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Singing and Communicating in English

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Singing and communicating in English : a singer's
guide to English diction / Kathryn LaBouff.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-19-531138-9; 978-0-19-531139-6 (pbk.)
1. SingingDiction. 2. English languagePhonetics.
MT833.L132007
783'.043dc22
2006030318

I. Title.

Recorded audio tracks (marked in text with


and an exercise
guide are available online at www.oup.com/us/singinginenglish;
access with username Music5 and password Book 1745.

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Printed in the United States of America
on acid-free paper

SINGING
and Communicating in

ENGLISH
A Singer's Guideto English Diction

Kathryn LaBouff

OXFORD
2008

FOREWORD
Rene Fleming

Kathryn LaBouff has developed an approach to singing in the English language which is
wonderfully user-friendly, and which has surely saved much wear and tear on my voice.
It is a technique that has empowered me with the knowledge and skills to bring a text to
life and to be able to negotiate all of the sounds of the language with the least amount of
effort. I have found her clever and creative use of substitute consonants or combinations
of consonants in diction utterly delightful because they are surprising and because they
work. These techniques have been equally useful when singing in foreign languages. I
now apply these concepts to every language I sing in.
We sopranos are not usually known to have good diction, particularly in our high
range. I found that working with Kathryn improved my ability to be understood by an
enormous percentage of the audience and caused me much less vocal fatigue than I would
have experienced if left to my own devices.
My artistic relationship with Kathryn LaBouff began while I was a student in the Juilliard Opera Center. She prepared the diction for Gian Carlo Menotti's opera Tamu, Tamu
in which I sang the soprano role. Over the years I have worked with her on several other
projects as well. She coached me in the roles of Rosina, in the premiere of The Ghosts of
Versailles, and Ellen Orford, in Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera. Kathryn prepared
the diction and dialects for the arias on my CD / Want Magic, and was a supportive presence and advisor during the recording sessions. Her work with me and the rest of the cast
of Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire created an unusually positive response from
members of the audience regarding our ability to be understood, an important aspect in
any opera in English but most especially in a premiere.
I have often told my colleagues enthusiastically of her interesting solutions to the
frustrating problems of diction. I am thrilled that her techniques are now in print for all to
benefit.
Enjoy and be understood!

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PREFACE

Terrence MacNally, the wonderful playwright and librettist for the Broadway musical
Master Class and the opera Dead Man Walking, gave the commencement address at the
-milliard School in 1998. In his speech to the graduates he said: "Words on a page only exist
in two dimensions, as do notes in a score. The arts we're talking about this morning
theater, music, danceexist, happily, in three dimensions. We need you to bring them to
life. I know I am not William Shakespeare, but a good actor, an honest actor, an artist, can
make me sound like good McNally. And I'm very grateful."
That is our fundamental job description as artists, isn't itto make them grateful.
Who are They? Not only the poet and the composer whose art our job is to re-create but
the listeners in the audience whose hearts and souls we hope to touch; the arts administrators whose years of planning can come to fruition in a turn of a phrase; the producers
and creative team whose collective visions are dependent upon your skills. By bringing
the music and the texts to life and "into the third dimension" as Mr. McNally so brilliantly
states, we serve the poet, we serve the composer, we serve the art, we create the art. Without us it is merely ink on a page. And when They are grateful, the art that is created will
be sustained. The audience will return again and again for their sustenance.
As fundamental and simple as this concept is, it is a daunting and illusive task. Why
do even our best and most emotionally commited performances sometimes not reach past
the footlights? Technique! Art is all about discipline and technique. Without it, the art can
only be a fraction of what it could have been. Singing is such a stylized art form. Like
ballet is to walking, singing is to talking. In essence it is a cultivated scream. And while
one is screaming (beautifully), the thoughts expressed in the text need to be transmitted in
slow motion.
So that's what this book is about. It is about technique: the technique involved in
working with this stylized art form in which texts need to be sustained over long phrases
in extreme ranges and extreme volumes. It is about the technique of how to maneuver
around all of the consonant-laden English language with its non-Italianate vowels and still

viii

PREFACE

sing it with real, honest vowel sounds beautifully. It is about the technique of transfering
to the lyric line the nuances and expressive cadence of the language that is so instinctively
expressed by native English speakers in everyday speech, but often sounds bland and
emotionally detached in the performance of a song.
In addition to offering techniques for "getting it across," I hope to offer an approach
to singing in English that is singer-friendly and vocally beneficial. To my mind, there is
no point in using an approach that ties you up in knots. My years as a singer and a voice
teacher leave me with a mission to make the singer sing well in English. From my twenty
years of work with professional singers in opera productions and my students at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, I have
been able to try out my ideas on thousands of singers. If I asked something of them that
vocally tied them up in knots, I immediately scrapped that idea and found some other way
to get the text clear, expressive, and well sung.
I spent three years in Rome in the studio of the belcanto opera coach Maestro Luigi
Ricci, where I worked on my own roles as well as sat in on his coaching as a translator.
Many of his approaches to phrasal doublings, legato connection, and technique of "Appoggio," which I have called "pulsing the phrase," I have transferred to the treatment of
the English language.
From my collaborative work on productions and recitals, I have concluded that there
seem to be three specific English dialects that are most frequently requested by conductors and stage directors. They are American Standard, known in the American theater as
Theatre Standard, used for North American repertoire; British Received Pronunciation,
used for British works; and the hybrid dialect, Mid-Atlantic pronunciation, used for works
of European origin that are not specifically British. Because a proficiency in these three
dialects is most useful to singers, these are the three dialects I have focused on in this
book.
Solet's get on with the business of making Them grateful!

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I want to thank my wonderful students over the years for allowing me to try my ideas out
on them. Having a full-year course to build a diction technique with them and then working with them throughout their professional careers has been one of my greatest joys. I want
to thank all of the conductors, coaches, and singers who have been so supportive of my
work and encouraged me to make this book a reality. I also want to thank my colleagues,
Linda Jones at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rene Santer at the Mannes College of
Music, and Allison Voth at Boston University for their feedback after having taught from
the manuscript of this book. I also want to thank Dawn Kasprow Wolski, Camille Zamora,
and Stephen Paul Spears for their generous help with proofreading and editing the early
manuscript versions.
For this final version, I thank Alexander Sartakov for inputting all the musical examples
into Sibelius, and Mateusz Wolski for technical support. Thanks to Dr. Catherine Sangster
of the BBC for her guidance on usage of RP versus BBC English in current broadcast
speech in the United Kingdom. Special thanks to dialect coaches Terry Besson and Gillian
Lane-Plescia for their guidance on the English regional dialects. Thanks to Abe Jacobs,
director of sound for the New York City Opera, for his guidance on microphone technique,
and to Bob Taibbi, recording engineer at the Juilliard School, for his expertise in recording the texts, and to Barry Banks, Richard Suart, and Sir Thomas Allen for repertoire suggestions and applications from the United Kingdom. Special thanks to Marti Newland for
guidance on source information for Gullah dialect. I thank the team at Oxford University
Press: executive editor Suzanne Ryan, assistant editor Norm Hirschy, senior production
editor Bob Milks, and Lynn Childress for copyediting and Jade Myers for preparing the
illustrations.
And finally I thank Dawn Wolski, my amazing assistant on this project. As a voice student at Manhattan School, she volunteered to edit the earlier manuscript for me. For this
edition, she obtained all the publisher permissions, copyedited, formatted, edited, and inputted all the phonetics into the musical examples.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

To the many composers that I have contacted and worked with in developing lists of
their works, I thank you for all of your valuable input. The repertoire lists have grown too
large to be included in this book. They have led to a second book project focusing on the
repertoires lists themselves. Though you are not included now, I know you will have even
greater visibility in the near future.

CREDITS

I wish to thank the following publishers for their kind permission to reprint excerpts of
their copyrighted works:
"A Minor Bird" from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright
1928, 1969 by Henry Holt and Company. Copyright 1956 by Robert Frost. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
"Buddy on the Nightshift" by Oscar Hammerstein II and Kurt Weill. Copyright 1981 by Coda Publishing (administered by European American Music Corp.) and Bambalina Music Publishing
Company (administered by Williamson Music). International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.
"Do You Know the Land?" from Little Women by Mark Adamo. Copyright 1998 by G. Schirmir, Inc. (ASCAP). International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission.
"Every Ranch Hand I Ever Knew" from Of Mice and Men by Carlisle Floyd. Copyright 1971 by
Carlisle Floyd. Copyright renewed. Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., Sole Agent. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
"Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sweeney Todd. Words and music by Stephen Sondheim.
1978 Rilting Music, Inc. All Rights Administered by WB Music Corp. All Rights Reserved.
Used by Permission of Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.
Laurie's Aria from The Tender Land by Aaron Copland. Copyright 1954, 1956 by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. Copyright renewed. Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., Sole Publisher & Licensee. Reprinted by permission of Boosey and Hawkes, Inc.
"Love Too Frequently Betrayed" from The Rake's Progress by Igor Stravinsky. Copyright 1951
by Boosey & Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey &
Hawkes, Inc.
Lucretia's Aria from Rape of Lucretia by Benjamin Britten. Copyright 1946,1947 by Hawkes and
Son (London) Ltd. Copyright renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
"Lullaby" from The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti. Copyright 1950 (Renewed) by G. Schirmir,
Inc. (ASCAP). International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Text reprinted by permission.
"Lullaby" by Thomas Pasatieri. by James Agee, permission of The Wiley Agency.

xii

CREDITS

"Manhattan Joy Ride" by Paul Sargent. Copyright 1946 (Renewed) by G. Schirmir, Inc.
(ASCAP) International. Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission.
"Must the Winter Come So Soon?" From Vanessa by Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti. Copyright 1957 (Renewed) by G. Schirmir, Inc. (ASCAP) International Copyright Secured. All
Rights Reserved. Text reprinted by kind permission.
"No Word from Tom" from The Rake's Progress by Igor Stravinsky. Copyright 1951 by Boosey
& Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
"Oh, Lady Be Good!" Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. 1924 WBMusic
Corp. (Renewed) Gershwin, George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin are trademarks of Gershwin Enterprises. All Rights Reserved Used By Permission.
"See How They Love Me" by Ned Rorem. Copyright 1958 by Henmar Press. Used By Permission. All Rights Reserved.
"Somewhere" from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim. 1957, copyright
renewed, Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing, LLC. All rights administered by UniversalPolyGram International Publishing, Inc. / ASCAP. Used By Permission. All Rights Reserved.
"Sure on This Shining Night" by Samuel Barber. by James Agee, permission of The Wiley
Agency.
"The Black Swan" from The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti. Copyright 1947 (Renewed) by
G. Schirmir, Inc. (ASCAP). International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Text reprinted by kind permission.
"The Crucifixion" by Samuel Barber. From The Romanesque Lyric: Studies in its Background and
Development from Petronius to the Cambridge Songs, 50-1050 by Philip Schuyler Allen. Copyright 1928 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of its publisher.
"The Idle Gift" from Five Songs for Tenor and Piano by Gian Carlo Menotti. Copyright 1983 by
G. Schirmir, Inc. (ASCAP) International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by
permission.
"There Is a Garden" from Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein. 1957, copyright renewed,
Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing, LLC. All right administered by Universal-PolyGram International Publishing, Inc. / ASCAP Used By Permission. All Rights Reserved.
"Things Change" from Little Women by Mark Adamo. Copyright 1998 by G. Schirmir, Inc.
(ASCAP) International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission.
"Tom Rakewell's Aria" from The Rake's Progress by Igor Stravinsky. Copyright 1951 by Boosey
& Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
"What's the Use of Wondrin'" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Copyright 1945
by Williamson Music. Copyright Renewed. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.
"Where the Music Comes From" from 13 Songs by Lee Hoiby. Copyright 1990 by G. Schirmir,
Inc. (ASCAP) International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission.
"Who Is There to Love Me?" from A Hand of Bridge by Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti.
Copyright 1959 (Renewed) by G. Schirmir, Inc. (ASCAP). International Copyright Secured.
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission.
Tom Sails Away by Charles Ives. Copyright 1935, Merion Music, Inc. Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Text
reprinted by kind permission of Carl Fischer, LLC, on behalf of Merion Music, Inc.

CONTENTS

Foreword by Rene Fleming v


CHAPTER 1

Introduction to Diction

Diction: What Is It?

Why Do Native English Speakers Need English Diction Study? 3


What Is the Ultimate Goal of English Lyric Diction Study?
Why Is This Goal Often Not Realized?

Expectations of the English-Speaking Audience


What Is Neutral English?

References for English Pronunciation


Approach to English Diction Study

7
8

Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet


How to Use This Book

10

The International Phonetic Alphabet for American English


Exercises
CHAPTER 2

14

Communicating the Thought

17

Communication through Appropriate Stress


Syllabic Stress within Words

18

Stress/Sense within the English Phrase


The Hierarchy of Stress

21

Stress versus Interpretation


The Division of Syllables

25
26

Exercises 27
CHAPTER 3

Introduction to Vowels

31

Preparation for Vowel Production


The Vowel Chart

35

31

20

17

11

xiv

CONTENTS

Eliminating Glottal Attacks

36

Exercise Drills for Glottal Attack Elimination


Easy Onset Exercises
CHAPTER 4

38

The Fronting Vowels

[i] Production
Exercises

45

[i] Production
Exercises

43

43
47

49

[e] Production 50
Exercises

52

[] Production
Exercises

53

55

Review of Front Vowels 55


[a] Production 56
Exercises
CHAPTER 5

57

The Backing Vowels

[u]/[ju] Production
Exercises

65
66

69

[D] Production
CHAPTER 6

63

64

[o] Production
[o] Production
Exercises

59

61

[u] Production
Exercises

70

The Mixed Vowels


[A]/[9] Production
Exercises

59

71

71

74

|>]/[e] Production 75
Exercises
CHAPTER 7

77

Diphthongs

79

[ai] Production 81
Drill 83
Exercises

83

[ei] Production 84
Exercises

85

[01] Production
Exercises

87

86

38

XV

CONTENTS

[ou] Production
Exercises

89

90

[au] Production
Exercises

91

92

The R-Colored Diphthongs


Exercises

94

Triphthongs
Exercises
CHAPTER 8

93

96

97

The Three Semi-Vowel Glides

Vowels or Consonants?
[w] Production

99

99

102

[j] Production

103

[j] Production

105

Drill for Alleviating Trilled R's 108


Exercises
CHAPTER 9

109

Introduction to Consonants
The English Consonants
Exercises

CHAPTER 10

115

11 7

The Plosives

119

[b]/[p] Production
Exercises

11 3

120

122

[d]/[t] Production

123

Practice Drill 125


Exercises

126

[g]/[k] Production
Exercises

Implosions

126

130

131

[d3][tf] Production
Exercises

133

134

Save Breath for Shadow Vowels


Exercises
CHAPTER 11

138

The Fricatives

141

Merges: The Legato Builder


[v]/[f] Production
Exercises

135

141

143

145

[z]/[s] Production

146

Drills for Overcoming Lisping S and Z

148

CONTENTS

XVI

Expressive Doublings of the Fricatives


Exercises

[3]/[f] Production
Exercises

154

155

[a]/ [6] Production


Exercises

CHAPTER 12

157

159

[h]/[m] Production
Exercises

149

151

160

164

The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

[m] Production

167

167

Drill 168
[n] Production
Drill

169

170

[rj] Production
Drill

172

Drill

174

Exercises

1 71

177

Sing through and Resonate the Nasal Consonants


[1] Production

1 79

179

Drill 181
Exercises
CHAPTER 13

182

The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

The Legato Connection: Connect It Up!


Implosions and Merges
Exercises

187

190

Expressive Doublings: Get It Off the Printed Page!


Pulsing the Phrase 202
Exercises
CHAPTER 14

185

185

192

203

Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

International Phonetic Alphabet for British


Received Pronunciation
IPA Drill

208

211

British Received versus American Standard


Rules for British Received Pronunciation
Exercises

216

214
215

207

xvii

contents

[D] Production
Exercises

218

[ou] versus [su]


Exercises

21 7
219

220

The Reduced R Colourings


Exercises

222

Shall We D-ah-nce?
Exercises

221

223

226

Usage of the "Liquid U" in Historic versus Modern RP


Unstressed Words and Syllables
Stress Patterns

231

234

Articulating the Letter T in RP


Exercises
CHAPTER 15

236

237

The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

The Default Dialect


[a]

229

229

Trilled and Flipped R's


Exercise

228

241

241

242

The Mid-Atlantic Dialect Overview

243

Repertoire Suggestions for Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation


Rules for Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation
Exercises

244

245

246

[a] Production

247

Exercise Drills 248


Exercises

250

Afterword: The Finesse Factor


A Final Cautionary Note

255

255

A Word about Interdependence

256

Strive for the Third Dimension

256

APPENDIX 1

The International Phonetic Alphabet for English

APPENDIX 2

Three-Dialect Overview

APPENDIX 3

Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire


Glossary

263

291

Music Publishers Guide

305

265

259

xviii

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Selected Bibliography and Resources


Index of Song Texts
General Index

309

315

319

Exercise Guide

Available online at www.oup.com/us/singinginenglish

Singing and Communicating in English: A Singer's Guide to English


Diction is an Oxford Web Music title, and this icon indicates examples
for which companion audio files are available online at www.oup.com/
us/singinginenglish. For more information on Oxford Web Music, visit
www.oxfordwebmusic.com.

Singing and Communicating in English

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CHAPTER ONE
Introduction to Diction

Diction: What Is It?


"Diction," according to Webster's International Dictionary, is the execution of text with
regard to pronunciation, enunciation, and expression. The study of sung speech may be
separated into these three distinct areas:
Pronunciation: The cultivation of sung speech that is free from regionalisms and is
easily understood by the audience.
Enunciation: The study of the physiology of speech sounds in order to deliver the
vocal text with ease, clarity, and minimal tension.
Expression: The communication of the meaning and emotion of a vocal text within the
parameters of the musical setting given to us by the composer.
Before we begin to tackle all of this, it is important to answer several questions that
many whose native language is English may have.

Why Do Native English Speakers Need


English Diction Study?
If we are native speakers, we tend to be very careless with our language. Since English is
easy for us to speak and understand, we assume our facility with it will automatically be
transferred to our singing in English. As native speakers, we focus usually on the ideas
that we are trying to communicate, not on the specific sounds that make up the words we
are using to express ourselves. For most of us, little time is spent analyzing the specific
vowel sounds and consonant sounds. If we are to sing effectively in English, we must treat

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

the English language with as much care and precision as we give the foreign languages in
which we sing. The distinct vowels, of which there are 16, must be very clear and precise
when they are sustained in music. In everyday speech, vowel precision is not a requirement for intelligibility. But when a word must be sustained musically in slow motion, it is
very important that the vowel sound is precise or else no one will know what we are
singing about!

What Is the Ultimate Goal of English Lyric


Diction Study?
The principal goal of lyric diction is communication.
For an English-speaking public, operas performed in their vernacular, whether the
original language or in translation, can be profoundly moving. With effective English diction, we have the unique opportunity to have an immediate communicative connection
with the audience that is not possible with works in foreign languages.

Why Is This Coal Often Not Realized?


There are many factors involved. The absolute essentials of effective communication are:
1. You must be heard.
2. You must be understood.
If either of these two does not occur, much of the connection with the audience is lost. If
the voice does not carry over the orchestra because of heavy orchestration, problems with
staging, or positioning on the stage, the singer will not be heard well enough to be an effective communicator. These are some of the many factors creating problems in reaching
the goal of effective communication. However, some of these are beyond the control of
the singer. Assuming that we can be heard, there are still many things to consider that impede our communication of the text with our audience.
Perhaps the fault of non-communication lies with one of the following:
1. An overwhelming concern on the singer's part for producing beautiful tones and
little concern for the projection of the text. Of course, the voice needs to be the
number one concern for a classical singer, but beautiful singing with muddy diction is not as exciting for the listener as beautiful singing in which the text is also

CHAPTER ONE Introduction to Diction

clear. Actually, muddy diction can result in muddy singing. The techniques of
beautiful singing and good diction need to go hand in hand. Rarely does a singer
sing only vowel sounds. In every language, singing almost always involves negotiating around the consonants.
2. The transference of foreign pronunciations into the English language rather than
singing English vowels. This is called "singerese." This has consciously or unconsciously slipped into the English diction of almost all singers at one time or
another, whether out of habit or choice. Even if vowels need to be modified for
vocal reasons, the modifications should not be detectable to the audience. English
vowels must always "read" as real and honest to the listener.
3. A gross inconsistency among performers in any kind of standard pronunciation
of the same text within the same cast and production. Often, some singers will
be singing in several different regional American dialects while the others are
singing in a British dialect.
4. An almost cavalier assumption on the part of some performers and administrators
of musical organizations that since this is the vernacular, English speakers already have an "inborn skill and sensitivity to singing in English" and therefore
need give no further attention to its communicative delivery. This would never be
the case for classically trained actors. Sadly, this is often the case with singers.

Expectations of the
English-Speaking Audience
The English-speaking audience has a very different expectation for the musical performances it hears in English from a performance in a foreign language. They expect and want
to understand most of the text on first hearing. Not all of the audience members have
grown up listening to opera and therefore come to a classical music performance with
very little background in the work, its text, and its plot. If we hope to forge a connection
with the younger generation, maintain, and even build opera and concert attendance, the
text needs to be clear and communicative.
Our fast-paced, stressful modern lifestyle is partly to blame. Rarely do we have the
time or energy to come prepared to a concert or opera by having previously read the libretto and familiarized ourselves with the music. For these reasons, we need the musical
exposure to classical music performances to be very accessible and "audience-friendly."
The text must be clear and intelligible on first hearing.
Of course, 100 percent intelligibility of the text is virtually impossible. With heavy orchestration and words set in extremely high and low vocal ranges, some of the words will

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

inevitably be lost. But 90 to 95 percent of the text clarity is realistic and definitely possible
for singers trained with good diction knowledge and technique.
In this book, we will strive to achieve 90 to 95 percent intelligibility in English lyric
diction. To that end, we must consider these things.
1. Neutral Pronunciation: The standardization of English pronunciation for communication with the majority of the audience. This is accomplished through the
study and knowledge of neutral pronunciation of American English and British
English, one that is free of regionalisms and that conforms to the norms of the
theatrical stage and public usagethat is, the pronunciation of news broadcasters, television actors, and national mass media performers.
2. Physiological Clarification: The clarification physiologically of the production of
the speech sounds of the English language and the release of tensions of everyday
speech that will aid in freer vocalism.
3. Study of the English Cadence: The innate accents of inflection of the English language, which leads not only to communication but also to expressive delivery of
the language.

What Is Neutral English?


Neutral English in North America is called American Standard, or AS. It is a pronunciation of North American English that is most recognizable and understandable to the
majority of North Americans.
Neutral English in the United Kingdom is known as Received Pronunciation, or RP.
Historic forms of RP are used in classical theater and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century
opera. Modern RP is used by the broadcasters on BBC 1 and 2 and has been determined
to be the most easily accessible to the listening public. The current trend in the United
Kingdom seems to be use of RP colored with and inclusive of some of the regional pronunciation of the broadcaster. The far-reaching influence of the mass media has resulted
in instant communication of news and world events to all parts of the English-speaking
world. Even with some inclusion of regionalism, news broadcasters and other public
speakers have cultivated a neutral speech pronunciation that bridges regional speech barriers and facilitates easier communication with this broad area of population.
This is not to imply that neutral pronunciation has greater merit than any of the regional dialects. It is also a dialect, but one without any regionalisms. It is, however, the
dialect that is used by trained speakers and performers for public usage. The way we speak

CHAPTER ONE Introduction to Diction

English regionally is part of our personal identity. It is something that should be used and
maintained in our everyday speech. However, when we are speaking or performing in a
public forum, neutral English should be used, so as to erase regional barriers and communicate most effectively with the most people.
In this book, we will focus on three dialects that are most readily used by professional
singers.
1. American Standard: used for North American repertoire.
2. Received Pronunciation: both the historic and modern forms of RP that are used
for repertoire by composers from the British Isles.
3. Mid-Atlantic Dialect: a hybrid of North American and British pronunciation that
blends the two dialects. It is frequently used in oratorio and works of European
origin that are not specifically British.

References for English Pronunciation


American Standard Pronunciation
The Pronouncing Dictionary of American English, John S. Kenyon and Thomas A. Knott, editors.
All entries are listed in IPA. The preferred pronunciation for American Standard, AS, is listed
first, followed by variant regional differences.
The NBC Handbook of Pronunciation, revised and updated by Eugene Ehrlich and Raymond Hand,
Jr. Used as a reference book by broadcasters, this is an excellent reference for current words and
foreign words found in English. Unfortunately, it has no listings in IPA.
Longman Dictionary of American English, edited by J. C. Wells. This is an excellent teaching dictionary for English as a foreign language. Listings are in General American. Excellent quick reference guides are scattered throughout.
Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English, edited by Clive Upton, William A. Kretzshmar, Jr., and Rafal Konopka. This is excellent for both American and British current pronunciation. Good for the General American Dialect, colloquial American usage.

British Received Pronunciation


The Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, edited by Peter Roach and James Hartman. This
is the new seventeenth edition of the original dictionary listed below. It is an excellent dictionary
for British Received Pronunciation. It lists both RP and American pronunciations; however, it is
not a clear guide for American Standard pronunciation. The determination of what is considered
American Standard is far clearer in the Kenyon and Knott Pronouncing Dictionary listed above.
It comes with an interactive CD-ROM.

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary, edited by Daniel Jones. The basis for the Cambridge
Dictionary listed above, it is an excellent source of historic British Received Pronunciation. It is
very helpful for the Baroque and Classical repertoire. Unfortunately, it is out of print.
Longman Pronouncing Dictionary, edited by J. C. Wells. Developed as a teaching tool for English
as a foreign language programs, this is a very clear dictionary with excellent informational
guides scattered throughout. It has an accompanying CD-ROM.
Oxford Dictionary for Pronunciation for Current English, edited by Clive Upton, William A.
Kretzschmar, Jr., and Fafal Konopka. It is an excellent source for modern RP and colloquial
American English.

Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation
The vowel sounds for Mid-Atlantic pronunciation are generally American vowels with the
r-colorings lessened. Use of flipped and rolled R's is also frequent. The use of the sources
for both the American Standard and British Received Pronunciations will be helpful.
Since Mid-Atlantic is not a spoken dialect but rather a hybrid pronunciation used to blend
AS and RP, no dictionaries are found for this pronunciation.

Approach to English Diction Study


Most people learn a language through imitation by trial and error. A more accurate way to
learn pronunciation of a language is through phonetics, the scientific study of speech
sounds and their formation.
Ear training is important; we first must be able to hear the sounds within ourselves correctly. But it is not enough to drill the sounds through rote imitation. Minute exactness is
required in lyric diction because the sounds are sustained for a much longer time than
when spoken. They must be absolutely correctly produced for communicative clarity and
to avoid vocal tension.
Many singers find singing in English the most stressful vocally. This is often the fault
of transference of improper speech production into their singing. As a general characteristic, we are laconic, tense-jawed speakers with little tongue and lip independence when
producing the speech sounds.
Before we begin in depth, we must familiarize ourselves with the actual sounds we
will be dealing with. The most efficient way to do this is through knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

CHAPTER ONE Introduction to Diction

Introduction to the International


Phonetic Alphabet
All spoken languages are made up of sounds. Most languages have unphonetic characteristics, that is, the words are not pronounced the way they are spelled. This is especially
true of English. For example, the words, "rough," "dough," and "through" are all spelled
with the same vowel combination but are pronounced with three different vowel sounds.
This poem sums up just how difficult English can be to learn and pronounce!
When the English tongue we speak,
Why is break not rhymed with freak?
Will you tell me why it's true
We say sew but likewise few;
And the maker of a verse
Cannot cap his horse with worse ?
Beard sounds not the same as heard;
Cord is different from word.
Cow is cow but low is low;

Shoe is never rhymed with foe.


Think of hose and dose and lose;
And think of goose and yet of choose.
Think of comb and tomb and bomb;
Doll and roll and home and some;
And since pay is rhymed with say,
Why not paid with said, I pray?
We have blood and food and good;
Mould is not pronounced like could.
Wherefore done but gone and lone ?
Is there any reason known?
And, in short, it seems to me
Sounds and letters disagree.
(Anonymous, "Our Queer Language")

The International Phonetic Alphabet, known as the IPA, is a pronouncing alphabet that
indicates the exact sounds of all languages regardless of their spelling. It was devised in
1888 by a group of European scientists and linguists.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

1. It is made up of conventional letters from the Roman alphabet plus some new
symbols.
2. Each letter of the alphabet equals one sound and always the same sound.
3. All letters are enclosed in brackets [ ] to distinguish them from normal language
spellings.
4. The IPA, or the International Phonetic Alphabet, is a key to all languages and is
therefore a perfect tool for singers who must be able to switch easily back and
forth between the pronunciations of several languages. For example, the same [u]
"oo" vowel sound in the words "food," "jewel," and "wound" is the same sound
as in the words "ruhe" in German, "luce" in Italian, and "douce" in French.
5. Here is a vowel comparison for English, German, Italian, and French. All four
languages use the Roman alphabet and have the same five vowel letters: "a," "e,"
"i," "o," "u." However, the same five vowel letters represent a different number of
vowel sounds in each language:
Italian has 7 vowels using these letters.
German has 14 vowels, including unlauts and open and closed vowels.
French has 14 vowels, including nasals and mixed vowels.
English has 16 vowels, including diphthongs.

How to Use This Book


This book focuses on three different dialects: American Standard (AS), Received Pronunciation (RP), and Mid-Atlantic (MA) pronunciation. You may choose to work with AS
at the beginning of the book and continue straight on through, or start directly with RP or
MA found at the end of the book. For the purpose of clarity, these three dialects have been
dealt with separately throughout the book. Although the book begins with American Standard pronunciation, it is not necessary to focus on this pronunciation first. The chapters in
the middle of this text, chapters 2 through 13, focus on the production of consonants and
vowels and are applicable to all three dialects. The treatment of the text within the context
of the musical setting for expression and musicality again applies to all three pronunciations. The specifics of British Received Pronunciation and Mid-Atlantic pronunciation are
found in chapters 14 and 15 at the end of the book.
If you are a British or British Commonwealth speaker, you may want to familiarize
yourself first with the International Phonetic Alphabet as it applies to the British Received
Pronunciation. It is found in chapter 14 on page 208. Once you have gone through chap-

CHAPTER ONE Introduction to Diction

ter 14, continue on with chapter 2. Chapters 2 through 13 will contain applications and
texts for both American and British English. Throughout all the chapters, American texts
are treated in American Standard and the British texts are treated in Received Pronunciation and Mid-Atlantic pronunciation.
If you are a North American English speaker, just continue on in chapter 1 to learn the
IPA as it applies to American English speech sounds. Chapters 2-13 will contain applications and texts for both American and British English. The American texts are treated in
American Standard pronunciation and the British texts are treated in Received Pronunciation and Mid-Atlantic pronunciation.
An Exercise Guide with phonetic transcriptions and applications for all the exercises
and drills can be found on the companion website.

IT'S DECISION TIME!!


FOR

IPA for American English

IPA for British English

Continue below

Go to page 208

On to the IPA .. . !!

The International Phonetic Alphabet for


American English
Consonants
The following symbols are identical to the letters of our English (Roman) alphabet:

[b], [d], [f], [g], [h], [k], [1], [m], [n], [p], [s], [t], [v], [w], [z]

The symbols below are new symbols added because no corresponding symbols exist
in the Roman alphabet:
Symbol

Key Words

[rj]

(ng)

in

sing, think

[6]

(th)

in

thin, thirst

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Symbol

Key Words
(th)
(hw)

in

thine, this

in

whisper, when

in

y_ou, y_es

(sh)

in

she, sure

(ch)

in

choose, church

in

vision, 'azure*

in

George, joy

in

red, remember, every (the burred r)

Vowels
Symbol

Key Words

(ah)

in

father, hot

(eh)

in

wed, many, bury

(ih)
(ee)

in

hit, been, busy

in

me, chief, feat, receive

(ee)

in

pretty_, lovely_

in

cat, marry, ask, charity

in

too, wound, blue, juice

in

view, beautiful, usual, tune

in

book, bosom, cushion, full

(oo)

(oh)
(aw)
(er)

in

obey, desolate, melody (unstressed syllables only)

in

awful, call, daughter, sought

in

learn, burn, rehearse, journey (stressed syllables only)

(er)

in

father, doctor, vulgar, elixir (unstressed syllables only)

(uh)
(uh)

in

hum, blood, trouble, judge (stressed syllables)

in

sofa, heaven, nation, joyous (unstressed syllables)

* See alternate pronunciation and stress pattern in RP.


** The use of rolled [R] and flipped R's [r] is found in the British RP and Mid-Atlantic dialects. They
should not be used in American Standard pronunciation.
t

[3-] and [a--] are the r-colored vowels characteristic of American Standard pronunciation, AS.

CHAPTER ONE Introduction to Diction

Diphthongs
Symbol

Key Words
in

night, buy, sky_

in

day, break, reign

in

boy, voice, toil

in

no, slow, reproach

in

now, about, doubt

in

air, care, there

in

ear, dear, here, tier

in

pour, four, soar, o'er

in

sure, tour, poor

in

are, heart, garden

Triphthongs
Symbol

Key Words
in

fire, choir, admire

in

our, flower, tower

Listed below are some frequently used words that are transcribed into the International
Phonetic Alphabet; American Standard pronunciations are listed.
sing

song

singer

word

would

wonder

walk

war

whisper

jaw
church

judge

joyous

choose

children

this

thou

thine

bear

beard

burden

dawn

double

darkness

new

nuisance

numerous

Now give these exercises a try. (Note that the phonetic characters in exercises and text
throughout the book are in different fonts and some appear slightly different from each
other in the two fonts.)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

EXERCISES
IPA Drill
1. Change the following words in IPA symbols into English spellings:

2. Change the following English words into corresponding IPA symbols:


charm

zephyr

pensive

earth

flood

anoint

CHAPTER ONE Introduction to Diction

bought

vision

winter

once

hatch

giant

absurd

year

passion

enough

usage

difficult

younger

languish

beautiful

pronounce

worthy

technical

3. Write your name in IPA symbols


4. Find a short paragraph from a newspaper or magazine and transcribe it into
phonetics.

5. Change the following texts in IPA into English spellings:


American Standard pronunciation:

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

2.

CHAPTER TWO
Communicating the Thought

Through my years of working with singers, I have found that the singing of exact vowels
and correct pronunciation is of the utmost importance; however, in order to communicate
the text to the audience, of even greater importance is the correct application of the natural stress and inflection patterns of the English language. If you have had the experience
of trying to understand a person speaking to you with a thick foreign accent, you have
probably dealt with the difficulties about to be described. If a non-native English speaker
speaks to us and most of the grammatically stressed words are properly emphasized, we
can understand them. However, if they speak with almost exact vowels but their "emPHAsis is on the wrong syLLAble," we have to re-translate, putting the syllabic accents
right before we comprehend what they are saying. The adherence to the correct stress and
inflection patterns of English, both syllabically within the words and within phrases,
seems to be primary to language clarity and communication. For this reason, I will discuss appropriate stress first.

Communication through
Appropriate Stress
For native English speakers, it is second nature to communicate clearly and effectively in
conversational speech. Unless we mumble or drop the ends of our phrases, usually we can
be understood. Because it is second nature to us, we probably have never analyzed just how
we communicate through our language. If we hope to successfully transfer our abilities in

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spoken English to sung English, we need to take the time to understand how we communicate, listen to, and process text.
The study and understanding of the innate cadence or inflection patterns of the English
language is imperative for effective lyric communication. Rarely as listeners do we listen
to every word that a speaker is saying. Instead, we instinctively listen for key words and
phrases in order to exact the meaning of the person's speech.
Our ears are so tuned to listening for the stressed syllables within a single word as well
as the stressed words within a phrase that if the syllabic or phrasal stress is incorrect, we
often have to re-process the words, mentally adding the correct stresses in order to comprehend the meaning. When a person with a thick foreign accent speaks, if the cadence or
stress patterns are correct, we will still easily understand him regardless of his inaccurate
vowels or consonants. However, if the vowels and consonants are accurate but the stress
and inflection are wrong, it will be very difficult for us to comprehend.
Let's analyze the stress patterns of English.

Syllabic Stress within Words


The weak and strong pulses within words in English are an integral part of the language.
When all the syllables are stressed (or conversely, unstressed) within a word, even if the
pronunciation is precise, the words are often not understood. A syllable can be an entire
word (sing) or a subdivision of a word with a single vowel sound (re-hearse). The listener
does not listen to individual speech sounds but rather recognizes the syllabic stress within
a word.
Stress can occur in all positions in English words. There can always be found a primary stress, sometimes a secondary stress also, and occasionally a word will contain a
double primary stress. Primary stress is indicated by an accent mark above and before the
stressed syllable ('), while secondary stress is indicated by an accent mark before and
below the syllable (,).
Primary Stress

Primary + Secondary Stress

Double Stress

'mu-sic

,ad-ver-'tise-ment (AS)

'sun-'rise

re-'mem-ber

,re-cog-'ni-tion

'rose-'bud

in-'flec-tion

,cha-rac-te-'ris-tic

'diph-'thong

In general, the majority of words have only one primary stress. The predominance of
a weak/strong stress pattern within English words is what makes English unique among
the lyric languages.

CHAPTER TWO Communicating the Thought

The Unstressed Neutral Vowel


In order to energize the strongly accented syllables with sufficient stress, strength must be
taken away from weak syllables. We do this by shortening and neutralizing the weak syllables by the use of the [9] schwa vowel. For example, with the word "problem," we would
pronounce the second syllable with a [9] vowel [piabtam] in AS or [paobbm] in RP rather
than with an [e] vowel [pja/oblem]. If it were pronounced like the second version, "problem" would sound to our ears like a double stressed word and sound like the German "kein
pro'blem" rather than English.
This neutralizing of the weak vowel does not occur in the Romance languages and appears only in a limited fashion in German with the neutral schwa occurring in weak final
syllables.
EXAMPLES

English

Italian

'aria

'aria [aria]

a'merican

a'merican

Though unstressed, the Italian vowels do not become weaker and neutralized. The
Italian vowels remain pure and full while the English vowels shift to the reduced schwa
vowel to accommodate the stressed syllable.

RULE The unstressed syllables n English should be pronounced with a neutral


schwa [0] vowel or one of the possible substitutions

EXAMPLES

heaven
motion
melody

or possible
or possible
or possible

for schwa.
for schwa.
for schwa.

In other words, as singers we have several vowels choices when singing the unstressed
syllables of English.

DIAGRAM 2.1

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

In many instances, the [a] vowel may seem like too dark or dull a vowel color for certain syllables. In this case, [i], [u], [e], or [o] may be substituted. The bottom line is tha
it must sound natural and normal.

RULE When there are two adjacent unstressed syllables in a word, the use of a
[a] vowel as well as one of the substitute vowels is preferable to two adjacent [a]
vowels.

For example, beautiful, [bjutiful] or [bjutifal], when sustained with any duration, would
command the listener's attention more than [bjutafal] because of the variety of adjacent
vowel sounds.
The choice of the substitute vowel will depend on the individual preference of the
artist and the vocal ease of certain vowels in specific ranges. For example, in the higher
tessitura, the more closed and rounded vowel substitutions [i] or [u] would perhaps be
easier to negotiate. No matter which schwa substitution you choose, remember that it must
sound normal to the listener's ear. If it sounds modified or distorted, it will only confuse
the listener and sabotage your efforts.

Tips for Vocal Ease

In the passaggio, try using [u] for the schwa substitute as in a word like "heav[u]n." The
lip rounding adds more head resonance and comfort. In the lower register, try using [i] or
[e] as a schwa substitute for more point and resonance.

Stress/Sense within the English Phrase


Similar to the strong/weak patterns of individual words in English, a strong/weak pattern
strongly exists within the English phrase or sentence. In order for the listener's ear to be
directed to the relevant ideas of a sentence or phrase, the strong word-types must be energized and highlighted. Without this highlighting, the phrase or sentence will make little
to no sense. In daily speech, native speakers respond almost instinctively to proper word
stress of a sentence or phrase in order to communicate their ideas. But, because the natu
ral speech rhythm is stretched and slowed down when English is set to music, singers cannot immediately transfer what they would instinctively in speech. A conscious grasp of
English grammatical structure is very helpful for the singer to understand how a listener
receives the ideas of his lyric text.

CHAPTER TWO Communicating the Thought

Telegram the Message!


Before the advent of email, people would send telegrams in emergencies. Telegrams were
charged by the number of words sent over the wire. So, it was important to be brief in
order to cut down on the cost. If we were to send a telegram home, we would have little
trouble determining the important words that must be sent in order to convey our message.
Rather than writing, "My flight from Rome has been canceled. I will be arriving in New
York Thursday at 4 p.m." we would send "FLIGHT CANCELED. ARRIVING NEW
YORK THURSDAY 4 P.M." We would choose just the words necessary to convey the
message and nothing more. Essentially, we would choose the strong word-types to convey our messagethe nouns, active verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. This same principle
needs to be used when "telegramming" our musical texts. For example:
Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid.
Fly away, fly away, breath,
I am slain by a fair, cruel maid.
(William Shakespeare,
Twelfth Night, act 2, scene 4)

In telegramming this text by Shakespeare, we would choose "Come death, cypress laid,
fly breath, slain maid" to transmit the thought. We have chosen the nouns and active verbs.
For greater depth of meaning, we might also include the adverbs "away" and perhaps the
adjectives "sad, fair, and cruel." Let's look at this in a more organized, coherent fashion.

The Hierarchy of Stress


The strong/weak word-types are listed below:
Stressed Words

Unstressed Words

Nouns

Articles (the, a, an)

Active Verbs

Prepositions (in, through)

Adjectives

Conjunctions (and, or, but)

Adverbs

Pronouns (me, I, he, she)

Negatives
Interrogative pronouns

Auxiliary/linking verbs

(who, what, where, when, why, how)

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HIERARCHY OF STRESS

DIAGRAM 2.2

There is hierarchy of stress among the list of stress word-types. The primary stress
should be placed on the nouns and the active verbs, with secondary stress placed on the
words that modify themthe adjectives, adverbs, and negatives.
Usually the articles, prepositions, conjunctions, and auxiliary/linking verbs are not
stressed. There will occasionally be exceptions to this rule. In the sentence, "John went
under not over the bridge," a comparison is made between the prepositions "under" and
"over." In this instance, these prepositions need to be stressed.
Pronouns, even if they function as the subject of the sentence, are usually not stressed.
Like the prepositions above, they should be stressed only when there is a comparison between them. For example: "/ went to class, YOU did not!"
Care should be taken not to inflate the modifiers over the words they modify. In the
Shakespeare text above, if the adjectives "fair" and "cruel" are stressed more than the noun
they modify"maid"then the listener is confused as to what is fair and cruel.
To serve as a memory aid, let's notate the hierarchy of stress by circling the primary
stress words and underlining the words with secondary stress.
(Come) away (come) away, (death/)
And in sad (cypress) let me be (TaidT)
(FlyJ away, (fly) away, (breath)
I am (slain) by a fair, cruel (maid)
The words that are (circled) are the nouns and the verbs. These transmit the thought
to the listener. They must be treated with great care and should always be stressed. The
words that are underlined are their modifiersthe adjectives, adverbs, interrogative pro-

CHAPTER TWO Communicating the Thought

nouns, and negativeswhich add greater depth to the transmitted thought. In order to
communicate with your listener, you must always stress the circled words, but you may
choose which of the underlined words you would like to stress.

To Be or Not To Be? The Question Is "Is the Verb


'to be' Stressed?"

RUii Do not stress any forms of the verb "to-be"- unless they are in the subjunc%

Wve mood or conditional tense. Only the subjunctive mood, which is contrary to
fact or the conditional tense should stressed. The verb "to be" is a weak, nonactive, intransitive verb form. Its modifiers, the predicate nominative or predicate
adjective that follow the vertv should receive primary stress.

Let's see how this applies to a line of poetry.


Is she (kind) as she is (fair?)
(William Shakespeare, "Who Is Sylvia?")
from Two Gentlemen of Verona, act 4, scene 2
The verb "is" does not need be stressed. Rather "kind" and "fair," the adjectives that
follow "is," should be stressed. They are predicate adjectives. They were adjectives but
now have become part of the verb or predicate and now function as predicate adjectives.
"Is" in essence, now functions as the auxiliary verb and therefore does not need to be
stressed.
For the grammarphobes, a short grammar review is found in the glossary! Let's try another example.
(Rose leaves) when the (rose) is (dead/)
Are (heaped) for the beloved's (bed;)
(Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Music When Soft Voices Die")
Here the forms to the verb "to be" ("is" and "are") do not need to be stressed. Like the
Shakespeare example above, the adjective "dead" takes on primary stress because it functions
as a predicate adjective and becomes part of the verb phrase. "Heaped" is passive tense and
receives primary stress because "are" in this case functions merely as an auxiliary verb.

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And for the brave of heart, let's try another example.


Flowers alone are chaste.
For their beauty is so brief. . . .
Years are their love,

and time's their thief.


(Benjamin Britten, "Lucretia's Aria"
from The Rape ofLucretid)
In the first two lines of "Lucretia's Aria," "chaste" and "brief1 function as predicate
adjectives. In the second two lines, "love" and "thief," which were already nouns, have become part of the verb and function as predicate nominatives (nominative = noun).

Pulsing the Phrase


English is a Germanic stop-language. It does not have an innate legato and words are often
punched when we want to emphasize them. To sing well in English, English must be
treated as though it were Italian; we must swell on the stressed vowel sounds rather than
punching them.

RULE On the stressed syllable of the stressed word types, swell on the vowel
sound and relax the sounds down into the body. This is called pulsing the phrase.

It should feel like you are sighing or moaning on these stressed syllables. Deepen the body
connection with the tone and use a full sound that relaxes down into the center of the body.
Pulsing the phrase refers to singing into and opening up the voice on the stressed syllables
of the stressed words. If the stressed syllables are pulsed and sung into, the important words
will be targeted vocally and musically for the listener. The unstressed syllables will be in balance when the stressed words and syllables are pulsed. The pulses are notated with an arrow:

Come away, come away, Death. And in sad cypress let me be laid.

Fly away, fly away, Breath. I am slain by a fair, cruel maid.

CHAPTER TWO Communicating the Thought

Imitate "The Count"!


For those of you who grew up watching Sesame Street, it helps to remember the speech
pattern of the Dracula character, "The Count," who taught all the children to count their
numbers. "The Count" had a thick Hungarian accent and would "SWEEEELL on the
Vowel Sounds"! Rather than punching at words like English speakers do, he spoke with
in a very "sing-songy" voice and would count "Ooooone! Twoooooo! ThRRRRreeeeeee!
Ha! Ha! Ha!"
Though trying to imitate "The Count" may seem ridiculous, it can be a helpful aid

to feel what it is like to swell on the stressed vowel. English speakers need to be able to
"override" the habit of punching, which is inherent in English speech patterns. Actually,
a good intermediate step before singing a text is to intone the text and swell on the stressed
vowels. Then try to transfer the sensation of "the swell" or "the pulse" into your singing.

Now let's apply this technique to the Roger Quilter setting of "Come away, Death."
Find a copy of the music and do the following:
1. First say the words in rhythm. Then intone them in rhythm.
2. Now do it again and remember to imitate "The Count"!
(It helps to say "Ha! Ha! Ha!" after each phrase.)
3. Now try singing the musical phrases and make sure to swell on, not punch, the
stressed vowel sounds.

Stress versus Interpretation


The stress/inflection patterns of English are the groundwork for artistic interpretation,
which is something that needs to be very personal and individual for each singer. For basic
communication, the nouns and active verbs must be stressed. After that, it is the individual artist's personal choice as to which of the modifiers he or she would like to emphasize.
In the example above, a singer might choose to emphasize the fairness rather than the cruelty of the maid or vice versa, or choose to stress neither of the adjectives. This is their
artistic license and the element of an artistic performance that makes it interesting and
unique.

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Now that we know what ought to be stressed, how do we give stress vocally with the
musical phrase? By putting an overlay of the stress and inflection pattern upon every
musical text setting that we sing. In other words, all musical and vocal stresses must correspond with the stress of the text. This will be dealt with in chapter 13 on expressive
singing.
Before we begin to tackle the individual speech sounds of English, it is necessary to
look at one more aspect of the language: how the division of syllables is affected when the
words are sung rather than spoken.

