The Lost Voice: A History of the Castrato

  title={The Lost Voice: A History of the Castrato},
  author={John S. Jenkins},
  journal={Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism},
  pages={1503 - 1508}
  • J. Jenkins
  • Published 1 December 2000
  • History
  • Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
ABSTRACT Under the influence of testicular secretion, the male vocal cords increase in length by 67% in adult men compared with prepubertal boys, whereas in the female the increase is only 24%. This greater length and an increase in vocal cord mass is responsible for the lowering of pitch of the male voice during puberty. From the late 16th century, castration was carried out in Italy to preserve the unbroken male voice into adult life, but the high pitch was accompanied by fully grown… 

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