into piercing, high, falsetto tones; all maniacal. . . . So insane that though one knows perfectly well what it is, it chills one's blood. This keeps on a long time, with variations. Every change seems worse than the last. But sooner or later ...
— Son of Power • Will Levington Comfort and Zamin Ki Dost

... give you a slap on the wrist." "Naouw, Ed!" Delivered by those present in a chorus of catcalls and falsetto impersonations of Miss Kinealy in ...
— Humoresque - A Laugh On Life With A Tear Behind It • Fannie Hurst

... a cigarette, suddenly, without delay, he got into a free-and-easy, unconstrained pose; put forward the bent right leg, put his hand to his side, and began to sing in a wizened falsetto: ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... nu—bla—do, and so on, according to the weather. From all the streets, from all over the town, the long-drawn calls would float to my listening ears, with infinite variety in the voices—the high and shrill, the falsetto, the harsh, raucous note like the caw of the carrion crow, the solemn, booming bass, and then some fine, rich, pure voice that soared heavenwards above all the others and was like the pealing notes ...
— Far Away and Long Ago • W. H. Hudson

... religion of fight, stress and struggle. Isn't it better to relax and rest and allow Divinity to flow through us, than to sit on a sharp rail and call the passer-by names in falsetto? May Irwin's motto, "Don't Argufy," isn't so bad as ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... that had troubled her vaguely during the period between old Don Miguel's death and the return of young Don Miguel—the fear that a lifetime of ease and plenty had ended. Presently, she lifted a falsetto voice in a Spanish love-song two ...
— The Pride of Palomar • Peter B. Kyne

... is the way of the world—'lieto ricordo d'un amor che fu,'" sang Contini in the thin but expressive falsetto which seems to be the natural inheritance of men who play upon stringed instruments. He broke off in the middle of a bar and laughed, out of sheer delight at ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... his arms to heaven, calling upon the high gods for pity; then, with a sudden turn of fury, ran to the back of the stage and came mincing forward evidently intending saturnine mimicry, repeating the ingenue's speech in a mocking falsetto: "Now what are you two good people conspiring about?" After that he whirled upon her, demanding with ferocity: "You've got something you can think with in your head, haven't you, Missmiss? Then what do you think ...
— Harlequin and Columbine • Booth Tarkington

... tell you what he did. He sat down on a Windsor chair, without a harp; he put his hands in his pockets, cleared his throat, looked up at the ceiling, and suddenly burst into a series of the shrillest falsetto screeches I ever heard in my life. My own private opinion is that he was suffering from hydrophobia. I have lost all belief, henceforth and forever, in bards—all belief in everything, in short, except your very delightful stories and ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... its moods both grave and gay, and is as fickle as a schoolgirl. At times it chuckles at you in a musical undertone as you walk along its banks, and again it seems to warn you from trespassing on its preserves, scolding in a shrill falsetto as it dodges under the roots of a fallen tree, or dives among the lilypads, as if to hide from your sight. But when it swirls down the eddy, and comes to rest by an overhanging rock, where the shadows are dark and the water deep, its song is hushed, as if in fear of disturbing the ...
— Byways Around San Francisco Bay • William E. Hutchinson

... carried away by his music. Certain notes and combinations of notes, especially such as are very high and shrill, but in good tune, seem to go straight to his heart, and he revels in them. When singing, therefore, he prefers to sing in falsetto—as high as the furthest strain of his voice permits—and having worked himself into a semi-dazed state gradually descends to low deep notes, which by contrast appeal to him and not only give balance and character ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... standing there with the snow falling, looking down thousands of feet, made me crave a hand to keep the snowflakes from drawing me down. The wholesale milliner and the rest considered me a reckless soul, and many were the falsetto shrieks they emitted if I went within ten feet of the edge of the precipice. They did not realize the insurance and assurance of ...
— The Smiling Hill-Top - And Other California Sketches • Julia M. Sloane

... waterworks. "I would like to be an Indian, or a squaw, and never have anything to do but travel with a show, and yell. They just have a soft snap, dressing up in feathers, and paint, and buckskin, and living on the fat of the land, and yelling ki-yi! in a falsetto voice." ...
— Peck's Uncle Ike and The Red Headed Boy - 1899 • George W. Peck