The Division of Syllables


The conventional division of words into syllables in most dictionaries, or often in musical scores, does not always coincide with the division of syllables needed in song for
clarity and vocal legato. In print, words are divided structurally. This will be dealt with in
depth as we work with the specific consonants. But for now, in singing, consonants are
shifted over to begin the next syllable.
For example, the word "diction" would be divided in the dictionary as "dic-tion." For
singing, we would divide it "di-ction." This is done in order to allow the singer more time
to sing and swell on the stressed vowel sound.
By shifting the consonants over to begin the next syllable, more vocal time can be
allowed to elongate the vowels and thereby avoid the choppiness that is characteristic of
spoken English. It is often this choppiness or lack of inherent legato in the English language that causes many singers to feel more vocal tension while singing in English than
while singing in any of the Romance languages.
EXAMPLES

Syllables in Print

Treatment in Song

A-mer-i-can

A-me-ri-can

char-i-ty

cha-ri-ty

good-will

goo-dwill

dif-fer-ence

di-ffe-rence

wis-dom

wi-sdom

ex-cel-lent

e-xce-llent

heart-break

hear-tbreak

in-no-cent

i-nno-cent

doubt-ful

dou-btful

CHAPTER TWO Communicating the Thought

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe the following words into the IPA, divide them syllabically for singing
legato, and indicate the stress:
repertoire

poverty

sensitivity

dazzled

withdraw

theater

interest

candidate

important

dictionary

extremes

characters

presumptuous

approval

2. Transcribe the following text into the IPA and indicate the stressed word-types by
circling the nouns and verbs, and underlining their modifiers:
In the scented bud of the morning O,
When the windy grass went rippling far!
I saw my dear one walking slow
In the field where the daisies are.
We did not laugh and we did not speak,
As we wandered happ'ly to and fro,
I kissed my dear on either cheek,
In the bud of the morning O!
A lark sang up, from the breezy land;
A lark sang down, from a cloud afar;
As she and I went hand in hand,
In the field where the daisies are.
(James Stephens / Samuel Barber, "The Daisies")

3. Get a copy of Barber's song "The Daisies." Practice intoning and swelling on
the stressed syllables of the words. See if you can maintain the swell when you
sing it.

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4. Transcribe the following texts into I PA* and indicate the stressed words by circling
the nouns and verbs and underlining the modifiers:
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.
(Lord Byron, "She Walks in Beauty")

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?


Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's hanging course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

* Ideally these two British poems should be transcribed into RP or Mid-Atlantic. However, for
the purpose of focusing on the grammatically stressed words, use whichever dialect is most familiar to you.

CHAPTER TWO Communicating the Thought

Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,


When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18)

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CHAPTER THREE
Introduction to Vowels

Preparation for Vowel Production


Before we begin our work on producing specific vowels correctly, we must concern ourselves with body awareness and relaxation. Throughout the day, many develop tensions that
must be released. Let's concentrate on isolated areas of the body. The entire body works
better when it is aligned properly. The muscles surrounding the articulatorsthe jaw, lips,
tongue, teeth, lips, soft palate, and hard palatemust not be tense. The diaphragm must
be soft and pliable. Here are some exercises to release the tension in these areas.
1. Alignment of Spine: Concentrate on sitting or standing tall, with both feet on
the floor and knees unlocked. Feel the neck elongated upward. When the head is
aligned on the vertebrae of the neck, the jaw will drop easily and the tongue
will function efficiently.
2. Facial Massage: Massage the hollows of the cheeks, upper lip, lower lip, temples
and forehead.
3. Tongue/Neck Massage: Massage the tendons on the side of neck, walking your
fingers upward toward your jaw. Walk your fingers along the lower jawbone toward the chin. The soft muscle under the chin is the base of the tongue. Push up
gently with your thumbs, softening this muscle if it is tight.
4. Lip Buzz: Blow air lightly through your closed lips and let them flap on the air.
5. Tongue Stretch: Stick your tongue out as far as is comfortable. Point your
tongue toward your left cheek, right cheek, chin and nose. Repeat this several
times.

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6. Cud Chew: Chew slowly and deliberately, moving your tongue all around your
mouth. Pause to count "one" in an exaggerated fashion and continue chewing as
you count to ten. When you are finished, the tip of the tongue should rest easily
against the inside of the lower front teeth. The jaw should feel like it is hanging
lower and is more released. The facial muscles should feel more pliable.
7. Neck Stretches: Tilt your head slightly forward, diagonally forward, and to
the sides, holding in each for ten seconds. Be careful not to push head down
in these positions, but rather let it hang from its own weight.
8. Shoulder Rolls: Roll shoulders one at a time forward and backward ten times
each. Roll both shoulders together ten times forward and ten times backward.
9. Diaphragm Massage: Massage the diaphragm muscle with your fist in a circular
motion. It is relaxed when it is soft enough that you press your fingers in under
your rib cage to your second knuckle. Many hold tensions there. When one is
angry, nervous, upset or tense, our diaphragm muscle is usually very rigid.
10. Puff Exercise: Take a full breath, purse your lips, and exhale the air with five
puffs. The diaphragm should remain relaxed while you tuck in slightly for each
puff.
11. Soft Palate Stretch: Encourage yourself to yawn several times. Lift and lower
the soft palate by alternating the sounds [rj] and [a].
Hopefully by now the articulators and the muscles directly involved with producing
sound feel relaxed and activated. We need to be in a state of active relaxation. Inactive,
flaccid muscles do not respond well to our brain impulses and tense muscles cannot respond well either.
This is the state of relaxation we need before beginning the vowel drill work. When
the tongue is relaxed, the tip stays easily in contact with the lower front teeth, the front
and back of the tongue will adjust easily to the required position of the specific vowels.
Also, the throat will remain open since it is not crowded by a bulky, tense tongue.
These exercises should be included in your vocal warm-up routine everyday. With
your diaphragm, shoulders, neck, facial muscles, and the articulators in a state of active
relaxation, your singing and speaking voice will respond much quicker to your vocal
warm-up exercises.
Although the native English speaker can make most of the tongue adjustments for various vowels almost automatically, it is often with stress or tension. It is hoped that studying the detailed analysis of the production of each vowel will help each singer to discover
any problems with production that they individually carry over from their speech. The
detailed vowel descriptions should also be very helpful to the non-native English singer
who is perhaps approaching the study of English diction for the first time.

CHAPTER THREE Introduction to Vowels

The Organs of Speech


Before we move on to vowel production, let's discuss some specifics about the articulators that we have been working with.

FIGURE 3.1
1 Lips (Labia)
2 Teeth (Denies)
3 Gum Ridge (Alveolar Ridge)
4 Hard Palate
5 Soft Palate (Velum)
6 Uvula
a. relaxed
b. raised
7 Nasal Passage
8 Mouth (Oral Passage)
9 Tongue (Lingua)
10 Tip of the Tongue
11 Blade of the Tongue
12 Front of the Tongue
13 Middle of the Tongue
14 Back of the Tongue
15 Throat (Pharynx)
16 Epiglottis
17 Voice Box (Larynx)
18 Vocal Folds and Glottis
19 Wind Pipe (Trachea)
20 Food Passage or Gullet (Esophagus)

What Are the Essential Articulators?


They are:

The jaw
The lips
The teeth
The tongue
The hard palate
The soft palate

What Do the Articulators Do?


The articulators move in very precise coordination to form the consonants and vowel
sounds that we speak and sing.

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How Do They Work?


The Jaw

The jaw closes by contracting the jaw muscles. When you release the jaw muscles, the jaw
will drop open. You do not need to pull the jaw open; gravity will do the work for you.
The Lips
The upper and lower lips are muscles that can work together to form a smile, a frown, a
pucker, a whistle position, or work independently.
The Teeth
The teeth are connected to the jaw and are positioned closer or further apart by opening
or closing the jaw.
The Tongue
The tongue is a flexible muscle that can be moved in many ways. The front can be lifted
to touch the upper gum ridge or the teeth. The middle can be arched to bring it closer to
the hard palate. The back can lift up closer to the soft palate. The entire tongue can move
forward out of the mouth or can be drawn back and bunched in the back of the mouth. The
tongue is a very long muscle and is problematic for many singers. The base of the tongue
actually attaches just above the larynx or voice box, and if it is tense, it can distort the
vocal quality.
The Hard Palate
The hard palate, or roof of the mouth, is actually bone cartilage and cannot be moved.
The Soft Palate
The soft palate is soft muscle tissue that is attached to the back of the hard palate. It can
be raised and lowered to open or close off the passage from the throat into the nasal space.
As children, we learned to use our speech articulators by experimenting and imitating
the speech of the people around us. It took several years to learn how to talk. We imitated
our parents and picked up both their good speech habits and often also their tensions. As
we become aware of the specific control we have over the articulators, we will be able to
release negative tensions and produce more optimal vocal sounds.
Now let's look briefly at an overview of how the English vowels are produced.

CHAPTER THREE Introduction to Vowels

The Vowel Chart

DIAGRAM 3.1

The Fronting Vowels:


These require the fronting of the tongue. The middle of the tongue slides forward and rises
toward the hard palate. The tip of the tongue should be in contact with the lower front
teeth. The vowel [i] has the highest tongue arch; [ae] has the most relaxed arching of the
tongue. Lips are spread.

The Backing Vowels:


The arch of the tongue is raised toward the soft palate; the tip of the tongue touches the
lower front teeth. Lips are rounded. The vowel [u] has the highest tongue arch; [D], the
lowest.

[a]
The tongue is in the lowest positionneither front nor back. The tongue is still slightly
arched but in a relaxed, neutral position. Lips are relaxed and neutral.

The Mixed Vowels:


The mixed vowels have characteristics of both the fronting and backing vowels. They require the tongue position of one of the fronting vowels plus the lip position of the backing vowels. These will be described in depth later on.

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A Word of Caution
The backing of the tongue in no way refers to pulling the tongue backward and bunching
it in the throat. It refers to the forward arching of the tongue that, in relation to the soft
palate, is slightly further in "back" of the hard palate. In any case, the tongue should always be felt in contact with the lower front teeth.

Tips for Vocal Ease


In general, when singing in the upper register or the passaggio, try shifting the vowel up
toward the next closed vowel on the vowel chart for more vocal comfort.
For difficulty in the passaggio with:
Substitutions

Examples

try [e]

for "man" > sing m[e]n

try [e] without second vowel

for "heaven" > sing h[e]ven

in diphthong
for "body" > sing b[o]dy
for "exalted" >sing exh[o]lted
For [i] and [i], try using the umlauted or mixed vowels from French or German.
[i]

try [yj

for "dream" -sing dr[y]m

[i]

try [Y]

for "hill" > sing h[v]ll

A Word of Caution
If a vowel is modified or substituted for greater vocal ease, it must be done in such a way
that the vowel change is not discernible to the listener. The listener needs to hear real
vowel sounds and should not have to struggle with a text sung in "singerese." Use the
modifications only in the passaggio or the extreme ranges of the registers. In the middle
range, always use precise and correct vowels.
More suggestions for these vowel modifications can be found in the chapters for the
specific vowel sounds.

Eliminating Glottal Attacks


Before we speak or sing these vowels, let's discuss the way they should be initiated for
optimal vocal health. The initiation of a vowel is called an attack or an onset. In other

CHAPTER THREE Introduction to Vowels

words, the attack or onset is the way in which the vowel is started in your throat and
mouth.

RULE AH vowels should be initiated with breath pulses or breath lifts, rather
than by glottal attacks.

When glottal attacks occur, the breath below the opening of the vocal folds does not escape evenly because of tension at the vocal folds. Most English speakers initiate all words
beginning with a vowel with a glottal attack. To isolate the feeling of the tension of the
glottal attack, bring the vocal folds together as though beginning to cough. Habitual use
of harsh glottal attacks may lead to severe vocal problems. In singing, the glottal attack
should be used rarely and purposefully with great caution.
In order to give stress to key words that begin with vowel sounds, breath lifts may be
used to effectively separate the stressed word from the word that precedes it. A breath lift
requires a tuck in at the diaphragm that results in the release of a small jet of air helping
to initiate the separated vowel. One way to easily find the sensation of the breath lift is to
insert the [h] consonant before initial vowels. For example, "earth" would be sounded as
"h-earth."
Of course, starting vowels with a breathy [h] sound is not the ultimate goal. But we do
want to initiate vowels with the sensation of the release of breath that accompanies the
beginning of phonation. For now, however, we need to insert the [h] in order to break the
ingrained habit of harsh glottal attacks.

RULE Break the legato line and use a breath lift only when a primary stressed
word begins with a vowel. Do not break the legato line with a breath lift on unstressed words, such as prepositions, conjunctions or pronouns that begin with a
vowel.

EXAMPLES

Break:

My [']only hope

Connect:

Getting > and spending we lay waste > our powers

Her languid ['jeyes

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Modera

As they low-ered the bright

'awn - ing

At the

'out- door ca -

fe

("Early in the Morning," Ned Rorem)

EXERCISE DRILLS FOR GLOTTAL ATTACK ELIMINATION


1. Count slowly to twenty. Concentrate on beginning number 8 and number 18
with breath lifts rather than glottal attacks.
2. Read across the columns, adding a glottal attack [?] to the first column and an [h]
to the words in the second column. Then try to duplicate the sensation of vocal
relaxation in the third column, silencing the [h] and instead using a breath lift ['].
? aim

^ aim

'aim

? owe

[ti] OWe

'owe

? unto

^ unto

'unto

?out

^ out

'out

?eye

[h] gyg

'eye

? under

[h]

under

'under

? awful

w awful

'awful

? always

[h]

'always

always

[?] = glottal attack


['] = breath lift

EASY ONSET EXERCISES


In the field of speech therapy, glottal attacks are referred to as hard onsets. In other
words, when you start a vowel with a glottal attack you have a hard onset of the vowel.
If you start a vowel on the impulse or lift of the breath, you have an easy onset of the
vowel.
Practice using easy onsets on the stressed words. Final consonants may be shifted over
to an unstressed vowel to avoid glottals on words that are unstressed.

CHAPTER THREE Introduction to Vowels

'Eat_an 'apple 'every day.

'Oliver^and 'Audrey were 'unruly.

'Enjoy the 'opera!

'It was_an 'awful 'accident.

Go 'outside^and smell the 'orchids.

Get 'out^of my sight!

'Under 'eye 'ointments^are 'oily.

'Eggs with 'olives taste 'awful.

' Honesty^and 'integrity _are 'admirable.

'An 'Astin Martin^or^a Bentley


would be 'awfully nice!

Determining Your Optimum Pitch


Another very harmful speech habit a lot of singers have is speaking too far above or below
their optimum pitch. The great American baritone Jerome Hines wrote about vocal fatigue
in his book, Great Singers on Great Singing. He found that his own vocal fatigue was not
from his opera performances but from speaking improperly. His work with a speech therapist led him to interview his colleagues and discuss their personal approach to classical
vocal technique.
Singers are trained ideally to have a three-octave range of optimum pitches when they
sing. But when they speak, there is a fairly narrow optimum pitch range that is best for
their speaking voice. An optimum pitch is a pitch at which the speaker is most physically
comfortable and the voice resonates and projects most easily.
Most of us learned to speak by imitating our parents and caregivers. It is not a coincidence that when visiting our childhood home, we answer our parent's telephones and the
person on the other end exclaims, "Oh, you sound just like your Father/Mother!" Unfortunately, imitating our parents does not mean that we are speaking in the pitch range that
is best for our own voices.
Part of it is also cultural influence. Girls are often encouraged to sound "ladylike" and
have soft, high-pitched voices; boys are encouraged to sound "masculine" and macho.
Often classically trained singers are encouraged to speak in their singing range rather
than their optimum speaking range. I call it the '"Hi, I'm a tenor' syndrome." So, how do
you find where your optimum pitch for speaking is? Gather around the piano with some
friends or colleagues and listen to each other speak.
Ladies:
Start out at middle C. At medium volume repeat a phrase like "Hi! How are you?" on
several pitches. Make sure you are speaking on these pitches and not singing on them.
First try middle C, then go up or down by half steps. Listeners, listen for the pitch that
sounds the most resonant and brings out the most unique quality to their speaking voice.
For most sopranos, the optimum pitch is somewhere between B-flat and D. For a high

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coloratura, it might be an E. For most mezzos, the optimum pitch range is often between
middle A-flat and C. There may be one or two pitches that seem correct. After a week or
so of using the voice in that range, the speaker will settle in on the one that seems most
natural and comfortable.
Gentlemen:
Start your search around the D below Middle C. Again, repeat a phrase like "Hi, how are
you?" on several pitches. Remember to speak on the pitches; don't sing on them. Go up
and down by half step and listen to the feedback of your listeners. When the voice seems
to resonate naturally and the partials seem to come into the vocal color, then you are close
to the optimum pitch. For tenors, the range is often somewhere between D and F. For
baritones, the range is often between B and D. For basses, A and C. Again, if it is a toss
up between two notes one half step apart, give it a week and see which one ends up being
the best fit for you.

Speaking at Your Optimum Pitch Range


Once you have determined approximately what is your optimum pitch, use a short memorized text to practice with. It could be a speech or prayer or anything that you have by
rote memory. Play your optimum pitch on the piano and start every phrase of your memorized text on that pitch. Try to stay within an interval of a third on either side of your determined optimum pitch. That way, when you naturally inflect your voice you will stay only
a note or two above or below it. Many singers make the mistake of trying to speak with a
wide range. The optimum pitch range is only the range of a perfect fifth or a sixth.
If you begin using your optimum pitch range regularly, you will find that you will have
less vocal fatigue and that you will not have to push your voice to be heard. It is especially
important to use it when speaking on stage or in the midst of a crowd.

Here are some more exercises to work with eliminating glottal attacks while using your
optimum pitch range.

1. Go through the vowels of the Vowel Chart on page 35 in order. Initiate each
vowel with a breath lift. Be careful not to use glottal attacks.
EXAMPLES

Tongue vowels:
Lip vowels:
Mixed vowels:

Now go through all the same vowels above, instead alternating between [m] and a
breath lift ['] before each vowel. Concentrate on staying near your optimum pitch.

CHAPTER THREE Introduction to Vowels

EXAMPLES

2. Try alternating between breath lifts and glottal attacks on Lady MacBeth's desperate cry in her sleepwalking scene:
'Out damn'd spot! 'Out I say! vs. ?Out darnn'd spot! ?Out I say!
Lines this dramatic are much more effective with glottal attacks. This is an example where a breath lift would not be expressive enough. In singing, try to use
glottal attacks only when the dramatic intensity requires it. Otherwise, always
substitute breath lifts to maintain healthier vocalism.
3. Look for five examples in your own repertoire where breath lifts could be substituted for glottal attacks on stressed word-types beginning with a vowel.
4. Prepare the following poem for dramatic reading. Indicate the stressed wordtypes. Practice initiating the stressed words that begin with vowels with breath
lifts. (Note that the breath lifts on the stressed words have been indicated. The
unstressed words should not have glottal attacks.)
Thus Dullness, the safe 'opiate_of the mind,
The last kind refuge weary Wit can find,
Fit for 'all stations, andjn 'each content,
Is satisfied, secure, and 'innocent.
No painsjt takes, and no offencejt gives:
'Unfeared, 'unhated, 'undisturbedJt lives.
And if 'each writing 'author's best pretence
Be but to teach the 'ignorant more sense,
Then Dullness was the cause they wrote before,
As 'tis at last the cause they write no more,
So Wit, which most to scorn Jt does pretend,
With Dullness first began, in Dullness last must 'end.
(Alexander Pope, "On Dullness")

Breath lifts were added before each of the stressed words that begin with a vowel. All
unstressed words that begin with vowels should be initiated with breath lifts if they are
at the beginning of a line, as is the natural onset in a healthy singing technique. Unstressed vowels that begin words in the middle of the line should be connected with a
liaison (_) to the word preceding them.

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CHAPTER FOUR
The Fronting Vowels

[i] Production
The international vowel sound [i], also found in German, Italian, and French, is the highest and most forward of the English vowels. It is found in words such as: he, she, need,
peace, scene, people, feat, and receive. The vowel [i] occurs only in stressed syllables.

FIGURE 4.1 [i]

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Action
Tongue

tip on lower front teeth


front of tongue arched forward toward hard palate
sides of tongue touching upper molars

Jaw

lower jaw released, loose


no teeth clenching
drop as if yawning
teeth most closed together but must practice producing [i]
with teeth further apart for passaggio and high notes

Lips/Facial Muscles

lips horizontal, soft, relaxed


energize cheek muscles surrounding lips and cheek bone area

Pitfalls to Avoid
No glottal attacks.
No "on-off glides." For example, "steal"- stea-(uh)-!, which occurs when [1] is
anticipated.
Be careful not to tense throat muscles, flatten tongue, or grin by pulling lips back at
corners of the mouth.
Avoid nasality when [i] is adjacent to [m] and [n].

Tips for Vocal Ease


In the passaggio or the extremes of the register, try modifying [i] to the umlauted or mixed
vowel [y] for greater vocal ease and more point and focus on the lower notes.

[y]

Wil - low,

if

he

once

should

be

re

turn

- ing

("Willow Song" from The Ballad of Baby Doe, Douglas Moore)

The Lowered [i] Vowel


In Standard American Speech for the Stage and British Received, there is a lowered [i]
vowel used for final unstressed "y" endings as in the words "pretty" and "only." This sound

CHAPTER FOUR The Fronting Vowels

is halfway between [i] and [i]. The [i] symbol is used in the IPA for an unstressed mixed
vowel. It was chosen in this book because it is the best visual reminder to de-intensify an
unstressed final "y" ending.

RULE Final unstressed "y" and its plural("-les" endings) should always be sung
as[i].

EXAMPLES

daisy [deizi]

daisies [deiztz]

beauty [bjuti]

beauties [bjutiz]

duty [djuti]

duties [djuttz]

carry [kaejt]

carries [kaejtz]

EXERCISES
1. Practice intoning and singing the following words:

me

read

deceive*

achieve

he

weep

believe*

pleasing

she

creed

release*

people

we

queen

relieve*

eagles

seal**

shield**

reveal**

yield**

2. Transcribe the following words into IPA observing the rules above:
merrily

mysteries

joyfully

only

very

visionaries

sunny

journey

melodies

3. Practice examples from vocal texts:


He shall speak peace unto the heathen.
(C. F. Handel, Messiah)

The unstressed prefixes in the third column above should be pronounced with [i] (rule, p. 48).
** Avoid off-glides with the letter I.

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0 sleep, why dost thou leave me?


(G. F. Handel, Semele)
Over the ripening peach

Buzzes the bee


Splash on the billowy beach
Tumbles the sea
But the peach
And the beach
They are each
Nothing to me!
(W. S. Gilbert, Ruddigore)
4. Transcribe the following text and intone/sing it:
1 shall find for you shells and stars,
I shall swim for you river and sea.
Sleep, my love, sleep for me,
My sleep is old.
I shall feed for you lamb and dove.
I shall buy for you sugar and bread.
Sleep, my love, sleep for me
My sleep is dead.
Rain will fall but Baby won't know,
He laughs alone in orchards of gold.
Tears will fall but Baby won't know,
His laughter is blind.
Sleep, my love, for sleep is kind.
Sleep is kind when sleep is young.
Sleep for me, sleep for me.
I shall build for you planes and boats.
I shall catch for you cricket and bee.
Let the old ones watch your sleep.
Only death will watch the old.
Sleep.
(Gian Carlo Menotti, "Lullaby" from The Consuf)

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CHAPTER FOUR The Fronting Vowels

[i] Production

FIGURE 4.2 [i]

The international vowel sound [i] is also found in German, but not in Italian or French. It
is found in both stressed and unstressed syllables.
Compared to [i], the [i] vowel sound is generally shorter in duration. It is found in
stressed positions in words such as: it, been,* build, women, sing, think. It can be found
in unstressed positions such as: beautiful, individual, and all "ing" endings such as:
singing, going, and loving. It is also frequently used as a substitution for the unstressed
[3] schwa vowel, for example, musical, delicate.

Action
Tongue

tip behind lower front teeth


front arched slightly less toward hard palate
sides touching upper molars

Lips

horizontal, relaxed
cheek muscles energized

Jaw

dropped slightly
more open

*AS and weak form in RP/MA [bin].

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Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid singing substitution of [i] for [i].
EXAMPLE

I love h[i]m not h[i]m


[i] [i] [i]
[']
She bid me take life easy

Do not let sound fall back in throat.


Do not keep jaw too wide.
Do not keep tongue too slack or arched too low.
Avoid regional substitutions of [e] for [i].
EXAMPLES

[him] not [hem]


[pin] not [pm]

been [bin] not Ben [bm]


Avoid southern off-glides.
EXAMPLES

him
since

Tips for Vocal Ease


In the passaggio and register extremes, try modifying [i] to the mixed German or French
vowel [Y] for greater vocal ease.

Dream - ing

as

I watch it

gleam,

("The Silver Aria" from The Ballad of Baby Doe, Douglas Moore)

RULE The unstressed prefixs or syllables spelled're-','be-','se-','de-','e-',


and 'e' plus a consonant as in the words recive,beleve,select,deceive,elect,
and escape as well as 'Im-' and 'in-'should be sung with[I].The suffixes

'-ing'and '-ic' use [I] as well.

CHAPTER FOUR The Fronting Vowels

lidPTI0N S

49

1. When the unstressed syllable Is elongated or at a very slow


tempo, use a full vowel sound, either [I] or [t] as jqdpropifatte
2* The stressed 're-' pref ix, stressing that an action is perfoiwtfed
again, also uses [i]. For example, words like-revisljif
"reconnect"

EXAMPLES

[i]

[I]

[I]

[I]

[I]

[I]

[I]

remember

delight

excite

secure

important

include singing

Since this vowel sound is found only in the lyric repertoire in English and German, it
often poses difficulties for native speakers of the Romance and Asian Languages. Great
care must be taken to drill and differentiate between the [i] and [i] vowel sounds.
The following is a list for non-native speakers. They are the most frequently found
words that are pronounced with [i]. Memorizing this list should greatly decrease the mistaken substitution of [i] for the [i] vowel in at least the most common usages.
Always [i]
it, is, him, with, which, this, since, been,* slip, sing, live, sick,
sin, bid, sit, will, lips, ship, still, win, wing, hit, winter, pity,
wither, whither, miss, lit, lids, give, city, kiss, whisper, pity, riches.
* In RP, "been" has two pronunciations: sf [i] wf [i].

EXERCISES
1. Read aloud the following words alternating, between the [i] and [i] columns:

[I]

[i]

[i]

[i]

itch

each

hitting

heating

slip

sleep

filling

feeling

rid

read

bitter

beater

mill

meal

dipper

deeper

been

bean

riches

reaches

sin

seen

living

leaving

50

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

2. Transcribe the following song text into IPA using care to differentiate between the
[i] and [i] vowels. Then read and sing it aloud:
Down by the Sally Gardens my love and I did meet,
She passed the Sally Gardens with little snow white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree
But I being young and foolish with her did not agree.
In a field by the river, my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow white hand;
She bid me take life easy as the grass grows on the weirs,
But I was young and foolish and, now am full of tears.
(W. B. Yeats, Traditional)

3. Transcribe the following words into IPA observing the prefix rules above:
decision

deserve

delightful

restore

rejoice

respond

begun

belittle

behavior

secure

seduce

seclusion

erode

event

elusive

enjoy

enhance

exaggerate

4. Transcribe the following text in IPA and practice speaking/singing it using care to
differentiate the [i] and [i] vowels:
"If with all your hearts ye truly seek me,
Ye shall ever surely find me," Thus saith our God.
Oh! that I knew where I might find Him,
That I might even come before His presence!
(Felix Mendelssohn, Elijah)

[s] Production
The international vowel [e] appears in varied versions in Italian, German, and French. It
is found in stressed syllables like in the words: wed, many, bury, friend, head, guest, any,
says, said, and saith (saith is archaic form of said, the past tense of "to say" and is pronounced as [se0]). It is also a frequent substitute for the unstressed [a] vowel.

51

CHAPTER FOUR The Fronting Vowels

FIGURE 4.3 [e]

Action
Tongue

tip in contact with lower front teeth


front of tongue less arched toward soft palate
lowest of lip vowels to still have contact with upper molars

Lips

relaxed, slightly spread

Jaw

cheeks still energized


lower than for [i] or [ei] diphthong

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid tense tongue, lips, or mouth.
Avoid glottal attacks.
Avoid off-glides: [heed] for head [hed].
Avoid nasal Midwestern twang.
EXAMPLES

manynot [mini] but [mmt]


anynot [int] but [eni]

52

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Avoid American Southern substitution of [i] for [e].


EXAMPLES

pencilnot

but

forgetnot

but

Tips for Vocal Ease


If the [e] spreads in the passaggio, try closing to a more closed [e], as in the first vowel of
the diphthong [ei]. Be careful to just sing [e] and not add the second [i] vowel.
Larghetto e piano

[e

He shall

feed His flock like

shep -

("He Shall Feed His Flock" from Messiah, G. F. Handel)

EXERCISES
1 . Practice intoning/singing the following words:
wed

bed

head

guest

met

let

next

send

gentle

well

tell

quell

quest

bury

said

saith

says

fetch

weather

death

breath

bells

heaven

whether

get

2. Transcribe and practice reading the following text:


I attempt from Love's sickness to fly in vain,
Since I am myself my own fever and pain,
No more now, no more now,
Fond heart, with pride no more swell:
Thou canst not raise forces enough to rebel
(Henry Purcell, from The Indian Queen)

- herd

53

CHAPTER FOUR The Fronting Vowels

3. Transcribe the following song text into IPA and practice with care the [t] vowel sounds:
Low as the singer lies
In a field of heather,
Songs of his fashion bring
the swains together.
And when the west is red
With the sunset embers,
The lover lingers and sings,
And the maid remembers.
(Robert Louis Stevenson / Ralph Vaughan Williams, "Bright Is the Ring of Words")

[ae] Production
The vowel [ae] is a distinctively English vowel that is not found in German, Italian, or
French. A long vowel sound in duration, it is the most common stressed vowel in English.
In American Standard pronunciation, all [ae] vowels are pronounced alike.

FIGURE 4.4 [ae]

544

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Because the [ae] vowel does not exist in the other lyric languages, it is often overlooked and seldom vocalized. A well produced [ae] can be a very beautiful sound.

Action
Tongue

tip in contact with lower front teeth


front arched less than for [e]
sides of tongue aligned with lower molars
first vowel to be in contact with lower teeth

Lips

released, not spread


cheeks still energized

Jaw

more open than for [e]

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not stretch lips against teeth.
Do not pull back corners of mouth.
Do not tighten tongue muscles under chin.
Do not nasalize by directing vowel through nose.
Do not substitute [a] for [ae] vowelit sounds affected
EXAMPLES

hand:
man:

not [hand]
not [man]

Be careful not to produce flat, nasal sound when adjacent to nasal consonants.
EXAMPLES

hands, lands, sang, dance

Avoid Midwestern regional substitution of [e] for [ae]


EXAMPLES

tarry
marry

not terry
not merry

Tips for Vocal Ease


For greater comfort in the passaggio and high range, modify [ae] to [e]. Be sure to really
sing a true [ae] in the middle range, or else the listener can hear that the vowel has been
modified and your diction will sound artificial.

CHAPTER FOUR The Fronting Vowels

EXERCISES
1. Practice intoning/singing the following words, avoiding nasality:
cat

hand

land

passion

hat

man

stand

matter

sad

valley

happy

balance

than

lamb

capture

rapture

bag

magic

hallowed

understand

2. If you find that you are tempted to substitute [E] for [ae], which is common pronunciation for many people who live in areas of North America, practice the
following words using the correct [ae] pronunciation:
arrow

carry

charity

embarrass

marry

marriage

narrow

paradise

Arab

Carol

Harry

Paris

3. Practice maintaining an [a?] vowel without nasalization when in close proximity


with nasal consonants:
Repeat:
had/had/hand

bad/bad/band

sad/sad/sand

cad/cad/candy

lad/lad/land

mad/mad/mandate

glad/glad/gland

gad/gad/gander

Review of Front Vowels


Repeat the following words, carefully differentiating between the various vowel sounds:

[i]

[i]

[ei]

bean

been

bane

read

Pete

rid
fist
sit
pit

peel
keen

feast
seat

raid

Ben
red

[a]
ban
rad

faced

fest

fast

sate
pate

set
pet

pill

pail

Pell

kin

cane

Ken

sat
pat
pal
can

[E]

55

56

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

If you experience difficulty in finding the [ae] vowel easily, practice drilling back and
forth between the adjacent vowels on the vowel chart:

The same approach can be helpful with finding the mouth position for [i]:

[i] . .. [i] , . . [e] or [e] ... [i] ... [i]


Although [a] is neither considered a fronting nor a backing vowel, it will be included
here because of the physiological sequence of the vowel chart.

[a] Production
The [a] vowel is the most favored sound in singing internationally. It is found in various
forms in Italian, French, German, Russian, and so on. It is the most open of all English
vowels. In American Standard, it is found in words such as: father, God, calm, hot, and
doctor. In RP and MA, the words spelled with "o," God, not, honour, are pronounced with
[D]. See page 217.

FIGURE 4.5 [a]

CHAPTER FOUR The Fronting Vowels

It is a long vowel in duration. In the United States, [o] is often substituted in areas of
Germanic immigration; and [D] is often heard in New England and the Eastern seaboard.

Action
Tongue

tip on lower front teeth


body of tongue lying in lowest position
front of tongue fiat, middle still slightly arched

Lips

relaxed, no specifications
no protrusion toward [o]
cheeks still lifted and energized

Jaw

most relaxed, lowest vertical drop

Pitfalls to Avoid
No pressure under chin.
Do not press tongue down.
Do not protrude lipsresults in [o] vowel.
No lip rounding or tensing lips.
No off-glides to [9] vowelfor example, calm not [ko(9)m].
Avoid [a] or [D] substitutions in AS.

Tips for Vocal Ease


Try singing [a] with [Y] placement if the [a] poses problems in the passaggio. Again, to
the listener, this vowel must always sound exact and not Italianate or artificial.

EXERCISES
1. Intone/sing the following words focusing on [a] for AS pronunciation:
body

John

bomb

accomplish

doctor

box

shock

possibility

got

common

Tom

problem

Robert

collar

motto

popcorn

Psalm*

calm*

palm*

balmy*

not

upon

on

God

*While many regionalisms may pronounce the letter "I," it is in fact silent in all neutral pronunciations (AS, RP, and MA).

57

58

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

If the [a] pronunciation on these "o" spellings seems very foreign to your regional
pronunciation, keep a list of [a] words for frequent reference.
2. Transcribe the following text into American Standard Pronunciation IPA and practice intoning/singing it:
Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed,
All is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night
I weep for wonder.
Wand'ring far alone
Of shadows on the stars.
(James Agee / Samuel Barber, "Sure on This Shining Night")

CHAPTER FIVE
The Backing Vowels

[u]/[ju] Production
The vowel sounds [u] and [ju] are related in English. The vowel [u] appears in German,
Italian, and French, though the European version has more intensity. The vowel [ju] is
found only in English. The vowel [u] is found in the words: too, wound, blue, juice; [ju]
in the words: view, beautiful, usual, music.

FIGURE 5.1 [u]/[ju]

59

600

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Action
Tongue

tip touching lower front teeth


back of tongue arched toward soft palate
sides of tongue in contact with upper molars
for [ju]-movement begins with [j] glide position
sides in contact with inner surface of upper teeth,
then glides forward as it merges with [u]

Lips

round, smallest circular shape


lip rounding essential to accurate production
the rounder the lip contour, the higher the tongue arch

Jaw

mouth opening and jaw very small vertically


wide opening in center of mouth between tongue and hard palate

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not arch tongue too high in back.
Do not hold tongue/jaw too stifflymuffles sound.
Do not nasalize [u] when adjacent to m, nmoon, fume.
Do not form vowel in throatsqueezed and guttural.
Avoid regional substitution of [o] for [u].
EXAMPLES

roof:

not

root:

not

Avoid off-glides with 1.


EXAMPLES

fool [ful] not


school [skul] not

[ju] PRONUNCIATION: THE LIQUID U


Certain words often spelled "u" or "ew" can have two different pronunciations
either [u] or [ju]. The words "duty" and "duke" can be pronounced either
[dutt] or [djuti], [duk] or [djuk]. The second pronunciation, commonly called
the Liquid U, is considered preferable when singing art song, oratorio, and opera
and is the only pronunciation for RP and MA. Of course, there are exceptional circumstances. In North American songs with a juvenile text or colloquial flavor, the
[ju] sounds too stuffy.

61

CHAPTER FIVE The Backing Vowels

The words with two possible pronunciations usually contain the English
spellings "u," "ew," "eu," or "ue" and are preceded by one of the following consonants: d, n, I, s, t, or th.
Below is a list of the most commonly used of these words:
d

duty, duly, due, dew, duke, endure, induce, duplicate

new, knew, renew, news, nuisance, numerous, nuclear*

lute, alluring, illusion, elude, prelude, interlude

suitor, pursuit, assume, consume, presume, resume

tune, Tuesday, tumult, student, stupid, gratitude, multitude, astute, tutor

th

enthuse, enthusiasm

Exceptions to these spellings are words that should be pronounced with [u]
only: blue, blew, clue, include, exclude, flute, flew, flue, glue, plume, slew, and
words spelled with "u" but that have an [A] pronunciation: dumb, numb, lung,
sung, tumble, thunder, and so on.
[ju] only: There are some words not listed that always use the [ju] pronunciation. The most common of them are:
music, amuse, huge, few, cure, imbued, human, Hugh,
humility, humorous, excuse, calculate, refute, future,
beautiful, mute, value, hue, unison, university, unit,
usurp, community
* Nuclear is often mispronounced in the United States as
dard pronunciation is
or

The American Stan-

EXERCISES
1. Practice intoning/singing the following words containing [u] vowel:
too

cool

blue

blew

through

lose

who

whom

fruit

moon

noon

flute

roof

choose

glue

flew

gloom

soothe

tomb

wounded

June

bruise

peruse

recruit

school*

fool*

tool*

cool*

* Avoid off-glide [9] by not anticipating [1].

62

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

2. Practice making the distinction between [u] and [ju] in the following words:
stoop > stupid

noon -> new

two -> tune

do - dew

pooh pew

who > hue

coo -> cue

flute -lute*

3. Transcribe and recite the following text:


I have wished a bird would fly away
And not sing round my house all day.
I have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
The fault must partly have been in me,
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And besides there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.
(Robert Frost / Celius Dougherty, "A Minor Bird")**

4. Transcribe the following song text:


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
(Walter de la Mare / John Duke, "Silver")

5. Transcribe the following song text:


See how they love me,
Green leaf, gold grass,
Swearing my blue wrists
Tick and are timeless.
See how it woos me,

*ln AS and Historic RP/MA, [ljut], in Modern RP/MA, [lut].


**From "A Minor Bird" in The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1928, 1969 by Henry Holt and Company. Copyright 1956 by Robert Frost. Reprinted by
permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

63

CHAPTER FIVE The Backing Vowels

Old sea, blue sea,


Curving a half moon
Round to surround me.
Yet you rebuke me,
O love, I only pursue,
See how they love me.
(Howard Moss / Ned Rorem, "See How They Love Me")

[u] Production
The vowel [u] is a very characteristic vowel in English that is considered short in duration. It appears in German, but not in Italian or French. In English, it can be found in
stressed words such as: good, could, book, full, bosom, cushion; or in unstressed positions
as a substitute for [9]: fulfill, joyful, supreme, today.

FIGURE 5.2

[u]

64

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Action
Tongue

tip behind lower front teeth

Lips

back of tongue arched toward soft palate but lower than for [u]
rounded but less firm than [u]
cheeks energized

Jaw

slightly dropped from [u] position

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid pushing from throat with guttural sound.
Avoid drawled, off-glides: putpull
Avoid substitution of [u] for [u]sounds foreign
EXAMPLES

put:

not [put]

pull:

not [pul]

look:

not [luk]

The vowel [u] is frequently difficult for singers because it is rarely vocalized and
therefore is often distorted or substituted with [u]. As with the [ae] vowel, [u] must be
drilled and vocalized in order to easily produce the beautiful English vowel it can be.

EXERCISES
1. Practice alternating between the [u] and [u] sounds in the words listed below:

[o]
pull

[u]

stood

stewed

could

cooed

would

wooed

full

fool

should

shoed

cook

kook

hood

who'd

pool

CHAPTER FIVE The Backing Vowels

2. Practice speaking/intoning the following words:


full

wood

good

look

put

book

stood

would

push

foot

crooked

wolf

fulfill

wool

forsook

woman

3. Transcribe and intone the following text:


Oh, sweet and lovely lady, be good!
Oh, lady be good to me!
I am so awf'ly misunderstood,
So lady, be good to me.
Oh, please have some pity,
I'm all alone in this big city,
I tell you I'm just a lonesome
babe in the wood,
So lady be good to me!
(Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin, "Oh, Lady Be Good!")*

*OH, Lady Be GOOD! Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. 1924
WBMusic Corp. (Renewed) Gershwin, George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin are trademarks
of Gershwin Enterprises. All Rights Reserved. Used by kind permission.

[o] Production
The sound [o] represents the vowel in an unstressed syllable like in the word "obey."
When it is found in a stressed position, it becomes the diphthong [ou]. This single pure
vowel appears in German, Italian, and French; the diphthong does not.

Action
Tongue

tip on contact with lower front teeth


back arched halfway between [u] and [o]

Lips

rounded, with larger circle than for [u]

Mouth

quite open
jaw released
cheeks lifted and energized

65

66

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

FIGURE 5.3 [o]

More detail will be given on this vowel as it appears within the diphthong [ou] later in
this text. Listed below are words that contain the unstressed [o] vowel as a [9] substitute.
obey
omit
police
polite

provide
protect
profound
pronounce

melody
desolate
indolent
omnipotent

[D] Production
A characteristic, long English vowel, [o] also appears in Italian, German, and French in
shorter versions. For singing, it should be a very long "aw"-shaped vowel, as opposed to
the shorter versions of the European languages. It is found in words such as: saw, caught,
daughter, broad, office, walking, call, and sought.

67

CHAPTER FIVE The Backing Vowels

The English spellings for [o] in American Standard pronunciation are:


al

as in

all, call

aw

as in

awe, awful

augh

as in

caught, daughter

ough

as in

bought, thought

ong

as in

song, long

off/of

as in

off, often*, soft

OSS

as in

cross, loss

ost

as in

lost, cost

In RP, the [o] is actually a more closed, raised vowel than its AS counterpart. To notate the difference in this vowel, it will be written as [c]. See chapter 14 for the production of [c].

FIGURE 5.4

* The "t" in "often" is not sounded in AS, RP, or MA. It is, however, sounded in several regional dialects.

68

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Action
Tongue

Lips
Jaw

tip in contact with lower front teeth


back arch slightly lower than for [o]
lowest arch of all the lip vowels
sides of tongue in contact with lower molars
protruded forward
lips far apart, narrowed at corners
dropped as much as for [a]

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not change lip shape during production.
Do not tense back of tongue.
Do not substitute [a] for [o] a common U.S. regionalism.
EXAMPLES

water

not

thought

not

broad

not

Do not substitute the RP vowel[c] for


EXAMPLES

water

not

thought
broad

not
not

Do not substitute a Brooklyn accent


EXAMPLES

dog

office

for

not
not

Tips for Vocal Ease


The vowel [o] can be closed to [o] in the passaggio and for melismatic settings of this
vowel. It keeps the vowel from spreading in the passaggio. It also conserves breath, which
makes it easier to negotiate the run.

69

CHAPTER FIVE The Backing Vowels

[o

shall be ex - alt
o -

lted]

ed
("Ev'ry Valley" from Messiah, G. F. Handel)

EXERCISES
1. Practice intoning/singing the following words with [D] for AS or [c] for RP:
all

because

awe

daughter

exalt

applaud

jaw

aught

walk

autumn

awful

taught

always

exhaust

awning

withdraw

Paul

Saul

caution

water

2. Transcribe and practice the following song text in AS:


Sleep falls, with limpid drops of rain,
Upon the steep cliffs of the town.
Sleep falls; men are at peace again
While the small drops fall softly down.
The bright drops ring like bells of glass
Thinned by the wind and lightly blown;
Sleep cannot fall on peaceful grass
So softly as it falls on stone.
Peace falls unheeded on the dead
Asleep; they have had peace to drink;
Upon a live man's bloody head
It falls most tenderly, I think
(Elinor Wylie / John Duke, "Bells in the Rain")

70

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

3. Practice the following text in Historic RP:


Unlearned he in aught
Save that which love has taught. . .
I am the lowliest tar
That sails the water,
And you, proud maiden, are
The captain's daughter.
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, From H.M.S. Pinafore)

[D] Production
The vowel [D] is a short open o vowel. This vowel is found in words with an "o" spelling,
as in "honest," "on," "upon," "not," "opera" in RP and is heard regionally throughout North
America. It is the lowest of the tongue vowel sounds that has lip rounding. The vowel sound
is halfway between [a] and [D]. The position is most easily found by saying [a] while
slightly rounding the lips.
This vowel is heard on the Eastern Seaboard and several parts of North America, influenced historically by British immigration patterns. It is somewhat controversial as to
whether this vowel usage is considered standard for neutral American speech. Since this
vowel is not used in American broadcast speech, it will not be used in this book for American Standard pronunciation. Details about its production and use can be found in chapters 14 and 15.

CHAPTER SIX
The Mixed Vowels

Production
The vowels [A] and [9] are stressed and unstressed counterparts of the same vowel. A
distinctly neutral English vowel sound, [A] and [9] do not appear in German, Italian, or
French. The [A] sound is always heard in stressed syllables of strong word-types, while
[9], the weaker form, is heard in unstressed syllables and weak word-types. The vowel po-

FIGURE6.1

71

72

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

sition (stressed or unstressed) determines the IPA symbol, but the only difference in sound
is the amount of intensity given to each vowel. They are considered mixed vowels because
their physiological formation employs elements of both the lip and tongue vowels. The
vowel [A] is found in the stressed syllable of words such as: love, hum, blood, trouble,
covet, judge, among, humble, summer, and sudden. The vowel [9] is found in the unstressed syllable of words such as: alone, attempt, among, sofa, heaven, nation, joyous,
sudden, and maiden.

Action
Tongue

tip touching lower front teeth


central in mouth
tongue slightly arched in same position as [o]

Lips

neutral without rounding


no spread of lips as with [a]

Jaw

released, vertical drop


same position and drop for [o] and [ae]

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not open jaw too widebecomes
I
Do not round lipsbecomes

you.*

you.

Do not tighten muscles under chin.


Do not permit vowel to lodge in throat.
Avoid starting with throaty, hard glottal attack.
Avoid regional substitution of [i] or [e] for
EXAMPLES

just

not

or

Tips for Vocal Ease


If the [A] falls back in placement, try modifying it more toward [a]. Again, the listener
must hear a real [A] vowel and not an Italianate version of it. Remember the four substitutions for the unstressed schwa [a] vowel are [i], [o], [u], and [e]. Depending upon the
vocal setting, experiment with these substitute vowels to find the one that sings the best.
Remember, it must sound natural and not artificial.

* Although the RP variant of [A] is more frontal and in the placement of [a], it should never be discerned
as a fully pronounced [a]. See chapter 14.

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CHAPTER SIX The Mixed Vowels

The "Un-" Prefix


When the stressed prefix "un-" is found in words, it denies and reverses the meaning of
the word, for example, undo, unsung, unkind, and so on. Therefore, [A] is used phonetically to encourage the singer to give this prefix its due stress and hence make it a doublestressed word.

RULE Use for all stressed "un" prefixes.

EXAMPLES

unkind

unloved

unhappy

undone

In unstressed "un-" spellings, as in the words "until" and "unless," use the schwa [9].
The versus The versus The

RU LI The word "the" should be sung [89] before an unvoiced consonant, [6*4
before a voiced consonant, and [6i] before a vowel.

the thought

the sense

the form

the men

the lake

the depths

[i]
the earth

D3

the interest

the awe

ra
EXAMPLE

The vowels of the text should be supported with the air flow.

Exception: When the word "the" is set on an elongated note, do not use [o] but
only [a] before a word beginning with a consonant andfj] before a word beginning with a vowel.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

EXERCISES
1. Write the following words in IPA and practice singing/intoning them:
just

mother

love

money

much

blood

come

young

won

such

us

punish

cup

brother

some

touch

sun

was

utterly

judgment

2. The following words contain both [A] and [9]; transcribe them into IPA and practice singing/intoning them, giving each its appropriate intensity:
husband

above

onion

hubbub

ruffian

abutment

among

judgment

cultivate

shovel

loveliest

trouble

3. Transcribe the following song text into IPA:


The sun has fallen and it lies in blood.
The moon is weaving bandages of gold.
O black swan, where is my lover gone?
Torn and tattered is my bridal gown,
And my lamp is lost.
With silver needles and with silver thread,
The stars stitch a shroud for the dying sun.
O black swan, where has my lover gone?
(Gian Carlo Menotti, "The Black Swan" from The Medium)
4. Transcribe the following song text into IPA in colloquial American (see glossary,

p. 292):
What's the use of wondrin if he's good or if he's bad,
Or if you like the way he wears his hat?
He's your feller and you love him.
That's all there is to that.
(Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein,
"What's the Use of Wond'rin'" from Carousel)

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CHAPTER SIX The Mixed Vowels

Production
are distinctly American Standard vowels. They do not appear in French,
The vowels
German, or Italian, or in RP or Mid-Atlantic dialects. Although related to the "r" consonant,

are considered r-colored vowels. The vowel

is always used in a stressed

syllable or word-type and is found in words such as: girl, verse, surge, journey, learn, and
rehearse. The vowel

is used for unstressed syllables and is often found at the ends of

words such as: father, doctor, vulgar, over, and vapor. As with the

vowels, the only

audible difference is in the intensity of the vowel.

