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Diction in Context


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Table of Contents

Introduction A Message to Students A Message to Teachers Acknowledgements Reviewers Chapter 1. Gathering the Tools Introduction Meaning Pronunciation Articulation Enunciation Punctuation Cultural Context The Anatomy of Diction The Mechanics of Diction Classification of Vowels Classification of Consonants Diction and Vocal Health The Rainbow Passage Interpretation: Where to Begin What Do Singers Sing About? Where Were Songs Sung and Why? Why Do We Sing as We Do? How is Love Expressed in English? What is the Italian View of Love? How do Germans Interpret the Concept of Love? Do the French Have Different Views of Love? Love and the Seasons Singer's Diction: Poetry in Song Discussion Questions Orpheus and His Lyre Can Poetry Be Defined? What is Poetry? Who Writes Poetry, When, and Why? How Should Poetry Be Read? How Does a Singer Approach a Poem Set to Music? Why is Close Reading Important for Singing and Diction? Discussion Questions International Phonetic Alphabet: History and Use Rules of the Road Essential Vocabulary Additional Tools Terms from Greek Mythology and Roman Legend Literary Symbols Translations - Literal, "Singable," and Poetic Rhythm Rhyme Symbols Expressivity of Vowels and Consonants Literal or "Word-by-Word" Translations Singable Translations Poetic Translations/Equivalent Conclusion References Chapter 2. English The Sounds of English Singing in English: Why is English Such a Challenge? Singing in English: How is Singing English different than Speaking English? The Sounds of English English Vowel Sounds: The Cornerstones of Singer's Diction English Consonants Study Guide: English Consonant Sounds Practicing Vowel Sounds in English The Parts of Speech and Elements of Syntax in English Component Parts of English Sentences William Shakespeare: The Place to Start in English Early English Song Lute Songs and Their Lyrics Defined Discussion Questions Diction in Context: Comparative Listening Exercises English Ayres John Dowland (1563-1626) Philip Rosseter (1568-1623) Thomas Morley (1557-1602) Early Opera, Oratorio and Airs Henry Purcell (1659-1695) George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) Thomas Arne (1710-1778) George Munro (1685-1731) English Diction First Presentation Repertoire Suggestions Duet Settings Poetry and Song in 19th and 20th Century England William Blake (1757-1823) Poet, Painter and Printmaker The Brownings: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning The Rossettis: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) Ivor Gurney (1890-1937): Poet and Composer A. E. Housman: Poet Whose Words Sparked British and American Song The 19th and 20th Century American Song The American Approach to Poetic Thought Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman James Joyce and James Stephens Discussion Questions English Diction Final Presentation Repertoire List Conclusion References Chapter 3. Italian The Sounds of Italian Italian Vowels Italian Consonants Diction in Context: Italian Vowels The Letters "e" and "o" Diction in Context: Consonants More About the Letters "c," "g," and "sc" Double Consonants and Consonant Clusters Single and Double Consonant Practice Parts of Speech and Elements of Grammar Elements of Sentences Discussion Questions Italian Language and Thought Dante and Petrarch Petrarch and Laura Early Italian Song Giulio Caccini (1546-1618) Marco Antonio (Pietro) Cesti (1620-1669) Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) Alessandro Parisotti (1853-1913) Stefano Donaudy (1879-1925) Discussion Questions Italian Diction First Presentation Repertoire List Italian Vocal Music in the Nineteenth Century Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Italian Diction Final Presentation Repertoire List Conclusion References Chapter 4. German The Sounds of German Single Vowels or Monophthongs Diphthongs Glide Fricative Consonants Affricative Consonants Lateral Consonant Unvoiced Stop Plosive Consonants Onset of Open Vowels Parts of Speech and Elements of Grammar Elements of Sentences Goethe and Romanticism Discussion Questions The Poets Heinrich Heine (1797-1856): Lyric Poet Friedrich Ruckert (1788-1866) Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857) Eduard Moerike (1804-1875) The Composers Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1846) and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) Robert Schumann (1810-1856) and Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896) Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) German Diction First Presentation Repertoire List Later 19th Century German Lied Hugo Wolf and Eduard Moerike (1804-1875) Hugo Wolf and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) Hugo Wolf and Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857) Hugo Wolf and Italienisches Liederbuch Hugo Wolf and Spanisches Liederbuch Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Richard Strauss (1864-1949) German Diction Final Presentation Repertoire List Conclusion References Chapter 5. French The Sounds of French Mute "e": [a] or [ ] Glides "Mixed" Vowels Nasal Vowels Diacritical Marks French Consonants Parts of Speech and Elements of Grammar Elements of Sentences The Early French Art Song Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Cesar Franck (1822-1890) Charles Gounod (1818-1893) Composers of the French Melodie Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921) Gabriel Faure (1845-1924) Who Wrote the Poems that Inspired French Melodie? Paul Verlaine (1844-1916) Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Charles Baudelaire (1811-1867) Theophile Gautier (1811-1872) Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) Henri Duparc (1848-1933) Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894) Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947) Discussion Questions The French melodies of Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, and Erik Satie Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) Erik Satie (1866-1925) French Diction Final Presentation Repertoire List Conclusion References Concluding Thoughts Glossary Appendix A. Practice Drills, Quizzes, Assessment Forms Appendix B. Index of Works Cited Appendix C. Resources for Diction Learning Index