... Dave Brower's boy?' he asked in a drawling falsetto, looking at me out of grey eyes and smiling with ...
— Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country • Irving Bacheller

... remark I lost. The reply came to me in a shrill falsetto. So grotesque was the effect of this treble from a bulk so squat and broad and hairy as the silhouette before me ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... upon the song. He fancied himself taking off the old elder on the other side of the aisle, and the intense young woman with the large mouth and the feather in her hat. Her voice was killing. He could make the fellows die laughing, singing as she did, in a high falsetto. ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... possibly be rivalry between us, unless indeed we quarreled over the greater or less perfection of our extremities, which are similar. I take after my father, who is shrewd and subtle. I have the manner of my grandmother and her charming voice, which becomes falsetto when forced, but is a sweet-toned chest voice at the ordinary ...
— Letters of Two Brides • Honore de Balzac

... amused ears often, and busy pencil, to the diabolical denunciations of our poor ill-used country, which have long since made famous Senator Sumner—the greatest Anglophobist in the States; hearkened to Horace Greeley's eager utterances, delivered in thin falsetto voice, wherein he urged, as he urged to the last, universal brotherhood and reconciliation between the North and South; heard Andrew Johnson, the whilom president and one of the ablest who ever occupied ...
— She and I, Volume 2 - A Love Story. A Life History. • John Conroy Hutcheson

... Mr. Jaffrey's condition would be if the weather did not mend its manners by noon; but so far from clearing off at noon, the storm increased in violence, and as night set in, the wind whistled in a spiteful falsetto key, and the rain lashed the old tavern as if it were a balky horse that refused to move on. The windows rattled in the worm-eaten frames, and the doors of remote rooms, where nobody ever went, slammed to in the maddest way. Now and then the tornado, sweeping ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... the girl into the groping arms of her father and stood for a few moments reflecting on their desperate plight. He was not hopeful. In his heart he agreed with the convictions which his mates were expressing in childish falsetto. But being a young sailor who found his head above water, he resolved to keep on battling in that emergency; the adage of the coastwise mariner is: "Don't die till Davy Jones sets his final pinch ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... found Fanny standing gloomily by a dull, soot-grimed window, which looked out on the dead walls of a small yard. Mrs. Boxer, seated by a table, was employed in trimming a cap, and putting questions to Fanny in that falsetto voice of endearment in which people not used to children are apt ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... strangely attracted by the singing and all the noise and uproar in the saloon below.... someone could be heard within dancing frantically, marking time with his heels to the sounds of the guitar and of a thin falsetto voice singing a jaunty air. He listened intently, gloomily and dreamily, bending down at the entrance and peeping inquisitively ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... he said this, a mysterious falsetto voice, which seemed to come from behind the copper basins, repeated, in an acrid voice: ...
— A Woodland Queen, Complete • Andre Theuriet

... cabman and more tired horse after a night of motion, seeking the stable and repose; the housemaid, half awake, dragging on her clothes; the kitchen-wench washing from the steps the dirt of yesterday; the milkmaid's falsetto and the dustman's bass; the baker's boys, the early post delivery, and thus from units to tens, and from tens to tens of thousands, and London stirs again. There is poetry in that, and now let us down to breakfast. ...
— Valerie • Frederick Marryat

... I didn't furgit the password!" cried Nick Peters with his little falsetto laugh, that seemed keyed for a fleer, although it was most graciously modulated now. "Ye mought hev shot ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... canny for my years, from the professors to the poets, listening—to the lyric tenor of Swinburne and the tenor robusto of Shelley, to Shakespeare with his first bass and his fine range, to Tennyson with his second bass and his occasional falsetto, to Milton and Marlow, bassos profundo. I gave ear to Browning chatting, Byron declaiming, and Wordsworth droning. This, at least, did me no harm. I learned a little of beauty—enough to know that it had nothing to do with truth—and I found, moreover, that ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... harrowing up somebody—the stage child; it really ought not to be left about as it is. When it has done upsetting its mother it fishes out some broken-hearted maid, who has just been cruelly severed forever from her lover, and asks her in a high falsetto voice why she doesn't get married, and prattles to her about love, and domestic bliss, and young men, and any other subject it can think of particularly calculated to lacerate the poor girl's heart until her brain ...
— Stage-Land • Jerome K. Jerome