FIGURE 6.2

Many singers are very hesitant to use this vowel in their English repertoire. When produced correctly, it is a very beautiful vowel sound similar to the [os] in French and the [0]
in German. Since it is part of the American Standard English pronunciation, it is very
much an integral sound of the language and therefore should be used. The vowels
the reduced r-colored variants used in RP and Mid-Atlantic dialects, will be discussed in
chapter 14.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Action
Tongue

like all other vowels, tip remains down in contact with lower front
teeth
if tongue rises, curls backwards, and inverts toward throat, a mangled
sound is produced

Lip
Jaw

middle of tongue arches similar to [e] position


sides in contact with upper molars
rounded but not tense
rounding similar to [o] position
relaxed, steady
does not move during execution

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not initiate vowel with tongue-tip raised.
Do not permit tongue to curl backward.
Do not trill r's: very foreign-sounding, not American English.
Do not twang r's: commonly heard in Pennsylvania and the Western United States.
Do not reduce r colors: New England/British pronunciationbird [b3rd]
the sub-standard New York pronunciationbird [boid]
retroflex r twangbird: "brrrrrd"

Tips for Vocal Ease


If the [3^] vowels feel constricted, sing [e] and focus on the [e] tongue arch position
without rounding the lips. It is half of the position that produces these vowels. It also
helps to try singing [ce], which is the slightly more open French equivalent of these
vowels.

EXAMPLE

Shall we gather by the river.

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CHAPTER SIX The Mixed Vowels

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe the following words into IPA and practice the appropriate
pronunciation:
earth

heard

surge

work

girl

mercy

err

rehearse

berth

diverse

third

iron

ever

mother

ledger

misery

perhaps

master

actor

comfortable

2. Transcribe the following bi-syllabic words containing both


merger

murmur

Herbert

learner

murder

worker

server

burner

perverted

fervor

3. Transcribe the following aria in AS or modern MA:


Things change, Jo: Things change.
You're a babe at the breast,
You're a daughter by the fire,
You have all the love you think you could desire,
Still, Things change, Jo,
And, oh, what happens when they do?
Your heart, Jo, your heart.
It's a bird in the nest with its head beneath its wing,
Half asleep, it cannot know it wants a thing,
Still, Your heart, Jo, I know will dream of something new:
Something that blurred, that broke within me,
A secret word, who was it? spoke within me:
She loves her mother, loves her father,
Her sisters of course, But wants her John.

and

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

You're a rosebud in the night,


You're a blossom in the morn,
You're unmade by that light, yet reborn:
Things change, And oh! One day, my Jo,
I wish only that things change the same way for you.
(Mark Adamo, "Things Change" from Little Women)
4. Transcribe and intone/sing the following song text in AS:
At the cry of the first bird
They began to crucify Thee, O swan!
Never shall lament cease because of that,
It was like the parting of day from night.
Ah! sore was the suffering born,
By the body of Mary's Son,
But sorer still to Him was the grief
That for his sake came upon His mother.
(Samuel Barber, "The Crucifixion" from The Hermit Songs')

CHAPTER SEVEN
Diphthongs

A diphthong, pronounced [difGorj], is a sound composed of two consecutive vowels in the


same syllable. It comes from the Greek word di, meaning "two," andphthongos, meaning
"sounds." Since the majority of words in English contain diphthongs, it is very important
that we learn to treat them correctly. The pronunciation of the diphthongs varies a great
deal in the various regional dialects. Therefore, our first task is to standardize the pronunciation of them. Even if singers may pronounce them accurately in speech, they often distort the vowels or drop the second vowel when singing. In every diphthong, the first vowel
must be sustained, and the second vowel added at the very last moment. Even when the
diphthong is to be sung over several notes, the first vowel is sung on all the notes and the
second vowel is sung at the end of the very last note.

GENERAL RULES FOR DIPHTHONGS


1. There should be no break between the two vowels. After the first vowel is
sustained, it blends Into the second vowel,
2. The change from one vowel to the next should be almost imperceptible.
3. There should be very little movement of the articulators during the production of the compound vowel,
4. The first vowel is sustained with the second sung at the very last moment
5. When the diphthong is sung on more than one note, the firstvowel Is sustained on all the notes, with the second vowel added at the very end.
6. There is a tendency to lose pitch during the glide to the second vowel, Work
to achieve level pitch with added support for second vowel,

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

The diphthongs of American Standard are listed below:


night, buy
day, break
joy, voice
no, go, slow

air, care, there*


ear, fear, here*
pour, soar, o'er*
sure, poor, tour*

now, doubt, about

are, heart, garden*

The phonetic spellings of the diphthongs listed above may seem different from the way
they are pronounced in spoken English, particularly spoken regional American English.
There is good reason for this. The initial primary vowels have been purposely opened for
easier articulation when singing.
In speech, the secondary vowels of the first list of diphthongs are also pronounced [i]
and [u]. These have been opened to [i] and [u] in order to facilitate less movement of the
lips and jaw when singing. Similarly, [i] and [u] are used in speech as the initial vowel of
the diphthongs with "r colorings." The initial primary vowels may seem more open than
in colloquial American speech.
EXAMPLE

Singing them as written makes it easier to articulate both adjacent vowel sounds and not
anticipate and twang on the r coloring. They have been opened so that they are more relaxed, and also closer physiologically on the vowel chart to the secondary vowel, which
makes them easier to produce with less vocal tension.

Tips for Vocal Ease


For all the diphthongs, check the tips section for each individual vowel for suggestions. It
is very important to be very precise with the shape of the first vowel. The [o] vowel of [ou]
should not spread to [o]. If it does, "no" could sound like "now" and be very confusing
for the listener. It should also never be sung [QU] as in spoken RP, except in Gilbert and

*The r-colored diphthongs in the second column above are unique to American Standard pronunciation.
The reduced r-colored diphthongs used in RP and MA pronunciation are listed below:

These are discussed in depth on page 221.

81

CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

Sullivan or some musicals requiring it. The [e] of [ei] must be closed. All the diphthongs
are easier to sing if you really sing the vowels as precisely as they are written in IPA.
The second vowel has been purposely opened up, [i] and [u]; to make it closer in position to the first vowel. Be sure to sustain the first vowel and sound the second only as you
are phrasing off the note.
Also note that the first vowel of the r-colored diphthongs has been opened up in order
to avoid anticipating and twanging on the r coloring.

[ai] Production
The diphthong [ai] is found in the English words: light, smile, delight, silence, divine, beguile, aisle, isle. It is spelled with a bright [a] symbol that is not found in English as a
single stressed vowel sound. As a single vowel, only [a] exists in English. The vowel [a]
is used because of its adjacency to [i], making the "a" vowel brighter and with a higher
tongue arch.

FIGURE 7.1 [ai]

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Action
Tongue

sides of tongue against lower molars


tongue moves upward and forward toward the upper molars for [i]

Lips

released
minimal movement

Mouth

mouth contour does not change when going to [i]

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not add [i] instead of [i] for second vowel.
Avoid regionalisms
Eastern/British: sky [skai] not [skoi] or [skAi] Modern RP
Southern: substituting [9] or [e] for [i]
EXAMPLE

spite [spait]

not

or

dropping [i] altogether


EXAMPLES

fine [fain]

not [fa:n]

blind [blaind]

not [bla:nd]

avoid nasality when diphthong is followed by a nasal consonant


EXAMPLES

mine, time, find, sign, rhyme, and so on

Remember always to sustain the first vowel in a diphthong and put the second vowel on

at the end.
Moderately Slow ( J1 = 76)
mp

Where the rock threw back the bil-low

[a - - - - ai
3

Bright

("Long Time Ago" from Old American Songs, Aaron Copland)

rit.

er

a tempo

than

snow

CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

DRILL
Practice the following words, taking care not to allow the diphthongs followed by nasal
consonants to become nasal.

my

my

mine

tie

tie

time

fie

fie

find

sigh

sigh

sign

die

die

dine

kite

kite

kind

lie

lie

lime

buy

buy

bind

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe and drill the following words:
sigh

mile

finite

island

right

pile

subside

daylight

twice

I'm

diary

license

rise

beguile

certify

diamond

guide

triumph

bicycle

biography

2. Transcribe and intone the following song text in Historic RP or MA:


Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
(Ben jonson, arr. Roger Quilter, "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" )
3. Transcribe and intone the following text in colloquial American:
Buddy on the nightshift! I hope you slept all day,
Until the moon came out and woke you up and sent you away.
Hello there buddy on the nightshift, I hope you feel fine!
I left a lot of work for you to do on the assembly line.
(Kurt Weill, "Buddy on the Nightshift" from Lunchtime Follies)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

[ei] Production
The diphthong [ei] is found in the words: fate, day, ancient, afraid, proclaim, and so on.
Often this diphthong is written phonetically as [ei]. It is preferable to use the closed vowel
[e] in singing. When the open [e] is sung, it often causes a spread and diffused vocal tone.
The [e] is especially helpful when singing in the upper register and passaggio.

FIGURE 7.2 [ei]

Action
Tongue

front archedsides aligned with upper molars

Lips

unroundedhorizontal throughout entire production

Mouth

do not change mouth opening or jaw while enunciating vowels

sides of tongue rise and front arches for [i]

Pitfalls to Avoid
Use care not to spread the first vowel; [e] can easily incorrectly modify to [e] or [ae].
This vowel seems to open more in Modern RP, toward [ei]; keep it [e] in singing.
EXAMPLE

save [seiv]

not [SEIV]

CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

The vowel [e] should be produced with relaxed tongue base.


Do not anticipate an [1] by switching [9] for [ij.
EXAMPLE

fail [feil]

not [feal]

Don't close [e] so much that it sounds like [i].


EXAMPLE

fate [feit]

not feet [fit]

say [sei]

not see [si]

EXERCISES
1. Drill the following words:
fate

rage

vain

reign

day

great

maid

obey

lace

face

disdain

grateful

betray

they

radiant

proclaim

2. Transcribe and intone the following song text in Historic RP:


The sun whose rays are all ablaze in ever living glory,
Does not deny his majesty but scorns to tell a story.
He won't exclaim "I blush for shame" so kindly be indulgent.
But fierce and bold in fiery gold he glories all effulgent.
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, "The Sun Whose Rays" from The Mikado)
3. Transcribe and intone the following text in AS:
Quaint nameAnn Street.
Width of sameTen feet.
Barnum's mobAnn Street,
Far from obsolete.
Narrow, yes. Ann Street
But business, Both feet.
Sun just hits Ann Street,
Then it quitsSome greet!
Rather short, Ann Street. . .
(Maurice Morris/Charles Ives, "Ann Street")

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

[DI] Production
The diphthong [01] is found in the words: joy, voice, avoid, boisterous.

FIGURE 7.3 [01]

Action
Tongue

back arched toward soft palate


arches gradually toward hard palate or [i]

Lips

oval shape

Mouth

open vertically

minimal movement
jaw remains flexible and steady

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not protrude lips too much for [o] or spread sides of mouth excessively for [i].
Do not separate two vowelsit should be a continuous sound.

87

CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

Do not let pitch fluctuate during diphthong patternkeep support firm.


Do not omit second vowel.
EXAMPLE

joy[d3Di]

notjaw[d3D]

Do not substitute [a] for [o].


EXAMPLE

boys [bDiz]

not buys [baiz]

Tips for Vocal Ease


In the passaggio and with [01] vowels set melismatically, close the vowel down to [o].
[o

re- joice.

ois]

great- ly,
("Rejoice Greatly" from Messiah, G. F. Handel)

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe and drill the following words:
joy

voice

rejoice

destroy

toil

noise

royal

employ

choice

join

embroil

poignant

enjoy

oyster

sirloin

disappoint

2. Transcribe and practice the following text in Historic RP:


When first my old, old love I knew,
My bosom welled with joy;

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

My riches at her feet I threw


I was a love-sick boy!
No terms seemed too extravagant
Upon her to employ
I used to mope, and sigh, and pant,
just like a love-sick boy!
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, From Trial by jury)

3. Transcribe and practice the following text in Historic RP or MA:


Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion,
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
Behold thy King cometh unto thee:
He is the righteous Saviour,
And He shall speak peace unto the heathen.
(G. F. Handel, "Rejoice Greatly" from Messiah}

4. Transcribe the following text in AS:


On the lake where droop'd the willow,
Long time ago
Where the rock drew back the billow,
Brighter than snow.
Dwelt a maid beloved and cherish'd,
By high and low.
But with autumn leaf she perish'd,
Long time ago.
Rock and tree and flowing water,
Long time ago.
Bird and bee and blossom taught her
Love's spell to know.
While to my fond words she listen'd,
Murmuring low.
Tenderly her blue eyes glisten'd,
Long time ago.
(Aaron Copland, "Long Time Ago" from Old American Songs)

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CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

[ou] Production
The [ou] vowel is found in such English words as: no, oh, role, though, shoulder, roam,
and reproach. It is found in all stressed words and syllables pronounced with the "o"
vowel sound and in the unstressed final syllables as in window, piano, sorrow, and so on.
As a schwa substitute in all other unstressed positions, the monophong [o] is used.

FIGURE 7.4 [ou]

RULE Always diphthongize "o" spellings in:


1. Words or exclamations of one syllable.
EXAMPLE

Oh! O, no, go, road

2, Words of more than one syllable where the V


EXAMPLE

devotion, suppose, open, sotdier

syllable receives stress.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Action
Tongue

back raised in [o] position

Lips

minimal movement when gliding to [u]


rounded

Mouth

outer contour should not change for [u]


jaw released
no movement during production

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid regional habit of modifying [ou] to [ou] or [su]*
EXAMPLE

know:

not [riDu] or [nau]* but [nou]

woeful:

not [wDuful] or [wauful]* but [wouful]

[90] is used in speech for RP, but for lyric diction this diphthong should be sung as [ou]. See chapter 14.

EXERCISES
1. Practice speaking the following words using care to differentiate between [au],
[ou] and [u]:
[D] ->

[OU]

pause

pose

bowl

bull

walk

woke

showed

should

shawl

shoal

pole

pull

chalk

choke

stowed

stood

saw

sew

code

could

2. Transcribe and intone the following text in RP:


Away in the shadows a lone bird is singing,
The wind whispers low in a sighing refrain;
Their music makes memory's voices go winging:
The Ash Grove in beauty I see once again;

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CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

How little we knew, as we laughed there so lightly,


And time seemed to us to stretch endless away,
The hopes that then shone like a vision so brightly
Could fade as a dream at the coming of day!
(Excerpt from "The Ash Grove"Old Welsh Melody)
3. Transcribe and intone the text in Historic RP or MA:
O, be still, be still, unquiet thoughts, and rest on love's adventer.
Go no more astray, my wanton eyes, but keep within your center.
Delight not yourselves for to stand and gaze
On the alluring looks of a beautyous face
For love is like to an endless maze,
More hard to get than to enter.
(Thomas Campion / Peter Warlock, "The Lover's Maze")

[au] Production

FIGURE 7.5 [au]

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

92

The diphthong [au] is found in words such as: shout, now, doubt, house, and vow. Regionally, this diphthong has two different highly prevalent pronunciations: [aeu] and [au].
The latter is much preferred for singing.
Action
Tongue
Lips
Mouth

flat in mouthas moves toward [u]


back rises higher adjustment should be minimal
unrounded, rounds gently for [u]
opening for [a] closes smoothly for [u]
released jaw follows with little movement

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not mouth or exaggerate movement between the two vowel positions.
Be careful not to substitute [aeu] for [au].
EXAMPLES

bound [bound] not [baeund]


vow [vau] not [vaeu]

EXERCISES
1. Drill correctly and incorrectly the pronunciation of this diphthong:
now [nau] [naeu] > [nau]
count [kaunt] -> [kaeunt] -> [kaunt]
howl [haul] - [haeul] -> [haul]
2. Transcribe and drill the following words:
thou

owl

foul

ourselves

shout

sound

scowl

mountains

mouth

ground

devout

doubtful

frown

thousand

resound

boundary

3. Transcribe and intone the following text in Historic RP:


He who doubts from what he sees,
Will ne'er believe, so what you please,
If the Sun and Moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
(William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence" )

CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

4. Transcribe the following song text:


Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower, sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand, thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O. where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!
(William Shakespeare, "Come Away, Death")

The R-Colored Diphthongs


Since all the individual vowel sounds that make up the r-colored diphthongs have previously been discussed earlier in the text, they will not be dealt with individually but all
together as a group. They are listed together as the r-colored vowels of the American Standard and reduced r-colored vowels of RP and Mid-Atlantic dialects below.
R-Colored

R-Reduced
as in

air, care, there

as in

ear, dear, we're

as in

pour, four, o'er

as in

sure, tour, poor

as in

are, heart, garden

Please note once again, the initial vowel sounds of each of these diphthongs have been
opened to facilitate easier vocal production. In speech, these vowels are usually more closed.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Acoustically, the substitution of the more opened counterparts cannot be discerned. The
more opened initial vowels encourage less mouthing and exaggeration of the mouth and
lips and decrease the amount of movement required to produce these diphthongs.
As with all stressed and unstressed r-colored vowels, care should be taken not to pull
back and arch the tongue tip, producing instead the characteristically constricted colloquial American "r" vowel. Like all other vowels in English, the r-colored diphthongs must
be produced with the tip of the tongue forward and in contact with the back of the lower
front teeth.
Like the other diphthongs of English, the first vowel of the r-colored diphthongs
should be sustained; with the secondary vowel sound, the r coloring, added at the very last
moment.

RULE Lifee the other diphthongs of English, the first vowel of tine r-colored diphthongs should be sustained; the secondary vowel sound, th r coloring, is added
at the very last moment.

EXERCISES
1. Practice alternating the r-colored and r-reduced diphthongs below:

air

dear

o'er

sure

are

hair

mere

yore

poor

heart

despair

we're

pour

moor

charm

rare

weir

adore

tour

depart

prepare

cheer

before

*endure

garden

e'er

revere

implore

*secure

partner

ensnare

sincere

restore

*obscure

marvelous

The [uaVuar] diphthongs are found only in stressed syllables. All "ure" spellings in
UNstressed positions should be pronounced [&/3r].

*These words contain the [j] glide preceding the [uWsr] diphthongs. Others like this include:
pure, cure, lure, demure, allure, and so on.

CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

RULE The [u^/uar] diphthongs are found only in stressed syllablei, AH "are"
spellings in UNstressed positions should be pronounced t>] in AS and {r] In RP

and MA.

EXAMPLES

pleasure

not

treasure

not

The unstressed [uaVar] pronunciations sound affected and dated.


2. Transcribe and sing the correct pronunciation of the following words with "ure"
endings:
measure

leisure

treasure

pleasure

nature

stature

verdure

rapture

capture

3. Transcribe the following text in Historic RP or MA:


Endless pleasure, endless love,
Semele enjoys above,
On her bosom Jove reclining,
Useless now his thunder lies,
To her arms his bolts resigning,
And his lightning to her eyes.
(G. F. Handel, from Semele)
4. Transcribe the following text in AS:
I was standing in a garden,
A garden gone to seed,
Choked with every kind of weed.
There were twisted trees around me,
All black against the sky;
Black and bare and dead and dry,
My father called: "Come out of this place."
I wanted to go, but there was no way:
No sign, no path, to show me the way:
Then another voice was calling:
It barely could be heard.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

I remember ev'ry word:


"There is a garden:
Come with me, come with me:
A shining garden: Come and see
There love will teach us
Harmony and grace,
Then love will lead us
To a quiet place."
(Leonard Bernstein, "There Is a Garden" from Trouble in Tahiti)

Triphthongs
A triphthong is the combination of three vowels within the same syllable. Like the diphthong, the first vowel is sustained vocally with the remaining two vowels added at the very
end. The General Rules for Diphthongs on page 79 refer also to triphthongs.

RULI When singing a triphthong on two or more notes, sing the first vowel on
all the notes, adding the last two vowels at the very end of the last note.

[a

And the de - sire

of
("Thus Saith the Lord" from Messiah, G. F. Handel)

The two principal triphthongs of English are:


as in lyre, fire, choir
as in our, flower, power

all na - tions shall come.

CHAPTER SEVEN Diphthongs

RV LE Sing all threfc vowels In triphthongs.

In Modern RP especially, triphthongs seem to be dissolving into diphthongs or even


single vowels. For example, the word "choir" has become [kwa9r] or even [kwa]. Words
become unintelligible when the vowels are dropped. Make sure to sing all three vowel
sounds in triphthongs.

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe and drill the following triphthongs and practice singing them on one
or more notes:

lyre

our

ire

hour

choir

dower

tire

flower

desire

power

inspire

shower

conspire

tower

admire

devour

2. Transcribe the following song texts into phonetics and practice the diphthongs
and triphthongs in their musical settings in Historic RP or MA:
Oh had I Jubal's lyre,
Or Miriam's tuneful voice
To sounds like his I would aspire
To songs like her rejoice!
My humble strains but faintly show
How much to Heaven and thee I owe.
(G. F. Handel, From Joshua)
But who may abide the day of His coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
For He is like a refiner's fire,
(G. F. Handel, From Messiah)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

3. Transcribe and practice the following text in AS or Modern RP:


Beloved, thou hast brought me many flow'rs
Plucked in the garden, all the summer through
(And winter), and it seemed as if they grew.
In this close room, nor missed the sun and show'rs
So, in the like name of that love of ours,
Take back these thoughts which here are unfolded, too,
And which on warm and cold days I withdrew
From my heart's ground. Indeed, those beds and bowers
Be overgrown with bitter weeds and rue.
And wait thy weeding: Yet here's eglantine,
Here's ivy! Take them, as I used to do
Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
Instruct thine eyes to keep their colors true,
And tell thy soul their roots are left in mine.
(Elizabeth Barrett Browning / Libby Larsen, "Beloved,
Thou Hast Brought Me Many Flowers")

CHAPTER EIGHT
The Three Semi-Vowel Glides

The three consonants [w], [j], and [J/R] are considered semi-vowel glides in English. They
are also known as semi-consonants or semi-vowels. It is because they are organically related to the vowel sounds [u], [i], and [a\|, respectively.
(u) -> [w]

(i) -> [j]

(*) -> [J/R]

Vowels or Consonants?
A semi-vowel glide is a consonant that is produced during the movement from its initial
articulatory position to another position that is formed by the oncoming vowel. In other
words, it is the action of gliding from the related vowel sound to another vowel following
that causes the consonant to be created and sounded.
The initial consonants of the words "wed," "yes," and "red" are produced by gliding
from their respective related vowel sounds to the vowel that follows. As in the case of
"wed," [u] glides to [e] and in the process the [wj is sounded. For "yes" and "red," [i] and
[a-] glide to [e], producing [j] and [j/R/r].
[u (w) e d] = wed
[i (j) e s] = yes
[> (J/R) e d] = red

Feel the difference between intoning these three words with and without their related
vowel sounds. First, consciously initiate each with the related vowel; then, consciously
omit the related vowel and stress the initial consonant/glide only.

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You most probably noticed that there is far less subvocal tension when the vowel begins these words rather than the consonants. This is an especially helpful tool when articulating similar words in the passaggio and extreme high range of the voice.
The semi-vowels [w], [j], and [J/R] can either occur as initial consonants, part of initial consonant clusters, or beginning a new syllable in the middle of a word. When these
glide consonants are found alone or as part of a consonant cluster in the stressed syllables
of stressed word-types, their respective related vowel sounds may be added before [w], [j],
and [J/R] in order to vocally stress the stressed word-types. Hopefully, the examples below
will clarify this concept.
Initial and medial [w], [j], [J/R] as single consonants in stressed positions:

[w]

U]

M*

wonder [(u)WAnda-/9r]**

yearning [(l)J3-/3rmrj]

rhyme [(at)jaim]

worthy [(u)w3V3r5i]

Yankee [(l)jaenki]

really [^jili]

(u)

(l)

beware [bi wea-/9 ]

unusual [An ju3U9l]

erase [i(a<)jeis]

awake [9(u)weik]

resume [jiz(l)jum]

arrive [9(3l)jaiv]

Initial and medial consonant clusters in stressed positions:

[w]

Ul
(u)

choir [k wai^/3 ]
(u)

M*
(l)

beauty [b juti]
(l)

strong [st^jorj]

quest [k west]

music [m juzik]

great [g^lieit]

inquire [mk(u)waia^/3r]

community [k9m(l)jumti]

untruth [Ant(3ju6]

unquiet [Ank(u)wai9t]

illusion [il(l)ju39n]

impress [imp(3t)jes]

RULi Related glide vowels should be added only to the stressed syllable of the
primary or secondary stressed word. To add this extra vowel rhythmically, add a
grace note pick-up before the beat on which the stressed word or syllable falls.
In order to do this, you need to rob time from the note or rest preceding it,

* For clarity, the burred r symbol, used in all three dialects (AS, RP, and MA), is being used exclusively
in these exercises. For other options in RP and MA, see rules for use of rolled and flipped r's on pp. 232-33.
** |>/3r] and [>/3r] are written to accommodate r-color pronunciations in both AS and RP. In each case,
AS pronunciation appears first, followed by the RP reduced r-color.

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CHAPTER EIGHT The Three Semi-Vowel Glides

Musical Application
When adding the grace note pick-up for the related glide vowel, you inherently must always rob time from the preceding note; this way, the consonant preparation is before the
beat and the vowel will not be late. The related vowel could be sung on the pitch of the
preceding note or on the note of the stressed word that follows it. It usually works best,
however, to sing the related vowel on whichever is the lowest pitch. When the preparation
grace note is on the lower pitch, it functions as a springboard for the stressed vowel and
helps the voice to swell or bloom into the stressed word. Note the grace note placements
in the following example.

We wrow
a - (u) wake
to (l)you

We (^row
a - (u)wake
to (l) you
(Grace note placements)

However, for the words with initial consonant clusters in which the second consonant
is either [w], [j], or [a] such as "music" [mjuzik], always sing the grace note pick-up on
the actual pitch of the stressed syllable. That way, it will be subtle and not obtrusive.

We g^row
"to quake": to k(u\vake
re-f^'Vise

We g row

to k wake
re-f^use

(Grace note placements)

Take a look at a few examples from the repertoire:


(Quasi recit. Slowly and freely)
(P)

S(u)weet
("Sweeter Than Roses," Henry Purcell)

er than

(3v)

ro -

ses,

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Moving forward (J = 96)

Now

the time has g * rown so short;

the " world has g rown so wide.

("Laurie's Song" from The Tender Land, Aaron Copland)

For further discussion of musical application, see chapter 13.


Tips for Vocal Ease
Initiate the [w] with its related glide vowel [u] to avoid lip and subvocal or subglottic tension. To accommodate the glide vowel rhythmically, add a grace note pick-up before the
word beginning with [w]. It is the quick release of the [u] into the primary vowel that
stresses the word and makes it expressive.
As stated above, these three semi-vowel/semi-consonants are produced by the gliding
action of the preceding related vowel sound. However, a little more detail on the position
of the articulators for each of these semi-vowels is necessary.

[w] Production

FIGURE 8.1

[w]

CHAPTER EIGHT The Three Semi-Vowel Glides

Action
The bilabial voiced [w] is made with a gliding movement of the lips that is similar to the
pursed position of [u]. In English, [w] is found only before a vowel.
Beginning position:

Tongue

tip down, back up

Lips

closely rounded for [u]

Position changes immediately as the lips glide to next vowel.

Pitfalls to Avoid
Lazy lips or thick tongues make for dull, shapeless glides.
Avoid intrusive glides that incorrectly produce two-syllable words.
EXAMPLE

flower

and power

should be triphthongs

and

fill In the passaggio and above, when a word ending in a [u] or [a] Is
followed by a stressed word-type beginning with a vowel, the two words
may be discreetly connected with a [w] to strengthen the legato line. Because of the high tessitura, this would be far preferable to breaking the line
with a breath tift to stress the subsequent word.

EXAMPLE

From Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell: Fear no danger to (w)ensure

Word of Caution
An inserted [w] glide should be approached with subtlety and should not be apparent to
the listener. Used properly, this technique can provide a springboard to help open the
voice up and swell on the stressed vowel in the passaggio.

[j] Production
This vowel is produced by the lingual palatal gliding movement of the tongue. As with the
[w], [j] is found in English only when it precedes a vowel.

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FIGURE 8.2 [j]

Action
Tongue

high in mouth
sides in contact with upper molars
tongue tip down as for the [i] vowel
tongue glides forward for next vowel sound

Lips

unrounded

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid intrusive glides: Popeye the Sailor's famous quote "I (j)am what I (j)am"
(This may be used in the passaggio to help the legato, but must be used discreetly
and should not be heard by the listener.)

Tips for Vocal Ease


Use the related [i] vowel before the [j] to avoid subvocal tension. Add a grace note pickup before the word beginning with [j] to accommodate this extra vowel rhythmically. It is
the quick release from the [i] into the primary vowel that stresses the word and makes it
expressive.

CHAPTER EIGHT The Three Semi-Vowel Glides

RULE to the passaggto arid above, when a word ending in an [i| [it Of [4] fcfollowed by a stressed woidNtypt beginning with a vowel, the two words may'-toe
discreetly connectedwitha fjl to strengthen the legato line, Because of tht high
tessitura, this would be far more preferable than stopping the line with a bieftth
Itfttostnesstheswb^eqywtword,

EXAMPLE

From Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell: Away, [j]away! Belinda, I [flam
prest.

A Word of Caution
The inserted [j] should not be discernible to the listener. If it can be heard, then it needs
to be softer in its connection. Used properly, this technique can provide a springboard to
help the singer open the voice and swell on the stressed vowel in the passaggio.

[j] Production

FIGURE 8.3 [j]

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The symbol for the burred r is [j], which is always used in American Standard and in Modern British Received speech. In singing, the burred r [j] is always used in North American
repertoire. For repertoire from the United Kingdom, burred r's [j] are interspersed with
flipped and trilled r's. R usage for British repertoire will be discussed in greater length in
chapter 14.
The burred r [j] is lingua-palatal gliding movement of the lips and tongue.

Action
Tongue

body of tongue released


tip down behind lower front teeth for [a-]
sides of tongue arched and in contact with upper
molars as with position with [e] vowel

Lips

rounded in [o] position

As the gliding occurs, the [j] consonant is formed with the slight elevation of the tongue
tip toward the hard palate. The tongue glides downward when the [j] glides to next vowel.

RULE for R as a Consonant or a Vowel


R is sounded as a consonant when it is followed by a vowel.
EXAMPLES

red

remember

righteous

R is sounded as an r-colored vowel when it, is followed by a consonant or is final.


EXAMPLES

work

learn

never

far

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not allow tongue to tip too much toward hard palate, resulting in the characteristically Midwestern heavy retroflex r (remedy: bring tongue tip further forward).
Avoid intrusive r'scharacteristic of New Englander and certain British dialects, in
which an r is added at the end of words or when linking words.
EXAMPLE

Barbara (j) is going.

CHAPTER EIGHT The Three Semi-Vowel Glides


Tips for Vocal Ease
Use the related r-colored schwa [a-] before the r to avoid tongue bunching and constriction. Add a grace note pick-up before the word beginning with [j] to accommodate this
extra vowel rhythmically. Remember, it is the quick release of the glide vowel into the primary vowel that forms the consonant r and makes the word stressed and expressive.

RULE In the passaggio and above, when a word ending in a|9>Af] is foltpwed
by a stressed word-type beginning with a vowel, botfo words can be discreetly
connected with a consonant r. In Neutral American Standard, it would be a
burred r [j]. In historic British Received and Mid-Atlantic pronunciations^ ft WoWd
be connected with a flipped r [r]. This strengthens th6 legato and is far mom
preferable than breaking the tine in the passaggi o with a breath lift*

EXAMPLE

RP: Mine with storms of care [r]opprest


Grief shall ne'er [r]approach the fair.
(Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas)
AS: To view a murder [j] or [j] a carnival reflected in the window
of my mirror.
(Dominic Argento, "The Mirror Aria" from Postcard from Morocco)

A Word of Caution
Once again, this must be done with subtlety and taste. The listener must not think that a
new word "ropprest" or "rapproach" or "roar" has been formed. When this is applied with
subtlety, this can be a wonderful technique and can provide a springboard to help the
singer open up the voice and swell on the vowel.

General Application for Types of R's

RULi Only burred r's [j] should be used in music by North American composers
with North American texts.

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Since North American English speech does not contain any trilled r's [R] or flipped r's
[r], they should not be used in song or opera from North America. Only the burred r consonant [j] used in the United States and Canada should be sung in this repertoire.

RULE For oratorio and repertoire originating from the British Isles, British Received Pronunciation, or the hybrid dialect, Mid-Atlantic, is appropriate, In these
pronunciations, tried r's [sj and Intervocalic flipped r's [r] could be used. See
chapters 14 and 15 for RULES for their usage,

RULE If a North American $tm or opera has a text by an English poet, either
American Standard, British Received, or Mid-Atlantic pronunciation would be
appropriate. One consideration rrrtght be which dialect would be most intelligible for the venue or the sophistication of the audience. In opera, often the
directors or conductors make the decision based on the production style and
values.

For Non-Native English Speakers


For non-native English singers or native English speakers who regularly use trilled and
rolled r's in their speech, here is a drill to gain control over the r choices you use in your
vocal repertoire.

DRILL FOR A L L E V I A T I N G TRILLED R's


In order to alleviate the habit of trilling the r's, practice exaggerating the duration of the
related [a-] vowel before the [j] and concentrate on not allowing the tongue to make
contact with the gum ridge while the r is executed. Remember the lips must be rounded
to produce an exact [j] sound.
Since [j] does not appear in many of the world languages, it is often particularly problematic for foreign singers. The muscle memory is so strong for trilling r's that there is
often great difficulty refraining from using trilled r's in their singing of American Standard
English. Unfortunately, trilled and flipped r's do not exist in Neutral American English
and are therefore inappropriate.

CHAPTER EIGHT The Three Semi-Vowel Glides

Tony the Tiger on the Frosted Flakes commercials had the right idea!
G ( ->) reat!!!!!
EXAMPLES

right

rain

really

EXERCISES
1. Practice saying the following words with both initial burred r's [j] and trilled
r's [R]:

[J]

[R]

rose

rose

[J]
rose

wrong

wrong

wrong

cry

cry

cry

breath

breath

breath

thread

thread

thread

2. Transcribe and drill the following words. Use care to initiate them with their
related vowel sounds:
Semi-vowel [j]
yes

yellow

young

yawn

year

yore

yonder

yearn

yet

yacht

yams

Yankee

Ye

York

Europe

yesterday

Semi-vowel [w]
world

walk

wonder

worthy

wife

wash

woman

wisdom

worm

weigh

would

weather

witty

wishes

witch

whether

Semi-vowel [J/R]
ripe

proud

brown

drum

cream

really

pray

bright

draw

crowd

rough

print

bring

dream

craft

rhyme

pretty

brother

dreary

crown

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3. Transcribe the following text and add related vowel sounds to the stressed semivowel glide consonants. Practice intoning the entire text, and then apply it to the
first eight measures of the music as it appears below:
When green as a river was the barley,
Green as the river the rye.
I waded deep and began to parley
With a youth whom I heard sigh.
"I seek," said he, "a lovely lady,
A nymph as bright as a queen.
Like a tree that drips with pearls her shady
Locks of hair were seen;
And all the rivers became her flocks
Though their wool you cannot shear.
Because of the love of her flowing locks
The kingly sun like a swain
Came strong, unheeding of her scorn.
Wading in deeps where she has lain,
Sleeping upon her river lawn
And chasing her starry satyr train,
She fled, and changed into a tree
That lovely fair-haired lady . . ."
And now I seek through the sere summer
Where no trees are shady!
(William Walton,* "Daphne" from Three Poems of Edith Sitwell)

* This poem is by the British poet Edith Sitwell. It should be sung in British Received or MidAtlantic pronunciation. But for the purposes of this exercise, it could be done also in American
Standard.

Andante ( J = I04c.)
p espress.

When g(>)reen

Gr reen as a

ri

- ver the

rye,

as a

^ri

ver

was

(u)

wad

the bar

ed

and be-

deep

ley,

111

CHAPTER EIGHT The Three Semi-Vowel Glides

gan

to par-ley With a

(l)

youth

whom I

heard

sigh.

("Daphne" from Three Poems of Edith Sitwell, William Walton)

4. Transcribe the following text into colloquial American, adding related glide
vowels and breath lifts on stressed words:
There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air,
Wait for us,
Somewhere.
There's a time for us,
Someday a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Someday,
Somewhere,
We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving,
Somewhere.
There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're half way there,
Hold my hand and I'll take you there.
Somehow,
Someday,
Somewhere.
(Leonard Bernstein / Steven Sondheim, "Somewhere" from West Side Story)

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CHAPTER NINE
Introduction to Consonants

The study of English lyric diction cannot be complete without an in-depth focus on the
consonant speech sounds of the language. Many singers find that it is the delivery of the
consonant sounds that causes them the most difficulty when singing in English. Unlike
the Romance languages found in the lyric repertoire, the ratio of consonant to vowel in
English is very high. Since the consonants are so much more prevalent in English than
in the other languages, it is therefore important that we learn how to produce them properly and how to treat them expressively.
There are two main reasons why the consonants of English pose problems for the lyric
singer. The first is the fault of lax and careless colloquial delivery; the second is lack of
concentration on the production of the consonants within the vocal studio.
The study of the lyric treatment of the English consonants in singing is a muchneglected subject. As students of singing, a great deal of time and attention is spent on
the vocal production of the various vowel sounds and practically no time is spent on the
correct production of the consonants that precede, follow, and surround the vowel sounds.
Taking into account the difficulty of learning to sing well and the number of years required
to learn this skill, it is completely understandable that the thrust of the work in the vocal
studio is on perfecting the vowels with little time left over for the consonants.
For many years in North America, at least, secondary schools have not offered and
encouraged verse recitation of any kind. Elocution courses have been taken out of the curricula. The oral tradition of recitation has been eclipsed by more technological pursuits.
Worldwide, the computer age has left us with less time than previous generations to interact socially and converse in our daily lives. Communication seems to be done mostly by
email, text messaging, and mobile phone usage. Admitting that there are deficiencies in
this area, let us begin our work!

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First we need to develop a positive mindset regarding consonants. Consonants are not
the enemy of legato singing. They are the connective tissue that sustains the legato and
propels it forward. When released and handled properly, the consonants help maintain the
forward placement of the vowels and help the voice to achieve its bloom. Except for a few
songs composed as vocalises on a single vowel, the vast majority of vocal repertory has
text. Text means words, and words have consonants. Without the consonants, we have no
words. Without the words, we have no concrete thoughts being transmitted. If we hope to
communicate the thoughts and intentions of a piece of literature as set to music, we will
need to be armed with an arsenal of techniques for dealing successfully with the challenges of the consonants. It is very important to learn to produce the consonants well and
to savor them. Here are some general rules to consider.

GENERAL RULES FOR CONSONANTS


1. The consonants make the word intelligible.
2. There are no ugly consonants, only the inept execution of them that causes
them to be unattractive at times.
3. The dynamic level of the consonants must be brought into balance with that
of the vowels,
4. The consonants must be sustained vocally as part of the vocal line.
5. Doubling or tripling the duration of the initial sustaining consonant of the
stressed syllable of the words receiving stress helps to highlight the key words
for the listener. This is accomplished by robbing time from the vowel of the
word preceding the stressed consonant. This will be dealt with in detail in
chapter 13.
EXAM PLES

I Illove you

If with all your hhhearts you truly ssseek me

The stop-plosive consonants [d], [t], and [g] are doubled or tripled by stopping down on the consonant before its release. This is treated the same as a
double stop-plosive in Italian.
EXAMPLES

Oh! My g;goodnessl

drdeath invades me

6. The preparation or anticipation of the consonant must be done without tension and distortion of the vowel.
7. The objective should be to keep the base of the tongue from hardening. This
is accomplished in part by striving to maintain a flexibility and pliability of the
jaw

lips, and tongue muscles,

CHAPTER NINE Introduction to Consonants

8; /4fl consonants not begrnnfng stressed words that are followed %-wjs
sttbuttf, tescvmfed with the vowels that follow them,
IX AMPLE

wai'-ting fo -4 rus

The English Consonants


The English language contains twenty-five consonants. Fifteen of them are voiced consonants and ten are unvoiced consonants. A voiced consonant is a consonant that involves
the vibration of the vocal chords in its production. A voiceless or unvoiced consonant does
not. Note the list of the English consonants with their voiced and unvoiced cognates below.

ENGLISH CONSONANTS
Voiced

Unvoiced
Cognates

-f

d3

>tj

M<

h*

Voiced ConsonantsNo Cognates


m, n, n, I, w, j, j/R/r
Not true cognates but related consonants

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Cognate pairs are two consonant sounds, one voiced and one unvoiced, that are produced by the same articulatory adjustments. In the voiced cognate, the vocal chords vibrate while the consonant sound is produced, while in the unvoiced cognate, only the release of air produces the consonant sound. A voiced consonant can be sung on a pitch
while the unvoiced cannot.
Familiarity with the groupings of the cognate pairs can offer singers opportunities to
use the voicing and unvoicing properties of the consonants to their vocal advantage. Certain consonants are difficult to produce and project in the upper register and other consonants are difficult to get past the foot lights period. Here are some preliminary suggestions
to consider.
Tips for Vocal Ease

Within the cognate consonant pairs, substitutions can be made for vocal ease or easier
projection.
1. If a word with an initial "g" like "God" is set on a high note, try substituting an
Italian g or k, which places the consonant further forward and prevents it from
being guttural.
2. The final [f] and the unvoiced th [6] can be projected better if you begin with the
[f] or [6], but switch to their voiced cognates of [v] and [5] at the last second. See
pages 144 and 158.
3. The [dsl of the word "rejoice" can be switched to [tj] in "Rejoice greatly" from
Handel's Messiah in order to conserve air in the melismas and make the "j"
project better over the orchestra.
4. To project over thick orchestration, [tj] may be substituted for final [t]. With
distance, it sounds the same acoustically.

RULE The substitution of consonants for vocal ease and projection must be
done In such a way that it is not apparent to the audience, Past the orchestra pit
the consonants must sound real and correct. What you are singing on stage may
be different, but acoustically it must sound authentic in the house.

Listed below are all of the various categories of English consonants with their cognates. These will be discussed in-depth in the following chapters.
The Plosives:
The Fricatives:

[b/p], [d/t], [g/k]


[v/f], [z/s], [3/J], [5/6]

CHAPTER NINE Introduction to Consonants

The Affricates:
The Aspirants:
The Nasal Consonants:

[ds/tj]
[Wh]
[m], [n], [rj]

The Lateral Consonants:

[1]

Before digging in, we will spend some time developing our awareness of voiced versus unvoiced consonants. Habitual colloquial speech habits do not help us much. Many of
us are fairly lazy in articulating final and medial consonants. Often the voiced consonants
are only partially voiced or dropped. For example, in words like "good," "night," "straight,"
and "word," we often do not sound or project the final consonant. In American English, in
words like "letter" and "water," the aspirated the medial [t] and often sound a flapped [r]
instead. This can be used for certain colloquial pieces or characters but it often does not
project well enough through thick accompaniment. In British English, though the medial
t's are aspirated, there seems to be a current fashion for changing all the final d's to t's.
English without final d's sounds like German, not English. Final d's need to remain voiced.
So, let's get to work!

EXERCISES
1. Pronounce the following words, making sure to buzz the final voiced consonants;
all final s's in these words should be sounded as [z]:*
word, words

stage, stages

leave, leaves

require, requires

girl, girls

stab, stabs

hum, hums

man, mans

hang, hangs

bathe, bathes

English is a very unphonetic language. In other words, it is seldom spelled the way
it is sounded. In order to easily identify the voiced consonants, it is helpful to
write out all words in phonetics so that you are not misled by the English spellings.
2. Transcribe the following words and underline the voiced consonants:
celebration

majestic

surprise

increase

remember

evening

intentionally

advocate

kissed

precious

procession

miraculous

pageant

choir

exact

See chapter 11 for the related rule.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

3. Transcribe text in AS and underline voiced consonants:


Look down, fair moon, and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down night's nimbus floods
in faces ghastly, swollen purple,
on the dead on their backs with arms toss'd wide,
pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon.
(Walt Whitman/Ned Rorem, "Look Down, Fair Moon")

4. Transcribe text in AS/RP and underline voiced consonants:


Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes
as bright as sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears, o Memory,
hope, love of finished years.
Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet
whose wakening should be in paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes watch the slow door
that opening, letting in, lets out no more.
Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
my very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
As long ago, my love, how long ago.
(Christina Rossetti / Lee Gannon, "Echo")

CHAPTER TEN
The Plosives

A plosive sound is a sound in which breath is stopped by the articulators and is released
in a small puff of air when the articulators are relaxed. Known also as stop-plosives, there
are eight plosive consonants in four cognate pairs: [b/p], [d/t], [g/k], and [d3/tj].

OVERVIEW OF THE PLOSIVE CONSONANTS


1. The plosive consonants should be produced precisely and with no pressure.
2. Tension can be defined as non-motion. The facial muscles, throat, and jaw
should be energized and pliable, never frozen into any position. A reaction
in the jaw from the spring-like action of the plosive consonants must be
allowed for.
3. The voiced plosives should be sung on the pitch of the adjacent vowel and
voiced immediately.
4. There should be neither explosion nor compression of air. Excessive air
wreaks havoc on the vocal line and is unnecessary for the projection of
these consonants.
5. For recordings and performances with mikes, be careful with explosive p's,
b's, t's, and d's. If they are too aspirated, they will pop the microphone.

[b/p] are bilabial. They are produced with the two lips together,
[d/t] are lingua-alveolar. They are produced with tip of the tongue in contact with
the alveolar ridge.
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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

[g/k] are lingua-velar. They are produced with back of the tongue in contact with
the velum.
[d3/tj] are lingua-alveolar and lingua-palatal. They are produced by the tongue
against the front and sides of the palate. They are also affricatives.
[b]/[p] Production
A bilabial stop-plosive.

FIGURE 10.1 [b]/[p]

Action
Tongue

should be inactive

Lips

come together without pressure and spring apart as vocal chords


vibrate for [b] and air is released for [p]
firm but flexible lips
no air compression behind lips

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid immobile mouththe American prototype of tight-mouthed and the British
stiff-upper-lipped, laconic speakers.
Let the muscles go.
Avoid an extra vowel sound formed when connecting two consonants.

Aids for Projection


1. In stressed consonant clusters such as pi, bl, pr, and br, the initial consonants
may be elongated by the insertion of a brief [a] vowel in 1 clusters and [a-] in
r clusters.
EXAMPLES

please [p^liz]
(ai)

proud [p jciud]

blood [b^Ud]
bright [b(ai)jait]

2. Before a rest, final p's can be made more audible by producing a [p] but immediately converting it to [b] with the cutoff. This can make this unvoiced consonant
more easily projected.
EXAMPLES

hope [houp - b]

cup [kAp -> b]

trip [tJip > b]

worship [wy-/3rjip - b]

3. Initial p's can be projected more easily by substituting the unaspirated Italian [p]
as in the word "pace." It is partially voiced and has different lip pressure.
Drill alternating English p's and Italian p's in words below. Concentrate on no air
flow on Italian p and a lip sensation similar to a [b].
pain

pain

power

power

poor
public

poor
public

pale
passion

pale
passion

Tips for Vocal Ease


Substituting an Italian [p] and even a [b] for a final [p] can be used to strengthen the legato
and be much more vocally soothing. When a word ending with a [p] is followed by a
vowel, try connecting the two words with an Italian [p] when the phrase is accompanied
by piano, or a [b] when accompanied by thick orchestra.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

And my lamp

is

lost,

and

my lamp

is

lost.

("The Black Swan" from The Medium, Gian Carlo Menotti)

EXAMPLE

with piano accompaniment


"and my lam -> [it. p] is lost"
with heavily orchestrated accompaniment
"and my lam -> [b] is lost"

Microphone Alert
Exploded, popped [p]s are the most problematic of all the consonants when singing with
a microphone.

EXERCISES
1. Practice articulating p's and b's in various positions:
Initial

Medial

Final

beauty

trouble

grab

bounty

slumber

stub

beggar

abide

sob

peace

apple

hope

pray

rapture

sleep

patience

repair

clasp

2. Practice singing and intoning the following words.


Use the partially voiced p -> b cutoffs:
weep

creep

sleep

hope

help

drop

slip

lamp

grasp

up

trip

grope

123

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

[d]/[t] Production
Lingua-alveolar consonants.

FIGURE 10.2 [d]/[t]

Action
Tongue

Lips
Jaw

sides of tongue in contact with upper molars


tongue tip securely placed on gum ridge behind center of the upper
teeth
tip releases with spring-like action to below
lower front teeth as cords vibrate for [d] or breath releases for [t]
tongue tip very energized
inactive
no action of jaw necessary in release of consonant

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid dental t's and d's as in Italian. They must be aspirated for English (the only
dental consonants that exist in English are [5] and [6]).
Avoid slack d's, caused by thick tongue contacting too broad an area of gum ridge.
Only tongue tip in the center of the gum ridge is needed.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Avoid over-aspirated medial consonantsuse softer attack when medial consonants


begin unstressed syllables.