About the Author

Brenda Smith, DMA teaches studio voice, diction and vocal pedagogy at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has been widely recognized for her contributions to the concept of lifelong singing through proper voice care. Dr. Smith is a lyric soprano with special interests in the recital and concert repertoire. In addition, Dr. Smith was translator, collaborator, and assistant to Dr. Wilhelm Ehmann and Dr. Frauke Haasemann, the pedagogues whose work in Germany and the United States developed the concept known as "voice building for choirs". Dr. Smith works regularly as consultant, clinician, and conductor with amateur and professional choirs. She has been associated with the choirs of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Central City Chorus, and the Dessoff Choirs in New York City, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Cathedral Choral Society of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., as well as the choirs of the Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Florida. As an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Smith speaks as a resource for solo singers, voice teachers, and choral conductors. Dr. Smith has collaborated with Dr. Robert Thayer Sataloff, implementing projects to promote vocal health through the choral experience and has presented her work regularly at the International Symposium on the Care of the Professional Voice, sponsored by the Voice Foundation. In June 2000, Dr. Smith was honored by the Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing as the recipient of the Van Lawrence Award in recognition of her demonstrated excellence in teaching of singing and her active interest in voice science and vocal pedagogy. As the Van Lawrence winner, she traveled to the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden during May 2001 to pursue topics in the acoustics of the voice with Dr. Johan Sundberg. With Dr. Sataloff, Dr. Smith is the author of Choral Pedagogy, now in its 2nd edition, (Plural Publishing, 2006). She is the translator of Voice Building for Choirs by Wilhelm Ehmann and Frauke Haasemann (Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw Music, Inc.; 1980). Dr. Smith is the author of Cantare et Sonare: A Handbook of Choral Performance Practice (Hinshaw Music, Inc, 2006) as well as numerous articles on issues of vocal/choral music pedagogy and performance. Dr. Smith serves as Consulting Editor on Singing Voice for Plural Publishing. In recent years, Dr. Smith has been active in singing voice research related to the aging process. Currently, she is involved with projects associated with the Center for Arts in Healthcare at the University of Florida. With Professor Ronald Burrichter, she directs a program called "Sing for Life", offering singing voice strategies to Parkinson's patients and their caregivers. She and Professor Burrichter are consultants to the Oak Hammock Singers, a choral organization at a continuing care retirement community in Gainesville. She has taught at Westminster Choir College, Dickinson College, Rowan University of New Jersey, and State College of Florida in Bradenton, Florida. As Coordinator of Musical Activities at the German School of Middlebury College in Vermont, Dr. Smith founded and directed the "German for Singers" program, a curriculum combining culture and language study with vocal performance. Dr. Smith holds degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from the University of Evansville, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Maryland with further study at the Hochschule fur Kirchenmusik der Evangelischen Kirche-Herford and the Hochschule fur Musik und darstellemde Kunst/Hamburg in Germany.

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