... different aspect from that under which we are wont to think of him. By them he was regarded as an illustrious declaimer, in an age when declamation was the most valued of all accomplishments. It was true that there was a sort of "tinkle," a certain falsetto tone in his style, which offended men of robust and severe taste; but this meretricious resonance of style was a matter of envy and admiration when affectation was the rage, and when the times were too enervated ...
— Seekers after God • Frederic William Farrar

... sang, as we have said, with a very high voice, using freely the falsetto, after the manner of the tenor singers of his day. He chose one of his maritime songs, and got through the first verse very well, Barnes wagging his head at the chorus, with a "Bravo!" so offensive that Fred Bayham, his neighbour, gripped the young man's arm, ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... converting her into something useless and broken, into something that could no longer come between him and his ends. He was completely and finally humiliating her. He was breaking her. He was converting her into something corrupt. . . . Then his pendulous throat choked with a falsetto gasp of ...
— Never-Fail Blake • Arthur Stringer

... to make sure that the constable and his wife were in the bedroom the other side of the flimsy wall, complied, and in a voice that rose gradually to a piercing falsetto told Mr. Grummit things that had been rankling in her mind for some months. She raked up misdemeanours that he had long since forgotten, and, not content with that, had a fling at the entire Grummit family, beginning with her mother-in-law and ending with Mr. Grummit's youngest sister. The hand ...
— Captains All and Others • W.W. Jacobs

... profuse and chaotic, abounding in verve and daring imagery, but withal high-sounding, declamatory, and, at his worst, bombastic. There is a reminiscence in him of Klopstock's inflated rhetoric; and a certain dithyrambic ecstasy—a strained, high-keyed aria-style which sometimes breaks into falsetto. His great rival, Welhaven, was soberer, clearer, more gravely melodious. He sang in beautiful, tempered strains, along the middle octaves, never ranging high into the treble or deep into the base. There is a certain Tennysonian sweetness, artistic self-restraint, ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... forehead. This facial peculiarity had won for him the nickname of Cejas (Eyebrows), by which he was known to his intimates. He spent most of his time strumming on a wretched old cracked guitar, and singing amorous ballads in a lugubrious, whining falsetto, which reminded me not a little of that hungry, complaining gull I had met at the estancia in Durazno. For, though poor Epifanio had an absorbing passion for music, Nature had unkindly withheld from him the power to express it in a ...
— The Purple Land • W. H. Hudson

... one of the sorcerers holds a mirror directed backwards, others, wearing scarlet aprons, carry brooms and with slow and mystic movements sweep widely on either side with the intent of gathering up the wandering soul. Meanwhile crackers are fired to the weird sound of a minor, falsetto lilting. After a considerable journey over the countryside they return to prove the success of their venture. For this the clothes of the sick man must be reweighed to see whether the weight of the spirit has been added to that of the patient's garments. Should ...
— The Fulfilment of a Dream of Pastor Hsi's - The Story of the Work in Hwochow • A. Mildred Cable

... drone of Piqueur's quavering voice. In the clear sweetness of the May morning above the twittering of the birds it raised itself, the quaint measures delighting her ears. Even in Piqueur's thin falsetto the old melody sang itself—tender, graceful, spirited, never lagging—he was dropping pea seeds into the trench that Margot had prepared in the kitchen dooryard, he was always content when he ...
— Little Miss By-The-Day • Lucille Van Slyke

... wandering aspirates of East London, and then lifted a face one-half blackened, the appeal to the love of humor was more effective than the other could have been. A company of young men in masks with a piano in their boat, which one played while another led the singing in an amazing falsetto, were peculiarly successful in collecting their reward, and were all the more amusingly eager because they were, as our English friends believed, undergraduates ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... ecstasies, and I wish I could only give an idea of the helmsman's musical method. This latter worthy had easy steering to do, so he joined in; he was fond of variety, and he sang some lines in a high falsetto which sounded like the whistling of the gaff (with perhaps a touch of razor-grinding added); then just when you expected him to soar off at a tangent to Patti's topmost A, he let his voice fall ...
— A Dream of the North Sea • James Runciman



Words linked to "Falsetto" :   high-pitched, head register, head voice, head tone, high



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