RU11S for W endings*


1. When the "ed" ending;($preceded by a vo/earf consonant, the d b soynded
a$[d].
....EXAMPLE

troubled |
crowne

2. When the "ed" ending!; preceded by an unvQlcetf--consonant, the d is


sounded as [t].
EXAMPLE

kissed [kist|
talked

Aids for Projection


Plosives are the consonants most prevalently found in English words. If good projection
technique is acquired for the plosive consonants, much of the intelligibility battle can be
won. Besides being most prevalent, the plosive consonants can be the most problematical
vocally and acoustically with any microphone enhancement. With this is mind, it is important to know which type of plosive consonants are needed for specific circumstances.

With Thick Instrumental Accompaniments,

Use Wet T's and D's


1. With thick accompaniment or orchestration, use a wet t/d to project. A wet t or d
has a forward-placed vowel released with it. Release final t's with a whispered [i]
vowel following it. A final d is released with an [i] following it.
EXAMPLE

night [nait]

This final wet t sounds similar to the percussion instrument, the high hat.
2. With instrumental accompaniment, initial d's may be replaced by an aspirated
partial [t] for easier projection. The symbol for this kind of "half d-t" sound is
[d]. It almost sounds like a [dz], but with less voicing.

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

Drill alternating the words "town" and "down" releasing the [d] with the same
frontal position and aspiration as the [t].
EXAMPLE

[taun] -> [daun] -> [taun] -[daun]

3. The tr and dr consonant clusters are often mispronounced colloquially as [tjj]


and [d;y]. This pronunciation, though incorrect, does project better over an orchestra and takes less air to produce. Actually, it alleviates subvocal pressure to
substitute [tjj] for tr spellings. Therefore, substitute these whenever the tessitura
is difficult or the orchestration is heavy.
EXAMPLES

dream

truth

tree

tremble

try

trust

4. Double t and d spellings are only sounded as one consonant. Use light aspiration
on the medial t's.
EXAMPLES

better, pretty, matter, wedding, adding, ladder

With Light Accompaniments and Microphones,

Use Dry T's and D's


Use dry t's and d's when singing and speaking with a microphone or light accompaniment. A dry d or t is released with a vowel [9], which releases downward. If you hold the
palm of your hand two or three inches in front of your mouth and release a dry d or t, you
should not feel a puff of air against your palm. A dry d or t should not have any forward
release of breath that would "pop" the mike.

PRACTICE DRILL
Say or sing the following words with dry t's and d's. Hold your palm in front of your
mouth and make sure you do not feel any puff of air.
Wept / wed

paint / pained

bet / bed

helped / held

Tell / dale

tot / dot

Tom / Don

tear / dare

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

EXERCISES
1. Practice t's and d's in the various positions. Alternate between wet and dry t's
and d's:

Initial

Medial

Final

touch

letter

night

tree

bitter

sweet

twenty

winter

blessed

divine

under

find

dagger

sudden

beside

daughter

riddle

confide

2. Practice intoning/singing the following with no intrusive vowels between the


consonant clusters. If the [sts] cluster is difficult, first say the [s] followed by
the [ts]:

[sts]
beasts

mists

guests

ghosts

lasts

tastes

hosts

casts

texts

t plus various consonants

do not go

great joy

set forth

sweet dream

sent me

let none

night prayer

thou art good

bright vision

secret sorrow

lost souls

first song

[g]/[k] Production
The consonants [g] and [k] are lingua-velar stop-plosives. Their articulatory adjustment
involves the back of the tongue and the velum.

127

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

FIGURE 10.3 [g]/[k]

Action
Mouth

open

Tongue

tip behind lower front teeth


middle of tongue in contact with hard palate (they can be produced
with soft palate, but a more forward production is recommended);

Lips
Jaw

tongue springs away as cords vibrate for [g] or air puff for [k]
inactive
no movement necessary in release of consonant; the tongue does all
the work in release

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid guttural, gulpy g's produced in back of throat.
Avoid faulty k'scroaking k's against soft palate; must be further forward.
Avoid pull back production in anticipation of the [1] in [gl] combinationsgleam,
glimpse, glade.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

RULfS for [i)+g] or [nj atone;


1. [rj] is sounded alone when the root of the word Is a verb,
EXAMPLE

singer
longing

2. [rj+g] is sounded when .the stem of the word does not form a verb,
EXAMPLE

finger
anguish

Exceptions: the comparative acfjective forms


EXAMPLE

long
longer
longest

young
younger
youngest

Aids for Projection


1. Take care not to release an explosion of air from behind tongue. Air should be
released no further back than from the hard palate.
2. Potentially throaty consonantsdo not let them go back like they do colloquially.
Again, remember to use the plosive consonants appropriately to the musical circumstance.

With Thick Accompaniment Use Wet K's and G's


As with wet t's and d's, use wet k's and g's to cut through thick accompaniment or orchestration. For a wet g or k, to aid the forward release, think of the tongue in the [i] position
for the cutoff of final k's and [i] for the cutoff of final g's.
EXAMPLES

back [bae -^ k]
look [lu ^ k]
big [bi -> gW]

plague [plei -> g(l)]

129

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

For initial wet k's and g's, anticipate the consonants by preparing tongue for [i] vowel.
EXAMPLES

keep = (i) -> [kip]

cast = (i) -> [kaest]

go = (i) -> [gou]

guide = (i) -> [gaid]

With Light Accompaniment and Microphones


Use Dry G's and K's

Use dry g's and k's for light accompaniment and with microphones. For a dry g or k,
remember to avoid a forward release of the consonant with a puff of air.
Drill the following consonants using dry g's and k's. Say these word groups, making
sure you release the g's and k's with a final [9] with cutoff.
pigpick

eggache

broguebroke

lugluck

gapecape

girlcurl

goodcould

Godcod

For the initial consonant clusters kr, gr, kw, kl, and gl, insert a very quick [&], [u], or
[3] vowel between the consonants to elongate the beginning of a stressed word or stressed
syllable of a stressed word.
EXAMPLES

cross

great

choir

cloud

glance

Word of Caution
Never insert a schwa [9] unless in a consonant cluster with an 1. For the semi-glide consonants in clusters, only their related vowel can be inserted. This applies to all consonant
clusters with glide consonants, not just those with k's and g's. In other words:
Insert [u] only when [w] is in an initial cluster
EXAMPLE

queen [k< u >win]

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

[i] only when [j] is in an initial stressed cluster


EXAMPLE

music [m^juzik]

[a^] only when [J/R] is in initial stressed cluster


EXAMPLE

green [g<*>jin]

[9] only when [1] is in initial stressed cluster


EXAMPLE

blow [b<a)lou]

Tips for Vocal Ease

For difficult settings of words with an initial [g], substitute the Italian [k] as in the word
"caro." This will place the g further forward and keep it from being too guttural. Be careful, however, not to aspirate the [k] or else "God" will sound like "cod"!
Many singers find that using an [i] rather than a [9] as a final shadow vowel keeps the
voice placed higher and more forward. Also, the frontal release of the initial d's and k's
help the vowel placement. See pages 136-37 for further details on shadow vowels.

EXERCISES
1. Practice articulating both wet and dry g's and k's in the various positions:
Initial

Medial

Final

care

become

drink

count

murky

music

king

waken

invoke

gift

begin

beg

guess

forget

vague

guard

tiger

intrigue

2. Transcribe the following words, inserting the correct extra vowel into the consonant clusters.
[ki/R]

[gj/R]

[kw]

[kl]

[gl]

crow

grow

quick

clear

glad

cruel

grew

quaint

clasp

glide

Christ

grab

quiet

classify

glutton

crash

green

question

climb

glimpse

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

IMPLOSION RULE When final the cognate pairs of the stop^ptosives, [b/p],
[d/t], [gjk] are found back to back at a fast or moderate tempo, hold or irrtpfode
the first consonant and sourtd only the second one.

Implosions
An implosion occurs when two plosive cognate consonants are back to back in adjacent
words. Because these consonants are stop-plosives, we link them by holding or stopping
down on the first consonant in our mouth and then sounding only the second consonant.
In other words, the implosion occurs when two plosive consonants appear adjacent to
each other as final and initial consonants. The plosive cognates are as follows.
p&b

d&t

g&k

Implosions occur only with texts that are set musically at fast or moderate tempi. Implosions are a very useful aid in cleaning up the legato line. Within a phonetic transcription, an implosion should be notated: [ /_ ]
The sensation of imploding a plosive consonant is very similar to the doubling of the
stop double consonants in Italian. For example, the doubling in the word "tut:to" in Italian, feels similar to the word phrase "want to" in English. Try the following words and
phrases in Italian and English to get used to the sensation:
Italian

English
p&b

lab:bro

sleej^peacefully
cu^_brings
stee^bank
d&t

at:to
dilet:to

ligh^_touch
ha^_done
hea<^tone
g&k

leg:go

do^goes
drink^cold milk
backgammon

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Notice how the legato is improved by the use of implosions in the musical examples below:
Tis the gifO be simple
Quietly flowing (J = 72)
i ,

mp

legato, simply

Tis the

gif/v

Jo

be sim-ple 'tis the

gif/

to

be free

("Simple Gifts" from Old American Songs, Aaron Copland)

On my black^coffin let there be strown

On

my blacV cof -

fin

let

there

be

strown;

("Dirge" from Six Elizabethan Songs, Dominick Argento)

Even in some musical settings when there is a rest between the two plosive consonants, an implosion can be more appropriate than sounding the consonants separately.
Consider this example, also from Dominick Argento's Six Elizabethan Songs:

And mill/

comes

fro

zen home

in

pail;

("Winter" from Six Elizabethan Songs, Dominick Argento)

At this brisk tempo, sounding two [k]'s is almost comical; if "Milk" and "comes" are not
imploded, you might sound like you have a speech impediment (or at least supply your
own rhythm section)!
Exception: The only exception to this rule occurs with verbs with "ed" endings in past
tense followed by a word beginning with a [tj. When the "ed" is imploded, the verb sounds
like it is in present tense. For "ed" endings, make sure not to implode the final consonant
in order to keep the correct verb tense.

133

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

If imploded:
EXAMPLES

"asked to be" sounds like "ask to be"


"desired to go" sounds like "desire to go"
"judged truthful" sounds like "judge truthful'

[d3]/[tj] Production
The consonants [d?>] and [tj] are cognate pairs that are lingua-alveolar and lingua-palatal
involving the tongue against the front and sides of the palate.

FIGURE 10.4 [ds]/[tj]

Action
Tongue

sides of tongue against upper molars, flattened tip on gum ridge, and
front section of hard palate
sound is produced when air escapes while the tip releases with
spring-like movement forming a groove in the tongue
[d] and [3] blend simultaneously

Lips

inactive

Jaw

no required involvement

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid mushy [ds] caused by escape of air over sides of tongue rather than over
the tip. This problem is called lateralization. To correct lateralization, make sure
sides of tongue are in contact with the molars.
Avoid unintentional exchanging of [tj] for [ds].
Drill the following pairs:
perchpurge

batchbadge

etchedge

These affricates are particularly difficult for non-native speakers. Because many
languages do not contain [tj] and [03], many non-native speakers sometimes
substitute [J] and [3] or [ts] and [dz].

Aids for Projection


1. No compression or explosion of air. It destroys the legato.
2. Substitute [tj] for [ds] in vocally difficult settings. The consonant [tj] is easier
to project and the substitution cannot be aurally discerned over an instrumental
accompaniment.
EXAMPLE

From The Crucible by Robert Ward: "I do not judge you, John"
sn

' g [trj - [tJ01"1] rather than [d3an]

1UL1 [ds| and [tf] cannot be Imploded, Both must be pronounced in alt
tempi.
EXAMPLE

orange jj futce

large || gem

each I) child

such jj Joy

EXERCISES
1. Practice articulating these consonants in various positions:
Initial

Medial

Final

charm

nature

witch

cherish

butcher

match

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

champion

furniture

beach

childlike

teacher

sandwich

joy

major

merge

jelly

rejoice

besiege

George

Egypt

marriage

judah

imagination

courage

2. Practice separating the following words phrases:


such || generosity

purge || jealousy

sage || judgment

George || jests

marriage || choice

judge || judiciously

Save Breath for Shadow Vowels


One of the biggest impediments to transmitting a complete thought to the listener is the
unintentional practice of not saving enough breath to fully finish the last word of a phrase.
This is not only a problem that singers have. Start listening to sermons and lectures and
notice how many speakers drop off the final word of their sentences. It is often a very frustrating experience for the listener. In English sentence structure, the last word of a sentence is usually a stressed word. If we lose the last word, we have often lost the entire
thought.
Let's analyze the following text:
Weep you no more, sad fountains;
What need you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven's sun doth gently waste!
But my sun's heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly now, softly lies sleeping.
(Anonymous, "Weep You No More,
Sad Fountains" from John Dowland's
Third Book of Songs)

Notice what happens when every word at the end of the poetic line is dropped.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Weep you no more sad

What need you flow so

Look how the snowy


Heaven's sun doth gently

?
?

After four or five phrases like that, the listener usually stops listening. Their mind starts
to wander; they might start thinking about what will be offered at the coffee bar during the
interval! The way to prevent this major disconnect is to make sure the entire thought is
transmitted to them. To do that, the final word of the phrase must be well supported and
finished fully.
Other non-communicative things can potentially occur in the next part:
But my sun's heavenly (ice)
View not your weepy
While she lies sleepy
Softly now, softly lies sleepy
This happens because the final consonant of the final word is not projected. It is always unintentional. No one really plans on changing "sleeping" to "sleepy" or "weeping"
to "weepy." If the support is dropped before the final consonant is projected, then it is lost.
This frequently happens in singing because the pedagogical focus is always on singing
through the vowel sounds and the final consonants are left to their own devices.
To eliminate this problem, sing a shadow vowel: a short vowel with the release of the
final consonant. The preferred vowel to sing would be a short "ih" vowel [i] rather than a
schwa [9], which makes English start to sound very Italianate.
EXAMPLE

Thy hand(l) Belinda, darkness shades me,


More I would(l), but death invades me.
(Henry Purcell, "When I am Laid in Earth"
from Dido and Aeneas)

Here are some rules to consider regarding shadow vowels.

RULES FOR SHADOW VOWiiS


In this chapter, the use of shadow vowels after the final voiced plosive consonants [b], [d], and [g] has been discussed. Actually all final voiced consonants

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

137

that are followed by a rest or punctuation should be projected by use of a


shadow vowel on the cut-off. Below are some parameters for their use.
1. The preferred shadow vowel is an [i] vowel. If a [a] is used, the tfext begins to
sound very Italianate.

2. Shadow vowels are used at the end of a phrase to keep the test word of the
phrase supported and projected.
3. They also can be used to project a final [b], [d], or [g] of a stressed worcf-type
when It is followed by a consonant. If a shadow vowel is inserted in the rWddle
of the line/ it should be sung on the pitch of the word following It
And are up-gathere ~d(1) now like sleeping flowers*

EXAMPLE

4. A shadow vowel should be very short, roughly the length of a 16th notfe
5. A shadow vowel at the end of a phrase should be loud enough to be heard
over the accompaniment but softer than the primary vowel of the word it
finishes. In other words, a shadow vowel is there to serve the projected of
the text but should not draw attention away from the stressed words of thfi
phrase,
6. for microphones: If you are singing with a body mike, you will only need to
put shadow vowels on final [b], [d], or [g]f Just sing through the final nasal
and fricative consonants and they will be sufficiently projected by the mike.
* More detailed applications can be found in chapter 13.

Observe shadow vowels in the following two musical examples:


Andante

Sure

50

on

this shin - ing night

Of

("Sure on This Shining Night," Samuel Barber)

star - made shad-ows rou

ndw

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Some - times

Some-times a

hear

dis - tant

stair - case

creak -

ing,

tel - e - phone.

.n(I)

("Lonely House" from Street Scene, Kurt Weill)

EXERCISES
Transcribe the following texts in IPA, indicate implosions to improve the legato, and
insert shadow vowels to project the final voice consonants:

AS
I want to be where the music comes from.
Where the clock stops, where it's now.
I want to be with the friends around me,
Who have found me, who show me how.
I want to sing to the early morning,
See the sunlight melt the snow;
And oh, I want to grow.
I want to wake to the living spirit
Here inside me, where it lies.
I want to listen til' I can hear it,
Let it guide me, and realize
That I can go with the flow unending,
That is bending, that is real;
And oh, I want to feel.
I want to walk in the earthly garden,
Far from cities, far from fear.
I want to talk to the growing garden,

CHAPTER TEN The Plosives

To the devas*, to the deer,


And to be one with the river flowing,
Breezes blowing, sky above;
And oh, I want to love.
(Lee Hoiby, "Where the Music Comes From")

AS

Do not despise the rose because its beauty is manifest,


Do not decry the thistle for its elusive grace,
I love what must be searched as well as read'ly offered,
If joy or pain accompany the gift.
Your easy words and kisses neither burned nor stung.
You left me at dawn on a dreamless bed.
(Gian Carlo Menotti, The Idle Gift)

* devas [deivas]: nature spirits.

139

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CHAPTER ELEVEN
The Fricatives

A fricative is a speech sound in which breath passes through the articulators so as to create frictional noises. Most fricatives occur as cognate pairs. There are ten fricative consonants in English in four cognate pairs: [v]/[f], [z]/[s], [sMJ], [9]/[6], and [Av]/[h]. The consonants [z], [s], [3], [J] are also called sibilants. A sibilant is a speech sound in which
breath passes through the articulators so as to create a hissing sound.
With the exception of the stop-plosives, all other consonants in English are continuants and can be sustained.
[v]/[f] are labio-dental. They are produced with contact between the lower lip and
upper teeth.
[z]/[s] are lingua-dental. They are produced with the tongue between the upper
and lower teeth.
[sMJ] are lingua-palatal. They are produced with the tongue against the sides and
front of teeth.
[5]/[9] are lingua-dental. They are produced with the tongue in contact with the
upper front teeth.
[h] is glottal. The sound is articulated in the glottis or throat.
[M] is a bilabial consonant glide.

Merges: The Legato Builder


In the previous chapter, I focused on a technique for improving the legato line with the
plosive consonants: the use of an implosion of the cognate pairs [b]/[p], [d]/[t], [g]/[k]

141

142

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

AN OVERVIEW OF THE FRICATIVE CONSONANTS


1. In the production of all the fricatives, always keep the exterior facial muscles
and throat uninvolved.
2. Never blow breath. There should be no sensation of air, only resonance.
3. Except for special circumstances, immediately voice the voiced consonants
with prompt vocal vibration. Do not initiate with the voiceless cognates. It
destroys the legato.
EXAMPLE

divine [divain] not [dif>vain]

4. Only adequate duration conveys these consonants to the audience, not air
pressure.
5. Keep time value of the duration of the stressed consonants consistent with the
English stress patterns. As in the word "velvet," the initial [v] would be tripled
while the second [v] that begins the unstressed syllable would be short.
6. Any intentional substitutions of consonant cognates for projection purposes
must not be discernible to the audience.
7. The unvoiced consonants must be heard long enough to be recognized. They
must be held longer than their voiced counterparts.
8. Like the plosive consonants, the fricatives need as much abdominal support as
the vowels require.
Plosive consonants implode when the cognate pairs are back to back; fricative
consonants merge when they are back to back.

when they are adjacent to each other in a vocal line. A similar principle can be applied to
fricative consonants [v]/[f], [z]/[s], b]/[J], [9]/[6], and [MJ/[h] when they are adjacent to
each other in a vocal line. Since the fricatives are sustaining consonants, rather than stop
consonants like the plosives, they can be sustained together without any stop of tone. This
sustained connection of one fricative consonant to another is called a merge.

RULE A Merge is the seamless sustaining of two adjacent consonants |o as to


not allow an intrusive vowel to accidentally occur between them, thereby disturbing the textual line. If the articulators are dropped for even a split second
while adjusting for the position of the next consonant a schwa or lorne other
weakened vowel sound will be heard between the two consonants.

143

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

The symbol for a merge is: [_]. Throughout this chapter, there will be discussions
about the merging of the fricative consonants.

All Fricatives Can Merge


Although each of the cognate pairs of the fricative consonants have been discussed separately, in actuality, all fricative consonants can merge when they are adjacent to each other
in a vocal line. In other words, any combination of the fricative consonants back to back
can form a merge. In reality, any combination of fricatives can merge with any other sustaining consonants. See chapter 13.
EXAMPLES

|TJ[f]

[v][8]

[z] [0]

[3]

Rushorward

oOhis

doesthirst

mirage^vanishes

[v]

[v]/[f] Production
The sounds [v] / [f] are labio-dental fricatives involving the lower lip and upper teeth.
These sounds are made by bringing up the inner edges of the lower lip against the upper
teeth. The sounds are produced when the breath [f] or the voice [v] escapes through a narrow opening between the upper teeth and lower lip.

FIGURE 11.1 [v]/[f]

144

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Action
Tongue

relaxed, low in mouth

Teeth

slightly apart
cutting edge of upper teeth rests lightly inside lower lip

Lips

relaxed and apart


Very little air required

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not UNintentionally exchange [f] for [v].
EXAMPLES

of: [av] not [af]


I have to go: [haev tu] not [haef tu]

Do not overbloweasy air flow, no breath pressure.


Do not omit the [f] before the [6] in words like fifth or twelfth.

Aids for Projection and Legato


1. To avoid an intrusive schwa [a] after [v] as in the word "love," wait for the vibration of [v] to cease and then move the articulators.
2. With instrumental accompaniment, use a shadow vowel [i] after final v and a
whispered [i] after final [f] followed by a rest or pause in order to better project.
EXAMPLES

dove[dAV]

grief [gjif(l)]

3. With thick orchestral accompaniment, final f's that end a phrase may be projected
easier if [f] is switched to [v] on the release.
EXAMPLES

life [laif -> v]

belief [bilif -> v]

RULE Merge final [v/f] followed by an initial [v/f} with one continuous
sound.

EXAMPLES

live^vitally

live^forever

life^varies

griePfalls

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

EXERCISES
1. Practice articulating v's and f's in the various positions:
Initial

Medial

Final

fame

infamous

grief

photo

coffee

laugh

friend

suffer

leaf

fortune

coffin

strife

fury

offer

nymph

voice

evil

love

Venus

avoid

eve

virtue

divine

shelve

valley

Savior

groove

villain

invade

move

2. Transcribe the following text and intone it. Where applicable, use glide vowels
and breath lifts to treat the stressed words, and add shadow vowels to project
the final voiced consonant before punctuation or a breath and merges for legato.
Music when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself, shall slumber on
(Percy Bysshe Shelley / Ernest Gold, "Music When Soft Voices Die")

3. Transcribe the following aria into IPA. Where applicable, use glide vowels and
breath lifts to treat the stressed words. Add shadow vowels to project the final
voiced consonants before punctuation or a breath.
Green finch and linnet bird, nightingale, blackbird,
How is it you sing?
How can you jubilate, sitting in cages,
Never taking wing?

145

146

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Outside the sky waits, beckoning,


Just beyond the bars.
How can you remain, staring at the rain,
maddened by the stars?
How is it you sing anything?
How is it you sing?
Whence comes this melody constantly flowing?
Is it rejoicing or merely hallowing?
Are you discussing or fussing or simply dreaming?
Are you crowing? Are you screaming?
Ringdove and robinet, is it for wages,
Singing to be sold?
Have you decided it's safer in cages,
Singing when you're told?
My cage has many rooms, damask and dark.
Nothing there sings, not even my lark.
Larks never will, you know, when they're captive.
Teach me to be more adaptive. Ah,
Green finch and linnet bird, nightingale, blackbird,
Teach me how you sing.
If I cannot fly let me sing.
(Stephen Sondheim, "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sweeney Todd)

[z]/[s] Production
The consonants [z]/[s] are lingua-alveolar fricatives involving the blade of the tongue contacting the alveolar ridge.

Action
Teeth

slightly apart

Tongue

sides of tongue press against upper back teeth, sealing off breath point
tip of tongue toward exact center of upper front teeth

Lips

keep lips symmetrical

Vibration occurs between tip of tongue and the gum ridge

147

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

FIGURE 11.2 [ z ] / [ s ]

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid dull sound, which occurs if tongue tip is down; there is more resonance with
tongue tip up by gum ridge.
Avoid lisping s's.

LISPING S
1. Frontal lisp: substituting [0] for [s] and [9] for [z] caused by tongue touching
gum ridge.
2. Lateral lisp: aspirated [I] position substituted for [s] or [z] caused by sides of
tongue not in contact with upper teeth.
3. Effeminate s caused by top and bottom teeth together and tongue groove
too narrow.
4. Whistling s caused by tongue tip too far back or by tongue tip against lower
gum or teeth.

148

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

DRILLS FOR OVERCOMING LISPING S AND Z


For S's
Practice ts/s alternation:
EXAMPLES

tsee/see, tsay/say, tsaw/saw, tsew/sew, tsoon/soon

Practice ns/s alternation:


EXAMPLES

nsun/sun, nso/so, nsaid/said, nsign/sign, nseal/seal

For Z's
Practice dz/z alternation:
EXAMPLES

dzone/zone, dzoo/zoo, dzip/zip, dzeal/zeal

Practice nz/z alternation:


EXAMPLES

nzone/zone, nzoo/zoo, nzip/zip, nzeal/zeal

Aids for Projection and Legato


1. There should be no shadow vowel needed on final [z] when the piano accompaniment is very light.
Drill the following words, saying them with an exaggerated shadow vowel; then
say them ending only with the buzz of the fricative consonant:
comes

[kAinz(i)]

tells

[kAm > z]

lives

[telz(l)]

please

[pliz(l)]

leaves

[livz(l)]

[tel > z]

[livz(i)]

loves

[liv - z]

[Lwz(i)]

[pli -> z]

[Lvv - z]

[liv > z]

2. With instrumental accompaniment, add a whispered [i] for final [s] followed by a
rest or pause, and a shadow vowel [i] after a final [z] followed by a rest or pause.
weeks [wiks(I)]
(l)

pause [poz ]

laughs [laefs(1)]
(l)

eyes [aiz ]

sets [sets(I)]
rose [J/ROUZ(I)]

3. For final [s] / [z] followed by initial [s] / [z], merge the consonants into one
continuous sound without any intervening vowels.
EXAMPLES

less^sweet

yes,~sir

for Mistake

life's^zest

his~zeal

says^Zeus

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

149

Expressive Doublings of the Fricatives

RULE To bring out the expressive qualities of the text, double and triple the
initial consonants of the stressed words and syllables of important words. This is
called an expressive doubling. This can be accommodated rhythmically by inserting a voiced or unvoiced grace note before the beat.

EXAMPLE

Voiced grace note: v:voice

Unvoiced grace note: s:sun

This will be discussed in depth in chapter 13.

Because the fricative consonants are sustaining consonants, they can be doubled and
tripled to bring out and heighten the stressed words in a vocal line. Let's look at an excerpt
from the Finzi setting of the Shakespeare song "Fear No More the Heat of the Sun." Try
reading the text first without the music and experiment with doubling the initial consonants of the words you want to stress. The consonant doublings can transform a text reading from bland to captivating when we begin to use fricative consonants in this way.
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages
Thou thy worldly task is done
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
(William Shakespeare / Gerald Finzi,
"Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun"
from Let Us Garlands Bring)

Now try it in the musical setting. To notate a consonant doubling in a text, merely
write two consonants and insert a colon between them, that is [f:f], [h:h], [s:s] and so on.
Grave

Fifear

c. 42

no

more

the

("Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun," Gerald Finzi)

h:heat

o'

the

s:sun

150

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Now let's try out this technique on some Wordsworth. Recite the following text using
glides, breath lifts, shadow vowels, merges, and expressive doublings:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts a way, a sordid boon!
The sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.
(William Wordsworth, excerpt from
"The World Is Too Much with Us")

The stressed words that begin with consonant clusters may be stressed by adding the related vowel sounds the consonant clusters si, str, skr, skw, and spr in order to highlight
them in a musical phrase:
EXAMPLES

sleep

strong

scream

squeeze

spring

RULES FOR FINAL S PRONUNCIATION


1 Pronounce [s] if s is preceded by an w/tvo/ced consonant.
EXAMPLE

mists [mists]

lasts [Jaests]

2. Pronounce [i] if s Is preceded by a voiced consonant or vowel.


EXAMPLE

sounds [sawdz] voices

3. For plurals, the same principle applies: [s] is preceded by a voiceless consonant; [z] is preceded by a voiced consonant or vowel
EXAMPLE

ships [fipsj

tracks [fciaeks]

musicians [mjuzijanz]

memories

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

151

4. Th same ai$0''pH^s for possessive prooOyns.


EXAMPLE'

Settfs

Tom's

5. All *?. <ndfr)9jiwe fSfooeuhced'as


EXA-Mfif

' ".f>|yste:

theirs

or

kisses [kis/iz]

EXERCISES
1. Practice articulating [s] and [z] in the various positions.
Initial

Medial

Final

sound

answer

nice

sweet

useful

voice

circle

mystery

rejoice

suddenly

excellent

morose

Sunday

hospital

release

zoo

lazy

trees

zeal

razor

stars

zither

buzzing

prize

zephyr

Thursday

surprise

Zion

desire

breathes

2. Transcribe and intone the following text. Treat the stressed words with glides,
breath lifts, merges, and doubled consonants (expressive doublings). Use shadow
vowels to project the final voiced consonants:
Sleep, child, lie quiet, let be:
Now like a still wind, a great tree,
Night upon this city moves,
Like leaves, our hungers and our loves.
Sleep, rest easy, while you may.
Soon it is day.
And elsewhere likewise love is stirred;
Elsewhere the speechless song is heard:
Wherever children sleep, or wake,
Souls are lifted, hearts break,
Sleep, be careless while you can.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Soon you are man.


And ev'rywhere good men contrive
Good reasons not to be alive.
And even should they build their best
No man could bear tell you the rest.
Sleep, child, for your parent's sake.
Soon you must wake.
(James Agee / Thomas Pasatieri, "A Lullaby")

3. Transcribe and intone the following text. Indicate the expressive doubling of the
stressed words and treat as in 2.
Oh sleep! Oh sleep why dost thou leave me?
Why thy visionary joys remove?
Oh sleep, again deceive me,
To my arms restore my wand'ring love.
(G. F. Handel, from Semele)

4. Transcribe and intone the following text. Indicate the expressive doubling of the
stressed words and treat as in 2.
Scenes from my childhood are with me,
I'm in the lot behind our house upon the hill,
a spring day's sun is setting,
Mother with Tom in her arms
is coming towards the garden;
the lettuce rows are showing green.
Thinner grows the smoke o'er the town,
stronger comes the breeze from the ridge,
Tis after six, the whistles have blown,
The milk train's gone down the valley.
Daddy is coming up the hill from the mill,
We run down the lane to meet him.
But today! In freedom's cause
Tom sailed away for over there!
Scenes from my childhood are floating
before my eyes.
(Charles Ives, "Tom Sails Away")

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

153

5. Practice the opening to "Tom Sails Away," sounding or preparing all consonants of
stressed words (voiced or unvoiced, sustaining or unsustaining) in the time of a
grace note before the beat. First speak in rhythm, then intone it, and finally sing
it on the actual pitches.

slowly and quietly

Scenes from my

in

the

lot
1:1

child

be - hind

hood

our

with

are

house up
h:h

on

me,

the

I'm

hill,
h:h

("Tom Sails Away," Charles Ives)

Note: You have the artistic license to voice consonants longer or sooner than
the grace note value indicated, but you should form the habit early of reserving
lengthy consonant production for occasional emphasis; most consonants should
be sounded or prepared in the rhythm of a grace note.

Tips for Vocal Ease

Merging one sustaining consonant to another greatly improves the legato line and guards
against the accidental insertion of an intrusive [9] when connecting two consonants back
to back, for example, "Sure on [9] this shining [a] night." When these extra vowels are
added, it destroys the legato and draws attention away from the stressed word-types that
need to be targeted for the listener.
In this chapter, only the fricative cognates [v/f],

[s/z], and [J/j] are shown

merging together. Remember that any combination of the sustaining consonants should be
merged together when they are back to back. A detailed discussion of this can be found in
chapter 13.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

[3]/[f] Production
Lingua-palatal fricative consonants involve the tongue and the hard palate.

FIGURE 11.3 [ 3 ]/[J]

Action
Tongue

entire tongue further back than for [z/s]


tongue surface flat, middle arched
sides of tongue against upper molars
blade of tongue almost touches palate just behind gum ridge

Lips

lips slightly rounded, pursed forward


When breath or voice is forced through tongue groove and narrow
aperture between upper and lower teeth this frictional sound results

Pitfalls to Avoid

Many of the same problems arise as with [s] / [z] and [tj] / [ds], including lateralization, whistling, and lower lip action.

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

155

If there is difficulty forming [3] but not [J], drill back and forth between the cognates:
EXAMPLE

(fl- [3]- [fl-> [3]

Avoid lisped [J] caused by flaccid tongue. The air must be sealed off with the tongue
against upper molars. Use both tip and blade of tongue pointed toward hard
palate. Drill:
EXAMPLE

whispered

This keeps tongue high enough.

Aids for Projection and Legato


1. Lip rounding is essential and helps project consonant.
2. For [JJ, feel unpressured, voiceless breath over tongue; easy, almost resonant air.
3. Only adequate duration conveys these consonants to audience, not pressure.
4. No intrusive vowels should be added between initial or final [3] or [J] when they
are preceded or followed by a word beginning or ending with another fricative
consonant. Merge the final and initial consonants together in one continuous
sound.
EXAMPLES

rushPforth

mirage~vanished

beige^fountain

this^shining

hushTceased

RULE Merge initial + final [3] and [f] into one continuous sound with no intervening vowel.
EXAMPLES

freshCshowers

blush^shyly

EXERCISES
1. Practice articulating [3] and [f] in the various positions:
Initial

Medial

Final

sure

fishing

flush

ship

precious

dish

shame

ocean

mash

Chicago

patient

leash

shackles

motion

crash

wasrshirt

1566

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

(No English

treasure

beige

words begin

vision

corsage

with [3].)

casual

mirage

confusion

camouflage

azure

garage*

2. Transcribe the following texts into RP or MA. Indicate any merges, implosions,
and expressive doublings of stressed words.
The people that walked in darkness
have seen a great light:
they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death,
upon them hath the light shined.
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and gently lead those that are with young.
(G. F. Handel, From Messiah)

3. Transcribe into colloquial American** and treat the stressed words as indicated in
the exercise above:
Ev'ry ranch hand I ever knew
has had a dream of settlin' down.
We've all had dreams of buyin' a home.
but none of us had ever made it come true.
I don't know why it doesn't come true.
I just know it never does.
Maybe we're just born to wander;
maybe we're just born to live alone.
Maybe we'd be unhappy any other way.
Who knows? Who can say?
I don't know why we're the way we are
but this much I know:
Ranch-hands die in a bare, cold bunkhouse:
Ranch-hands die with empty hands;

* Garage has two acceptable pronunciations with final [3] or final [d3].
** See the glossary p. 293 for the discussion on coloquial American pronunciation.

157

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

Ranch-hands die alone:


strangers to the world.
(Carlisle Floyd, "Slim's Aria" from Of Mice and Men)

[d]/[6] Production
The consonants [5]/[0] are lingua-dental consonants involving the tongue and the upper
and lower teeth. These cognate pairs are produced with the tip of the tongue lightly placed
between the teeth.

FIGURE 11.4

Action
Tongue

tongue tip makes light, firm contact with lower and upper teeth
tingling sensation on tongue tip

Lips

lips relaxed and apart


very little breath used
breath or voice escapes through the space between tongue and teeth,
which causes frictional noise

1588

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid substitution of d or t for [5] or [0]; street talk "Ya bedda go wid me!"
Avoid omitting [5] and [0] completely as in words like "widths," "baths," "sixths,"
and "clothes."
These sounds are problematic for non-native speakers. [9] and [0] do not exist in
German, French, Italian, Chinese, and Spanish. Native speakers of these languages usually substitute [t/d] or [s/z]. Be careful also not to substitute [f] for [0]
when in a final position.

With versus With


RULE Pronounce "with" with a voiced th [8] if it is followed by a word beginning with a vowel or voiced consonant Pronounce "wMi" with an anvpteed *fh*
[9] if it is followed by a word beginning with an unvoiced consonant
EXAMPLE

with this

withasonf

within

without

but

with thirst

with fire

Aids for Projection and Legato


EXAMPLE

all your hearts ye truly seek me

If with

1. In passages with thick orchestral accompaniment, final unvoiced th [0] may be


released with sung shadow vowel or a quick switch to its voiced cognate [5] with
the cut off.
EXAMPLES

earth-

healthdeath2. Final

initial

should be MERGED into one continuous sound

with no intervening vowel.


EXAMPLE

witrTthis

withTthirst

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

EXERCISES
1. Practice articulating each of the English vowel sounds with [5] and [6] preceding
them. Work the cheeks and jaw and try to leave tongue tip relaxed over front
teeth.
Legato

2. Practice articulating

and

in the various positions.

Initial

Medial

Final

theme

youthful

wrath

think

nothing

mouth

thought

mythical

oath

thanks

lengthen

hearth

thistle

paths

breath

them

father

with

those

either

lithe

that

leather

breathe

though

gather

soothe

there

brother

tithe

3. Drill the following words whose voiceless singular endings become voiced when
plural.
Unvoiced

Voiced*

bath

baths

cloth

cloths

mouth

mouths

path

paths

oath

oaths

*For the words youth, truth, sheath (noun), and wreath (noun) both the unvoiced and voiced
endings in the plural are correct. Use whichever ending you prefer.

159

1600

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

4. Drill the following words, making sure to articulate all the consonants in the final
consonant clusters.
Unvoiced

Voiced

myth, myths

breathe, breathes

earth, earths

writhe, writhes

depth, depths

lathe, lathes

width, widths

clothe, clothes

length, lengths

teethe, teethes

5. Transcribe the following text into AS and treat the stressed words as indicated in
the previous exercises:
Do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?
And oranges like gold amid the leafy gloom?
A gentle wind from bluest heaven blows.
The myrtle green, and high the laurel grows?
Do you know that land?
'Tis there, Ah! 'tis there!
O my beloved,
Ah, 'tis there I dream we would go.
(Mark Adamo, "Do You Know the Land?" from Little Women)

[h]/[/v\] Production
The consonant [h] is a glottal fricative that takes on the articulatory characteristics of the
sound that follows.

Action
Tongue

no specific tongue action for [h]

Lips

no specific lip action for [h]

Before [h] is heard, articulators take on the position of the vowel that follows.
The glottis (space between vocal cords) is open as breath of [h] passes through.
The cords close with phonation of oncoming vowel.

161

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

FIGURE 11.5

[h]

Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not produce [h] too far back. In everyday speech [h] is guttural and back.
Remedy: prepare the vowel that follows and release [h] in the forward resonance of
the vowel.
The consonant [M] is a bilabial fricative consonant involving the two lips. It is made
up of the two sounds [h] and [w], articulated simultaneously. The consonant [M]
is sounded in words that begin with a "wh" spelling, as in the words "what,"
"where," "when," "why," "whether," "whistle," and "whither."
Action
Tongue

tongue tip behind lower front teeth


back of tongue raised

Lips

rounded for [u]

Articulate [h] simultaneously with [w] glide


Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not substitute [w] for [A\] in words that begin with a "wh" spelling. In colloquial
speech, [w] is regularly substituted for [A\]. For good speech and for singing, [h]
should be sounded. There should be a difference between the following words:

[M]
[w]
[M]
[w]
[M]
[w]
"which" and "witch" "whether" and "weather" "whine" and "wine"

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

FIGURE 11.6 [M]

Aids for Projection and Legato


1. The consonant [h] is very difficult to project over instrumental accompaniment.
Whenever possible substitute the German phoneme [cj in its place. The phoneme
[9] exists already in English in the words human, humanity, and the name, Hubert.
It can be easily substituted in words where [h] is followed by [i], [i], or [ei].
EXAMPLES

heal

hill

Hear

hate

him

2. For [h] with all the open vowel sounds, you must just simply use a regular elongated [h]. Any kind of substitution for an h followed by an open vowel in English
turns the [h] into an [x] as in the Scottish word "loch." An initial [x] in at the
front of an English word would make it sound Slavic, which would only confuse
the listener. The best solution is to merely elongate the initial [h] of a stressed
word as air and support permits. Admittedly, this coordination is difficult to

163

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

master. The ideal is that it still sound like an English [h] but with a very frontal
placement. The substitution of [5] for [h] on the words with [i], [i], or [ei] is very
easy to accomplish without much practice.
Adagio.

Hear

80

Is - ra - el!

ye,

Hear what the Lord

speak - eth:

("Hear Ye, Israel!" from Elijah, Felix Mendelssohn)

Note
This substitution should only be used with instrumental accompaniment or for textual settings in the passaggio and high range. Be very careful that the [9] not begin
to sound like [J] or a lisping lateral s.
3. The consonant [M] can be easily and expressively projected by inserting a [u] between the [h] and [w]. It is notated phonetically
EXAMPLES

Allegro molto

What
[h(u)wAt]

what

where

why

when

(U)

[A\].

144

a mov - ie!

What a ter - ri - ble, aw - ful mov - ie!

("What a Movie!" from Trouble in Tahiti, Leonard Bernstein)

RULE The related glide vowel should be added on stressed words only in
other words, nouns, active verbs, and modifiers. Whin the tpterr^Wve
pronouns "what/' "where/ "when," and "wh^begfej $ tpeistlojt ffe^ 3*6
stressed. In otiier positions, they atfe imilHy'not strtsltdv

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe the following text into RP and MA. Treat the text and make appropriate substitutions for [h]:
Closely let me hold thy hand,
Storms are sweeping sea and land;
Love alone will stand.
Closely cling, for waves beat fast,
Foam flakes cloud the hurrying blast.
Love alone will last,
Kiss my lips, and softly say,
"Joy sea-swept, may fade today.
Love alone will stay."
(Edward Elgar, "In Haven" from Sea Pictures')

2. Transcribe the following text into RP and MA. Treat the text and make appropriate substitutions for [h]:
Queen and Huntress,
Chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close:
Bless us then, with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.
Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart,
Space to breathe, how short so ever:
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess, excellently bright!
(Ben Jonson / Dominick Argento, "Hymn" from Six Elizabethan Songs)

CHAPTER ELEVEN The Fricatives

3. Drill the following word groups alternating the [w] and [M] sounds.
witch / which

wile / while

wet / whet

woe / whoa

were / whir

wail / whale

wine / whine

way / whey

wit / whit

we'll / wheel

wear / where

weather / whether

world / whirled

word / whirred

wither / whither

4. Transcribe the following text into IPA, using the [c] where applicable.
Hear ye, Israel! Hear what the Lord speaketh:
"Oh hadst thou heeded my commandments?"
Who hath believed our report?
To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
Thus saith* the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel
and his Holy One, to Him oppressed by Tyrants;
Thus saith the Lord:
"I am He that comforteth;
Be not afraid, for I am thy God;
I will strengthen thee!
Say who art thou?
that thou art afraid of a man that shall die;
and forgettest the Lord thy Maker,
who hath stretched forth the heavens,
and laid the earth's foundations.
Say who art thou?
I am He that comforteth;
Be not afraid, for I thy God
will strengthen thee."
(Felix Mendelssohn, From Elijah)

RUil The unstressed poetic -ec( and -eth endings as in "speafecth* and
"believed" are pronounced as an additional syllable and should be sung as
with a Slight

coloration.

* "Saith" is the old form of "said" and should be pronounced with the same [t] vowel. For
example, [st6], [std].

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

EXAMPLES

[spik

[biliv

RULE In the words "comfort" and ^comforteth/' the second syllable should
never be sung with an [o9*/f] diphthong It sounds very old-fashioned and affected. It should be sung as it is spoken with either the r-colored schwa, j>]
for AS or reduced r coloration [arj for Rl* and MA, For British pronunciation,
see chapter 14.

EXAMPLES

AS comfort

comforteth

RP, MA comfort

comforteth

Although not applicable to this text, another archaic holdover oratorio performance
practice is the pronunciation of the word "evil." It sounds very affected to pronounce it
[ivil]. Preferred would be [a] or [u] for the second syllable. Also "angel" sounds affected
when the second syllable is pronounced with [t]: [eind3l]. Again, preferred would be
[B] or [u]: [eind^al] or [eind3ul].
As a memory aid, remember there is no "ill" in evil, no "fort" in "comfort" and no "gel"
in "angel."
5. Transcribe the following text into AS and substitute [c] for [h] where possible:
Must the winter come so soon?
Night after night I hear the hungry deer
wander weeping in the woods,
And from his house of brittle bark
hoots the frozen owl.
Must the winter come so soon?
Here in this forest neither dawn nor sunset
marks the passing of the days.
It is a long winter here.
Must the winter come so soon?
(Gian Carlo Menotti / Samuel Barber,
"Must the Winter Come So Soon?" from Vanessa)

CHAPTER TWELVE
The Nasal Consonants
Plus the Lyrical L

A nasal consonant is a speech sound that is produced by the vibration of breath that escapes through the nose when the velum (soft palate) is relaxed. The three nasal sounds are
[m], [n], and [rj]. The consonant [m] is a bilabial consonant; [n] is a lingua-alveolar consonant; [rj] is lingua-velar (the back of the tongue against the velum).
The velar-valve reflex is an action common to all the nasal consonants. The relaxed
velum (soft palate) drops like a valve, enabling these sounds along with the breath to enter
the nasal passages.

[m] Production
The consonant [m] is a bilabial voiced nasal consonant made by closing the lips.

Action
Tongue
Lips

flatin [a] position


together
lips open with the formation of the next vowel or consonant

Teeth

space between teeth

Jaw

released

The consonant [m] is produced by closing the lips and relaxing the velum. When the velum
or soft palate is actively lowered, it allows the vibrating breath to escape through the nasal
cavity and out the nose.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

FIGURE 12.1 [m]

DRILL
1. Intone or sing the vowel chart below, elongating the [m:] preceding each vowel:*

See note on page 1 71.

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

2. Intone or sing the words below, elongating the [m]'s:


Initial

Medial

Final

moon

demean

groom

many

umbrella

autumn

month

comedic

form

march

similar

game

middle

demolish

climb

myth

diminish

phlegm

humanity

column

murder

3. Recite the following text, taking care with the [m]s:


It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea.
But we loved with a love that was more than love
I and my Annabel Lee
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
(Edgar Allan Poe, "Annabel Lee")

[n] Production
The consonant [n] is a voiced nasal sound made by the closure created by the tongue tip
touching the alveolar ridge. The relaxed velum allows the breath to escape through the nose.

Action
Tongue

tip against gum ridge

Jaw

released

The consonant [n] is completed when tongue tip descends for the next consonant/vowel link.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

FIGURE 12.2

[n]

DRILL
1. Go through all vowels on the vowel chart with an exaggerated [n:] preceding
them:

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

2. Intone and sing the elongated n's in the words below:*


seen
burn
grin
sun
fan

tender
gentle
handsome
frantic
* This is an exercise to feel the sensation of singing through the nasal final or medial consonants. Though they should be resonated, they should not be doubled in a song text. The
doubled consonants should be reserved for the beginnings of stressed word-types only.

[q] Production
The consonant [q] is a voiced nasal sound made with strong contact between the middle
of the tongue and the hard palate. The velum is relaxed, allowing the sound to resonate
through the nose.** It appears frequently in German, infrequently in Italian, and not at all
in French. In English, [rj] is found in words such as sing, king, strong, yearning, among,
linger, and languish.

Action
Tongue

middle of tongue raised toward hard palate


tongue tip down
sides of tongue in contact with upper molars

Jaw

released

Lips

in position of following vowel

The action is finished when tongue shifts to accommodate the next vowel or consonant.

