Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The AbC's of Russian Diction

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The AbC's of Russian Diction

Article excerpt

Morosan, Vladimir. The AbC's of Russian Diction [DVD], San Diego: Musica Russica, 2015, $29.95. www. musicarussica.com

In recent years, it is has become common for singers to perform Russian song and choral literature in the original language. The prospect of singing in Russian, however, can be daunting to the inexperienced. Musica Russica, a leading publisher of Russian choral music, has produced a DVD to demonstrate how to pronounce the sounds of Russian, Church Slavonic, and Ukrainian. Vladimir Morosan, who is the president of Musica Russica and a bilingual speaker of English and Russian, explains and demonstrates the pronunciation on this DVD, which runs for slightly more than sixty minutes.

Morosan begins with an overview of the transliteration system developed by Musica Russica. While it shares symbols with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), there are differences as well. Unlike IPA, which was created by linguists, the Russica transliteration system was designed specifically for singers. One of the traits unique to the Russica system is the use of a tilde [~] over consonants that are soft. This is preferable to the indicator currently used in IPA, which is a superscript glide that appears after the consonant (for instance [b^sup j^]. The latter may confuse students into thinking it is a consonant followed by a glide. Morosan prefers the older IPA usage of a cedilla to indicate a softened consonant, and employs that method for the IPA transcriptions in the video. …

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