Robbie wrote in 060204 MMDigest:
>[ The Dictionary of Musical Terms, 23rd Edition, 1923, says:
>[ contra (from Latin & Italian): Compounded with names of
>[ instruments, it signifies an octave below, e.g., contrabasso,
>[ a double-bass; contraviolino, a double-bass viol.
>[ The female contralto voice follows this definition ('below alto'),
>[ unlike the countertenor who is 'above tenor'.
My theatre organ instructor told me that the terms "conter" (above) and
"contra" (below) were used similarly to the terms "inter" (between) and
"intra" (within). Easily confused, and especially confusing when used
by someone who doesn't really understand what they mean.