** Although colloquially [rj] is usually produced further back with the mid tongue raising toward the soft
palate, greater resonance can be produced when this consonant is produced further forward using the
hard palate. The more frontal production can also aid in relieving any sub-vocal tension that might occur
from this inherently "throaty" consonant.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

FIGURE 12.3

[rj]

DRILL
1. Intone and sing the following words, elongating the [nj:
strong

sank

anchor

anger

thank

linger

length

strength

larynx

English

tongue

elongate

languish

meringue

distinguish

monkey

penguin

ankle

bingo

young

sing

VERSUS
Sometimes in English, the "ng" spellings are pronounced [rj] as in the words
"sing" and "strong" and other times they are pronounced as [rj] + [g] as in the
words "linger" and "languish." Hopefully the rules below will help clarify when
the "g" should be sounded in words with "ng" spellings:

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

[rj] only when the root of the word forms a verb; the [g] is not sounded
EXAMPLE

sing

singer

long

longing

hang

hanger

when the first syllable or root does not form a verb; sound both consonants
EXAMPLE

finger
languor
extinguish

E X C E P T I O N The comparative adjective forms use [q+g] pronunciation


EXAMPLE

long

longer

longest

young

younger

youngest

strong

stronger

strongest

Pitfalls to Avoid for Nasal Consonants


Avoid hypernasalitya vocal quality that can occur when too much of the vowel sound
following the nasal consonants is resonated in the nose.
Hypernasality Check
1. Place a tissue on a piece of cardboard and hold it under your nose, above your
upper lip.
2. Say out loud several times: [t], [d], [s], and [z]. The tissue should not move because the air is escaping through the mouth.
3. Now say [m], [n] and [rj]. The tissue ought to move because the air should escape
through the nose. If the tissue does not move, the air is trapped in the nasal passages and there is too much nasal resonance.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Avoid denasalityinsufficient nasal resonance. The vibrations escape through the


mouth rather than the nose. The "cold in the head" quality that most people have with
nasal congestion is a similar sensation to when there is a lack of air. Because of the lack
of air escaping through the nose on these consonants, [m], [n], and [rj] become different
sounds:
[m] becomes [b]
[n] becomes [d]
[n] becomes [g]
Exception: Although denasality is generally to be avoided, it does help with negotiating
words with nasal consonants set in the extreme ranges of the voice. See Aids for Projection and Vocal Ease below.

DRILL
1. While holding your nose to minimize nasal resonance, read the following poem.
You have produced denasality!
O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear your true love's coming,
That can sing both high and low.
Trip no further pretty sweeting,
journey's end in lover's meeting,
Ev'ry wise man's son doth know.
(William Shakespeare, "O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming?")

Aids for Projection and Vocal Ease


As noted above, denasalizing the nasal consonants can help free up the voice in the extreme upper register.
Use denasality for high notes and dramatic effect. Denasality can be very useful in
projecting notes that are set in the passaggio or extreme high range where singing true
nasal consonants can close up the voice. It can also be helpful in cutting through thick

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

accompaniment or orchestration, and can help intensify dramatic outbursts like "No!'
"Never!" "Mother!"
To use denasality effectively, begin with the correct consonant and then denasalize it
just before releasing into the vowel. Remember:

a denasalized [m] turns into a [b].


a denasalized [n] turns into a [d].
a denasalized [rj] turns into a [g].

How to Access Denasalized Consonants


First, start with one of the mainstays of the vocal warm-up.

THE FIVE NOTE ASCENDING AND DESCENDING SCALES


1. Sing a five note ascending and descending scale on meeee [mi:]:
Start in the mid-range and repeat up by half steps until you are in the passaggio.
When it becomes less comfortable to sing a fully nasalized [m], change it
slightly to more of a [b]. By switching it to a slight [b], you can keep the throat
open as you go into the high range.
Now try the same scale releasing the [m]'s into more open vowels: [mo], [ma],
and so on, followed by switching the [m]'s to [b]'s.
2. Now repeat the five-note scale in the same range on nee [mi] and ngee [rji:]:
As you approach the passaggio, start to switch to a partial [d] after the [n] and
a partial [g] after the ng [nj.
Now try the scale with the open vowel: [no], [na], and so on, followed by
switching to [d]'s and [g]'s.
Remember to only use partial b's, d's, and g's! It should feel more like a percussive release into the vowel with the full plosives rather then the nasals.
3. Now try some sustained tones on [m], [n], and [rj]:
In mid-range, sing: "me."
Hum [m] and then release into [bi:] mmmmmmmmmmmmbi:. It should feel
like a a more percussive release into the vowel than when you release only into

an [m].
Now hum on [n] and release into [di] nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnndi:
Now hum on [rj] and release into [g]:
Cot it???

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

4. Try these examples:


For "No!" sing
For "mother" sing
Final nasal releases at the ends of phrases are hard to negotiate. They can really clamp
down on the voice. Try changing them to the related plosive:
EXAMPLE

"thing" can be released

A Word of Caution
Make sure that "No!" does not sound as if you are singing "doe." Use a dentalized [d]
rather than an aspirated [d] after the [n]. For "mother" use a soft [b] sound rather than a
strong plosive [b] after the [m]. This will take some practice to get the right amount of [d]
and [b], but once mastered, this can greatly free up singing the nasal consonants and make
them very dramatic and expressive.
Here is a phrase from Carlisle Floyd's Susannah where I have found the denasalization has helped a lot of sopranos.

When I've seen

what's be - yond them mount-ains.

("Trees on the Mountains" from Susannah, Carlisle Floyd)

On the release of "when I've seen," change the [n] to a soft [d]. In the following
phrase, "what's beyond them mountains," start with an [m] to finish "them" and release it
as a soft, partial [b] as you sing the high B-flat on "mountains." Also, to keep the voice
from closing down on the final [ns] of "mountains," leave off the [n]'s completely. In other
words, sing "mou-tets" but with a soft [b] at the beginning. There is a full brass section to
cut through and denazalizing the nasal consonants helps to keep the throat open and maximize the singer's volume.
As you are vocally climbing up the mountain at the end of "Climb Every Mountain"
from The Sound of Music, try:

177

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

(breath!)
your

find

you
Til
It works!!
Another difficult passage that has tied up quite a few mezzos is the final section of
Dido's Lament.

re - member me, but ah!


[ji mbe mbar mbi]

for - get

my fate.

("Dido's Lament" from Dido and Aeneas, Henry Purcell)


Put the first [m] of "remember" on the D, but release to a loose-lipped [b] for both
[m]'s on the high G's. It sings something like: [urn bem bsr mbi]. Just finesse the [b] so
that it does not sound too much like an actual [b].
Again, a word of caution -.finesse and subtlety are the name of the game! None of these
consonant substitutions should ever be discernible to the audience. It is part of the operatic illusion that needs to seem "real" out in the house. Your colleagues on the stage may
be able to tell you have switched a consonant, but then again, if you do it with enough finesse and bravura . . . maybe not!

EXERCISES
1. Practice denasalizing the following words:
Initial

Initial

[n:d-]

[m:b-]

none

night

neighbor

man

more

majesty

nasal

nimble

natural

mob

money

mashed

final

final

fan

ran

can

loom

tomb

womb

fine

dine

sign

lamb

gram

ham

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

2. Transcribe the following text in RP, treat all the stressed words, and employ
denasalization on the stressed nasal consonants:
When I am laid in earth,
May my wrongs create
No trouble in thy breast.
Remember me,
But ah! forget my fate.
(Henry Purcell, from Dido and Aeneas)

3. Transcribe the following text in AS, treat the stressed words, and employ
denasalization on the stressed nasal consonants:
What was he thinking of
that he plays so distractedly?
Surely not of his wife,
the long discarded Queen;
Surely not of me
whose foot he no longer seeks
under the card table.
Who is there to love me?
Who is there for me to love?
Not he, the foolish knave of hearts,
not my father's faded photograph,
not my stock market husband,
nor my football son.
Only my mother could have loved me
had I but let her!

But there she lies in her pain,


cocooned in her illness,
an indiff rent stranger.
hatching for herself
the black wings of death.
Do not die, Mother,

do not die, yet.


Let me see your pleading eyes once more.
Now that at last,
I am learning to love you.
(Samuel Barber, "Who Is There to Love Me?" from A Hand of Bridge)

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

179

Sing through and Resonate the


Nasal Consonants
As singers we all know that a good voice must contain an appropriate amount of resonance
in the nasal cavities. To maintain the resonance throughout a vocal phrase, make sure to
sing and vibrate through the nasal consonants and let them help you.
The medial nasal consonants, as in "gentle" or "sometime" are frequently ignored and
abandoned by English speakers. The native speakers of the Romance languages always
take much more care with their nasal consonants than we as English speakers do.
Singing through the medial nasal consonants can greatly aid the legato line. Remember
that when we syllabify words for singing we shift the final consonant of the first syllable
to begin the following syllable.
Musically, this means that if these words are set on two different pitches, sing the medial nasal consonant on the lower of the pitches. If set on the same note, sing it with the
second syllable as noted below.

ge

title

te

nder

si

-mple

Now see if you can maintain the same legato feel on a musical excerpt with a larger leap.

It

falls most

te

nder-ly,

think.

("Bells in the Rain," John Duke)

Tips for Vocal Ease


By shifting the nasal consonants to the lower of two pitches, the nasal consonant is easier to
resonate and the vowel of the stressed syllable is elongated.

[I] Production
The consonant [1] is a voiced lateral consonant.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

FIGURE 12.4 [1]

Action
Tongue

tip lightly touches the upper gum ridge


not tense or pressed hard against ridge
middle of tongue drops so that there is space between tongue and
upper molars
feel vibration on tip
the sound escapes over sides of tongue
after sounded, tongue relaxes back to floor of mouth

Jaw

released and open

Lips

relaxed and open

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid the back or dark [1]. Colloquially, there are two types of [l]'s used in speech: the
light and clear [1] and the dark and back [1]. The light and clear [1] is used at the beginnin
of a word. The dark and back [1] is formed farther back and is made by raising the middl
of the tongue toward the roof of the mouth with the tongue tip not in contact with the gum
ridge. The dark and back [1] is never used in standard stage speech and should not be use
in singing.

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

RULI Use only the front andkcbar [if in tinging.

Do not let the tongue pull back and bunch when singing or saying medial and final [1].
It is a speech characteristic that is very common among North Americans.

RULE Never anticipate medial and final {1] souftcfe.

Remain on the preceding vowel sound as long as is notated musically and put on the
[1] as late as possible. If the tongue pulls back in anticipation of the [1], the preceding
vowel becomes contaminated with the tongue tension and becomes dark and muffled.

DRILL
Practice the following words, using only clear and light [l]'s.
Initial

Medial

Final

light

alone

feel

late

alas

all

learn

believe

cruel

love

below

Hell

Tips for Vocal Ease


If it is difficult to avoid pulling the tongue back, try inserting a brief [u] vowel before sounding the [1]. This will help keep the tongue forward. Be careful not to insert a [e], however,
which will constrict the tongue. For example:
while
smile
kneel

fill
yield
melt

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

fKIJJ InilW flf$ t^at;l^p|liip|^l^t^;siress^l w<fe mayM


tr^ledforgmiNr^t^ii^^|yftiifer
EXAMPLE

llovyou:

'a-little;fl0^|

For more detailed application of this rule, see chapter 13.

EXERCISES
1. Practice speaking the following text in RP, concentrating on producing light and
clear [l]'s:
Lo, in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climbed the steep-up heav'nly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage.
But when from high most pitch, with weary car,
Like feeble age he reeleth from the day,
The eyes ('fore duteous) now converted are
From his low tract and look another way.
So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon,
Unlocked on diest unless thou get a son.
(Shakespeare, Sonnet 7)

2. Transcribe in AS, treat the text, and intone the following:


Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands along the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

CHAPTER TWELVE The Nasal Consonants Plus the Lyrical L

Now of my threescore years and ten,


Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room.
About the woodland I shall go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
(A. E. Housman / John Duke, "Loveliest of Trees")

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN
The Owner's Manual:
Connecting the Dots

We have now dealt with all the speech sounds in Englishit is time integrate them all together. We have touched on stress and inflection of the English language, the production
of all the vowels and consonants, and some of the techniques for negotiating vocally
around all of those consonants. We still have further work to do on creating an Englishsinging legato and to focus on the "how to" aspect of bringing the text and the music off
the printed page and into the hearts and souls of the audience.

The Legato Connection: Connect It Up!


Because the English language is a Germanic stop language, it does not by definition have
a legato flow to it. Its words do not naturally flow and connect one to another. Instead, most
of the individual words are slightly separated from each other during normal conversational speech delivery. Because of these brief separations and the high ratio of consonant
to vowel, the final consonants of one word do not easily connect to the initial consonant of
the word that follows.
From our discussion of syllabification in chapter 2, recall that medial consonants are
shifted over wherever possible to begin the next syllable so as to aid the legato line. For
example, in the word "assembled," the syllabification for singing would be: [9 > se >
mbgld]. In other words, the [s] should begin the second syllable and would be sung with
the [e] vowel. Likewise, the [mb] should shift over to the third syllable and be sung on the
pitch of [9ld]. This allows more time for singing on the vowel sounds of each syllable, and
alleviates the choppy "stop quality" that is inherent in the English language. This same

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principle also applies to the connection of consonants from word to word within a phrase
or sentence.

RULE All final consonants of words within a single phrase or sentence musst be
shifted in order to begin the word that follows them.

Hopefully, the treatment of "Laurie's Aria" from The Tender Land by Aaron Copland
will clarify these concepts. In the excerpt below, observe how this rule is applied.
Once

Tall

Time

But

be

thought I'd

as

this

fence.

dragged

heavy

April

fore

came

And little

And

how

ne

as

fast

and

and

knew just

by

August

what

time

grow

slow.

little

grew

the

- ver

came

could

they

went

meant,

grew.

to

know

go.

* Final t's and d's are dropped and glottalized because this is colloquial American. The symbol for a
glottalized consonant is [?].
**Note that between [a-] plus a vowel and [u] plus a vowel the related glide semi-consonants [a] and [w]
have been added. This also aids in the legato connection.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

As we intone the text with the consonant shifts, the vowels become longer and more
singable. Along with these shifts come new consonant clusters or groupings that we are
not accustomed to articulating. Observe the three unusual groupings from the last line of
the text.
EXAMPLES

[st9a]

[mku]

[dgigou]

These new consonant groupings feel foreign to our tongues as though we were working with a foreign language rather than English! However, they are very necessary in the
creation of a legato English line and must be mastered. Repetitive practice is required in
order to maneuver easily through these new consonant groupings until they seem more
natural.
Two other techniques need to be employed in order to further facilitate the legato connection of English. They have been previously discussed in chapters 10 and 11. They are
the merges and implosions.

Implosions and Merges


Implosions
To review: An implosion occurs when two plosive cognate consonants are back to back in
adjacent words. Because these consonants are stop-plosives, we link them by holding or
stopping down on the first consonant in our mouth and sounding only the second consonant.

HERE ARE THE PLOSIVE COGNATES WITH EXAMPLES OF IMPLOSIONS


p and b

d and t

g and k

soa$_bubble

har^ljjmes

big^crash

distur$_privacy

stun](jdouble

blac^Corvette

dee^prayer

ba^diction

fak^Gucci

gra^bag

hijHune

dig^gold

Implosions occur only with texts that are set musically at fast or moderate tempi. Implosions are a very useful aid to cut down on the "consonant spatter stream" and clean up
the legato line. Within a phonetic transcription, an implosion should be notated: [/J. See
page 131 for an overview of the implosions.

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Merges
All sustaining consonants can merge.
To review: the merging of consonants involves any combination of adjacent final and
initial fricative and nasal consonants plus the lateral 1. Unlike the implosions, which occur
only at fast or moderate tempi, merges occur in all musical settings whether at a fast or
slow tempo.
Let's see how merging can increase the legato. If the connection between the adjacent
sustaining consonants is not seamless, then the first two lines of Samuel Barber's "Sure
on this shining night" might sound like this:
Sure on (9) this (9) shining (9) night,
Of (9) star made (9) shadows (9) round,
We have a case of impending "intrusive schwa contamination"!!
It sounds more like a Neapolitan song than an American art song! Not only does it
sound very foreign to us, but the extra vowels are distracting and interfere with the transmission of the text. Few singers would purposely choose to allow extra vowels to contaminate their vocal line, but it happens frequently whenever the position of the connective
consonant is dropped too early.
The intrusive schwa [9] occurs most frequently when going from a final voiced sustaining consonant to another consonant. In the case of an unvoiced final consonant, the
intrusive schwa is not heard, but instead the consonant intensity is compromised if the
connective consonant is not adequately sustained and supported. In order to avoid both of
these, great care must be taken to seamlessly meld or merge consonants together so that
the articulatory position of the first consonant is maintained until the next consonant begins.
Let's look at the Barber text again and see how and where this merging technique can
be applied. Merges are notated in the text by this symbol: [_].
Sure onj;his_shining^night
Of^star-made shadows round,
Kindnessjnust watch for me
This^side the ground.
The late year lies down^the north.
All isjiealed,
All isjiealth.
High summer holdsjhe earth.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

Hearts alMvhole.
Sure onj:his_shining_night
I weep for wonder
wand'ringjfar alone
Of^shadows on^the stars.
(James Agee / Samuel Barber,
"Sure on This Shining Night")

When sustaining consonants are merged together seamlessly, the integrity of the legato
line is maintained. The connected consonants propel the breath and support forward from
vowel to vowel. It all goes hand in hand with healthy singing technique. Remember, all
the sustaining consonants can be merged.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE MERGING CONSONANTS


The fricative consonants can be merged:
[v/f], [z/s], [3/J], [9/0], [h/M]
The nasal consonants can be merged:
[ml [n], [Q]

The lateral consonant [I] may also be merged.


Any combination of any of these consonants may be merged.

In other words, you may merge:


a fricative + a fricative
a fricative + a nasal
a fricative + an [1]
a nasal + a nasal
a nasal + a fricative
a nasal + an [1]
an [1] + a fricative
an [1] + a nasal
an [1] + an [1]

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It is often easier to look at which conditions do not create a merge.

DO NOT MERGE
1. Through punctuation or a rest
2. With a plosive consonant: [b/p], [d/t], [g/k], [ds/tf]
3. With a semi-vowel glide consonant: [w], [j], [J/R]
4. With a vowel

Here are some texts on which to practice the merges.

EXERCISES
Transcribe the texts below and merge the appropriate consonants for legato connections:
As one who hangs down-bending from the side
Of a slow-moving boat, upon the breast
Of a still water, solacing himself
With such discov'ries as his eye can make
Beneath him in the bottom of the deep,
Sees many beauteous sightsweeds, fishes, flowers,
Grots, pebbles, roots of trees, and fancies more,
Yet often is perplexed and cannot part
The shadow from the substance, rocks and sky,
Mountains and clouds, reflected in the depth
Of a clear flood, from things which there abide
In their true dwelling; now is crossed by gleam
Of his own image, by a sunbeam now,
And wav'ring motions sent he knows not whence,
Impediments that make his tack more sweet;
Such pleasant office have I long pursued
Incumbent o'er the surface of past time.
(William Wordsworth / Dominick Argento, "Prologue:
Shadow and Substance" from To Be Sung upon the Water)

O glide, fair stream! for ever so,


Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

Till all our minds for ever flow


As thy deep waters now are flowing.
Vain thought!Yet be as now thou art,
That in thy waters may be seen
The image of a poet's heart,
How bright, how solemn, how serene!
Now let us, as we float along,
For him suspend the dashing oar;
And pray that never child of song
May know that Poet's sorrows more.
How calm! how still! the only sound,
The dripping of the oar suspended!
(William Wordsworth / Dominick Argento, "In Remembrance
of Schubert" from To Be Sung upon the Water)

Nobody knows this little rose,


It might a pilgrim be.
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a bee will miss it,
Only a butterfly,
Hastening from far journey
On its breast to lie.
Only a bird will wonder,
Only a breeze will sigh,
Ah, little rose, how easy
For such as thee to die!
(Emily Dickinson / William Roy, "This Little Rose")

The stars are out,


The night is fine,
We sit within the traffic line.
The light is changed,
The signals set,
Now off we go,
No! No! not yet.

The brakes are on,


We move an inch,

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We stop again,
The cop will pinch
The next offender who would dare
to speed upon this thoroughfare.
I look at you,
You look ahead,
A thousand things you might have said
to make this drive a pure delight,
But you must watch the traffic light.
Chugging motors purr and whine,
Waiting in the traffic line.
Grinding gears, escaping gas,
Must we let that fellow pass
Open roads and country air,
Breezes blowing through your hair,
Hot dog stands and painted bills
Cluttering up the fields and hills.
A mile or two,
Then home again,
The traffic jam,
the crowd, the strain.
The wistful heart, unsatisfied.
Goodnight, my dear,
A lovely ride!
(Louise Richardson Dodd / Paul Sargent, "Manhattan joy Ride")

Expressive Doublings:
Get It Off the Printed Page!
Singing expressively in English is often a difficult and elusive task for even the singer whose
native language is English. Even though the text may be understood and felt in depth, projecting that depth of feeling and understanding takes more than desire; it takes technique and
knowledge of how to do it. We have all experienced performances by English-speaking
singers who sound as if they are detached from the words and even uninvolved. Inside the
singer feels very involved and emotionally committed, but that commitment is not being
projected. Let's look at why this happens.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

When we express ourselves verbally, we do it by word stress and the pitched rise and
fall of words within a phrase. Often the word that we want to stress the most is given the
highest pitch in the phrase or sentence. In everyday speech, we rely greatly on the rise and
fall of the words within the phrase to convey meaning and intensity of feeling. This question might be spoken:
do
How

could you

that to him?
or
you

do that to him?
How could
or even
How

him?
could you do that to

The emphasis in this last reading focuses on the action upon the person, whereas the
first reading of the line stresses how one is capable of doing such a thing to this person.
When we speak, we pitch various words of a phrase spontaneously in order to correspond
with our meaning and emotional intention. Most of us are fairly comfortable with changing the inflection to accommodate our intention. The problem arises when the question is
set to music.
However, if it were music, it might sound like this:
Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim!!!
Hooooow
Couuuld yooooou dooooooooooooooo that to
(Yes, I know, keep my day job.)
The natural speech rhythm and inflection pattern has been taken away. All of a sudden, the composer has asked us deliver that text in slow motion and on pitches that are
in the stratosphere and very far away from our own speech range. We can no longer function in "real time"; our new reality is the Land of the M-u-s-i-c-a-l S-t-r-e-t-c-h, where
time slows down, the sequence of events may come to a halt, and thoughts are transmitted
v-e-r-y s-1-o-w-l-y. In this land, the vowels are now perhaps four beats long and the complete thought is stretched out over three musical phrases. Our job is as re-creative artists

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is to take what the composer has given us, apply as much of the natural speech inflection
on to it, and deliver the thought. Our job is also to hold the audience's attention span and
make them travel with us in our journey.

The Thought Transmission Race


Have you ever noticed how tempting it is to interrupt someone or complete their sentences
for them? Why are we tempted? Because the mind can think and finish a thought ten times
faster than a person can express the thought in words. This disparity not only causes rude
behavior socially; it poses one of the biggest problems for interpreters of vocal literature.
Just think how much this disparity between mental and verbal thought transmission is
magnified when we are working with a text setting in the "Land of the Musical Stretch "!!
By the time a singer actually gets to the end of the phrase, the listener has had time to think
five other thoughts. It can potentially be the makings of an audience attention deficit
disorder!

Attention, Please!
One of the greatest accolades a musical or stage performance can receive is when it is described as "riveting," "spell-binding,"or keeping an audience "glued to their seats." It implies that the production or concert held the audience's attention. One of the best ways to
do this is through . . . expressive doublings!
Let's recall that an expressive doubling is elongation of the initial consonant of the
stressed syllable of a stressed word. When we speak, we almost unconsciously double
or triple the stressed consonants regularly. The same practice must be transferred to the
vocal line in order for the language to sound expressive, but we need more knowledge of
technique.

Doubling Technique
Let's look at the phrase below:
"The race was delayed because of the rain."
The stressed words are: "race," "delayed," and "rain." Remember that we do not stress
"was," a form of the verb "to be," but instead we stress "delayed," which is the predicate
adjective. If we add expressive doublings to this sentence, it would look like this:

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

The (a^)race was del:layed because of the (a^)rain.

Arrows (<>) are used to notate the Expressive Doublings. An arrow to the left means
that the consonant should be sounded before the beat so that it may be elongated without
dragging behind the beat. An arrow to the right means that the consonant should be released on the beat but with emphasis. This will be further expanded later in this chapter.
The related vowels have been added to the glide r consonants. Remember that the
three semi-consonant glides [w], [j], and [j] are stressed by anticipating and elongating
their related vowels.
To review: with an expressive doubling, the stressed consonant is doubled or tripled
by coming in early and elongating it. In order to find the time to elongate the stressed consonant, time must be robbed from the note value of the word that precedes it.
Any consonant that can be sustained can be doubled regardless of whether it is voiced
or unvoiced.
So far we have had general discussions on doubling the stressed consonants and notating them by putting two consonants with a colon between them. For example, [nin],
[sis], and so on. This, however, is not musically specific enough for our purposes. Just because we double our consonants in everyday heightened speech does not mean that there
is an immediate and easy transfer of this technique to our singing. First of all, some preparation exercises are needed to ensure your success.

Preparation for Consonant Doublings


Feeling and Transmitting the Beat
One of the most difficult things for singers, and I am one of them, is communicating the
sense of beat to the other musicians with whom we are collaborating. Singing is a solo art
form, yes, but it is 99 percent of the time done in collaboration with other musicians. Because of the collaborative aspect of the vocal performance art, singers find themselves in the
position artistically of having never had the experience of being 100 percent musically responsible for their own music making. They are not responsible for when the music starts,
they are not fully responsible for the ebbs and flows of the line, and they seldom are responsible for when it ends. Singers spend their musical lives "being accompanied" by another musician or perhaps one hundred of them at a time. From the first experience in the
vocal studio with a pianist until the end of their professional career, a singer is never in
the position of the musical "authority figure."
This is as it should be; the role of a singer is to collaborate musically and dramatically
with other musicians and artists. It is merely that there is often a "hole" in the experiential

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training of a singer that needs filling. Unless you sing an unaccompanied song, it is always
in collaboration with another musician.
Perceptually, there always seems to be a "great divide" between "singers" and "musicians." It is true that at the music school level, singers often get a late start and are playing catch up with musicianship skills. However, on a professional level, it is the singer's
sense of line and musicality that instrumentalists seek to imitate. So, for the nuts and bolts
of it, instrumentalists are initially ahead of the game; for the artistry and musicality of it,
instrumentalists often draw their source of inspiration from a beautifully sung vocal line.
Ultimately, musical collaboration is one of the great joys of a singing career. It is very
important for the singer to take the time to fill in the "gap" in their musical experience so
that they can become an equally responsible party in the musical collaboration.
How do you take on musical responsibility?
Conduct!

It is time to be a musical grown-up. The first time you put a song or aria together with a
pianist, conduct it. It does not have to be the most artful three- or four-beat pattern you have
ever seen, but you need to feel the beats in your body. One of the best ways for doing this
is to conduct the entire song from the upbeat of the first note to the cut off of the last chord.
Spend some time going through very simple songs with a pianist. Conducting every single
measure helps you "feel" internally where the beats fall and where the notes you are
singing fall in relation to the musical beat.
If the singer does not give an upbeat for the pianist's initial downbeat, the pianist
should not come in. If the singer gets distracted vocally and starts conducting erratically,
the pianist should stop playing. If there is rubato or stretching of a measure, the singer
needs to be able to conduct it. It is amazing how after just a few sessions of this, singers
are transported musically to be on a level playing field with the other musicians. Finally,
when they can internalize the sense of the beat, they are ready to try inserting these expressive doublings into their vocal lines.
A Great By-Product

Once you have internalized the beat, it is time to learn how to project it to the other musicians you are collaborating with. This is where the double consonants come in.

RULI After you have doubled a consonant or opened a consonant cluster; the
firm release into the vyfal provides an ayral signal that you have arrived on the
beat The doubling of tfife-'consonant not only brings the text to life, it helps
the conductor or pianist $o be in sync with you when you arrive at the beat.

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112 - 108

Qui

et

ly

night

[k(u)wa:

art]

("Quietly, Night" from The Rake's Progress, Igor Stravinsky)

Inserting and anticipating the [u] glide vowel in "quietly" will help coordinate the establishment of the tempo of this aria. The doubling of the [n] on "night" followed by a
firm release of the [ai] on the downbeat will continue to stabilize the tempo.
So, now hopefully you are convinced that all this is worth the effort. Let's look more
closely at the direction the consonants can be doubled:

[v,f,z,s,3,j,a,e,h,/w]

[b,p,g,k,d,t]

[m,n,n,ji,l]

[ds,tj]

[w,j,r]

DIAGRAM 13.1

In English all consonants except the plosives [b/p], [d/t], and [g/k] and the affricatives
[ds] and [tj] can be sustained. Therefore the consonants that can be doubled to the left are:
the fricatives [v/f], [z/s], [j/J], [9/6], and [h/M]; the nasals [m], [n], and [rj]; the semi-vowel
glides [w], [j], and [r]; and the lateral [1].
An arrow going (<) means that the consonants will be sounded early and the vowel
will be released on the beat.
In other words, all consonants but the plosives, [b/p], [d/t], and [g/k]; and [dj] and [tj]
have the potential of going early. The plosives must be doubled to the right because they
cannot be sustained and therefore their release cannot come early.
An arrow going () means that the consonants will not be sounded early but on the
beat. Since they cannot be elongated, they will be stressed by volume or intensity of the
consonant. The only part that still comes early is the preparation for the unsustaining consonant. For example, while you cannot sustain a [t] or [d] early, you may stop on the
consonant just before the beat, [t:t]/[d:d]. Similarly, with the sounds [tj] and [ds], you may
stop early on the unsustaining consonant [t:tf]/[d:d3]. But again, the arrow goes to the
right because the consonant is released on, not before, the beat.

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How to Double: Single Consonants


If the stressed consonant begins the phrase and is preceded by a rest or musical accompaniment only, it must be elongated on the pitch on which it is set.
Note doublings below:

Lit-tie

Dostthou know

Lamb,

who

who

made

thee?

made thee?

("The Lamb," Ralph Vaughan Williams, from Ten Blake Songs)

Notice that the "1" of "little" begins on the actual pitch whereas the "1" for "lamb" and
the "m" for "made" are placed on the lower pitch before.
Largo

why

thy

vis - io - na - ry

joys re - move?

("Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me?" from Semele, G. F. Handel)

Plosive Clusters with Glides


If the plosive consonants are in a consonant cluster with one of the glides or lateral 1, they
may be treated two ways: they can be sounded on the beat () or they may come early
(<) by adding the related vowel sound between the plosive and the semi-vowel glide
consonant. With a plosive in a cluster with [1], a [9] vowel may be added in order for the
consonant to come early.
EXAMPLES

queen

either [kwin] or [k(u)win]


>
<

drink

either [djirjk] or [d(^)jirjk]

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

beautiful

either [bjutiful] or [b(i)jutrful]

glade

either [gleid] or [g(9)leid]

This does not mean to imply that every stressed word with a consonant that has duration must be doubled. Expressive doubling is a wonderful interpretive tool that needs to
be used in moderation and with taste. It is the singer's decision where these doublings are
used. To be most effective, there should be no more than one or two doubled stressed consonants per phrase. Expressive doubling is merely one of the interpretive choices available to a singer.
However, for the purpose of acquainting ourselves better with this technique, let's
study the following text in which all stressed consonants that can be sustained have been
doubled.
(huw)What is this c(*)rying
that I hear in the (u)wind?
Is it the 'old sorrow
and the 'old g(^rief?
Or is it a n(l)ew thing coming,
a (huw) whirling leafAbout the gray hair of me
who am (u)weary and blind?
I know not what it is,
but a moor on the shore
There is a stone which
the purple nets of heather bind,
And thereon is (3t)writ:
"She will return no more."
O b(a)lown, (huw>whirling leaf,
And the 'old g(3t)rief,

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And the (u)wind curving to me


who am 'old and b(9)lind!
(Fiona MacLeod / Charles T. Griffes,
"The Lament of Ian the Proud")
Remember that when there is a word containing a plosive plus a glide consonant
within one consonant cluster, the singer may choose to follow either the (<-) rule or the
() rule of consonant stress. That is, the singer may treat the cluster as a plosive and create the stress with the volume or intensity of the consonant on the beat (>), or the singer
may insert the related vowel of that semi-glide consonant and create stress with the anticipation and elongation of the consonant cluster before the beat (<).
Let's look again at the rule from chapter 8.

RULE Related glide voweb should be added only to the stressed syllable of the
primary or secondary stressed word. T<J add this extra yowei rh^mteally, add a
grace note pick-up before the beat on which the streiMd word or syllable falls. In
order to do this; you need to rob timfe from the note or rest preceding it.

Remember: when adding the grace note pick-up for the related glide vowel, you inherently must always rob time from the preceding note; this way, the consonant preparation
is before the beat and the vowel will not be late. The related vowel could be sung on the
pitch of the preceding note or on the note of the stressed word that follows it. It usually
works best, however, to sing the related vowel on whichever is the lowest pitch; when the
preparation grace note is on the lower pitch, it functions as a springboard for the stressed
vowel and helps the voice to swell or bloom into the stressed word.
No crooning please!
Note the grace note placements below:
Version 1: it's easy to "Croon" on "so brief " when the cluster is sung over two notes.

(From The Rape ofLucretia, Benjamin Britten)

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

Version 2: it is more subtle and stylistically correct when "brief is sung on one pitch.

(From The Rape ofLucretia, Benjamin Britten)

Now let's look at a phrase from Barber's Nocturne:

("Nocturne," Frederic Prokosch/Samuel Barber)

The placement of the "1" of "love" on the 6th below provides a nice springboard for
swelling into the vowel of "love" at a fairly fast clip. With a wide interval leap like this
one, be careful to put only the consonant on low note, not the vowel.
A Word of Caution
No yodeling please!
When singers first try to put consonants on the lower pitch before, they often mistakenly start the following vowel down there as well. This creates a "yodeling" effect that is
not at all what is wanted.
Instead: Sing the doubled consonant on low pitch and then quickly sing the vowel on
the next pitch.
Now that you have a better grasp on the techniques of expressive doublings, we have
one more technique to incorporate, the final piece of the puzzle.

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Pulsing the Phrase


Pulsing the phrase, to my mind, is one of the universal truths of singing. Regardless of the
technical approach, of which there are as many as there are days in the year; this concept
is one of the most simple but profound concepts of singing. If singing is defined as a "cultivated yawn or scream," then it is the ability to access the yawn or scream sensation that
truly makes singing exciting and emotional cathartic for the listener. I am convinced
that it is the "singing from the gut" sensation that an audience hears from trained singers
that causes them to leave their comfortable homes on a cold winter night and come to the
opera. I am also convinced that it is the one common trait I hear in many professional
singers and the one common trait that I find missing in a lot of aspiring singers. With it,
the aural experience of listening to a singer is transporting; without it, it is a cheat.
This concept has been touched on briefly in chapter 2 and in the discussion on "Pulsing the Phrase." It is the ability to direct energy and spin the vocal tone by swelling and
opening down into the body. It in not applied to every note, for if it were, the energy would
be negated.

Play the Pipe


If you think of the voice as a wind instrument, it is helpful to use the image of the other
woodwind instruments in order to access this sensation. Visualize the windpipe and notice it is the same shape as a flute, a clarinet, or bassoon. Open up the pipe inside and play
it when you sing. It is this "playing of the pipe" sensation that I am describing.
Pulsing the phrase is how the "playing of the pipe" sensation is applied musically. Just
as every word is not equally stressed when we speak, every note is not pulsed when we
sing. A pianist or a violinist does not play each note in a phrase exactly the same. That
would be monotonous and colorless. He or she leans into or pushes down on the keys or
string on certain notes in order to give the phrase line and direction. Singers do not have
keys or strings to push down; they have a pipe to open.
Because singers are always dealing with text, it is helpful to integrate the text and the
music and apply the vocal "opening" to the key words in the phrase. On the stressed wordtypes, open the voice up with a full tone that connects to the center of the body. Interestingly, many vocal problems seem to be improved or disappear when the phrase is pulsed
vocally. By anchoring and opening the tone in the center of the body on key places, the
tone remains buoyant and the support is reinforced with every pulse.
In chapter 2, arrows were used to notate the downward connection of the pulse on the
stressed words of the phrase. Now apply them to The Lament of Ian the Proud. It should
look somewhat like this:

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

What is this crying

But a moor on the shore -

that I hear in the wind?

There is a stone which

Is it the old sorrow

The purple nets of heather bind,

and the old grief?

And thereon is writ:

Or is it a new thing coming,

"She will return no more,"

a whirling leaf -

O blown, whirling leaf,

About the grey hair of me

And the old grief,

who am weary and blind?

And the wind crying to me

I know not what it is,

Who am old and blind!

Notice that not all the stress word-types are pulsed. Artistic choices were made. Each
artist should make his or her own personal choices. Remember, the primary stress
wordsthe nouns and verbsmust be pulsed. The secondary stressedthe adjectives,
adverbs, negatives and interrogative pronounsmay be pulsed according to the individual artist's taste.
By doubling the consonants and pulsing the vowels of the stressed word-types, the text
will come to life and become "three-dimensional"the goal of all art.
Here are some texts to apply the pulsing technique.

EXERCISES
Transcribe the following texts, putting consonant doublings and pulses on all the
stressed word-types and related vowel sounds as needed. Notate any merges, implosions, and breath lifts when appropriate.

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An omnibus across the bridge


Crawls like a yellow butterfly,
And, here and there, a passerby
Shows like a restless little midge.
Big barges full of yellow hay,
Are moved against the shadowy wharf,
And like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade,
And flutter from the temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of ripples jade.
(Oscar Wilde / Charles T. Griffes, "Symphony in Yellow")
Why do they shut me out of Heaven
Did I sing too loud?
But I can sing a little minor,
Timid as a bird.
Wouldn't the angels
try me just once more
Just see if I troubled them
But don't shut the door,
don't shut the door.
Oh if I were the gentlemen in the white robes
and they were the little hand that knocked,
Could I forbid, could I forbid, could I forbid?
Why do they shut me out of Heaven
Did I sing too loud?
(Emily Dickinson / Aaron Copland, "Why Do They Shut
Me Out of Heaven?" from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson)
Time does not bring relief: you all have lied
who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from ev'ry mountainside,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart and my old thoughts abide.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Owner's Manual: Connecting the Dots

There are a hundred places where I fear


To go, so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
where never fell his foot or shone his face.
I say "There is no mem'ry of him here,"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
(Edna St. Vincent Millay / Judith Zaimont, "Soliloquy")

Here's a first-rate opportunity


To get married with impunity,
And indulge in the felicity
Of unbounded domesticity.
You shall quickly be parsonified,
Conjugally matrimonified,
By a doctor of divinity,
Who resides in this vicinity.
(W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, From Pirates ofPenzance)

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN
Singing in the British Dialect:
"The Rain in Spain"

Thus far we have discussed the correct production of all of the consonants and vowels of
English, exclusive of the characteristic British sounds, as well as worked with the legato
treatment of the English language and its expressive doublings. All of the techniques with
which we have worked apply to singing English in all dialects. In addition to American
Standard, the two most commonly used dialects for singing in English are British Received Pronunciation and Mid-Atlantic pronunciation. Mid-Atlantic will be discussed in
the next chapter.
British Received Pronunciation, known as RP, is standard upper-class English. It is a
pronunciation that historically was used by graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, the aristocracy, and the upper class. Received originates from the phrase "received in the best society." RP is an accent that is learned and used in the English Public Schools. The term
"Public School" does not have the same meaning it has in North America. Public Schools
in the United Kingdom are elite, boarding, preparatory feeder schools for universities
such as Oxford and Cambridge.
British Received Pronunciation was named and codified by the British phonetician
Daniel Jones in his English Pronouncing Dictionary, 1926. Daniel Jones, a founding member of the International Phonetic Association, was instrumental in the development of the
International Phonetic Alphabet. Daniel Jones's research and linguistic activities provided
George Bernard Shaw with the basis for his fictional character in Pygmalion. So, he was
the real-life Henry Higgins! In his English Pronouncing Dictionary, Daniel Jones defines
RP as "the everyday speech of families of Southern English persons whose menfolk were
educated in the great public boarding schools." It was standard practice until the 1950s for
university students to adjust their regional accents to be closer to RP. RP was traditionally
used on stage, for public speaking, and by the well educated. In the 1950s, RP was used by

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the BBC as a broadcast standard and was referred to as BBC English. Since the 1970s, the
BBC English label has been dropped and RP has slowly been more inclusive of regional
influences throughout the United Kingdom. By the turn of the twenty-first century RP was
spoken by only 3 percent of the population. Today BBC broadcasters do not use Received
Pronunciation, which actually today now sounds out of place; they use a neutralized version of their own regional accents that is intelligible to all listeners.
For the purposes of singing and stage performance, Received Pronunciation is very
appropriate for much of the classical vocal literature and theatre of the British Isles. There
is a vast pool of repertoire and literature that was written before 1970 when the tastes for
using RP as the spoken standard shifted. So, in this chapter we will study two types of Received Pronunciation. Historic RP that is appropriate for repertoire written before the mid1970s and Modern RP, a modern pronunciation that works very well for the repertoire of
the last quarter of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Although there are many distinct dialects found throughout the British Isles, the
British Received Pronunciation is the performance standard for most classical vocal literature. Some of the other regional dialects will be discussed in the appendices.
An excellent reference source for Historic RP is Daniel Jones's original publication,
Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary. The fourteenth edition of it was published
in 1986 by J M Dent & Sons LTD, London. It is unfortunately out of print, but worth the
effort to search for a copy of it. Daniel Jones's original work has been edited and updated
in The English Pronouncing Dictionary, 17th edition, edited by Peter Roach and James
Hartman, published by Cambridge University Press. This new edition covers both British
Received and American pronunciations. Also available is the Longman English Pronunciation Dictionary. Written for teaching English as a Foreign Language, this dictionary is
very thorough and has wonderful informational sections throughout. An excellent source
for Modern RP is the Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English, edited by
Clive Upton, William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., and Rafal Konopka.
So, let's get started. Below is the alphabet for British Received Pronunciation.

International Phonetic Alphabet for


British Received Pronunciation

Consonants
The following symbols are identical to the letters of the English (Roman) alphabet:

[b], [d], [f], [g], [h], [k], [1], [m], [n], [p], [s], [t], [v], [w], [z]

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

The symbols below are new symbols added because no corresponding symbols exist
in the Roman alphabet:
Symbol
(ng)
(th)
(th)
(wh)

(sh)
(ch)

(burred)
(rolled)
(flipped)

in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in

Key Words
sing, think
thin, thirst
thine, this, thou
whisper, when, why
y_ou, y_es, yonder
she,sure
choose, church, Charles
vision, azure*
George, joy, judge
remember, rehearse, already
Prince, great, throne
very, forever, far away

in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in

Key Words
father, dance, Ask List words
wed, many, bury, bend
hit, busy, give, bliss, been (wf)
me, chief, receive, been (sf)
cat, marry, charity, Hand List words
too, wound, blue, slew
beauty, tune, enthuse
book, bosom, good, full
obey, desolate, melody (unstressed syllables only)
on, not, honest, God, honour
all, daughter, lost, often
learn, burn, journey (stressed syllables only)
father, doctor, vulgar, elixir (unstressed syllables only)
hum, blood, trouble, must (stressed syllables only)
sofa, evil, heaven, joyous (unstressed syllables only)

Vowels
Symbol
(ah)
(eh)
(in)
(ee)
(00)

(oh)
(short o)
(er)
(er)
(uh)
(uh)

* In historical or archaic ['vizi3n]/[vizJ9n]/[9'zju9r], Modern RP


wf = weak form
sf = strong form

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Diphthongs
Symbol

Key Words

in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in

night, buy
day, break, reign
boy, voice, toil
no, slow, reproach
now, about, doubt
air, care, there
ear, dear, here, tier
pour, four, soar, o'er
sure, tour, poor*
are, heart, garden

Triphthongs
Symbol

Key Words
in

fire, choir, admire, desire

in

our, power, flower, flow'r

Commonly Used Words

all
been
want
of
what
from
an

doth

again

issue

was

very

schedule

truth

dream

bright

nature

sure

duet

cannot

* Modern RP is [ogr].
** See "r" rules on pages 233-34.

love
dance
know
because
vision
celestial

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

sf = strong form

wf = weak form

Mod. = modern

Hist. = historic

sp = spoken

s = sung

Now try working in the IPA.

IPA DRILL
1. Change the following words in IPA symbols into English spellings:

In Historic RP, a stressed r can be rolled [R] or burred [j].


An r between vowels is flipped [r] in Historic and burred [j] in Modern.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

2. Change the following English words into corresponding IPA symbols:


charm

zephyr

pensive

earth

flood

anoint

bought

vision

winter

once

hatch

giant

absurd

year

passion

enough

usage

difficult

younger

languish

beautiful

pronounce

worthy

technical

3. Write your name in IPA symbols


4. Find a short paragraph from a newspaper or magazine and transcribe it into
phonetics.

5. Change the following texts in IPA symbols into English spellings:

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the IPA, you may continue on with
British Received pronunciation and learn the applications of it for lyric singing or proceed
to chapter 2 to study the stress and inflection patterns of the English language as a whole.

British Received versus


American Standard
Let's examine the differences between British Received and American Standard pronunciation. There are twelve primary differences.
1. The vowels and consonants are produced further forward in the mouth with the
lips in a more rounded position. The lips vowels, consequently, shift to the next
darkest vowel on the vowel chart.
2. The use of short O [D] for most stressed "o" spellings as in "hot," "not," "got," see
page 217. The more closed and more forward open o vowel [o], see page 218.
3. Use of [9u] for spoken O diphthongs as in "No, don't go!" see page 219.
4. Lessening of "r" colourations in diphthongs, triphthongs, and single vowels.
5. The use of [a] for ask list spellings, see pages 223-24.
EXAMPLES

dance[dans]

glass [glas]

6. The consistent use of liquid u [ju] pronunciations, see page 228.


7. Unstressed syllables: differing vowel preferences for suffixes, prefixes, and the
additional schwa substitute for unstressed syllables, see page 229.
8. The -ary, -ery, -ory, -bury, -berry, and -mony word endings are pronuced [9rJ/ri]
in RP. In AS they are pronounced [asii] when the preceding syllable is stressed
and are pronounced with a full vowel when the preceding syllable is unstressed.
RP

AS
r

'secretary ['sekiit9 ri] or [sekiitii] Historic

'secretary ['sekis.teji]

[sekjit9 ji] or ['sekiiUi] Modern


9. The "ile" word endings in unstressed syllables and the suffix "ine" are pronounced [ai] in RP and [i] or [9] or [i] in AS.
RP

AS

agile [aedsail]
philistine [filistam]

[asdsil] [asdjgl]
[fibstin]

10. The use of trilled and flipped r's in Historic RP.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

11. The t's are aspirated and elided in Historic RP. Final t's are sometimes glottlalized [?] in Modern RP speech.
12. Syllabic stress
a. For loanwords from French, the first syllable is stressed in RP vs. the second
syllable in AS.
RP

AS

RP

AS

RP

AS

'ballet

ballet

'cafe

cafe

'matinee

mati'nee

b. Compound wordsin RP, stress is placed on either the noun or both words
equally. In AS, stress is usually on the adjective or both words equally.
RP

AS

polar 'bear

'polar bear

week 'end

'week 'end

Rules for British Received Pronunciation

RULE From American Standard, the stressed lip vowels shift to the next darkest
adjacent vowel on the vowel chart for RP.

DIAGRAM 14.1

In general, RP is produced further forward in the mouth than AS and has lip rounding.
The lip vowels are [a], [o], [o], [o], [u] and [u]. The pronunciation differences between
AS and RP pronunciations involve primarily the first three of the lip vowels. In RP, the
words with stressed syllables that would ordinarily be pronounced [a] in AS are now pronounced [D]. The words with "o" spellings that in AS are [a] or [o] are in RP [o]. For example, the word "hot," which is sounded [hat] in AS, is sounded [hot] in RP. The same
holds true for [o] in AS. The RP counterpart is [o]; a more closed version of the open o
vowel of AS. For example, "call" [kol] in AS is pronounced [kol] in RP.
AS

RP

AS

RP

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Since AS does not use [D] as a standard vowel pronunciation, there is not a direct shift
from [D] to [D].
Note the vowel shifts in the texts below:

AS

RP

Let me wander not unseen,

Let me wander not unseen,

By hedgerow elms on hillocks green.

By hedgerow elms on hillocks green.

[D]

(G. F. Handel, L'Allegro)

EXERCISES
1. Drill the following vowel shifts:

45

RP

not

God

hot

honest

AS

RP

call

walk

all

daughter

AS

RP

AS

RP

2. Recite the following text, paying attention to the vowel shifts:

To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark, dock,

In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,

Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,

From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big, black block.


(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, From The Mikado)

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

RULE Stressed "o" spellings in RP, as in the words hot, not, got, are pronounced
with "short o"

[D] Production
The vowel [D] is the lowest of the tongue vowels that has lip rounding. It is called the short
o vowel. It is halfway between [a] and [o] in RP and, though not considered standard in
AS, is halfway between [a] and [o]. It can be found by saying an [a] while slightly rounding your lips. It is found in words that have "o" spellings, such as "hot," "on," and "sorry."
It is also the vowel for several words with "a" spellings such as "what," "want," "was."

FIGURE 14.1

Action
Tongue

slight arch, almost flat in mouth

Lips

rounded in shape of a large circle

Jaw

wide open, as low as for [a]

[D]

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid tense tongue, lips, mouth.
Avoid glottal attacks on initial vowels.

Common Words That Use [D]


from

horror

want

bomb

oracle

wash

box

John

what

long

coffee

wander

mock

modern

wasp

upon

song

was

God

of

water*

story*

somber

want

RULE The RP variant


couterpart is AS

is further forward and more closed than the " opne o"
See

production, pp, 6668

*In Historic RP, many of the "o" spelling and "a" spellings are pronounced [g]. Always refer to the
English Pronouncing Dictionary to check for Historic RP. In Modern RP, all the words above are
pronounced short o [D].

