Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The Language of Song

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The Language of Song

Article excerpt

THE LANGUAGE OF SONG. Selected and edited by Nicola-Jane Kemp and Heidi Pegler. Faber Music Ltd, 2006-2008. High voice volumes: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced; Medium voice volumes: Advanced; Low voice volumes: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced.

The two editors of this series are examiners for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and both are professional singers and voice teachers at St. Paul's Girls School in London and elsewhere in England. They devised this series "especially for the student singer as an introduction to a wealth of classical song repertoire, and to give them the tools and confidence required to sing in the primary mainland European languages." To encourage students to sing in languages other than English, no English singing translations are provided in the scores. Languages represented are Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Russian.

The language aids provided include two translations for each song: a word-for-word translation below the text in the score and an idiomatic translation to assist the student to grasp meaning; an IPA phonetic pronunciation for each song, as well as a key to pronunciation for each language in the back matter of each volume; and a CD providing the text of each song spoken by a language consultant who is a native speaker. The CD also contains accompaniments for each song for practice purposes.

The songs chosen for this series are standard, well known literature. The assignment of songs to elementary, intermediate, or advanced levels is good for the most part, though some teachers might disagree with the level of some songs in each volume. …

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