1. The highest register of female (or artificial male) v. A boy sop. is known as a treble. Normal female range is from middle C upwards for 2 octaves. The male sop. was a castrato, used in opera and church mus. in 17th and 18th cents. In the opera house, many sub-divisions of the term soprano exist, e.g. dramatic, lyric, coloratura, soubrette, character, etc.
2. Sop. clef is obsolete clef, with middle C on bottom line of staff.
3. The term is also used for high instr. register, e.g. soprano cornet, soprano sax. (See also sopranino.)
See also mezzo-soprano.
so·pran·o / səˈpranō/ • n. (pl. -pran·os) the highest of the four standard singing voices: a piece composed for soprano, flute, and continuo | [as adj.] a good soprano voice. ∎ a female or boy singer with such a voice. ∎ a part written for such a voice. ∎ [usu. as adj.] an instrument of a high or the highest pitch in its family: a soprano saxophone.