EXERCISES
Transcribe the following texts into RP, concentrating on the short and open o's:
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the chorded shell,
His list'ning brethren stood around,
And, wond'ring, on the faces fell,
To worship celestial sound:
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell,
That spoke so sweetly and so well,
What passion cannot music quell?

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

The soft complaining flute


In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers
Whose dirge is whisper'd,
Whisper'd by the warbling lute.
(C. F. Handel, "Ode on St. Cecilia's Day")

What if I never speed?


Shall I straight yield to despair,
And still on sorrow feed
That can no loss repair?
Or shall I change my love?
For I find pow'r to depart,
And in my reason prove,
I can command my heart.
But if she will pity my desire and my love requite,
Then ever shall she live my dear delight!
Come, while I have a heart to desire thee,
Come, for either I will love or admire thee.
(John Dowland / poet anonymous, "What If I Never Speed")

[oo] versus [au]


In spoken RP English, the stressed o diphthong in "no" is pronounced [90]. The first vowel
is a schwa [9] followed by a [u] vowel.* This [su] diphthong is very characteristic of spoken RP but is a difficult sound to produce vocally and easily "spreads." Therefore it is
standard performance practice to sing a pure "o" [ou] in classical vocal music. The [su]
diphthong could be used in singing the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in fast-moving
recitative passages. It should never be sung on any melismatic or sustained passage.

RULE Use the

diphthong only in musical theatre, operetta, and spoken

dialogue, For classical singing, always use

* See chapter 6 for the description of the [a] vowel.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

NOTE OF CAUTION
Be careful that the [au] diphthong is not pronounced as [eu]. This sounds affected and exaggerated. Practice slowly to make sure that the first vowel in this diphthong is [9].

EXERCISES
1. Drill the following words alternating between both [ou] and [au]

no

gold

moan

flow

code

low

whole

woe

alone

open

soul

Apollo

2. Transcribe the following texts using [au] and recite them:


In vain to us you plead
Don't go!
Your prayers we do not heed
Don't go!
It's true we sigh,
But don't suppose
A tearful eye
Forgiveness shows.
Oh, no!
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, From lolanthe)

Old King Cole


Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he,
He called for his pipe,
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.
(Anonymous)

Sweet and low, sweet and low,


Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,
Wind of the western sea!

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

Over the rolling waters go,


Come from the dying moon, and blow,
Blow him again to me.
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Sweet and Low")

Jupiter, Mars and Apollo,


Have quitted the dwellings of men;
The other gods quickly will follow,
And what will become of us then.
Oh, pardon us, Jove and Apollo,
Pardon us, Jupiter and Mars;
Oh, see us in misery wallow,
Cursing our terrible stars.
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, From Thespis)

Reduced R Colourings

RULE "R" colourings are reduced in diphthongs, triphthings, adn single


stressed r-coloured vowels

In British Received Pronunciation (RP), the r colouring is reduced in the r-coloured schwa
at the end of the diphthongs and triphthongs. Note the changes in phonetic spelling below:

AS

RP
hear
fair
sure

for
are

fire
flower

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

EXERCISE
1. Transcribe and drill diphthongs and triphthongs in RP:
fear

your

heart

sure*

forth

flower

acquire

iron

hair

desire

afar

pure

mourn

ensnare

power

dear

*ln Modern RP this diphthong is pronounced

RULE R-cGlpured vowels, both stressed and unstressed, have less lip rounding
and are more open.

Words that have r-coloured vowels in a stressed syllable (learn, bird, virtue), as well
as unstressed syllables (father, wonder, honour), are all more open variations of the AS
r-coloured vowels. The RP r colours still have r colouring in them, but with less lip rounding. The tongue still remains arched in an [e] position, while the lips are less rounded and
protruded. The reduced r coloured vowels are sounds are similar to [oe] in French. Phonetically, they are written [3r] for a stressed syllable and [9r] for an unstressed syllable.
Practice drilling all of the r-coloured vowels:

EXAMPLES

AS

FR

RP

FR

AS

fur

fleur

fur

fleur

fur

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe and drill the following words containing lessened RP r colourings:

yearn

burn

search

thirst

journey

virtue

her

verdict

mercy

rehearse

perfect

earth

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

sister

brother

number

colour

savor

ever

after

valour

perhaps

pursue

comfort

survive

2. Write in IPA the following texts and recite:


The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle in our land.
(From Ecclesiastes)

For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing,


whose end, both at the first and now,
was and is to hold as 'twere the mirror up to Nature.
(William Shakespeare, Hamlet)

O'er the season vernal,


Time may cast a shade;
Sunshine, if eternal,
Makes the roses fade!
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, Trial by Jury)

Shall We D-ah-nce?
One of the most idiomatic pronunciation practices of RP is the use of the [a] vowel in
many of the words that in AS would be pronounced [ae]. In the phrase "We danced on the
grass until the night passed!" all of the stressed "a" vowels are pronounced with [a]. In
order to be proficient in the RP dialect, it is imperative to know when to pronounce an [ae]
or an [a] vowel. It is often the true test of a well-versed traveler as to whether they have
their [ae] and [a] vowels straight. For British readers, this will seem unnecessary.

Ask Words versus Hand Words


In her book Speak with Distinction, Edith Skinner used the terms "Ask-List Words" and
"Hand-List Words" to distinguish the lists of words that have vowel variants from [ae] in AS
to [a] in RP and those that do not. Although she coined these terms, they have become part

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

of the language canon of the theater world. The words in which the vowels are changed
from [ae] to [a] will be categorized as the "Ask-List Words" and the words in which the
[ae] vowel remains the same from AS to RP will be classified as "Hand-List Words."
There are no spelling or phonetic rules for determining which ones change; however,
the stressed "a" vowel in the ask words are all followed by certain consonant sounds.
Since this is a living language and changes over time, always check the dictionary for
Modern RP usage of these spellings. Below is a partial listing of most common ask words,
grouped according to the consonant sounds that follow them.
ASK WORDS

[a]
Letter "a"

Exceptions

followed by:
[f]
laugh, draught, calf, half, after, draft,

[ae]
baffle, daffodil, graphic,
traffic, riff-raff
fancy, romance, cancel,

[ns]

shaft, craft, staff, chaff, quaff


dance, chance, glance, prance, trance,
advance, answer, trans*- (prefix), France,
chancellor, Frances

[ntj]
[s]

branch, blanch, avalanche


brass, class, grass, pass,
castle, fasten, Passover

circumstance, finance,
stance, expanse, transit,
rancid
franchise
classic, lass, gas, morass,
passive, passenger,
crass, mass**
drastic, chastise, plastic,
sarcastic, castigate,
bombast, hast, fantastic,
pasta

[st]

aghast, blast, cast, disaster, fast, ghastly,


master, vast, pastor, past, passed, repast

[sk]

ask, bask, cask, flask, mask, task, rascal

[sp]

clasp, gasp, grasp, rasp

aspect

bathroom, path, wrath

hath, maths

rather, lath, paths, baths


example, sample, sampler

gather, fathom

[mpl]

Note: Can't [kant] is pronounced with ah [a], while can [kasn] and cannot [kaenot] are pronounced with [ae]. All forms to the verb "to have" are pronounced [ae].
* There seems to be a lot of variability in the pronunciation of "trans"-always check dictionary.
** "Mass" meaning a religious service is pronounced both [maes] and [mas] "Mass" as in "mass media"
is [maes].

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

HAND WORDS

Exceptions

Letter a
followed by:

[b]
c[k]
ck[k]
[d]

[g/j [dsl
[g]
[1]
[m]
[n]
[nd]

[a]

stab, rabble, cabin


accent, act
back, attack, lack, taco
glad, sad, shadow, mad, had
magic, majesty
dagger, wagon
valley, shall, shallow
am, lamb, gram, lamp
man, can, cannot, vanish
hand, grand, land, stand

command, demand, slander


reprimand, countermand

ng [rjg]
nk [rjk]

languish, sang, language


thank, drank, sank

[nt]

ant, rant

[p]
[r/i]
sh[J]
ss[J]

happy, capture, rapture


marry, charity, carry
clash, dash, fashion, flash
passion, compassion

[t]
tch [tj]

cat, matter, that


catch, latch, match
have, ravage, lavish

[v]

x[ks]
[z]

can't, shan't, chant, grant, plant,


slant, advantage, aunt, enchant

wax, relax, axe


dazzle, hazard

Words that may be pronounced either [ae] or [a]:

asp

enhance
exasperate

aspen

masquerade

blaspheme

plantation

elastic

ranch

ant

* salve: ointment = [a]

salve: soothe, anoint = [ae]

salve*, calve, halve (silent


"1" spellings)
raspberry

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Memory Aids

Memorizing the Ask and Hand Lists can be overwhelming. Here are some memory aids
my students have supplied over the years.
ASK LIST
I can't laugh and dance with a mask made of branches.
The master of the castle asked me to take a bath.
For example, rather, I clasped his raspberry calves.
The cast went fast which enhanced the chance to end it at last with a draught.
HAND LIST
I'm glad that scallywag stabbed me in the back with a dagger.
The man's magic hands happily lavished languishing lamentations over the land.
The cad, full of passion, married his match in the valley.
I have to wax my dazzling legs in a flash!

EXERCISES
1. [ae] / [a] Transcribe and drill the correct vowel sounds:
galaxy

half

lamp

stand

trance

salad

mango

plaster

diagram

manic

lamb

band

dance

telegram

glass

answer

rash

hand

clash

man

lather

sham

after

mask

bombast

stagger

rapt

rather

bandit

passion

2. Transcribe the correct vowel sounds:


nasty taskmasters

sweet charity

vast expanses

pastoral duty

bad habit

screeching bagpipe

last chance

murderous dagger

waxen beauty

avaricious scavenger

rather bland

past rapture

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

3. Recite with the correct vowels:


Ghastly, ghastly!
When man, sorrowful,
Firstly, lastly,
Of tomorrow full,
After tarrying,
Yields to harrying
Goes a-marrying
Ghastly, ghastly!
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, The Yeomen of the Guard)

There was an old man of Madras,


Who rode on a cream-coloured ass;
But the length of his ears,
So prompted his fears,
That it killed the Old Man of Madras.
(Edward Lear, The Complete Nonsense)
Now try a Sonnet:

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,


I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heav'n with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising)
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Usage of the "Liquid U" in


Historic versus Modern RP

RULE Use the " LiquidU"


ceded by

in all "u," "ue," "eu,"

and "ew" spellings pre-

Sagj exceptions on p&ges eO~6T

The use of "Liquid U" [ju] after:


[n]

Always use fj].


EXAMPLES

[d] and [t]

new [nju], nuclear [njuklisr]


In Historic RP, always use [j].

EXAMPLES
[dj] and [tj]

due [dju], duty [djuti]


In Modern RP, many of the Liquid U's [ju] change to [ds] and [tj].

duke

Historic
[djuk]

Modern
[dsuk]

tune

[tjun]

[tjun]

Tuesday

[tjuzdei]

[tjuzdei]

[6] [1]

In Historic RP, always use [j].

EXAMPLES

allude [aljud], enthused [mGjuzd]

Note: The word "absolutely" is pronounced with or without the [j],


EXAMPLE

[eebsoljutli] or [aebsolutli]

In Modern RP, drop the [j].


EXAMPLES
[s] [z]

allude [alud], enthused [m8uzd], absolutely [sebsalutli]

In Historic RP, use or drop [j].

EXAMPLES

assume: [as(j)um], superb: [s(j)up3rb], suicide: [s(j)uisaid]

In Modern RP, the []] is usually dropped, but instead an on-glide pre-vowel(i) is
pronounced before the [u]. It does not sound like the American counterpart,
which is pronounced with a pure [u].

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

EXAMPLES

Modern RP

sue

suit

AS

sue

suit

Note: However, always refer to the dictionary for [s]/[z] spellings in Modern RP.

Unstressed Words and Syllables


1. In RP, there is more use of the schwa vowel [9] in unstressed words than in AS.
EXAMPLE

You^nl

Who can know?

2. Use [i] in the unstressed prefixes "im-" and "in-", as well as in "-ing" endings.
3. Schwa substitutes:
In RP, there is a new schwa substitute: [D] is a schwa substitute for unstressed
"o" spellings. For example, confess [kon'fess].
While there is no general preferred schwa substitute in AS (it depends often
on the singer, the range, or the specific word), [i] is preferred overall much
more often as a schwa substitute in RP. For example, "heaven" in AS could
easily use [9], [e], [i], or [u]. In spoken RP, more often than not one would
lean toward [i].
4. Final unstressed "y" was pronounced [i] in late nineteenth-century RP, instead of
[i] in Modern RP and AS.
EXAMPLE

Historic RP

very [vm]

Modern RP

very [VEJ+]

Stress Patterns
1. For two-syllable loanwords from French, the first syllable is stressed in RP versus
the second syllable in AS.
Drill:

RP
'ballet
'cafe
'matinee
'debut
'garage

AS
ballet
cafe
matinee
de'but
garage

RP
'chauffeur
Monet
'baton
'cliche
'gourmet

AS
chauffeur
Mo'net
ba'ton
cli'che
gourmet

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

2. For three-syllable loanwords from French, the second syllable in stressed in RP


versus the third syllable in AS.

RP
attache
Fiance*

AS
atta'che
fiance

RP
De'bussy
denouement*

AS
Debussy
denoue'ment

3. Other French loanwords with different stress:

RP
a'ddress(n.)
limo'sine
advertisement

AS
,address(n.)
limo'sine
advertisement

RP
ciga'rette
Re'naissance
es'cargot

AS
, cigarette
'Renaissance
^scar'got

4. Compound word stressin RP, stress is placed on either the noun or both words
equally. In AS, stress is usually on the adjective or both words equally.
RP

orange juice
ice 'cream
open 'wound
New 'Year
weekend

AS

'orange juice
'ice cream
'open 'wound
'New 'Year
'weekend

i(JII The -ary, ~ery, -ojy, *b^ *^err^ -mooy in unstressed word endings are
'pfOJiowritced

in Historic j^iW

in; Modtern 8P: -mow becomes

5. In RP, the unstressed -ary, -ery, -ory, -bury, and -berry endings are pronounced in
Historic RP [grn/i]** and Modern RP [9rii].** Unstressed -mony endings are
pronounced [msni]. Also, while in AS the first syllable is a full vowel sound,
often the first syllable in RP is elided and pronounced [ai] or [ji], respectively.

* Sounded with French nasal vowel [a].


Note: Final unstressed y in late nineteenth-century RP was pronounced [i]. See point 4 under "Unstressed
Words and Syllables" above.
** Alternate spelling.
Note: For rules on flipped [r] versus burred [a] r's, see page 232.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

AS
'pri,mary
'repertory
'Canterbury
raspberry
'alimony
'secretary

RP
'primary
'repertory
'Canterbury
'raspberry
'alimony
secretary

5. The word endings "ile" and "ine"typically an unstressed monothong in AS


are pronounced with the full [ai] diphthong in RP.
[ail]
EXAMPLES

docile, fertile, futile, missile, sterile, virile, volatile, tactile

[am]
EXAMPLES

carbine, adamantine, labyrinthine, serpentine

EXCEPTIONS

sometimes [in] or [i]

EXAMPLES

medicine ['medsin], morphine

6. In verbs and adjectives with the endings "-ate" and "-atory," the ending is
stressed in RP.
-ate
EXAMPLES

do'nate, frustrate, na'rrate, ro'tate, spec'tate, translate, va'cate,


vi'brate

-atory
EXAMPLE

regulatory

EXCEPTION

laboratory

Trilled and Flipped R's


In current day Modern RP, rolled and flipped r's are never used. That was not the case
when British Received Pronunciation was codified in the 1920s. In the usage of the upper
class of the 1920s, the r's were frequently trilled and flipped. British English is a living
language with adaptive usage that changes and modifies with the passage of time. Therefore, it is important that our application of the pronunciation of RP reflects the appropriate
diction usage of the time in which the music was written.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Since we are applying RP to British vocal repertoire that spans three centuries, the
application of the consonant r usage needs to be adapted to the usage of the time period.
The IPA symbols for the three types of r's are:
[R] rolled

[r] flipped

[j] burred

RULE Use rolled mitral r'$ [R] tor stressed word-types and intervocalic flipped r%
[r] in music of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and early twentteth-centoty periods. But use predominantly burredrt [j j for stressed word-types jind intervocalic r's in middle and late Mentieth*century literature Rolled r usafe should
be used only for special emphasis and treated as if it were an ornament.

The use of stressed rolled r's and intervocalic flipped r's when singing in RP should
be used exclusively in Baroque (Dowland, Campion, Rosseter, Purcell, Handel), Classical (Haydn, Arne), and Romantic music (Butterworth, Elgar, Hoist, Ireland, Finzi). In the
late twentieth-century literature, intervocalic flipped r's should not be used, because their
usage sounds too dated and affected. Rolled r's are best used for colour or dramatic effect,
but should be used sparingly.
Here are some general parameters for use of consonant r's.

RULES FOR R'S


1. Use burred or rolled initial r's in stressed syllables that begin grammatically
stressed words.

EXAMPLES

righteousness

realm

Rise up!

2. Flip all intervocalic r's within a single word or in an adj^tntog phrase in


Baroque, Classical, and Romantic;repertoire. Burr all fttteivdcaltc r^wttMn a
single word or in an adjoining phrase in late twentfeth-centyfy and'early
twenty-first-century repertoire,

EXAMPLES

spirit

arise

faraway

yoyareaH

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

3. Do not roll r's in unstressed prefixes or unstressed words.

EXAMPLES

refrain

remember

reprehensible

4. Use caution when roiling r's for dr or tr combinations so as tdnolso^ttd Slavic,

EX-AMP LES

true

dream

dread

trust

One of the unique qualities of British English is the consistent usage of aspirated t's
and d's. In a consonant cluster tr, if the r is rolled, it is very difficult to aspirate the t. It can
become a dentalized t when accommodating the position needed for the rolled r. The same
happens in dr clusters. The d can become dentalized when a rolled r follows it. Dentalized
d's and t's sound very foreign in English and should be avoided. That is why burred r's are
preferable for tr and dr combinations.
A Compromise
If a singer, conductor, or coach really feels strongly that the r must be trilled in a particular tr or dr cluster, here is a compromise:
[t3R-]

or

[daR-]

Insert a schwa vowel [9] between the 't' and 'r' or 'd' and 'r.' By inserting the schwa,
there is time for the t or d to be aspirated and not dentalized.

Technique for Rolling R's


Native English speakers frequently are not good at rolling r's. Unlike speakers who come
from a Romance language base, English speakers do not grow up using rolled r's and consequently, their tongues often produce flaccid and flappy rolls.
1. Practice starting rolls with an [oe] vowel. This helps to place it further forward.
(OB) RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

2. Listen to the speed of the roll. It should be clean and fast.


RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Musical Application for R's


1. The rolled r should be initiated before the beat so that the vowel can be on the
beat. It should be approached like a grace note to the primary pitch. When the roll
begins on the beat, the vowel is compromised and obscured.
EXAMPLES

great

[gRRRRRRRert]

praise

[PRRRRRRCIZ]

2. With this same approach, if the word before the rolled r is on a lower pitch, initiate
the rolled r on the pitch before.
EXAMPLE

And the dead shall be[RR] raised inco[RR] uptible

3. Since r's add a foreign element to the British Received English, use short rolls.
EXAMPLE

B[RRR]ight is the [RRR]ing of words


not

B[RRR]ight is the [RRRJing of words

4. Additionally, if there are several stressed words in a single phrase that begin with
an r (or a cluster containing an r), pick and choose which r's you want to roll; if
there are too many in a row, it can take away from the text and, again, sound
more foreign. Note the musical example below.
Allegro con ruoco

[RRR]Rome is now [RRR]ruled by the

E - t[RRR]rus - can up - start:

(From The Rape ofLucretia, Benjamin Britten)

Rolling all three words"Rome," "ruled," and "Etruscan"is too much. In this
case, rolling two out of three would be a better choice.

EXERCISE
1. Transcribe the following texts into RP, concentrating on the treatment of the r's.
Bright is the ring of words
When the right man rings them,
Fair the fall of songs
When the singer sings them,

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

Still they are carolled and said


On wings they are carried
After the singer is dead
And the maker buried.
Low as the singer lies
In the field of heather,
Songs of his fashion bring
The swains together.
And when the west is red
With the sunset embers,
The lover lingers and sings
And the maid remembers.
(Robert Louis Stevenson / Ralph Vaughan Williams,
"Bright is the Ring of Words" from Songs of Travel)

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight


Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night,
I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests, and blue days at sea.
I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom;
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.
And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.
(Robert Louis Stevenson / Ralph Vaughan Williams,
"The Roadside Fire" from Songs of Travel)

Ah! Belinda, I am press'd


With torment not to be confess'd;
Peace and I are strangers grown:
I languish till my grief is known,
Yet would not have it guess'd.
(Henry Purcell, "Dido's Lament" from Dido and Aeneas)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Articulating the Letter T in RP

RIRf All t's must be adulated0s^ i^ardless of their position wMi a word;

In AS and several British regional dialects, the articulation of t's is more relaxed and colloquially often lazy. Medial t's are often flapped [r]* or imploded and final t's are often
dropped or globalized [?].
EXAMPLE:

"Goodnight!" is colloquially pronounced [gu?nart].

When singing AS well, initial and final t's should be articulated and aspirated, while
medial t's should have no aspiration. For example, in the words "twilight," both t's would
be well aspirated to match the volume level of the vowels. But in the word "letter," the
medial t's should be sounded as t's (not d's) but with no aspiration. In RP, all t's are wellarticulated and aspirated in initial, final, and medial positions.
There is one crucial exception: Do not aspirate a final t if it is followed by a word beginning with an unstressed vowel.
EXAMPLE:

"that I" with an aspirated t mistakenly creates the word "tie"

Such phrases would best be connected with a very soft unaspirated t or the legato connection broken with a breath lift.
There are two idiomatic phrases in British dialect in which the t's are always connected strongly: "It is" is sounded as [i -> tiz] and "Not at all" is sounded [no -> ts -> tol].
Practice saying "not at all" and "it is" several times.

[th]

The aspiration of a consonant should be notated phonetically by using [th]. Since for projection, all t's need to be aspirated in AS, RP, and MA, the symbol [t] alone will imply
aspiration. Only in colloquial American will the characteristic American flapped t be used.
It is notated [r].

See glossary page 294 for discussion of flapped t's [r].

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

EXERCISES
1. Transcribe the following words in British dialect and drill them:
touch

little

polite

tree

better

quiet

tongue

lately

clapped

tell

central

kissed

teeth

pretty

delight

2. Practice reciting the following texts concentrating on aspirated T's:


I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
I've information vegetable, animal and mineral.
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical,
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted too with matters mathematical.
I understand equations, both simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.
I'm very good at integral and differential calculus,
I know the scientific names of being animalculus;
In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, from Pirates of Penzance)

There is beauty in the bellow of the blast,


There is grandeur in the growling of the gale,
There is eloquent out-pouring
When the lion is a-roaring,
And the tiger is a-lashing of his tail!
Yes, I like to see a tiger
From the Congo or the Niger,
And especially the lashing of his tail!
(W. S. Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan, from The Mikado)

3. Transcribe the following texts:


Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace.
The pasture gleams and glooms

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.


All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn hedge.
Tis visible silence, still as the hour glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky:
So this winged hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.
(Ralph Vaughan Williams, "Silent Noon" from The House of Life)

Come, sleep, and with thy sweet deceiving


Lock me in delight awhile;
Let some pleasing dreams beguile
All my fancies, that from hence
There may steal an influence,
All my powers of care bereaving.
Tho' but a shadow, but a sliding,
Let me know some little joy.
We, that suffer long annoy,
Are contented with a thought
Thro' an idle fancy wrought:
O let my joys have some abiding.
(John Fletcher/ Peter Warlock, Sleep)

The fountains mingle with the River


And the Rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle.
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Singing in the British Dialect: "The Rain in Spain"

And the sunlight clasps the earth


And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?
(Percy Bysshe Shelley / Roger Quilter, "Love's Philosophy")
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Spring! The sweet Spring!
(Thomas Nashe / Ivor Gurney, "Spring," from Summer's Last Will and Testament)
When fishes flew and forests walked
and figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With montrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
on all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth
of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me:
I am dumb, I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
("The Donkey," G. K. Chesterton / Rebecca Clarke)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

In summertime on Bredon
The bells they sound so clear;
Round both the shires they ring them
In steeples far and near,
A happy noise to hear.
Here of a Sunday morning
My love and I would lie,
And see the coloured counties,
And hear the larks so high
About us in the sky.
The bells would ring to call her
In valleys miles away;
"Come all to church, good people;
Good people come and pray."
But here my love would stay.
And I would turn and answer
Among the springing thyme,
"Oh, peal upon our wedding,
And we will hear the chime,
And come to church in time."
But when the snows at Christmas
On Bredon top were strown,
My love rose up so early
And stole out unbeknown
And went to church alone.
They tolled the one bell only,
Groom there was none to see,
The mourners followed after,
And so to church went she,
And would not wait for me.
The bells they sound on Bredon,
And still the steeples hum,
"Come all to church, good people."
0 noisy bells, be dumb;
1 hear you, I will come.
(A. E. Housman / Sir Arthur Somervell, "In Summertome on Bredon,"
from A Shropshire Lad)

Many other British texts can be found in chapters 2-13.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN
The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

The Default Dialect


The Mid-Atlantic English is a version of the English language that tries to be neither predominantly American nor British. Mid-Atlantic English, also known as Transatlantic pronunciation, is a type of accent formerly cultivated by American and Canadian actors for
use in theater and by North American news announcers for war correspondence. Its aim
was mutual intelligibility across the Atlantic. Generally based on the educated Bostonian
speech of the 1920s, it was essentially North American speech with some adopted features
of British pronunciation. In theater, it was used in stage productions of Shakespeare and
other works from the British Isles and frequently in film until the post-World War II era.
This form of "stage British" is not used today as much as it once was. In current North
American theater, the practice is to use a more American sounding Theater Standard. It is
what in this book is referred to as AS. Sadly, today, even Shakespeare is rarely performed
in the United States with any sort of British dialect.
The codification of Mid-Atlantic pronunciation in written form is credited to Edith
Warman Skinner in the 1930s. Sir Tyrone Guthrie had established an acting troupe that
was made up of British, American, and Canadian actors. He became frustrated with the
distraction of the "ping-pong" fluctuation of all the pronunciation variants he heard in the
dialogue of his actors, and enlisted the help of Edith Skinner to regulate a hybrid pronunciation for English that would blend the vowel variants and the language usage. The pronunciation that Edith Skinner codified led to the writing of her book Speak with Distinction, which has become one of the principal texts for stage speech used by acting schools
throughout the English-speaking world.

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Good examples of exemplary Mid-Atlantic can be found in the films of the Americanborn but British-trained Vincent Price, the ex-pat Gary Grant, the Canadian Christopher
Plummer, and the American actor James Earl Jones. One good way to become attuned to
this pronunciation is to spend some time watching the black and white Hollywood movies
of the 1930s and 1940s. All the starlets of the American Motion Picture studio system
were trained to speak in Mid-Atlantic. Listen to the old movies of Betty Davis, Katherine
Hepburn, and Humphrey Bogart. The list of stars is long. Even in the 1960s, Mid-Atlantic
was used in The Sound of Music to blend the North American accents of the actors playing
the nuns and the von Trapp family with British pronunciation of Maria played by Dame
Julie Andrews.
Although Mid-Atlantic is not used as much today, it still can be heard in a more modern form in the speech of such American television characters as Frasier and Niles on Frasier, and the parents on Will and Grace and Gilmore Girls. Mid-Atlantic dialect is often
used to define a character who is highly educated or upper class. It can be used to help
establish the relationships between the characters of a work. Even Princess Leia, Queen
Amidala, and of course Darth Vader of the Star Wars film series speak in a modern MidAtlantic to establish their relationships to the authority figures of the Force and the Dark
Side. In 2007, The Illusionist, a film set in Vienna, used dialogue in Mid-Atlantic
For singers today, knowledge and fluency in the Mid-Atlantic dialect is a very useful
skill. In North America, it is often the requested pronunciation by many conductors and
directors for vocal works that are not specifically of North American origin. Oratorio and
European opera in English translation are frequently presented in Mid-Atlantic rather than
RP or AS. In the rest of the English-speaking world, it would potentially be an excellent
guide for an international English that could be used for any European or English Commonwealth works not specific to the British Isles. In North America, there is sometimes a
concern that the use of RP with its darkened vowels will lower the text intelligibility for
North American audiences. Often RP is not used in a stage production of a British work
unless supertitles are employed as a safety net. If this is a concern, or supertitles are not
being used, then Mid-Atlantic pronunciation is an excellent solution.
In Mid-Atlantic, the vowels are generally pronounced the same as in American Standard. The biggest distinctions between Mid-Atlantic and AS are found with the lessened
"r" colorations in [sr] and [sr] and in the diphthongs and triphthongs, as well as the optional use of rolled and flipped "r's" in historic MA.

[a]
The chief difference between British Received and Mid-Atlantic, besides the lack of vowel
shifts, is the use of the intermediate [a] instead of [a] for the "Ask List" words. By lessen-

CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

ing the "r" colorations and using the more open [a] vowel for the "Ask List" words, MidAtlantic takes on a "Continental" flare to the language and does not register as a North
American pronunciation. It is the dialect that is used in the Madeleine Marshall book, To
Sing in English.
Let's have a look at more specifics of this pronunciation.

The Mid-Atlantic Dialect Overview


A little of this . . . A little of that. . .
1. Mid-Atlantic dialect is generally made up of AS vowels with British "r"
treatments.
2. The use of [M] always in words with "wh" spellings such as "what," "wherefore," "why," and "whether."
3. Like AS and RP, the Prefix Rule applies, see page 48.
4. The "Ask List" words now are pronounced with [a], see list on page 224.
5. For unstressed "o" spellings, the [o] schwa substitute is preferred.
6. Like RP, the [D], as in "honest," is used for words with "o" spellings.
7. The parameters for rolled and flipped r's and r-colored vowels are the same as
RP, see chapter 14, p. 234.
8. Use [9r] in the second to last syllables of polysyllabic words with the endings
"ory," "-ery," "-ary," and "-berry," see page 230.
9. T's are aspirated as in RP. See page 236.
10. Use burred r's [j] only for r's in Modern MA. In Historic MA, use burred or
rolled [J]/[R] r's for initial r's or r's in initial consonant clusters, and flipped r's
[r] between vowels.
Historic MA

EXAMPLES

arise
truth
forever
royal

Modern MA

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Repertoire Suggestions for


Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation
In North America

In Europe / British Commonwealth

Oratorio of European origin

Oratorio of European Origin

Handel's Messiah

Mendelssohn's Elijah

Mendelssohn's Elijah

Bach Cantatas

Bach Cantatas
Opera
Any U.K. Opera where
intelligibility is a concern
Opera in English translation
The Magic Flute

Opera in English translation


The Magic Flute
Die Fledermaus
The Merry Widow

Die Fledermaus
The Merry Widow
European Operetta

European Operetta

Offenbach, Romberg

Offenbach, Romberg

British Art Songs (if intelligibility is concern)


Quilter, Finzi, Purcell, and so on

The Intelligibility Factor


The type of venue and the sophistication of the audience should be considered when determining which dialect will be intelligible and communicative. For a professional concert
in a major city such as London or New York, the audience should be able to understand
RP or AS without the default compromise of using MA. You, the artist, must make the
final decision about what is best.

Note: I prefer that all British repertoire be performed in Historic or Modern RP or an appropriate regional
U.K. accent where required, and all North American repertoire be performed in AS or an appropriate colloquial/regional accent where required. Mid-Atlantic is the default pronunciation to be used if the repertoire is not specifically American or British, is European repertoire done in English translation, or there is
concern about intelligibility.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

Rules for Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation

RULf Always use [M] for atl stressed words beginnings with "wh" sellings:
that is, whether, when, where, which, and so on, ' ..; T '

This is no different from RP. For British and Mid-Atlantic dialects, the [h] should be
much more exaggerated than in Neutral North American. Be sure to insert the related [u]
vowel between h and w to stress and highlight these interrogative pronouns.
EXAMPLES

Why? [h(u)wai]

Where? [h(u)war]

When? [h(u)wm]

Remember that a few words spelled with "wh" are sounded with [h] only:
EXAMPLES

who, whom, whose, whole, wholly, whore,

Ry Li Always use the liquid u [ju] in words that are spelled V or'-ew" and
begin with the consonants d, n, s, I, t, and tit, See page 61 /

When these spellings occur in a stressed position in a stressed word, as in "tune" or


"pursue," add the [i] related glide vowel to help stress and exaggerate this pronunciation.
EXAMPLES

tune [t^jun]

pursue

When they occur in positions of only secondary stress, as in "interlude" or "gratitude,"


do not add the related [i] vowel.
EXAMPLES

interlude ['intarljud] gratitude ['gR

For a more complete list of examples of these words, see page 61.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

EXERCISES
Drill the following sentences, using [ju] appropriately:
The stupid pupil was confused about latitudes and platitudes.

Nuclear fusion renews confusion.

The youth endured puberty with humor.

Students must studiously study their etudes.

Eunice was amused by their new attitude.

Please try to duplicate the numerous nuances of beautiful elocution!

Allusion and illusion are infused with collusion.

The Muse was imbued with dubious acumen.

RULI UseJa]for"AslcUst*spellings.

The vowel [a] as in "Ask" is often referred to as the intermediate "A" because it is a vowel
sound between [ae] as in "cat" and [a] as in "father."

247

CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

[a] Production

FIGURE 15.1 [a]

Action
Jaw

wide
relaxed

Lips

spread lightly in smile

Tongue

tip behind lower front teeth


arch slightly lower than for [ae]

The vowel [a] is the first vowel in the diphthong [ai] as in the word "my." One way to find
the correct Intermediate "A" vowel is to sustain the first vowel of "my"[maaaaaa] and
kinesthetically feel and hear this vowel sound.
Here is an overview of the three vowel variants for the Ask List spellings.

248

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

ASK LIST VARIANTS

RP

MA

AS

after

[a]
[aft9r]

[a]
[aftsr]

[a]
[asft<H

bath

[ba6]

[baG]

[baeG]

class

[klas]

[klas]

[klaes]

demand

[dimand]

[dimand]

[dimaend]

enchant

[intrant]

[mtjant]

[intjaent]

fast

[fast]

[fast]

[f33St]

glance

[glans]

[glans]

[glasns]

[half

[haf]

[haf]

[haef]

implant

[implant]

[inplant]

[implaent]

laugh
master

[laf]
[mast9r]

[laf]
[mast9r]

[laef]
[massif]

nasty

[nasti/i]

[nasti]

[naesti]

outlast

[outlast]

[outlast]

[outlaest]

paragraph

[paej/ragj/Raf]*

[paej/rsgj/Raf]*

[paejggjasf]

reprimand

[jepjmand]

[jepjimand]

[jepjimasnd]

sample

[sampsl]

[sampgl]

[saempsl]

task

[task]

[task]

[t33Sk]

unsurpassed

[Ans9 past]

[Ans9 past]

vantage

[vantids]

[vantidj]

[vaentadj]

wrath

[J/R06]

[j/Ra0]

[iae0]

[Ansa-paest]

* Reminder: Rolled or burred r's are used for stressed syllables in Historic RP and flipped r's are used
between vowels. In Modern MA only burred r's are used.

EXERCISE DRILLS
1. Alternately sing and say the following words:
[ma:i] ->

[maaaaaa] ->

[maaaaast] ->

[mast]

[ma:i] ->

[maaaaaa] -

[maaaask] ->

[mask]

[a:i] ->

[aaaaaaaa] -->

[aaaaask] -

[ask]

[a:i] -

[bjaaaaa] ->

[braaaaas] ->

[brass]

CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

2. Drill the following words. Be careful not to nasalize the [a] vowels in words containing nasal consonants.
ask

blast

clasp

dance

answer

pass

fast

trance

glass

after

bath

demand

laugh

nasty

basket

can't

master

example

plant

advantage

RU Li In Historic MA, always use [oj as the j substitute vowel ift unstressed;
syllables spelledwith "o." This sounds a bit dated, but is af^rofuriate for Historic
MA. For Modtrn MA, use schwa {],

Drill the following words using the [o] vowel:


solution
Olivia
police
opinion

offense
oppress
proceed
obsolete

obey
produce
official
overtly

revolution
profound
domestic
occasion

ftyili Consenant r'$ may be rolled, flipped, or lsurred> ajid followtheisafee rute
ofijspDeafidn- as British Eri^isH. (See-^aps 221-211n chipter 14.);, '

RULE; :y^;%e:n!ubpat' [9rJ vowfHritbe iinstMed- itc^4-tolail-$yllabte''^f /,


p^ys^labl<: endtngst ^ary/' "-ery," "-ory," "-bury/' find^berry^ or-iisti thfe:filAS
strep psttmrwteh would give it a full vowel soy nd;

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

In RP and Mid-Atlantic speech, this syllable is frequently dropped completely:


[tit] and [bj+]

'blueberry
'military

Historic MA

Modern MA

['blub9rri]/[blubjij
[rmlit3rri]/[miliUi]

['blub9rji]/[blubji] or [blubeji]
[milit9rri]/[militii] or ['militeji]

or
Use the AS stress pattern:

'blueberry

Historic MA
['bluberi]

Modern MA
['blubeai]

'military

['militeni]

['militeii]

RULE The raised open O vowel from ftp

Is now pronounced as the AS

The Open O is pronounced with the AS vowel.

RP

MA

AS

all
walk

daughter
law

EXERCISES
1. Write out the following words and practice drilling the [ar] in the penultimate
syllables but also with the AS stress pattern. For example, 'repertory.
repertory

tributary

secretary

raspberry

January

ordinary

dictionary

cranberry

legendary

visionary

honorary

February

CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

2. Transcribe and drill the following texts:


No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell.
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
Oh if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 71)

No word from Tom.


Has love no voice,
Can love not keep
A Maytime vow in cities?
Fades it as the rose
Cut for a rich display?
Forgot! But no, to weep is not enough.
He needs my help.
Love hears, Love knows,
Love answers him across the silent miles,
and goes.
Quietly night,
O find him and caress,
And may thou quiet find His heart,
although it be unkind,
Nor may its beat confess.
Although I weep, it knows of loneliness.
Guide me, O moon, chastely when I depart,

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

And warmly be the same He watches without grief


or shame;
It cannot be thou art
A colder moon upon a colder heart.
(W. H. Auden / Igor Stravinsky, "Ann Truelove's Aria"
from The Rake's Progress)*

Love, too frequently betrayed,


For some plausible desire,
Or the world's enchanted fire,
Still thy traitor in his sleep.
Renews the vow he did not keep,
Weeping, Weeping,
He kneels before thy wounded shade.
Love, my sorrow and my shame,
Though thou daily be forgot,
Goddess, O forget me not.
Lest I perish, O be nigh
In my darkest hour that I,
Dying, dying,
May call upon thy sacred name.
(W. H. Auden / Igor Stravinsky, "Love, Too
Frequently Betrayed" from The Rake's Progress)**

It is enough,
0 Lord, now take away my life,
for I am not better than my fathers!
1 desire to live no longer;
now let me die,

for my days are but vanity!


I have been very jealous for the Lord,

*THE RAKE'S PROGRESS Copyright 1951 by Hawkes & Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed.
Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
**THE RAKE'S PROGRESS Copyright 1951 by Hawkes & Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed.
Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN The Mid-Atlantic Dialect

for the Lord God of Hosts,


and I, even I only am left;
and they seek my life, to take it away.
It is enough!
(Felix Mendelssohn, From Elijah)

Woe unto them who forsake Him!


Destruction shall fall upon them:
For they have transgressed against Him.
Though they are by Him redeemed,
Yet they have spoken falsely against Him.
Even from Him have they fled.
(Felix Mendelssohn, From Elijah)

O Isis and Osiris, hear me


and grant your grace to this new pair!
You who protect each wand'ring stranger,
shield them in danger and despair!
May we with joy as victors name them;
but if they fail, and death should claim them,
then for their virtue, truth and love,
lead them to dwell with you above!
(W. A. Mozart / Andrew Porter [translation],
"Sarastro's Aria" from The Magic Flute)

Behold, I tell you a mystery:


We shall not all sleep,
But we shall all be chang'd,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
At the last trumpet.
The trumpet shall sound,
And the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
And we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption.
And this mortal must put on immortality.
(G. F. Handel, "The Trumpet Shall Sound" from Messiah)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Orpheus with his lute made trees,


And the mountain tops that freeze,
Bow themselves when he did sing.
To his music plants and flow'rs,
Ever sprung, as sun and show'rs,
There had made a lasting spring.
Ev'ry thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art,
Killing care and grief of heart.
Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
(William Shakespeare / William Schuman, "Orpheus with His Lute," from Henry VIII)

Note: Many of the British texts throughout the book have been transcribed in MA in the exercise key on the companion website.

Afterword: The Finesse Factor

A Final Cautionary Note


All the techniques in this book are just that. They are techniques. They are tools that may
hopefully help to free you up vocally and to empower you to breathe life into the text. The
standard mantra I hear repeated by musical theater directors is "Sing the character!" "Tell
me the story!" "Don't show me your technique!" The same holds true in classical singing.
I want you to use the techniques found in this book to get the text across, to get the intention of the text across, but I do not want you to "show anyone your technique." The
techniques are not an end unto themselves. They are there to serve the musical setting of
the text. The general rule of thumb is, if the audience is aware of them, then you have overdone them. None of these techniques should be apparent to the audience. They are there
to serve the word, the text, the clear transmission of thought. They should not draw attention to themselves and consequently rob focus away from the musical text setting. If the
audience is aware that you have added glide vowels, for example, to consonant clusters or
they hear exaggerated shadow vowels at the ends of your phrases, then you have overdone
it and distracted them from the text. You have sabatoged the very thing you were trying to
accomplish.
As with any kind of technique, if you do overdo or apply it slightly incorrectly, it is
wrong. As most singers have discovered in their quests for vocal excellence and freedom,
good technique applied incorrectly turns into bad technique. So it is with diction technique.
Many singers are very intuitive. Some of these approaches may be too technical for
them. If so, consider all of these ideas and then process them in your own way. The rules
are just parameters that I have found to work for the majority of works and styles. But they
are rules and the nature of rules is that they provide structure in a learning environment.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Rules are not meant to be observed 100 percent of the time. They are meant to be considered and bent or even broken if the artistic situation and taste warrants it. They are strong
guidelines.
Coaches and voice teachers are wonderful resources. It is important to consider the
ideas and suggestions being offered, try them on for size, and take away what works for
you. So it is with this book. Use what you can, keep some of the ideas on the back burner
for future application when the time is right, and discard whatever does not work for you.
Not all techniques and ideas work equally well for all singers. That has always been the
challenge for me: to discover an approach that will work with each singer's creative process and vocal approach.
Throughout your career, you may find that the consonants do not serve you anymore.
I have found that many professional singers need a consonant "tune up" in their midcareer. The voice deepens, darkens, increases in size, and the fledgling consonants are left
floundering behind. Remember that the consonants must match your vowels in volume
and intensity. If your voice changes and evolves, make sure that you take time to rework
the consonants so that they are current with your developed vocal state.
The bottom line is that you must sing beautifully, be musical, transmit the text, and do
it all with finesse and artistry.

A Word about Interdependence


Although the techniques in this book can arm singers, coaches, and conductors with a
knowledge of technique to make the text expressive and communicative, the reality is that
many more elements need to be in place for the diction and intelligibility to be a success. In
a stage work, the blocking must be considered. If the set is open with no side walls to bounce
the voice off of, or the singer is in profile too much, the connection with the audience is compromised. If orchestral balance is too heavy in certain passages and the text is enveloped
in orchestral texture, the connection with the audience is compromised. The timing of the
supertitles must accommodate the length of the audience's collective attention span. In
other words, the success of text intelligibility is interdependent on all the elements.

Strive for the Third Dimension


From Terrance McNally's quote in the preface: "I know I am not William Shakespeare,
but a good actor, an honest actor, an artist, can make me sound like very good McNally.
And I'm very grateful."

Afterword: The Finesse Factor

I hope the techniques found in this book have inspired and empowered you to bring
your English songs and arias to lifeto make them three-dimensional. The composer and
librettist have given us a score with pitches, time values, and text. It is up to you, the artist,
to breathe life into them, to make musical phrases out of them, and to transmit complete
thoughts behind the words. That is the way the music is served, the text is served, and art
is created.
And . . . the world will be very grateful!

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APPENDIX 1
The International Phonetic
Alphabet for English
An Overview of All the Sounds Found in American Standard (AS),
British Received (RP), and Mid-Atlantic (MA) Pronunciations

Consonants
The following symbols are identical to the letters of our English (Roman) alphabet:
[b], [d], [f], [g], [h], [k], [1], [m], [n], [p], [s], [t], [v], [w], [z]

The symbols below are new symbols added because no corresponding symbols exist in
the Roman alphabet:
Symbol
(ng)
(th)
(th)
(hw)
(sh)
(ch)

Key
in
in
in
in
in
in
in

Words
sing, think
thin, thirst
thine, this
whisper, when

in
in
in
in
in

vision, azure
George, joy

you, v_es

she, sure
choose, church

red, remember, every


(the burred r)
righteousness, great, realm (rolled r* )
very, far away, forever (flipped r used between vowels*)

*Rolled and flipped R's are used in the British RP and Mid-Atlantic dialect. They should not be used in
American Standard dialect.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Vowels
Symbol

Key Words

(ah)
(eh)
(ih)
(ee)
(ee)

(oo)

(oh)
(short o)

(aw)
(er)
(er)
(er)
(er)
(uh)

in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in

father, hot ("o" spellings in AS only)


wed, many, bury
hit, been, busy
me, chief, feat, receive
pretty_, lovely
cat, marry, ask,* charity
ask, dance, class ( MA only)
too, wound, blue, juice
view, beautiful, usual, tune
book, bosom, cushion, full
obey, desolate, melody (unstressed syllables c
on, not, honest, God (RP and MA only)**
awful, call, daughter, sought
learn, burn, rehearse, journey (AS only)*
learn, burn, rehearse, journey (RP and MA)*
father, doctor, vulgar, elixir (AS only)
father, doctor, vulgar, elixir (RP and MA)*
hum, blood, trouble, judge
(stressed syllables)

in

(uh)

sofa, heaven, nation, joyous


(unstressed syllables)

Diphthongs
Symbol

Key Words

[ai]

in

night, buy, sky

[ei]

in

day, break, reign

*"Ask" has different vowel variants for RP and MA pronunciation. See chapters 14 and 15.
** [D] is an intermediate short open o that is used in British English and in some parts of North America in
words with stressed "o" spellings. The preferred pronunciation for American Standard is [a]. See chapters 14 and 15 for use of the [D] in British Received and Mid-Atlantic pronunciations.
f

[3^] and [a*-] are the r colored vowels characteristic of American Standard pronunciation.

* [3r] and [sr] are the reduced r colored vowels found in British Received and Mid-Atlantic pronunciations.

APPENDIX 1 The International Phonetic Alphabet for English

in
in
in
in
in
in
in
in

boy, voice, toil


no, slow, reproach
now, about, doubt
air, care, there
ear, dear, here, tier
pour, four, soar, o'er
sure, tour, poor
are, heart, garden

Triphthongs
Symbol

Key Words
in fire, choir, admire
in our, flower, tower

The IPA is a wonderful tool for singers to use and master. When texts are transcribed
into phonetics, it greatly clarifies the vowels to be sung mentally for the singer, as well as
facilitates the shift back and forth between repertoire in various languages. It is shorthand
for mental concepts of the speech sounds as well as an easy memory aid for the vowels to
be produced.
Listed below are some frequently used words that are transcribed into the International
Phonetic Alphabet. Both American Standard and British Received Pronunciation variants
are listed as AS/RP.
sing
word
walk
jaw
church
this
bear

song
would
war
judge
choose

dawn
new

double
nuisance

thou
beard

* [su] in spoken RP only.


** [eu] in spoken modern RP.

singer
wonder
whisper
joyous
children
thine
burden
darkness
numerous

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APPENDIX 2
Three-Dialect Overview

Here is a chart to help clarify the differences in the pronunciation and treatment of commonly used words in American Standard, Received Pronunciation, and Mid-Atlantic. (Abbreviations: col = colloquial sp = spoken s = sung h = historic m = modern wf = weak form)
Word

AS

RP

MA

ask
care
dance
dream
earth
father
fire
for
from
further
God
grant
growths
hand
hono(u)r
love

* In RP and MA, the r's in"tr" and "dr" combinations should not be rolled. See detailed rules in chapter 14.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

man
must
nature
not
of
on
owe
rapture
shall
sure
true
upon
very
want
was
when

* In RP and MA, the r's in"tr" and "dr" combinations should not be rolled. See detailed rules in chapter 14.

