I hope this helps explain.
Who sings higher Altos or Tenors?
The Simple Answer:
If we're talking about 'Pitch'... then... the Altos are singing at a higher 'Pitch' than the Tenors.
If we're talking about 'Range'... then... the Tenors are singing in the higher portion of their Tenor 'Range' than the Altos in their own Alto 'Range'.
The Detailed Answer:
Contrary to what most people think... actually... most of the time...
the Altos will be singing higher than Tenors in Pitch.
That is why, in SATB music, the Altos are written higher than the Tenors and Lower than the Sopranos.
The only reason why most people think that... Tenors sing higher than the Altos...
is because... most of the time...
~ the Tenors will be singing at the Higher portion of their range... while the...
~ the Altos will be singing at the Lower portion of their range.
To illustrate this... watch this video.
Both, the Tenor and the Alto, are singing at exactly the same 'Pitch'.
Neither are singing higher than the other.
The only difference is..
the Tenor is singing at the higher portion of his range... and...
the Alto is singing at the lower portion of her range.
I hope I don't have to explain which of them is the Alto or Tenor.
Singing Lessons - Releasing Squeeze In The Voice Part 2
Coach: Shelby Rollins
Artist: Jean-Luc Berkovits