APPENDIX 3
Regional Dialects Found in
Vocal Repertoire

Technique for Singing in Dialects


Increasingly, singers are required to sing in regional dialects. With the number of internationally televised performances, it is very important that any dialect work not be treated
generically but with authenticity. Singing in regional dialects is a wonderful and worthwhile challenge. It can help to establish a character or a locale as much as the technical
aspects of the production can. It is very important to take the vowel variants listed either
here or on dialect tapes and CDs and then apply all the diction techniques you have learned
from this book. Changing the vowels to accommodate new variants and usage should be
like changing a light gel on a theatrical light. The basic shape inside the mouth used for
tone production should not change as you move from dialect to dialectonly the color of
the "gel" on top of it changes.
In the United States, there have been hundreds of productions of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah. Set in Appalachia, it should be sung in Appalachian dialect. Jake Heggie's Dead
Man Walking has received many productions in the United States and recently had its European premiere in Dresden as well as productions in Australia, Sweden, and Austria. It
is set in New Orleans and requires several different New Orleans dialects as well as other
Southern accents. George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess has been produced and toured internationally and requires the Gullah dialect.
In the United Kingdom, the standard performance practice for operas in English
seems to be the sole use of British Received Pronunciation. In Great Britain, where each
city and village has its own distinguishing accent, and of course in Wales, Scotland, and
Ireland, locale-specific dialects are found in abundance. The folksongs of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland would come to life with at least a flavoring of the regional dialects, but

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there are locale-specific operas that could be illuminated by full usage of local dialects.
Benjamin Britten's operas, for example, are locale specific and would seem to offer opportunities for regional dialect use. Albert Herring, set in Suffolk, is an opera filled with
shopkeepers and townspeople that could be in local accents. Though Albert Herring has
been performed at Glyndebourne with a regional Suffolk accent, it is most often sung in
standard RP. Other characters in Britten operas that offer opportunities for the use of regional dialects might be the rude mechanicals in Midsummer Night's Dream and the crew
members of Billy Budd. Ralph Vaughan Williams's Riders to the Sea would come to life
if it were sung in an Irish dialect.
Listed below are some of the dialects suggested for frequently performed vocal works.
An application of the dialect to specific texts from the works or possible repertoire suggestions is also included. Remember that intelligibility is the highest priority in any dialect work. Often it is best to use only a few of the characteristics of a dialect and give a
"flavor" of it rather than every single characteristic and lose intelligibility.

U.S. Dialects
General Southern
General Southern (GS) is a range of dialects found in the Confederate states that seceded
from the United States during the Civil War and adjoining border states. The American
South was mostly settled by English from the West Midlands and the West Country. Southern dialects can be found chiefly in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Texas,
Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Ozarks of Missouri. Also, some of the southernmost rural counties of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois have strong Southern influences. Although initially non-rhotic (reduced r colorations), today the only areas that do not use r
colors are Savannah, New Orleans, Mobile, and Norfolk.
General Characteristics

The diphthong [ai] becomes [a:].

my
fine
like

AS
[mai]
[fain]
[laik]

GS
[ma:]

[fam]
[lade]

Tip: Sing [a:e] to keep it from spreading or tightening.

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

The diphthong [au] becomes

GS

AS
down
sound
now

Tip: If this spreads, modify it to


The diphthong [ei] becomes

GS

AS
say

rain
are pronounced

The vowels [a] and

GS

AS
pond
dog

The vowels

switch or merge to one sound when followed by nasal consonant.

and

GS

AS
pin
pen
win

when
sing
think
The diphthong

followed by

AS

becomes

or

GS

fail

fell = fail

wail

well = wail

available
Tip: For better intelligibility try
*Tip: Take care to not let it spread to

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On-glides occur before stressed [i] and [u] vowels.

AS
me

[mi]

you

[ju]

GS

Tip: Glide quickly to the primary vowel or else it may lose intelligibility.
The single vowels

add an off-glide

after them.

This makes the characteristic drawl.

AS

GS

pat
pet
pit
him

them
Tip: Do not chew on these or add
If so, it borders on caricature.
Final unstressed y's are pronounced [i] when elongated and [i] when short.

AS

GS
short

valley
ready

short
short

lovely
Tip: Use [i] only for fast speech-like rhythms.
The liquid U [ju] is pronounced [m].
AS

GS

new
due

Tip: Go quickly through the on-glide to the primary vowel.

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

The consonant [z] becomes a [d] before [n].

AS

GS

wasn't
hasn't
business
Tip: Only partial d's are sounded.
The g's in "ing" endings are dropped.

GS

AS
doing
singing
meeting

Medial t's are flapped or glottalized:

AS

GS

pretty
plenty
ain't
night
[r] is the phonetic symbol for a flapped t
[?] is the phonetic symbol for a glottalized consonant
Tip: Final glottalized t's and flapped t's can only be used with light orchestration. With
thick orchestration sound aspirated t's.
The "wh" in wh spellings is always pronounced.

AS

GS

when
where

*Tip: With thick orchestration, the t may need to be sounded for clarity.

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"You" is pronounced

or

when stressed and

when unstressed.

and

"Your" and "yourself is pronounced

or

"Myself" is pronounced
"Get" is pronounced
"Again" is pronounced

Appalachian
Appalachian (AP) dialect is spoken in the Appalachian mountain range that spans southern
West Virginia, Southeastern Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Shenandoah Valleys of Virginia, East
Tennessee, and Western North Carolina. Settlers of this area came from West Anglia, the
Scottish Highlands, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland via Ireland. Consequently, Appalachian
English has very prominent r colorings. The most frequently performed vocal repertoire
that uses this accent is Susannah by Carlisle Floyd.
All of the general characteristics for General Southern listed above apply. Here are the
sounds that are unique to Appalachian.
"The" does not change to

before a vowel.

AP

AS
the earth
the air

the elders
The vowel

is pronounced

AS

in stressed words and syllables.

AP

love
justice

fun
The length of r coloring in diphthongs and triphthongs is elongated.

AS

AP

heart
here
warmin:
Words ending in "ere" spellings pronounced

I in AS become

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

pronounced in AS becomes

The

AS

AP

there
here
sere
This is an exception.

Intrusive r's are found between words.

Law

and order

Here are a few common words with characteristic pronunciations.


wash is pronounced
sure is pronounced
poor is pronounced
creek is pronounced
hollow is pronounced
greasy is pronounced
woman is pronounced
naked is pronounced
The principal repertoire set in this dialect would be Carlisle Floyd's opera Susannah.
Also lovely in this dialect are John Jacob Miles' Folk Songs Settings, and the Blue Mountain Ballads of Paul Bowles.
Here are some key words and phrases from the Susannah score.
Susannah

Little Bat

Reverand Blitch

Sam Polk

The elders

Square dance

"naked as a jay bird"

"washed in the blood of the Lamb"

"Come, sinner tonight's the night"

is the symbol for a flapped t. It is produced by the flapping of the tongue against the gum ridge.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

just A Flavor

Singing in any regional dialect is a slippery slope. It is very tempting to exaggerate and
overdo it. When that happens, it become a caricature and is offensive. It is actually best to
put just a flavor of the accent in and err on the side of caution. Singing in this dialect can
add so much to bring the characters and setting of Susannah to life. It is very important
that these vowel and pronunciation variants be sung with full, beautiful vowels. Since this
dialect is associated with country and western music, it is very important to not let the
characteristic "twang" of country and western close down or whiten out the voice. Carlisle
Floyd's Susannah must be sung like grand opera, not Grand OF Opry!
Excellent examples of this accent in film can be found in The Song Catcher and Nell.

New Orleans
Sir Andre Previn's Streetcar Named Desire and Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking use
New Orleans dialects as well as have characters from other southern locales. New Orleans
is a French, Cajun, and Creole city. The accent is similar to Northern Atlantic coast cities
such as New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore but is non-rhotic and has reduced r colorings. It has been compared to the accent of Hoboken, New Jersey. Here are some of the
specific characteristics of the New Orleans accent.
Like General Southern, [ai] becomes [a:].
EXAMPLE

A real good time

In lower class characters, [3-] sometimes becomes


EXAMPLES

work

third

learn

Words with "ar" spellings are pronounced


EXAMPLES

party

heart

or

Mardi Gras

Final "ow" spellings are pronounced


EXAMPLES

yellow

fellow

Tip: When the last syllable is elongated musically sing

The schwa

only be used on words set in speech rhythm and on notes of short duration.

ending can

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

The "ed" endings are pronounced [id].


EXAMPLE

married

The substitution of [d] for voiced "th"


EXAMPLES

EXAMPLE

think

through

In Cajun the final "ch"

and [t] for unvoiced "th"


these

them

sounds are often pronounced as

church

Phrases from A Streetcar Named Desire


"Hiyah, sweetheart."

"I don't go in for stuff like that".

"I was common as dirt."

"Whatsa matter, baby?"

"I want magic!"

"Don't turn on that light!"

Phrases from Dead Man Walking


Joseph De Rocher

"God lets bad things happen, and they happen all the time."

"Sorry to let you down, Sister."

"But I ask you to hate the crime and not the criminal."

"We're De Rochers and we only cry when we run out a beer."

"It is the decision of the pardon board that the appeal of Joseph De Rocher be
denied and execution be carried out."

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Gullah
Gullah is the dialect for George Gershwin's opera, Porgy and Bess. Gullah, sometimes
called Geechee, originated with African American slaves on the coastal areas and islands
of Georgia and South Carolina. Gullah is an African American accent found around
Charleston, South Carolina. It is said to take its name from a pronunciation of the native
slaves from Angola. Many of the words in Gullah are actually anglicized Bantu vocabulary. An excellent resource on this dialect is The African Heritage of American English by
Joseph E. Holloway and Winifred K. Vass (Indiana University Press, 1977). Gullah is a
southern dialect and uses most of the characteristics of General Southern listed above. Here
are some of its particular characteristics.
Dropped r colored vowels.
EXAMPLE

Porgy live here

Final unstressed y's are pronounced


EXAMPLE

family

Initial th's both voiced and unvoiced are pronounced [d].


EXAMPLES

there

the

that

The folks with plenty of plenty

A slight "h" is added before vowels.


EXAMPLE

I don't know

Prefixes and final consonants and consonant clusters are dropped.


EXAMPLES

I expect so
Don't suppose so
The Promised Land

Initial "st" combinations are pronounced "sht"


EXAMPLES

street

stranger

history

or

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

The "tr" combinations are pronounced


EXAMPLE

The

and

EXAMPLES

that's true

combinations are pronounced

and

don't you
did you

Words with "v" are sometimes pronounced [b].


EXAMPLE

Calvary

Phrases from the Porgy and Bess score


"A woman is a sometime thing."

"Oh yo' daddy's rich an' yo' ma is good lookin."

"Yes, de Lawd will meet you at the courthouse do'."

"What die on Calvary."

"There, there Bess, you don' need to be afraid no more."

"Oh, Hev'nly Father, hab mercy on we"

George Gershwin's notation of this accent in the opera libretto is inconsistent. Sometimes he writes "the," the next time "de," and so on. It is important for artists to go through
their role and make it consistently in the dialect.
An excellent video for hearing Gullah is Family Across the Sea, SCETV (South Carolina Educational TV), 1991. An excellent cultural center on Gullah Culture is www
.penncenter.com.

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The British Isles and Ireland


As noted above, for many years, the performance practice has been to perform all vocal
repertoire from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, an t the British Commonwealth in British Received Pronunciation. Though this does standardize the pronunciation,
it tends to neutralize and erase the geographic origin or setting of the works and negate the
educational background and class of the characters. With the wealth of regional accents
found in the United Kingdom, it seems a shame that, at the very least, the flavors of these
dialectical variants are not used in the cannon of classical repertoire.
Here are the general characteristics of Scots, Irish, Welsh, and some of the regional dialects of England followed by specific repertoire suggestions for their application.

Scots
The Scots accent has many variations. Scottish accents can be divided into three large
groups: Northern accents of Western and Middle Highlands; Southern border and the
Lothian accents of the Lowlands, which includes Edinburgh and Glasgow; and Central,
Ayrshire, or Scottish Midlands accents from what is considered Robert Burns country.
Each of these general groups of accents will be discussed below. For specifics, be sure to
listen and drill with dialect tapes that are specific to the locale needed. Here are some overall general characteristics for all Scottish accents.
General Characteristics
Vowel Changes
The vowel
EXAMPLES

becomes

Often colored with

as in the French word "lune."

"pool" = "pull"
"fool" = "full"

Ask List words and Hand List words all use [a].
EXAMPLE

[a]
[a]
[a]
[a]
The man and Sam would be daft to not dance.

"O" spellings as in "God, not, upon" and words that use


nounced

in AS and

in RP are pro-

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

EXAMPLE

[o]

[o]

[o]

He caught the dog in the shop.

The vowel

is pronounced [e] and is longer in duration [e:] on stressed words and

syllables.
EXAMPLE

[e:]

[e]

[e:]

He fajled when he fell.

Several diphthongs become monothongs.


The diphthong
EXAMPLE

becomes [e:].

[ei]

[ei]

[e:]

Today the rain might spoil the parade.

The diphthong
EXAMPLE

becomes
[01] [o:]

[01]

It's but a slow boat ride home.

The diphthong

becomes

in the words "now, out, about, house."

EXAMPLE
Get out of the house now!

Tip: If it decreases intelligibility, do not use this vowel but use

the diphthong variant

below.
EXAMPLE
He came down from the town to show you around.

The diphthong [ai] as in "night, buy" is pronounced closer to [ei] as in "day."


EXAMPLE
It was a fine night filled with light.

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

The vowel

is often pronounced almost as schwa

EXAMPLE

He was a little bit tired of it.

The "er" and "ear" spellings are pronounced


EXAMPLES

heard

learn

certain

perfect

The "ur" and "or" spellings are pronounced


EXAMPLES

further

word

The diphthong

is pronounced [ir].
[ir]

EXAMPLE

[ir]

He lives very near here.


Consonant Changes

Consonant r's are flipped or rolled.


EXAMPLE

DarkL

[r]

[r] [r]
The roses are for Mary and Margaret.

The final consonant


EXAMPLE

[r] [r]

is often sounded as [n].

Singing and dancing and playing.

is used in all positions. It is a very distinctive sound that adds authenticity.

EXAMPLE

He fell down and landed in the loch.

The "ch" is pronounced as [x] in words that are spelled with "ch," "ough," and "augh."
EXAMPLES

loch

daughter

bought

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

Suggested Works to Be Sung in Scottish Accents

Benjamin Britten: The Scottish songs in the Folk Songs of the British Isles
: A Birthday Hansel: Soprano, harp
Eric Gross: Five Burns Settings
John McCabe: Weaving Song, arrangement of Scottish folk songs
Thea Musgrave: A Suite O' Bairnsangs; Sir Patrick Spens; Songs for a Winter's
Evening
Francis George Scott: Scottish Lyrics, Books I-V;
R. Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Judith Weir: Scotch Minstrelsy (settings of five Scottish ballads)
Malcolm Wilkinson: From a Child's Garden (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Note: Listen to the OUP website for a reading of "Bright is the Ring of Words" from The
Songs of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson in Scots.

Irish
Irish accents differ greatly from locale to locale. The Northern accents are very different
from the Southern ones. It is very important to know specifically the locale and origin of
the text and then study and listen to tapes and CDs of native speakers from that locale.
Each of the cities and the counties has different variants. Here are some general characteristics.
General Characteristics
Vowel Changes

Ask Words are pronounced with RP


EXAMPLES

pass[pas]

half[haf]

Hand Words are pronounced with [a].


EXAMPLES

back[bak]

had [had]

that

and

Stressed "O" spellings as in "God not upon" are pronounced [a].


EXAMPLES

God [gad]

not [nat]

upon

stop

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

The

spellings as in "ought, caught, all" are close to [a].


ought[at]

EXAMPLES

The vowel

caugh [kat]

all[al]

as in "Dublin, love, up, young" is pronounced

EXAMPLES

Dublin

up

love

The vowel [u] as in "food, too, you" is pronounced


EXAMPLES

food

too

Dublin
Vowel Changes

The diphthong
EXAMPLES

becomes

The diphthong
EXAMPLES

eight

day

becomes
no

stone

Western Ireland
Vowel Changes

The diphthong
EXAMPLES

The diphthong
EXAMPLES

becomes
eight

day

becomes
no [no:]

stone

Old spellings as in "auld" are pronounced


EXAMPLE

Auld lang syne

* [] is a mixed vowel most similar to [y].

you

young

with no lip rounding.

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

The diphthong
EXAMPLES

is pronounced
house

about

down

Suffixes and prefixes and unstressed syllables are pronounced


EXAMPLE

rabbit

Consonant Changes (All Irish Dialects)

The g's in "ing" endings are dropped.


EXAMPLES

singin'

Coin'

askin'

The "wh" is sounded as


EXAMPLES

where

and

The consonants
EXAMPLES

thin

when

are pronounced as a dental [t].


faith

The consonants [d] and [t] before an r are


EXAMPLES

try

and

dress

R Colorings

In Northern Ireland r colors are non-rhotic and are reduced:


In the South, the r colorings are very heavy and elongated:
Note of Caution

There are many different Irish accents. You must modify all of the above to the specific
locale. Research your role and listen to dialect tapes of native speakers from the proper
locale.
Suggested Works to Be Sung in Irish Accents

Arnold Bax: Across the Door, Five Irish Songs, Cape Anne
Sir Rodney Bennet: Crazy Jane (W. B. Yeats)

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

Gilbert and Sullivan: The Emerald Isle


John McCabe: Irish Songbook
Charles Villiers Stanford: Shamus O'Brien, selected songs
Sir John Taverner: A Mini Song Cycle for Gina (W. B. Yeats)
R. Vaughan Williams: Two Poems by Seamus O'Sullivan; Riders to the Sea (J. M.
Synge)
Note: Listen to the accompanying recording on the OUP website for a reading of the text
of Maura's aria from Riders to the Sea and "Down by the Sally Gardens."

Welsh
The primary accent variants in Welsh are found in the differences between North and
South Wales. As noted about all the other regional dialects, it is very important to determine the specific locale and the unique characteristics of that locale. Then listen to dialect
tapes with speakers from that locale. Below are the general features for Welsh accents.
General Characteristics
Vowel Changes
The Ask List spellings are pronounced [a].
EXAMPLES

draft [draft]

branch

fast [fast]

The Hand List spellings are also pronounced [a].


EXAMPLES

The

glad [glad]

of father as well as the

EXAMPLES

father

and [and]

that

dipthong are pronounced with


start

dark

darlin'

Reduced or dropped r colorings:


Like RP, the r colored vowels are reduced and, at a fast tempo, the diphthongs have the r'
colors dropped.
EXAMPLES

bird

worker

learn

sort

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

Like RP, stressed "o" spellings are pronounced [D].


EXAMPLES

not

upon

God

Like RP, the raised open o [o] is pronounced for aw, al, augh, ough spellings.
EXAMPLES

law

all

caught

thought

The [i] in peace and [u] in food are pure vowels without British on glides.
EXAMPLES

peace

not

not

The diphthong [ou] is sounded as a pure [01] vowel.


EXAMPLES

know

go

alone

The diphthong [ei] is pronounced as a pure [e:] vowel.


EXAMPLES

late

pay

same

The diphthong [au] is pronounced [eu].


EXAMPLES

sound

around

house

The unstressed syllables are pronounced with full vowel sounds rather than a schwa [9].
EXAMPLES

breakfast

moment

complete

Some Welsh accents pronounce words with liquid U's in RP as [m].


EXAMPLES

new

tune

threw

Consonant Changes

Words with "wh" spellings are pronounced only with [w].


EXAMPLES

what

when

why

Medial consonants in stressed words are elongated.


EXAMPLES

whisper

twenty

wherever

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

The g is dropped in "ing" endings and pronounced [in].


EXAMPLES

walkin'

sinqin'

even in'

Initial r's and r's between vowels are flipped [r].


EXAMPLES

carry

very

right

red

The consonant 1's are very light in South Wales [1] and in North Wales the dark 1 [1] is used
in the beginning and middle of words.
In Northern Wales:
The consonants [3] and [z] are sounded as [J] and [s].
EXAMPLES

decision

vision

is

prison

was

Initial stressed r's are rolled extensively.


The name "Jesu" is pronounced
In Cardiff:
The voiced consonants [b], [d], [g], [v] are pronounced unvoiced as [p], [t], [k], [fj.
EXAMPLES

better

Dad

good

voice

Word of Caution: There is a wide range of regional accents within Wales. Even within a
very short distance, there are significant accent differences. It is very important to know
the specifics of the origin and locale of the Welsh texts that you are singing. Recommendations for dialect tapes/CDs can be found in the bibliography.
Suggested Works to Be Sung in Welsh Accents

Milton Babbit: Vision and Prayer (Dylan Thomas)


Samuel Barber: Despite and Still (Robert Graves)
Ivor Gurney: "Goodnight to the Meadow," "Hawk and Buckle," "Nine of the Clock"
Alun Hoddinott: Six Welsh Folksongs
Robin Holloway: "Where We May Be" (Robert Graves)
David Matthews: The Sleeping Lord (David Jones)
William Mathias: Fields of Praise (Dylan Thomas)

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

: Vision of Time and Eternity (Henry Vaughan)


Edmund Rubbra: Out in Dark Weather (Edward Thomas)
Sir Michael Tippett: "Compassion," "The Dancer," "Song" from The Heart's
Assurance (Alun Lewis)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs (George Herbert)
Hugh Wood: Robert Graves Songs, Sets I, II, III
Listen to the reading of " The Ashgrove" in a Welsh accent in the accompanying
recording on the OUP website.

East Anglia
East Anglia is made up of the two counties Norfolk and Suffolk located along the east
coast of England. The Norfolk and Suffolk accents are said to be closest to American accents. The early settlers in New England were from East Anglia, but they differ greatly
from American accents of modern day. The accent notes below apply to both counties.
General Characteristics
Vowel Changes
The Ask List and Hand List words are pronounced with [a] and [ae] respectively, like RP.
EXAMPLES

ask

laugh

dance

hand

that

back

The diphthong [ai] changes to approximately


EXAMPLES

night

sky

pie

The diphthong [ei] changes to [e:] in words such as "cake" and "face."
They are spelled as "air" or "ear" in these dialects.
EXAMPLES

'cake' is spelled "cairke" or "cearke"


'face' is spelled "fairce" or "fearce"

Otherwise, the diphthong [ei] changes to [aei] in words with "ai,"ay","ei", and "ey"
spellings.
EXAMPLES

day

train

rein

they

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SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH

The diphthong [ou] is pronounced closer to


EXAMPLES

toe

whole

boat

suppose

Be careful that these vowel changes don't end up sounding like the monothong [u] "two'
who'll" and "boot".
Words that are pronounced in RP with the diphthong
EXAMPLES

The vowel
EXAMPLES

The vowel
EXAMPLES

cheer = chair

beer = bear

here = hair

ear = air

are pronounced

found in "o" spellings in RP is now pronounced


not

God

on

fun

judge

like in AS.

upon

changes to
love

but

The "oo" spellings as in "roof and "hoof are pronounced


Like AS, an "o" spelling followed by the consonants f, ff, gh, or th as in "often," "off,"
"cough," "cloth" are pronounced with
The vowel
EXAMPLES

is pronounced [a].
learn

her

girl

church

Consonant Changes

Yod Dropping: Liquid U [ju] is dropped after all consonants.


EXAMPLES

beautiful

due

few

huge

new

tune

"Ing" endings are sounded as [in].


EXAMPLES

being

going

talking

word

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

Medial and final t's are glottaled [?] but a medial t is sounded if they begin a stressed
syllable.
EXAMPLES

Medial and final t's:


Stressed syllables:

getting

little

night

got

determine

retry

Final d's are unvoiced and sound as t's.


EXAMPLE

Dark 1's

land

warned

hundred

are not found in these dialects, only clear light 1's

EXAMPLES

hill

are sounded in all positions.

lack

The spelling "thr" is pronounced [tr].


EXAMPLES

three

thread

throng

Initial v's are sounded as [w].


EXAMPLES

village

vicar

voice

The consonant [h] is sounded at the beginning of stressed words and dropped in unstressed
words.
EXAMPLE

happy to see him

Note: These are general characteristics for East Anglian dialects. Be sure to listen to tapes
of native Suffolk and Norfolk speakers to learn the subtle differences between the two
accents.
Excellent examples of the Suffolk dialect can be heard on channel 4's reality program
Rock School, the second series, which is set in Suffolk. Another excellent example is the
Singing Postman, a.k.a. Allan Smethurst.

Suggested Repertoire to Be Sung in East Anglian Dialects

Benjamin Britten: the rude mechanicals in Midsummer Nights Dream.

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The West Country Dialects


The southwestern part of England is known as the West Country. This region includes the
counties of Devon, Cornwall, Sommerset, Avon, Gloustershire, Dorset, and Wiltshire as
well as Hampshire, Hereford, Worcester, and Shropshire. All the accents are rhotic with r
colored vowels similar to Ireland and most of North America.
The West Country accents are probably most identified in North America as "pirate
speech." Cartoonesque phrases like "Ooh arr, me 'earties!" are very close to these accents.
This may be because of the seafaring and fishing tradition of the West Country. Edward
Teach (Blackboard) was a native of Bristol, and privateer Sir Francis Drake was from
Tavistock in Devon. Two of Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas are set in West Country: The
Pirates of Penzance is set in Cornwall and The Sorcerer is set in the fictional village of
Ploverleigh in Somerset. The 1950 Disney film Treasure Island is filled with examples
of these accents. Because of the picturesque aspects of these accents it is very important
to learn the specifics of each locale and not slip into stereotype or into caricature.
General Characteristics
Vowel Changes from RP

The Ask/ Hand lists are pronounced, like AS, all with
EXAMPLES

grass

ask

gas

Bath

crash

The vowels with r colorations correspond with most of Ireland and North America.
EXAMPLE

heart

The diphthong
EXAMPLE

garden

thirst

is more opened toward


day

make

The diphthong [ai] sounds more toward


EXAMPLES

fly

buy

Consonant Changes

Consonant r's can be burred


EXAMPLES

real

or flipped
very

sigh

further

APPENDIX 3 Regional Dialects Found in Vocal Repertoire

Final d's and t's are glottalized.


EXAMPLES

The initial fricative consonants


EXAMPLES

bet

hard

not

far

cord

can be sounded as voiced


see

thought

shot

Medial and final "ing" is always [in].


EXAMPLES

being

talking

betting

Inital and medial h's are frequently dropped.


EXAMPLES

him

behave

Consonant 1's are very dark


EXAMPLES

lot

in all positions.
falling

hill

Some changes for rural areas:


"Thr" spellings are sounded as
EXAMPLES

The consonant
EXAMPLES

three

thread

cutthroat

is sounded as [f].
think

thought

The consonant [k] is sounded as [g] (very rural west country).


EXAMPLES

comical

cart

Suggested Repertoire to Be Sung in West Country Dialects

Benjamin Britten: Billy BuddRedburn, Dansker

289

290

SINGING AND COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH


Gilbert and Sullivan: The Sorcerersome dialogue and choruses; Mrs Partlet could
have a flavoring of West Country.
: The Pirates ofPenzanceRuth and some of the pirate crew could have a
flavoring of the accents.
Note: Resources for tapes and CDs of native speakers speaking all of the accents
listed above can be found in the bibliography.

GLOSSARY

Accent: The manner in which someone speaks a foreign language, a second language,
or any language that is not their native language.
Affricate consonant: A combined consonant sound made up of a stop-plosive and a
fricative consonant that are sounded together simultaneously. There are two affricate consonant blends found in English:
[tj] chill

[dj] Jill

Alphabet: Any set of written symbols or letters with which the sounds of a language are
written. The Greek alphabet, the Roman alphabet, and so on. See the Roman alphabet
and International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
Alveolar consonant: A consonant made with the tongue tip touching the alveolar ridge.
The alveolar consonants are:
[t] two

[d] do

[n] no

[1] low

[tj] chew

[d3] jaw

Alveolar ridge: Also called the gum ridge or teeth ridge, it is the part of the roof of the
mouth that lies just above the upper front teeth.
American Standard: Notated as AS, it is a neutralized form of General American
(GAM). Based on a Midwestern American pronunciation with the regionalisms removed,
AS is the American dialect used as a performance standard in this text.
Articulators: The parts of the body used to form speech sounds. The articulators that
move are the lips, lower jaw, tongue, and soft palate. The articulators that do not move are
the teeth, gum ridge, hard palate, and the glottis.
Ask List: Named by Edith Skinner in her book Speak with Distinction, it is a list of
words and spellings, such as "ask," that have three different vowel variants for the stressed

291

292

GLOSSARY

"a" vowel. The words in the Ask List are pronounced as follows for the dialects listed
below:
EXAMPLE

Laugh

in American Standard [ae]


in Received Pronunciation [a]
in Mid-Atlantic pronunciation [a]

Aspirant consonant: A consonant sound composed predominantly of breath. The only


pure aspirant sound in English is [h]. It is non-vibrated breath released through a mouth
shape of the vowel that follows it. [m] is also an aspirant. It is a combination of [h] and

[w].
Aspiration: An explosion or puff of air with the release of one of the unvoiced stopplosive consonants. It is notated in the IPA by a superscript h [h] following a stop-plosive
consonant.
night [naith]

pick [pikh]

hope [houph]

Back placement: A vowel or consonant that is produced in the back of the throat and
sounds constricted or trapped.
Back vowel: A vowel sound made with the back of the tongue arched toward the soft
palate. The six back vowels in English are:
[u] shoe

should

[o] obey

all

honest

father

Bilabial: A term used for consonant articulated with both lips. The five bilabial consonants in English are:
[p] punch

[b] bunch

[m] me

[w] were

whir

Blade of the tongue: The forward part of the tongue.


Breath lift: The practice of initiating the sound with a pulse of the breath. It is an alternate
means for stressing an operative word in English with an easy onset rather than a glottal
attack.
Classic texts: A catch-all phrase for:
1. Non-contemporary texts in prose or verse that require elegance and eloquence of
style in performance.
Non-contemporary texts that do not require specific accents
Foreign works translated into English
2. Works set in imaginary times and places.

293

GLOSSARY

Close vowel: A vowel produced with a closed jaw position and a high tongue arch. The
four close vowels in English are:

[i]he

[i] him

[u] who

Cluster: A group of consonants. The initial consonant clusters are often opened in
singing to stress musically and vocally an operative or key word.
Cognate pairs: Pairs of consonants that are made in the same position and place of the
articulators. One of the consonants in the pair is voiced. The other is unvoiced. The cognate pairs in English are:

[b/p]

[g/k]

[d/t]

[f/v]

[z/s]

Colloquial American: Relaxed, informal day-to-day speech. It is characterized by


dropped and glottalized final consonants with Midwestern vowel variants.
Consonant sound: A sound made with the expulsion of air. The breath is either stopped,
impeded, or interrupted by the articulators.
Continuants: A consonant that can be sustained or elongated as long as the breath lasts.
In English the nasal, lateral, and fricative consonants are all continuants.
Dark "L": A variety of a consonant "1" that employs the arching of the back of the tongue
toward the soft palate giving it a characteristic "dark" sound. The phonetic symbol for the
dark 1 is [1]. In most dialects of North American English the "1" tends to be dark in the following positions:
When followed by another consonant: "milk"
When it is final: "bell"
When it is syllabic: "bottle"
Denasalization: The act of diminishing some of the nasal resonance from a nasal consonant in order to aid projection and vocal ease.
Dental consonants: Consonants made with the tip on the tongue in contact with the
upper front teeth. English has two dental consonants:
thine

thigh

Diacritical marks: Diacritical marks are used in this text to show syllabic stress. ['] placed
before the primary stressed syllable; and [J placed before the syllable with secondary
stress.
EXAMPLE

, undeveloped

Dialect: The general pronunciation practiced by a social or economic class or in a particular region by people who speak the same native tongue.

294

GLOSSARY

Diphthongization: The sound produced when the articulators move from one vowel to
another in the same syllable. Unintentional diphthongization of pure vowels is an error in
AS, RP, and MA English.
Diphthong sound [difGDrj]: A combination of two vowels within one syllable. One of
the vowels has more emphasis and is longer.
Easy onset: The starting of a vowel smoothly on the breath without a hard glottal attack
(hard onset). A technique used in voice therapy to alleviate vocal abuse. See easy onset
exercises in chapter 3, pp. 38-41.
Flapped t: A "t" consonant that is produced by the flapping of the tongue against the
gum ridge. It is very characteristic of medial t's and connective t's in General American
and some of the southern American dialects. The IPA symbol for a flapped t is [r].
EXAMPLE

AS

Better

GAM

Forward placement: An easy, frontal placement in which the vowels and consonants
are resonated in the mask, the front of the face.
Fricative consonant: A consonant in which breath passes through a specific shape of the
articulators so as to produce frictional noises. The ten fricative consonants in English are:
[v] vine
[s] soon

this
show

[f] fine
[3] genre

[z] zoom
[hlhe

[ml when

Front vowel: A vowel produced by the front of the tongue arching toward the hard
palate. The six fronting vowels in English are:
[i] keen

ken

[i] kin

[e(i)] cage

cat

[a] calf

General American: A dialect of American English based on the speech patterns of the
Midwestern States. General American, with some of the regionalisms removed, is the
basis for Broadcast Speech and American Standard pronunciation.
Glide consonant: A glide consonant, also called a semi-vowel glide, is a consonant that
is formed when the articulators glide quickly from its preceding related vowel to the sound
that follows it. The three glides in English are:
yes

[w] wed

red

Glide vowel: A glide vowel, also called a related glide vowel, is the vowel that precedes
and is related organically to a semi-vowel glide consonant. The three related vowels and
their glide consonants in English are:
[u]

[w]

[i]

GLOSSARY

Glottal attack: A hard explosive stop and release of the breath in the glottis when initiating a vowel. It is also known as hard onset. It is not healthy and desirable in spoken or sung
English. Rather it is important to substitute a breath lift for an easy onset to an initial
vowel of a stressed word. The phonetic symbol for a glottal attack is [?]. See breath lift.
Glottal sound: A sound that is made in the throat or glottis. The one glottal sound in
English is:

[h]he
Glottis: The space found inside the larynx between the vocal folds.
Good Speech: Dialect name used in Edith Skinner's Speak with Distinction. It is a North
American dialect that is similar to modern Mid-Atlantic pronunciation.
Grammar mini review:
A Noun is a person, place, thing, state of being, or proper name. Nouns can function as the subject or the object of a sentence or phrase.
A Verb connotes actions or feelings.
An Adverb modifies the verb. It tells how, where, or something about the verb.
An Adjective modifies the noun.
A Predicate Adjective is an adjective that has now become part of the verb. It
follows a form of the verb "to be" and takes on primary stress. "She is fine."
A Predicate Nominative is a noun that has become part of the verb. It follows
the form of the verb "to be" and takes on primary stress. "Life is bliss."
Subjunctive case is contrary to fact. "If I were a rich man."
Conditional case implies a condition. "If you build it, they will come."
Imperative is a command form. "Go! Get up!"
A Phrasal Verb is a verb that is made up of a verb plus a preposition. The preposition becomes part of the verb and receives primary stress along with the verb.
"Turn off the light!"
Gum ridge: Another term for the alveolar ridge.
Hand List: Named by Edith Skinner in her book Speak with Distinction, it is a list of
words and spellings, such as "hand," that are pronounced [ae] for the stressed "a" vowel.
The words in the Hand List are pronounced as follows for the dialects listed below:
EXAMPLE

Happy

in American Standard [ae]


in Received Pronunciation [ae]
in Mid-Atlantic pronunciation [ae].

Hard onset: See glottal attack.

295

296

GLOSSARY

Hard palate: The first third of the roof of the mouth. It is backed by cartilage causing it
to have a hard surface.
Hard "R": An R-colored vowel with too much tongue tension causing it to have a hard
or tense quality, which is characteristic of a regional Midwestern accent. Though in AS an
R-colored vowel is characteristic, it must not sound tense or hard.
Implosion: An implosion occurs when two stop-plosive cognates are sounded back to
back. When an implosion occurs, the first consonant is held and released with the explosion of the second stop-plosive. Implosions occur with the following combinations:
b+p
Boj^jprays

p+b
tof^billing

p+p
toj^price

b+b
Boj^breaks

d+t
har^Jlme

t+d
si^down

t+t
hi)(j;une

d+d
bayl^diction

g+k
le^cramps

k+g
look^good

g +g
ba^groceries

k+k
speak^quickly

Inflection: Also called intonation, is the pattern of movement, pitch, or speed that occurs within a stressed operative word in a phrase or a syllable.
Intermediate "A": The front vowel [a], which is found on the vowel chart to be an intermediate vowel between the [a] of "father" and the [ae] of "cat." It is the vowel variant
used for stressed "A" vowels in Ask List Spellings. It is also the first element in the diphthong [ai] as in "night."
Intermediate "O": The back vowel [D], which is found on the vowel chart to be an intermediate vowel between the [a] of "father" and the [o] of "all." It is the vowel used for
stressed "O" spellings in Received Pronunciation and Mid-Atlantic dialects. It is used in
certain regional accent of American English but not considered part of American Standard
pronunciation.
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA): The IPA was developed and first published
by the International Phonetic Association in 1888. Each sound of all the world languages
was given a single specific symbol. It uses the letters of the Roman alphabet plus many
non-Roman letters.
Intrusive "R": A consonant "R" that is mistakenly added to the ends of words or within
word phrases where then is no "R." It is characteristic of some regional British dialects
but should be avoided in RP and MA.
EXAMPLE

Paula (r) is arrivingLaw (r) and OrderBarbara(r)

GLOSSARY

297

IPA: See the International Phonetic Alphabet.


Labio-dental consonant: A type of consonant articulated by the lower lip in contact
with the upper teeth. The two labio-dental consonants in English are:
[f]

fine

[v] vine

Larynx [laejirjks]: Often mispronounced, is another name for the voice box. Located at
the top of the trachea, it houses the vocal folds.
Lateral consonant: A lateral consonant is produced with the tip of the tongue against
the alveolar ridge and sides of the tongue free from contact. In this position, the breath
passes over the sides of the tongue to produce the consonant sound. The only one lateral
consonant in English is [1] as in "light."
Linking "R": When a word with a final "R" is followed in the same phrase by another
word beginning with a vowel, the two words are linked together by a consonant "R." In
AS and Modern RP and MA, they are linked with a burred r [j]. In Historic RP and MA
they are linked with a flipped r [r].
EXAMPLE

AS, Modern RP, and MA

Historic RP and MA

far (j)_away

far (r)_away

Liquid "U": A popular name for the [ju] combination that is pronounced in words such
as: music, beauty, tune, duke, cue, knew, new.
Lisp: An incorrectly produced sibilant [s].
Low vowel: A vowel produced with the tongue arch low in the mouth and the jaw in an
open position. See vowel chart, p. 35.
Merge: This occurs when a word with a final continuant consonant is followed by a word
with an initial continuant consonant in the same phrase. When these consonants are back
to back they should be sustained and merged seamlessly one into the next consonant. The
symbol for a merge is: [J.

EXAMPLE

with this

sae man

beige shoes

of them

Mid-Atlantic pronunciation: A hybrid pronunciation that strives to be neither American nor British but is equally intelligible on both sides of the Atlantic. It uses the vowel
sounds of American English with the reduced "R colors" and "R" treatments of British
English. It is recommended for use with musical works that are not specifically American
or British.

298

GLOSSARY

Mid vowel: A vowel sound that is produced with the middle of the tongue arching toward the place where the soft and hard palates meet. The four mid vowels in English are:
[3r] learn

father

amass

love

Nasal consonant: A nasal consonant is a consonant in which the vibrating air escapes
through the nose because the soft palate or velum is relaxed. The three nasal consonants
in English are:
[m] me

sing

[n] no

Nasalization: The production of a sound in which the air escapes through the mouth and
the nose because the soft palate is relaxed. Although there are several nasal sounds in
French, in English nasal sounds should be avoided.
Naso-pharyngeal space: The space behind the soft palate at the top of the windpipe.
Neutral vowel: The weak vowel [a] often found in unstressed syllables in English. Also
called a schwa.
Non-rhotic: A term used to describe a dialect or accent that does not have "R" coloring
in its vowels, diphthongs, and triphthongs spelled with an "r." AS is rhotic, while RP and
MA are non-rhotic.
Off-glide: An extra weak vowel sounded after a primary vowel that is characteristic of
certain regional dialects, especially Southern American.
EXAMPLE

man

him

On-glide: An extra pre-vowel that is sounded before the primary vowel in certain regional American and British dialects.
EXAMPLE

me[m(i)i]

you

Onset: The beginning or start of a sound.


Open vowel: A vowel made with a low jaw and a low tongue arch. The six open vowels in English are:
cat

[a] cast*

cup

con**

[a] father

law

Palato-alveolar consonant: A consonant produced with the tip of the tongue pointing
toward the alveolar ridge. The two alveolar-palatal consonants in English are:
shine
* The vowel variant for MA dialect.
** RP and MA only.

genre

GLOSSARY

299

Passaggio: The point of transition between the vocal registers.


Pharynx: The tube of the vocal tract.
Phonetic alphabet: See International Phonetic Alphabet.

Phrase: A musical passage or rhythmic thought group that is done without interruption
in one breath.
Placement: A term used in theater and by teachers of voice, speech, and dialects to describe the areas in the head, neck, or mouth from which the speech sounds resonate.
Plosive consonant: Also known as a stop-plosive, it is a consonant that is produced
when the released breath is stopped by the articulators. There are eight plosives in English:
[b] boy
[p] pie

[d] dew
[t] two

[g] go
[k] kite

[tj] church
[ds] germ

Primary stress: The syllable that receives the strongest stress in a word when spoken.
It is notated with the symbol ['] before the beginning of the stressed syllable.
EXAMPLE

'hidden

a'gree

'never

di'scern

Pure vowel: A vowel in which the articulators hold the position throughout the entire
length of the sound. In AS, RP, and MA all vowels should be pure vowels without unintended diphthongs or on-glides and off-glides.
R-coloring: This term refers to the rhotic vowel that is sounded in certain dialects where
there are R spellings found in the middle or end of the word. The presence of r-coloring
is very characteristic and widely prevalent in AS and General American dialects.
Received Pronunciation: Know as RP, this term refers to a pronunciation and usage of
British English that was cultivated in the well-educated upper-class in Southern England.
It is the performance standard for music compositions from the United Kingdom that do
not require a specific regional dialect. See chapter 14 for a full discussion.
Resonance: The process that amplifies and modifies the intensity of a sound. In speech
sounds, amplification occurs primarily in the mouth, nose, and throat. The fundamental
tone is produced in the vocal folds and is "resonated" within these spaces.
Resonators: The chambers of the body that amplify and intensify the tone produced by
the vocal folds. The primary resonators are the pharynx, the mouth, and the nose. Other
resonators include the upper chest, the sinuses, and even the skeletal structure of the chest
and head.

300

GLOSSARY
Retroflexion: Another term for the "R" coloring of a vowel.
Rhotic: Another term for "R" coloring.
Roman alphabet: The alphabet for written English and other European languages. It
was the model for the IPA.
"R" spellingsvowel or consonant?

RULE An "R" is sounded as a consonant when it is followed by a vowel, "R"


consonants are found in three positions: at the beginning of a wotd, as part of
an initial consonant cluster, or as an intervocalic "R* between two vowels*

1. At the beginning of the word:

AS

RP/MA

ru

2. As part of an initial consonant cluster:


AS

RP/MA

trouble
3. Or, as an intervocalic R between two vowels.
AS

RP/MA

charity

RULE An "Rw is sounded as an "IT colored vowel when it is followed by a consonant or is the final sound in the word.

1. When it is followed by a consonant:


AS

RP/MA

card
2. When it is the final sound in the word:
AS
devour

RP/MA

GLOSSARY

301

Schwa: The unstressed neutral [a] vowel.


Secondary stress: The lesser amount of intensity given to the syllable of a word in
which two syllables receive stress. It is notated with the [,] symbol before the syllable that
has secondary stress.
Semi-vowel: See glide vowel.
Shadow vowel: A short, volume-reduced vowel added to a final voiced consonant that
occurs at the end of a phrase where there is punctuation or a breath. It is a technique for
maintaining support and projection of the final voiced consonants through the accompaniment. The preferred vowel for a shadow vowel is [i] "ih" as opposed to [a] "uh,"
which sounds very Italianate.
EXAMPLE

"Above the warless world"

Sibilant: A speech sound characterized by hissing or buzzing. The six sibilants in English are:
[z] zoo

[3] genre

[dj] Jane

[s] sue

[J] shoe

[tj] chain

Singer-ese: Also known as "uni-vowel" singing. It is an artificial, old-fashioned pronunciation made up of Italianate or modified vowels that is too frequently heard in the
sung English of classical singers. It is to be avoided. In this day and age of mass media
and international telecasts, it is important that the English sounds "read" with the listener
as honest, accurate, and real. Of course vowels need to be modified in order to maneuver
around an extreme range text setting and for vocal ease, but these modifications must be
done with subtlety and finesse and the listener should never be aware of them.
Soft palate: The smooth, soft back part of the roof of the mouth. It is also called the
velum.
Spelling pronunciation: An incorrect pronunciation based on the spelling of English.
It is often mispronounced and sounds affected or pedantic.
Incorrect AS

RP/MA

Correct AS

RP/MA

labor
Standard of pronunciation: In the United States there is no standard of pronunciation. However, General American (GAM) based on the dialects of the Midwestern and
Western states, is considered accent-less and most easy to understand. General American
is used for broadcast speech on American radio and television. American Standard, AS, is

302

GLOSSARY

the pronunciation studied in this text as a neutralized version of General American. In the
United Kingdom, Received Pronunciation, RP, was considered the broadcast standard.
Since the mid-twentieth century, a more modern version of RP that is inclusive of the regional dialects is used in broadcast speech. To reflect this change, the terms Historic RP
and Modern RP are used in this text.
Stop-plosive: Another term for a plosive consonant.
Stressed syllable: A syllable that has a stronger degree of intensity or volume in relation to the other syllables of a word. English words have three possible stressed syllable
patterns:
Primary Stress
'anger

Primary and Secondary Stress


.vulnerability

Double Stress
'rainbow

The diacritical mark ['] is used above and in front of a syllable to show primary stress and
[] below and in front of a syllable to show secondary stress.
Strong form (sf): The strong form of a wordarticles, prepositions, conjunctions, auxiliary verbswhen in a stressed position in a phrase uses a full vowel sound. See weak
form (wf).

EXAMPLE

If you CAN.

Sub-lingual pressure: Air pressure at the base of the tongue that can constrict the tone.
Sub-vocal pressure: Also known as sub-glottal pressure, it is the pressure of air beneath
the vocal folds. Sub-glottal pressure causes the vocal folds to open and vibrate. Excessive
pressure can cause breathiness and vocal abuse.
Syllabic consonant: A syllabic consonant occurs when an unstressed syllable is sounded
with the final consonant only, omitting the unstressed vowel. In English the three syllabic
consonants are final m, n, or 1, notated as
EXAMPLE

chasm

heaven

little

An unstressed syllable that is sounded with only a syllabic consonant can be used in
speech, musical theatre, and pop music but not in classical singing. In classical singing, a
vowel sound is needed to sing through a syllable.
Syllabification: The division of a word into syllables. Often, the division of a word in a
dictionary is not how it is sounded when spoken or sung. For example, dic-tion-ar-y in the
dictionary; di-ctio-na-ry when sung.

303

GLOSSARY

Tessitura: The general range of a musical composition.


Theater standard: Another term for American Standard.
Tip of the tongue: The point of the tongue, immediately in front of the top flat surface
of the tongue, which is called the blade.
Trachea: The windpipe. The tube located between the throat and the bronchial tubes.
Transcription: The phonetic notation of the sounds of a language. The transcriptions in
this text are in Broad Transcription, an accurate but not overly detailed notation that is accessible to a non-linguistically trained musical community.
Triphthong sound [LufODrj]: Often mispronounced, a triphthong is a syllable that is
sounded with three vowels. Even if set musically on two notes, it can be sung as one syllable or as two syllables. The two triphthongs in English are: [ai9r] (RP/MA) or [aia-]
(AS) as in "fire" and [au9r] (RP/MA) or [aua-] (AS) as in "flower."
Unaspirated: A term that refers to the nonrelease of air of a plosive consonant in certain positions or in foreign languages. The unaspirated plosives from Italian, for example,
can be substituted for the aspirated English "p" when great projection is needed or to
avoid "popping" the mike when using a microphone.
Unstressed syllable: A weak syllable that has no syllabic stress. It can be sung with a
[sjschwa vowel or, where appropriate, one of the schwa substitutes [e],[i],[u],[o]. See
chapter 2.
Unvoiced: Another term for voiceless.
Velar: A term used to describe a sound that is formed with the back of the tongue and the
soft palate or velum. The three velar consonants in English are:
[k] key

[g] go

[n] sing

Velum: Another name for the soft palate.


Vibrated: Another term for voiced.
Vocal cords: Another term for vocal folds.
Vocal folds: Folds of muscle located within the larynx that, when closed by sub-glottal
air pressure, cause most of the speech sounds.
Vocal fry: A vocal fry is a breathy, creaky, scratchy sound produced when the speaker or
singer runs out of breath before finishing the phrase. It characteristically sounds like the

304

GLOSSARY

"creaky door" sound that is associated with Halloween or horror films. This is a very common stylistic technique used in pop music. When the singer or speaker runs out of breath
before finishing the phrase, excessive tension builds at the vocal folds. Excessive vocal fry
can cause vocal damage.
Voice box: Another term for larynx.
Voiced consonant: A consonant that is produced by the vibration of the vocal folds.
The sixteen voiced consonants in English are:
[d] do
[j] you

[b] boy
[w] were

[g]g_o
/R] red

[v] vine
[m] me

thine
[n] no

[z] zoo
song

[3] genre
[1] law

id3]join
wheel

Voiceless consonant: Another term for unvoiced consonants. A consonant that is produced with no vibration of the vocal folds. The ten unvoiced consonants in English are:
[p] pie

[t] two

[k] key

[f] fine

thigh

[s] so

shine

heel

[tj] church

Vowel sound: A speech sound in which the flow of breath is free and unobstructed by
the articulators. In English, all vowels are voiced and should be produced with the soft
palate raised.
Weak form (wf): A weak form of a word is unstressed, has a weak [9] vowel sound,
and is used only when a set with a very short note value occurs at a fast tempo.

EXAMPLE

"I can see that now!"

MUSIC PUBLISHERS GUIDE

Music Publishers
Here is contact information for publishers of musical works cited in this book, as well as
national organizations on music in various English-speaking countries.
American Composers Alliance, 648 Broadway, Room 803, New York, NY 10012. Tel. (212)3628900. www.com.posers.com.
Bardic Editionfax crescent, Aylesbury, Bucks HP20 2ES. Tel. 01296 28609. www.bardic-music.com.
Bayley & Ferguson, www.bmic.org.
Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. 295 Regent Street, London WIN 9AE. Tel. 0171 580
2060 / Boosey & Hawks, Inc., 35 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010. Tel. (212)358-5300.
www.boosey.com.
Breitkopf & Hartel. Castle House, Ivychurch, Romney Marsh, Kent TN29 OAL. Tel. 01797 344011/
Breitkopf & Hartel. Walkmuehlstrasse 52 D65195 Wiesbaden DE www.breitkopf.com.
Carl Fischer. 65 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012. Tel. (212) 777-0900. www.carlfischer.com.
Peters Edition Ltd. 19-21 Baches Street, London Nl 6DN, Tel. 0171 253 1683. C.F. Peters Corp.
70-30 80th Street, Glendale, NY 11385 Tel. +1 (0) (718) 416-7800. www.cfpeters-ny.com.
Warner Chappell Music Ltd. 129 Park Street, London WIY 3FA Tel. 0171 629 7600. www.warnerchappell.com.
Chester Music. Hire and Distribution, Newmarket Road, Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk IP33 3YB. Tel.
01284 702600. www.chester-novello.com.
Curwen (J) & Sons Ltd. Some of the archive held by Robertson and some by William Elkin.
Classical Vocal Reprints. 3253 Cambridge Ave, Bronx, NY 10463-3618. Tel. (800)298-7474.
www.classisicalvocalrep.com.
Dunvagen Music available in US: www.schirmir.com.. In Europe: www.chester-novello.com.
Edward B. Marks Music Company. Carlin America, Inc. 126 East 38th Street, New York, NY
10016. Tel. (212) 779-7977. www.carlinamerica.com.
ECS Publishing, 138 Ipswich Street, Boston, MA 02215-3534. Tel. (617) 236-1935. www
.ecspublishing.com.
Elkin. The Elkin catalogue is now held by Novello. www.elkinmusic.com.

305

306

MUSIC PUBLISHERS GU

Edwin F. Kalmus & Company Inc. P.O. 5011, Boca Raton, FL 33431-0811. Tel. (561) 241-6340.
www.kalmus-music.com.
Elkin-Vogel. Elkin Music International, Inc., 94 Merrills Chase, Asheville, NC 28803. Tel. (800)367-3554. www.elkinmusic.com.
Faber Music Ltd. 3 Queen Square, London WCIN 3AU. Tel. 0171 278 7436. www.fabermusic.com.
Faberprint. See Faber Music Ltd.
Galahad Music Inc, 250 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 Tel. (212) 581-1388.
Galaxy Music. See ECS Publishing, www.escpublishing.com.
G. Schirmir, Inc. 257 Park Avenue South, 20th Floor; New York, NY 10010. Tel. (212) 254-2100.
www.schirmir.com.
Henry Carl Music, 7588 Middle Ridge Road, Madison, OH. 45057. E-mail hcm@ncweb.com.
Highgate Press. See ECS Publishing, www.escpublishing.com.
Hal Leonard Corp, 7777 W. Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI. 53213. nubick@halleonard.com.
International Music Publications. Woodford Trading Estate, Southend Road, Woodford Green,
Essex IG8 8HN. Tel. 0181 551 6131. Acquired by Faber.www.fabermusic.com.
Alfred A. Kalmus Ltd. 38 Eldon Way, paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE. Tel. 01892 833422.
www.kalmus-music.com.
MMB Music, Inc. 3524 Washington Ave. St. Louis, MO 63103. Tel. (314)531-9635. www.mmb
music.com.
Novello & Co. Hire and Distribution, Newmarket Road, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk IP33 3YB. Tel.
01284 702600. www.chester-novello.com.
Oxford University Press Music Department. Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6DP Tel. 01865 556767.
Oxford University Press. 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314. Tel. (212) 726-6000
x. 6048. www.oup-uk.org www.oup-usa.org.
Peermusic Classical. 870 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019. Tel. (212) 265-3910. www.peermusic
.com./classical.
Theodore Presser Company, 558 No. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406. www.presser.com.
Schott & Co, Led. Marketing and Sales Department, Brunswick Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1DX
Tel. 01233 628987. Schott Music International/European American Music. 35 East 21st Street,
8th Floor, New York, NY 10010-6212. Tel. +1(0) (212) 358-4999, (212)871-0210. www.schottmusic.com.
tainer & Bell Ltd. PO Box 110, Victoria House, 23 Gruneisen Road, London N3 1DZ. Tel. 0181 343
3303.
Southern Music Company. P.O. Box 329, San Antonio, TX 78292. Tel. (210) 226-8167. www
.southernmusic.com.
Thames Publishing. 14 Barlby Road, London W10 6AR. Tel. 0181 969 3579. Distributor William
Elkin.
Universal. See Kalmus.
Josef Weinberger, Ltd. 12-14 Mortimer Street, London WIN 7RD.
Williamson Music Co. 1065 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018. Tel. (212) 541-6968.
www.williamsonmusic.com.

MUSIC PUBLISHERS GIDE

Self-Publishing
Libby Larsen: www.libbylarsen.com.
Alan Smith: SchwungMeister@cs.com.
Judith Zaimont: JudithZaimont@worldnet.att.net.

National Music Information Centers


American Music Center: Suite 1001, 30 W. 26th Street, Suite 1001, New York, NU 10010-12011.
www.amc.net; e-mail center@amc.net.
Australian Music Centre (SOUNZ Australia): PO Box N690, AU-Grosvenor Place NSW 1220 Australia. www.amcoz.com.au; e-mail info@amcoz.com.au.
British Music Information Centre: 75 Westminster Bridge Road, GB-London SE1 7HS. www.bmic
.co.uk; e-rnail info@bmic.co.uk.
Canadian Music Centre: National Office, Chalmers House, 20 St. Joseph Street, CA-Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1J9. www.musiccentre.ca; e-mail info@musiccentre.ca.
(Ireland) The Contemporary Music Centre: 19, Fishamble Street, Temple Bar, IE-Dublin 8. www
.cmc.ie; e-mail info@cmc.ie.
New Zealand Music Centre (SOUNZ New Zealand): PO Box 10 042, Wellington, New Zealand.
www.sounz.org.nz; e-mail info@sounz.org.nz.
Scottish Music Information Centre: City Halls, Candleriggs, GB-Glasgow Gl 1NQ UK. www
.scottishmusiccentre.com; e-mail info@scottishmusiccentre.com.
Welsh Music Information Centre: Wales Millennium Centre, GB-Cardiff CF10 SAL UK. www
.wmic.org; e-mail info@wmic.org.

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SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES

Dialects
Books
Blumenfeld, Robert. Accents: A Manual for Actors. New York: Limelight Editions, 2002.
Blunt, Jerry. Stage Dialects. Woodstock, Illinois: Dramatic Publishing Company, 1980.
. More Stage Dialects. Woodstock, Illinois: Dramatic Publishing, 1980.
Hughes, Arthur, Peter Trudgill, and Dominic Watt. English Accents and Dialects. London: Arnold;
New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Turner, Lorenzo Dow, Katherine Wyly Mille, and Michael B. Montgomery. Africanisms in Gullah
Dialect. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1969.
Upton, Clive, and J. D. A. Widdowson. An Atlas of English Dialects. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1996.
Wells, J. C. Accents of English. 3 vols. 1: Introduction; 2: The British Isles; 3: Beyond the British Isles.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Video and Audio Recordings


Records
English with an Accent, BBC 22166 (23 accents).
English with a Dialect, BBC 22173 (British Isles accents).
Great Actors of the Past, compiled by Robert Bebb, Argo Records, SW510.
Cassettes and CDs
About a Hundred Years: The History of Sound Recording, Symposium CD 1222. East Barnet, Hertfordshire, England: symposium records, 1997. Voices of Arthur Conan Doyle, Sarah Bernhardt,
Thomas Alva Edison, Johannes Brahms, Mahatma Gandhi, Field Marshall von Hindenburg,
Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Leon Tolstoy, and others.
Accents for Actors. Terry Besson. Terry@voicelab.freeserve.co.uk. Single dialect booklets/CDs of
the dialects of the British Isles.

309

310

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AD RESOURCES


Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen. Paul Meier Dialect Services, www.paulmeier.com.
Single dialect booklets/CDs of 24 different dialects.
Accents for Actors: Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England, compiled and directed by Christopher
Casson, with commentary by Joseph D. Pheiffer. Cassette SAC 1027. New Rochelle, NY: Spoken
Arts, 1983. Recordings by native speakers.
The Art of the Savoyard, Pearl, Gemm CD 9991, Wadhurst, East Sussex, England: Pavilion Records,
1993. Victorian English: Voices of singers who worked with Gilbert and Sullivan themselves in
their comic operas. Includes the voices of Richard Temple, who was the first Mikado and Pirate
King, and of Sir Arthur Sullivan.
Dialects for Actors. Gillian Lane-Plescia. The Dialect Resource, www.dialectresouce.com. A series
of CDs and tapes of primary source speakers.
Great Shakespeareans, Pearl, Gemm CD 9465. Wadhurst, East Sussex, England: Pavilion Records,
1990. Voices of Edwin Booth, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Arthur Bourchier, Lewis Waller, Ben
Greet, John Barrymore, Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson, Sir John Gielgud, Henry Ainley, and
Maurice Evans.
International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), Paul Meier, founder and director. Online at
http://www.ku.edu/~idea/. Hundreds of downloadable mp3 recordings of native speakers from
around the world speaking English in their native English dialect or foreign language accent.
International Phonetic Alphabet demonstrated. Online at http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/ and
http://www.paulmeier.com/ipa/charts.html. Eric Armstrong and Paul Meier have designed an
online, interactive animation, providing the student of phonetics a chance to hear and compare
all the sounds of the IPA. Also available as a CD-ROM.
In Their Own Voices: The U.S. Presidential Elections of 1908 and 1912, Marston CD 52028-2.
Marston Records, 2000. Voices of William Jennings Bryan, William H. Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson.
Skinner, Edith. Speak with Distinction, ed. Lilene Mansell (accompanying cassette). New York:
Applause Books Publishers, 1990.
Videotape
PBS television series. The Story of English, videotape, host: Robert MacNeil. 1986. This series
traces the origins and changes in English pronunciation throughout the world.

Acting / Text Analysis


Berry, Cecily. The Actor and the Text. New York: Applause Books, 1992.
Bradley, Ian. The Complete Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Crystal, David. Pronouncing Shakespeare: The Globe Experiment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Crystal, David, and Ben Crystal. Shakespeare's Words; A Glossary and Language Companion. London: Penguin Books, 2003.
Rodenburg, Patsy. Speaking Shakespeare. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, London: Methuen, 2002.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES

Song Analysis
Emmons, Shirlee, and Wilber Watkins, Jr. Researching the Song: A Lexicon. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005
Mabry, Sharon. Exploring Twentieth Century Vocal Music: A Practical Guide to Innovations in Performance and Repertoire. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Manning, Jane. New Vocal Repertory, 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press; Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1992, 1998.

Speech and Voice Books


Berry, Cecily. Voice and the Actor. New York: Wiley, 1973.
Crannell, Kenneth C. Voice and Articulation. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1991.
Lessac, Arthur. The Use and Training of the Human Voice. New York: Drama Book Specialists, 1967.
Linklater, Kristin. Freeing the Natural Voice. New York: Drama Book Publishers, 1976.
Rodenburg, Patsy. The Actor Speaks: Voice and the Performer. New York: Palgrave Macmillan,
2002; London: Methuen Drama, 1997.
. The Need for Words. New York: Theatre Arts Books, Routledge, 2001.
. The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice. New York: Routledge, 1992.
Skinner, Edith. Speak with Distinction, ed. Lilene Mansell. New York: Applause Theatre Book Publishers, 1990.

Singing and Singer's Diction


Coffin, Berton. Sounds of Singing: Principles and Applications of Vocal Techniques with Chromatic
Vowel Chan, 2nd edn. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1987, 2002.
Kayes, Gillyanne. Singing and the Actor, 2nd edn. New York: Routledge, 2004; London: A & C
Black, 2004.
Marshall, Madeleine. The Singer's Manual of English Diction. New York: Schirmir Books, 1953.
Uris, Dorothy. To Sing in English. New York and London: Boosey and Hawks, 1971.

Pronouncing Dictionaries
Colloiani, Louis. Shakespeare's Names: A New Pronouncing Dictionary. New York: Drama Publishers, 1999.
Ehlich, Eugene, and Raymond Hand, Jr., revised and updated by. NBC Handbook of Pronunciation,
4th edn. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.

311

312

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AD RESOURCES

Ellis, Alexander J. On Early English Pronunciation with Special Reference to Shakespeare and
Chaucer, in three volumes "on the Pronunciation of the XlVth, XVIth , XVIIth andXVIIIth Centuries." London: Asher, 1869 (reprinted 1929).
Greet, W. Cabell. World Words: Recommended Pronunciations, 2nd edn. New York: Columbia University Press, by arrangement with the Columbia Broadcasting System, 1948.
Jones, Daniel. Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary, 14th edn. J. M. Dent & Sons, London,
1989. Out of printstill is the clearest presentation of Historic British Received Pronunciation.
. The Pronunciation of English, definitive edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1992.
. English Pronouncing Dictionary, 17th edn., ed. Peter Roach and James Hartman. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2006. This dictionary lists RP and American pronunciations. Several American pronunciation variants are listed making it difficult to determine what is General
American Pronunciation. The accompanying CR-Rom has interactive exercises to drill RP and
American pronunciation.
Kenyon, John S., and Thomas A. Knott, eds. A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English.
Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1953. My preferred source for American Standard
pronunciation.
Kokeritz, Helge. A Guide to Chaucer's Pronunciation. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston,
1962.
. Shakespeare's Names: A Pronouncing Dictionary. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.
. Shakespeare's Pronunciation. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953.
Pointon, G. E., ed. and transcriber. BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1990. This dictionary includes English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh names of
people and places.
Upton, Clive, William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., and Rafal Kokopka, eds. Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. This is a thorough pronunciation dictionary of contemporary British and American Englishexcellent for modern RP
and AS.
Wells, J. C. Longman Pronouncing Dictionary. Harlow, U.K.: Pearson Education, 2004.

Books on the English Language, Grammar,


and Phonetics
Bryson, Bill. Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States.
New York: Avon Books, 1994. Humorous and wonderfully informative.
. The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way. New York: Avon Books, 1990.
Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1995.
Graham, William. The Scots Word Book, 3rd rev. edn. Edinburgh: Ramsay Head Press, 1980.
McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1986.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES

McCrum, Robert, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil. The Story of English, a companion to the PBS
television series. New York: Elizabeth Sifton Books, Viking, 1986.
O'Connor, Patricia T. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe 's Guide to Better English in Plain English. New
York: Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Putnam Books, 1996.
Pullum, Geoffrey K., and William A. Ladusaw. Phonetic Symbol Guide. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1986.
Zimmerman, J. E. Dictionary of Classical Mythology, 18th printing. Toronto: Bantam Books, 1985.

Other Dictionaries
Giffel, Margaret Ross, and Adrienne Fried Block. Operas in English: A Dictionary. Westport, Conn.:
Greenwood Press, 1999.
Hall, Joan Houston, ed. Dictionary of American Regional English, Vols. 1-4. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1986-2002.
Mugglestone, Lynda, ed. The Oxford History of English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Simpson, John, and Edmund Weiner, eds. Oxford English Dictionary, 20 vols. Oxford: Clarendon
Press; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Recommended Recordings
American Anthem. Nathan Gunn, baritone, Kevin Murphy, piano. EMI Records, Ltd., 1990.
French & English Songs. Sir Thomas Allen, baritone, Geoffrey Parsons / Roger Vignoles, piano.
London: EMI Records, Ltd /Virgin Classics, 2002.
/ Want Magic! Renee Fleming, soprano; James Levine, conductor, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. London: Decca Record Company, 1998.
My Native Land: A Collection of American Songs. Jennifer Larmore, mezzo-soprano, Antoine Palloc, piano. Hamburg, Germany: Teldec Classics International, 1997.
Songs of America. Thomas Hampson, baritone. Music from the Library of Congress. New York:
Angel Records, 2005.
A Treasury of English Song. London: Hyperion Records, 2004.
The Deepest Desire. Joyce di Donate, mezzo-soprano, David Zobel, piano, Frances Shelly, flute.
Paris: Eloquentia EL 0504, 2005.

Bibliographies and Reference Works


Art-Song in the United States, An Annotated Bibliography. National Association of Teachers of
Singing, N.A.T.S.
Banfield, Stephen. Sensibility and English Song: Critical Studies of the Early Twentieth Century.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

313

314

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES

Carman, Judith, et al. Art Song in the U.S. 1759-1999: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, NJ:
Scarecrow Press, 2000.
Clark, Mark Ross. Guide to the Aria Repertoire. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.
Coffin, Berton. Singer's Repertoire, Vols. 1-5. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973.
Friedberg, Ruth C. American Art Songs and American Poetry. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press,
1987.
Elliot, Martha. Singing in Style. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.
Emmons, Shirlee, and Wilbur Watkin Lewis. Researching the Song. New York: Oxford University
Press, 2006.
Emmons, Shirlee, and Stanley Sonntag. The Art of the Song Recital. Long Grove, 111.: Waveland
Press, 2001.
Espina, Noni. Repertoire for the Solo Voice. Vols. 1-2. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1977.
Giffel, Margaret Ross, and Adrienne Fried Block. Operas in English: A Dictionary. Westport,
Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999.
Kagen, Sergius. Music for the Voice. Rev. edn. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968.
Kimball, Carol. Song: A Guide to Style and Literature. Redmond, Wash.: P s s t . . . Inc., 1966.
Manning, Jane. New Vocal Repertory, 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press; Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1992, 1998.
Nagy, Gloria Jean. A Singer's Overview: Contemporary Canadian Literature, 1940-1997. Ottawa:
Nepean, 1994; rev. ed. Montreal: N.A.T.S., 1997. Available from the Canadian Music Centre.
Pilkington, Michael. British Solo Song. London: Thames/Elkin Publications, 2003.
Villamil, Victoria Etnier. A Singer's Guide to the American Art Song, 1870-1980. Metuchen, NJ. :
Scarecrow Press, 1993.

Helpful Websites
Opera Base Professional or Opera Europa: www.operabase.com
Aria Database: www.ariadatabase.com
British Song Fa la la la la: http://cfaonline.cfa.asu.edu/hoffer/
Canadian Art Song website: www.canadianartsong.com
Diction Domain: www.scaredofthat.com
The IPA Source: www.ipasource.com
Transcriptions and word for word translations of songs and arias.
The Lied and Art Song Text Page: www.recmusic.org
The Living Composer Project: www.composers21.com
Opera Glass: www.opera.stanford.edu
The Poetry Archive: www.poetryarchive.org

INDEX OF POETRY AND SONG TEXTS

"A Lullaby" (Agee/Pasatieri), 152


"A Minor Bird" (Frost/Dougherty), 62
"Annabel Lee" (Poe), 169
"Ann Street" (Morris/Ives), 85
"Ann Truelove's Aria" from The Rake's Progress
(Auden/Stravinsky), 197,251-252
"Auguries of Innocence" (Blake), 92

"Bells" (Edgar Allan Poe), 16


"Bells in the Rain" (Wylie/Duke), 69, 179
''Beloved, Thou Hast Brought Me Many
Flowers" (Browning/Larsen), 98
''Bright is the Ring of Words" from Songs of
Travel (Stevenson/Vaughan Williams),
234-235
''Buddy on the Nightshift" from Lunchtime
Follies (Weill), 83
''But who may abide" from Messiah (Handel), 97

''Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound of


Music (Rodgers/Hammerstein), 176-177
"Come away, Death" (Shakespeare), 21, 22, 24,
93, 239

"Daphne" (Walton), 110


"Dido's Lament" from Dido and Aeneas
(Purcell), 177, 178, 235
"Dirge" from Six Elizabethan Songs (Argento),
132
"Do You Know the Land?" from Little Women
(Adamo), 160
"Down By the Sally Gardens" (Yeats), 50
"Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" (Jonson), 83

"Echo" (Rossetti/Gannon), 118


''Endless Pleasure, Endless Love" from Semele
(Handel), 95

'Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun" (Shakespeare/Finzi), 149

"Ghastly! Ghastly!" from The Yeoman of the


Guard (Gilbert & Sullivan), 227
"Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sweeney
Todd (Sondheim), 146

'Hear ye, Israel" from Elijah (Mendelssohn),


163,165
'Here's a First-Rate Opportunity" from The
Pirates ofPenzance (Gilbert & Sullivan), 205
'He shall feed his flock" from Messiah (Handel),
156
'Hymn" from Six Elizabethan Songs (Argento),
164

"I Attempt from Love's Sickness" from The


Indian Queen (Purcell), 52
"If with All Your Hearts" from Elijah
(Mendelssohn), 50
"In Haven" from Sea Pictures (Elgar), 164
"In Remembrance of Schubert" from To Be Sung
Upon the Water
(Wordsworth/Argento), 190-191
"In Summertime on Bredon"
(Housman/Somervell), 240
"It is Enough" from Elijah (Mendelssohn),
252-253

315

316

INDEX OF POETRY AND SONG TEXTS

"Laurie's Song" from The Tender Land


(Copland), 102, 186
"Lonely House" from Street Scene (Weill), 138
"Long Time Ago" from Old American Songs
(Copland), 88
"Look Down, Fair Moon" (Whitman/Rorem), 118
"Loveliest of Trees" (Housman/Duke), 182-183
"Love's Philosophy" (Shelley/Quilter), 238-239
"Love Too Frequently Betrayed" from The
Rake's Progress (Auden/Stravinsky), 252
"Lucretia's Aria" from The Rape ofLucretia
(Britten), 24

"Soliloquy" (Millay/Zaimont), 205


"Somewhere" from West Side Story
(Sondheim/Bernstein), 111
"Sonnet?" (Shakespeare), 182
"Sonnet 18" (Shakespeare), 28-29
"Sonnet 29" (Shakespeare), 227
"Sonnet 71" (Shakespeare), 251
"Spring" (Nashe/Gurney), 234-235
"Sure on this Shining Night" (Agee/Barber), 58,
137
"Sweeter than Roses" (Purcell), 101
"Symphony in Yellow" (Wilde/Griffes), 204

"Manhattan Joy Ride" (Dodd/Sargent), 191-192


"Music When Soft Voices Die" (Shelley), 23, 145
"My Riches at her Feet I Threw" from Trial by
Jury (Gilbert & Sullivan), 88

"The Ash Grove" (Old Welsh Melody), 91


"The Black Swan" from The Medium (Menotti),
74,122
"The Daisies" (Stephens/Barber), 27
"The Donkey" (Chesterton/Clarke), 239-240
"The Flowers Appeareth on the Earth" from
Ecclesiastes, 223
"The Lament of Ian the Proud"
(MacLeod/Griffes), 199-200, 203
"The Lover's Maze" (Campion/Warlock), 91
"The People that Walked in Darkness" from
Messiah (Handel), 156
"There is a Garden" from Trouble in Tahiti
(Bernstein), 96
"There was an Old Man from Madras" from
The Complete Nonsense (Lear), 227
"The Roadside Fire" from Songs of Travel
(Stevenson/Vaughan Williams), 235
"The Silver Aria" from The Ballad of Baby Doe
(Moore), 48
"The Soft Complaining Flute" from Ode to
St. Cecilia's Day (Handel), 219
"The Sun whose Rays" from The Mikado
(Gilbert & Sullivan), 85
"The Trees on the Mountains" from Susannah
(Floyd), 176
"The Trumpet Shall Sound" from Messiah
(Handel), 253
"The World Is Too Much with Us" (Wordsworth),
150
"Things Change, Jo" from Little Women
(Adamo), 77-78
"This Little Rose" (Dickinson/Roy), 191
"Thus Saith the Lord" from Messiah (Handel), 96
"Tom Sails Away" (Ives), 152-153
"To Sit in Solemn Silence in a Dull, Dark, Dock"
from The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan), 216

"O had I Jubal's Lyre" from Joshua (Handel), 97


"Oh, Lady be Good!" from Lunchtime Follies
(Gershwin), 65
"O Isis and Osiris, hear me" from The Magic
Flute (Porter, trans/Mozart), 253
"O Mistress Mine, Where are you Roaming?"
(Shakespeare), 174
"On Dullness" (Pope), 41
"Orpheus with His Lute" (Shakespeare/
Schuman), 254
"O Sleep, why dost thou leave me" from Semele
(Handel), 45, 153
"Over the Ripening Peach" from Ruddigore
(Gilbert & Sullivan), 46

"Passing By" (Anonymous), 213


"Prologue: Shadow and Substance" from
To Be Sung Upon the Water
(Wordsworth/Argento), 190

"She walks in Beauty"(Lord Byron), 28


"Silent Noon" from The House of Life (Rossetti/
Vaughan Williams), 238
"Silver" (de la Mare/Duke), 62
"Simple Gifts" from Old American Songs
(Copland), 132
"Sleep" (Fletcher/Warlock), 238
"Slim's Aria" from Of Mice and Men (Floyd),
156-157

INDEX OF POETRY AND SONG TEXTS

"Weep you No More Sad Fountains" (Dowland),


135-136
"What a Movie!" from Trouble in Tahiti
(Bernstein), 163
"What If I Never Speed" (Dowland), 219
"What Passion Cannot Music Raise and Quell"
from Ode to St. Cecilia's Day (Handel), 218
"What's the Use of Wondrin'" from Carousel
(Rodgers & Hammerstein), 74
"When my First Old, Old Love I Knew" from
Trial By Jury (Gilbert & Sullivan), 87-88
"Where the Music Comes From" (Hoiby), 139
"Who is Sylvia?" (Shakespeare), 23

'Who is There to Love me?" from A Hand of


Bridge (Barber), 178
'Why Do They Shut Me Out of Heaven?"
(Dickinson/Copland), 204
'Willow Song" from The Ballad of Baby Doe
(Moore), 44
''Winter" from Six Elizabethan Songs (Argento),
132
''Woe Unto Them Who Forsake Him" from
Elijah (Mendelssohn), 253
"Youth, Day, Old Age, and Night" (Whitman),
15-16

317

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GENERAL INDEX

African Heritage of American English, The


(Holloway/Vass), 274
Agee, James, 58, 137, 151-152, 188-189
Adamo, Mark, 160
"Do You Know the Land?" from Little Women,
160
"Things Change, Jo" from Little Women,
77-78
Affricates, 117, 119, 133-135
A Hand of Bridge (Barber), 178
Aids for projection and legato, 121, 124, 128,
134, 144, 148, 155, 158, 162, 174
Alignment of spine, 31
Alleviating trilled "r's," 108
Alveolar ridge, 33
American Standard Pronunciation (AS), 6-7,
214-215
Andrews, Dame Julie, 242
Appalachian dialect, 270-272
application to Susannah (Floyd), 271-272
general characteristics, 270-271
Argento, Dominick
"Dirge" from Six Elizabethan Songs, 132
"In Remembrance of Schubert" from To Be
Sung upon the Water (Wordsworth),
190-191
"Prologue: Shadow and Substance" from To
Be Sung upon the Water (Wordsworth),
190
Arrows. See Expressive doublings
Articulators, 31, 33-34
AS. See American Standard Pronunciation
Ask Word List, 224, 226
variants in three dialects, 248
Ask Words versus Hand Words, 223-227
Aspirants, 117, 160-163

Auden, W. H., 197, 251-252


Audience expectations, 5

[b]\[p] production
aids for projection, 121
microphone alert, 122
tips for vocal ease, 121
Backing vowels, 35, 59-70
Barber, Samuel
"Must the Winter Come So Soon?" from
Vanessa (Menotti), 166
"Nocturne" (Prokosch), 201
"Sure on this Shining Night" (Agee), 58, 137,
188-189
"The Daisies" (Stephens), 27
"Who Is There to Love Me?" from A Hand of
Bridge, 178
BBC, 1, 2, 6
BBC English, 208
Bernstein, Leonard
"Somewhere" from West Side Story, 111
"There is a Garden" from Trouble in Tahiti,
95-96
"What a Movie!" from Trouble in Tahiti, 163
Bilabial consonant, 141
Blake, William, 198
"Auguries of Innocence," 92
British Received Pronunciation (RP), 7-8, 10-11,
28,207-208, 214-215, 241-243, 248,
250
articulating the letter "t," 236
commonly used words, 210
international phonetic alphabet for, 208-210
rolling "r's", technique for, 233
rules for "r's," 231-233

319

320

GENERAL INDEX

British Received Pronunciation (RP)continued,


stress patterns, 229-230
unstressed -ary, -ery, -ory, -bury, -berry,
-mony, 230-231
unstressed words and syllables, 229
usuage of Liquid U in historic versus modern,
228
versus American Standard, 214-215
Britten, Benjamin
"Wasteful. So brief is beauty," excerpt from
The Rape ofLucretia, 200-201
"Lucretia's Aria" from The Rape ofLucretia,
24
Bronte, Emily, 213
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 98
Byron, Lord, 28

[o] substitution for [h], 162-163


Cadence, 18
Campion, Thomas, 91
Carousel (Rodgers/Hammerstein), 74
Chesterton, G. K, 239-240
Clarke, Rebecca
"The Donkey," 239-240
Clear [1], 180-182
drills, 181
rules for using, 181
"Comfort'V'comforteth" pronunciation, 166
Consonants
cognate pairs, 115
general rules for, 114
types, 116-117
See also Fricatives, fricative consonants; Nasal
consonants; Plosive consonants
Consul, The (Menotti), 46
Copland, Aaron
"Laurie's Song" from The Tender Land, 102,
186
"Long Time Ago" from Old American Songs,
y> So
QQ
o/,
"Simple Gifts" from Old American Songs, 132
"Why Do They Shut Me Out of Heaven?"
from Twelve Emily Dickinson Songs, 204
Crooning, 200-201
Cud chew, 32

[d]\[t] production
aids for projection, 124
dry "t's" and "d's," 125

wet "t's" and "d's," 124


Dark[l], 180, 181
avoiding, 181
Dead Man Walking (McNally/Heggie), 273
De la Mare, Walter, 62
Denasality, 174-176
avoiding, 174
how to access denasalized consonants,
175-176
Dentes, 33
Dickinson, Emily, 191,204
Diction, 3
Dictionaries, 7-8
American
The African Heritage of American English,
274
Longman Dictionary of American English, 1
The NBC Handbook of Pronunciation, 1
Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for
Current English, 1
The Pronouncing Dictionary of American
English, 1
British
The Cambridge English Pronouncing
Dictionary, 1
Everyman's English Pronouncing
Dictionary, 8
Longman English Pronouncing Dictionary, 8
Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for
Current English, 8
Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), 177, 178, 235
Diphthongs, 79-96
definition, 79
general rules, 79
Dodd, Louise Richardson, 191-192
Doublings. See Expressive doublings
Dougherty, Celius
"A Minor Bird" (Frost), 62
Dowland, John
"What If I Never Speed," 219
Duke, John
"Bells in the Rain" (Wylie), 69, 179
"Loveliest of Trees" (Housman), 182-183
"Silver" (de la Mare), 62

Easy onset, 38
exercises, 38, 39
Ecclesiastes, 223
"ed" endings, rules, 124
"ed," "eth" endings, poetic, 165

GENERAL INDEX

Elgar, Edward
"In Haven" from Sea Pictures, 164
Elijah (Mendelssohn), 50, 163, 165, 252-253
Elocution courses, 113
English consonants chart, 115
English dialects
American Standard (AS), 6-7, 214-215
British Received Pronunciation (RP), 7,
207-208, 214-215
Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation (MA), 7, 8,
241-243
English Pronouncing Dictionary, The, 207-208
Enunciation, 3
Epiglottis, 33
Esophagus, 33
"Ev'ry Valley" from Messiah (Handel), 69
Expression, 3
Expressive doublings, 149, 192-201
doubling technique, 194
feeling and transmitting the beat, 195
of fricatives, 149
how to double single consonants, plosive
clusters with glides, 198
notation with arrows, 197-201
preparation for consonant doublings, 195

Family Across the Sea, SCETV, 275


Feeling and transmitting the beat, 195
conducting the song, 196
Flapped "t" [r], 236
Fletcher, John, 238
Final "s" pronunciation, 150
Final unstressed "y" rule, 45
Finesse factor, 255-256
Finzi, Gerald
"Come Away, Death" (Shakespeare), 21, 22,
24, 93,239
"Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun" from
Let Us Garlands Bring (Shakespeare),
149
Floyd, Carlisle
"Slim's Aria" from Of Mice and Men,
156-157
"The Trees on the Mountains" from Susannah,
176
Frasier, 242
Fricatives, 141-166
definition, 141
expressive doublings of, 149
overview of fricative consonants, 141-142

Fronting vowels, the, 35, 43-55


description, 35
review of, 55
Frost, Robert, 62

[g]\[k] production
aids for projection, 128
dry "k's" and "g's," 129
tips for vocal ease, 130
wet "k's" and "g's," 128-129
Gannon, Lee
"Echo" (Rossetti), 118
Gershwin, George
"Oh, Lady be Good!" (Gershwin), 65
Porgy and Bess, 275
Gershwin, Ira
"Oh, Lady be Good!" (Gershwin), 65
Gilbert, W. S. and Sullivan, Arthur
"Ghastly! Ghastly!" from The Yeoman of the
Guard, 227
"Here's a First-Rate Opportunity" from
The Pirates ofPenzance, 205
"I am the Very Model of a Modern MajorGeneral" from The Pirates ofPenzance,
237
"My Riches at Her Feet" from Trial by Jury, 88
"Over the Ripening Peach" from Ruddigore, 46
"There is Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast"
from The Mikado, 237
"The Sun Whose Rays" from The Mikado, 85
"Unlearned He in Aught" from H.M.S.
Pinafore, 70
"When my First Old, Old Love I Knew" from
Trial By Jury, 87-88
Gilmore Girls, 242
Glide vowels, as related to semi-vowel glides, 99
Glottal attacks
drills for eliminating, 38
rule for eliminating, 36-37
See also Hard onset
Globalized consonant, 186, 236
Glottis, 33
Gold, Ernest
"Music when soft voices die" (Shelley), 23,145
Grace note placements, 101
Griffes, Charles T.
"Symphony in Yellow" (Wilde), 204
"The Lament of Ian the Proud" (MacLeod),
199-200, 203
Gullah culture, 274-275

321

322

GENERAL INDEX

Gullet, 33
Gum ridge (alveolar ridge), 33
Gurney, Ivor
"Spring" (Nashe), 239
Guthrie, Sir Tyrone, 241

IPA for American English, 11-13


IPA for British English, 208-210
Ives, Charles
"Ann Street," 85
"Tom Sails Away," 152-153

[h]\[Av] production
aids for projection and legato, 162
[o] substitution for [h], 162-163
Halloway, Joseph E., 274
Hammerstein, Oscar. See Rodgers, Richard, and
Oscar Hammerstein
Handel, G. F.
"But Who May Abide" from Messiah, 97
"Endless Pleasure, Endless Love" from
Semele, 95
"Ev'ry Valley" from Messiah, 69
"He Shall Feed His Flock" from Messiah, 52,
156
"O had I Jubal's Lyre" from Joshua, 97
"O Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me?" from
Semele, 46, 152, 198
"Rejoice Greatly" from Messiah, 87-88
"The People that Walked in Darkness" from
Messiah, 156
"The Soft Complaining Flute" from Ode to
St Cecilia's Day, 219
"The Trumpet Shall Sound" from Messiah,
253
"Thus Saith the Lord" from Messiah, 96
"What Passion Cannot Music Raise and
Quell?" from Ode to St Cecilia's Day,
218
Hand Word List, 225, 226
Hard onset, 38
Hard palate, 33, 34
Heggie, Jake, 273
Hierarchy of stress, 22
Hoiby, Lee
"Where the Music Comes From," 138-139
Housman, Alfred Edward, 182-183, 240
H.M.S. Pinafore (Gilbert & Sullivan), 70
Hypernasality, 173
hypernasality check, 173-174

Jaw, 33, 34
Jones, Daniel, 8, 207
Jorison, Ben, 83, 164

Implosions, 131-132, 187


overview of implosions, 131
review, 187
Interdependence, 256
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), 9

[1] production
clear [1], 181-182
drills, 181
rules for using, 181
dark[l], 180, 181
avoiding, 181
tips for vocal ease, 181-182
Labia, 33
Labio-dental consonant, 141
Larsen, Libby, 98
Larynx, 33
Lear, Edward, 227
Legato connection, the, 185-190
Lingua. See Tongue
Lingua-alveolar consonant, 167
Lingua-dental consonant, 141
Lingua-palatal consonant, 141
Lingua-velar consonant, 167
Lip buzz, 31
Lips. See Labia
Liquid U, 60-61
spellings that use, 61
use in historic versus modern RP, 228
use in MA, 245
Lisping "s," 147
drills for overcoming, 148
Little Women (Adamo), 77-78, 160
Longman English Pronouncing Dictionary, 1,
208
Lowered [i] vowel, 44-45
Lunchtime Follies (Weill), 83

[m] production
aids for projection and vocal ease, 174-177
accessing denasalized consonants, 175-177
avoiding denasality, 174
avoiding hypernasality, 173
MA. See Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation
MacLeod, Fiona, 199-200, 203

GENERAL INDEX

Massage
diaphragm, 32
facial, 31
tongue/neck massage, 31
McNally, Terrence, 273
Mendelssohn, Felix
"Hear Ye, Israel" from Elijah, 163, 165
"If with All Your Hearts" from Elijah, 50
"It is Enough" from Elijah, 252-253
"Woe unto Them who Forsake Him" from
Elijah, 253
Menotti, Gian Carlo, 166
"Lullaby" from The Consul, 46
"The Black Swan" from The Medium, 74, 122
"The Idle Gift" (Menotti), 139
Merges, 142-143, 144, 148, 155, 158, 188-190
definition and rule, 142
overview of merging consonants, 189
Messiah, 52, 69, 87-88, 96, 97, 156
Microphones, singing with, 122, 125, 129
Mid-Atlantic Pronunciation (MA), 241-253
overview of Mid-Atlantic dialect, 243
polysyllabic word endings, 249-250
repertoire suggestions for, 244
rules for, 245
use of [o], 249
use of [D], 250
Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 205
Mixed vowels, 35, 71-78
Moore, Douglas
"The Silver Aria" from The Ballad of Baby
Doe, 48
"Willow Song" from The Ballad of Baby Doe,
44
Moss, Howard, 62-63
Mouth (oral passage), 33
Mozart, W. A.
"O Isis and Osiris, Hear Me" (Porter, trans),
253

[n] production
avoiding denasality, 174
avoiding hypernasality, 173
[n] versus [q]+[g], 172-173
Nasal consonants, 117, 167-183
singing through/musical application, 179
Nasalization, 5
avoiding when followed by nasal consonants,
54,55
See also Denasality; Hypernasality
Nasal passage, 33

Nashe, Thomas, 239


Neutral English, 6
"No Word from Tom." See Stravinsky, Igor:
"Ann Truelove's Aria" from The Rake's
Progress

[o] production, spellings for [o], 67


[o] production, British variant of [o], 67
[o] as RP variant, 218
[D] production, common words that use, 218
Ode to St. Cecilia's Day (Handel), 218, 219
Off glides, 51,57,60, 64, 268
Of Mice and Men (Floyd), 156-157
"Often" pronunciation variant, 67
Old American Songs (Copland), 82, 88, 132
On-glides, 68
Optimum pitch, 39-41
determining, 39
exercises for, 40, 41
Oral passage, 33

Pasatieri, Thomas
"A Lullaby" (Agee), 151-152
Passaggio. See Tips for Vocal Ease
Pharynx, 33
Phonetics. See International Phonetic Alphabet
(IPA)
Plosive consonants, 117, 119-138
doubling of plosives, 198
overview of, 119
See also [b]\[p] production; [d]\[t] production;
[g]\[k] production
Poe, Edgar Allan, 16, 169
Pope, Alexander
"On Dullness," 41
Porgy and Bess (Gershwin), 274-275
Prefix rule, 48
Previn, Sir Andre, 272-273
Pronunciation, 3
Puff exercise, 31
Pulsing the phrase, 24, 202-203
notation with arrows, 202-203
play the pipe, 202
Purcell, Henry
"Dido's Lament," 177, 178, 235
"I Attempt from Love's Sickness" from The Indian Queen, 52
"Sweeter than Roses," 101
Pygmalion (Shaw), 207

323

324

GENERAL INDEX

Quilter, Roger
"Love's Philosophy" (Shelley), 238-239

"R" as a consonant or a vowel, 106


"R's," general application, 107-108
Reduced "r" colorings, 75, 93, 221-223
Regional dialects. See U.K. and Ireland regional
dialects; U.S. regional dialects
"Rejoice Greatly" from Messiah (Handel), 87, 88
Rodgers, Richard, and Oscar Hammerstein, 74,
176-177, 242
"Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound of
Music, 176-177
"What's the Use of Wondrin'" from Carousel,
74
Rolled "r's," 107-109
alleviating rolled "r's," 107-109
musical application for, 234
rules for when to use, 108, 232-233
technique for, 233
Rorem, Ned, 61
"Look Down, Fair Moon" (Whitman), 118
"See How They Love Me" (Moss), 62
Rossetti, Christina, 118
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 238
Roy, William
"This Little Rose" (Dickinson), 191
RP. See British Received Pronunciation
Ruddigore (Gilbert & Sullivan), 46

Sargent, Paul
"Manhattan Joy Ride" (Dodd), 191-192
Schuman, William
"Orpheus with His Lute" from Henry VIII
(Shakespeare), 254
Schwa substitutes, 19, 20
Sea Pictures (Elgar), 164
"See How They Love Me" (Moss/Rorem), 62
Semele (Handel), 46, 95, 152, 198
Semi-vowel glides, 99-111
musical application, 101
Sesame Street, 25
Shadow vowels, 135-138
musical excerpts, 137-138
rules for, 136-137
Shakespeare, William
"Come Away, Death," 21, 22, 93
"Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun," (Finzi),
149

"O Mistress Mine, Where are you Roaming?"


174
"Orpheus with His Lute" (Schuman), 254
"Sonnet 7," 182
"Sonnet 18," 28-29
"Sonnet 29," 227
"Sonnet 71,"251
"Who is Sylvia?" 23
Shaw, George Bernard, 207
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 23, 145, 238-239
Short "o" vowel, 70, 214, 217-218
Shoulder rolls, 31
Silent "1" pronunciations, 57
Singerese, 5
Six Elizabethan Songs (Argento), 132, 164
Skinner, Edith Warman, 223, 241
Soft palate (velum), 33, 34
Somervell, Sir Arthur
"In Summertime on Bredon" (Housman), 240
Sondheim, Stephen
"Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sweeney
Todd, 146
"Somewhere" from West Side Story (Bernstein), 111
"There is a Garden" from Trouble in Tahiti
(Bernstein), 95-96
"What a Movie!" from Trouble in Tahiti
(Bernstein), 163
Songs of Travel (Stevenson/Vaughan Williams),
234-235
Speak with Distinction (Edith Skinner), 223, 241
Star Wars, 242
Stephens, James, 27
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 53, 234-235
Stravinsky, Igor
"Ann Truelove's Aria" from The Rake's
Progress (Auden), 197, 251-252
"Love, Too Frequently Betrayed" from
The Rake's Progress (Auden), 252
Streetcar Named Desire (Williams/Previn), 272
Street Scene (Weill), 138
Stretches
neck, 32
soft palate, 32
tongue, 31
Stress patterns, 18
in RP, 229-230
RP stress patterns versus AS, 229-230
Sullivan, Arthur. See Gilbert, W. S., and Sullivan,
Arthur
Susannah (Floyd), 176, 270-271

GENERAL INDEX

[8]\[6] production, 157-159


aids for projection and legato, 158
merging rule, 158
Teeth (denies), 33, 34
Ten Blake Songs (Vaughan Williams), 198
"The," pronunciation rule, 73
The Ballad of Baby Doe (Moore), 44, 48
The Complete Nonsense (Lear), 227
The Consul (Menotti), 46
"The Count" from Sesame Street, 25
The House of Life (Rossetti/Vaughan Williams),
238
The Illusionist, 242
The Indian Queen (Purcell), 52
The Pirates ofPenzance (Gilbert & Sullivan),
205, 237
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky), 197, 251-252
The Rape ofLucretia (Britten), 24, 234
The Sound of Music (Rodgers/Hammerstein),
176-177,242
The Tender Land (Copland), 102, 186
The Yeoman of the Guard (Gilbert & Sullivan),
227
Third dimension, the, 256-257
Three dialect overview, 263-264
Three Poems of Edith Sitwell (Walton), 110
Thought transmission race, 194
Throat (pharynx), 33
Tips for Vocal Ease, 36, 44, 48, 54, 57, 68, 80,
87,102,104,107,116,121,130,153,
174, 179, 181-182
"To be," rule for stressing, 23
Tongue, 31-33, 34-35
Transatlantic pronunciation, 241
Trial By Jury (Gilbert & Sullivan), 87, 88
Triphthongs, 96-97
Trouble in Tahiti (Sondheim/Bernstein), 96, 163
Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (Copland), 204

U.K. and Ireland regional dialects, 276-290


East Anglia, 285-287
general characteristics, 288
suggested repertoire for use, 287
Irish, 279-282
Dublin, 280
general characteristics, 279
suggested repertoire for use, 281-282
Western Ireland, 280-281
Scots, 276-279
general characteristics, 276-278

suggested repertoire for, 279


Welsh, 282-284
Cardiff, 284
general characteristics, 282-284
Northern Wales, 284
suggested repertoire for use, 284
West Country, 288-290
general characteristics, 288-290
suggested repertoire for use, 289-290
Unstressed neutral vowel, 19
Unstressed prefix rule, 48
Unstressed "y" rule, 45
U.S. regional dialects, 266-275
Appalachian, 270-272
application to Susannah (Floyd), 271
general characteristics, 270-271
General Southern, 266-270
Gullah, 274-275
application to Porgy and Bess (Gershwin),
275
general characteristics, 274-275
New Orleans, 272-273
application to Dead Man Walking (McNally/Heggie), 273
application to Streetcar Named Desire
(Previn), 273
general characteristics, 272-273
Uvula, 33

[v]\[f] production
aids for projection and legato, 144
rule for merging, 144
Vanessa (Menotti/Barber), 166
Vaughan Williams, Ralph
"Bright is the Ring of Words" from Songs of
Travel (Stevenson), 234-235
"The Lamb" from Ten Blake Songs (Blake),
198
"The Roadside Fire" from Songs of Travel
(Stevenson), 235
Vass, Winifred, 274
Velar valve reflex, 167
Velum, 33
Vocal folds, 33
Voice box (larynx), 33

[M] production
use in AS, 162
use in MA, 245

325

326

GENERAL INDEX

Walton, William
"Daphne" from Three Poems of Edith Sitwell,
110
Warlock, Peter
"Sleep" (John Fletcher), 238
"The Lover's Maze" (Campion), 91
Weill, Kurt, 83, 138
West Side Story (Sondheim/Bernstein), 111
Whistling "s," 147
Whitman, Walt, 15-16, 118
Wilde, Oscar, 204
Will and Grace, 242
Williams, Tennessee, 272-273
Wind pipe (trachea), 33
"With" pronunciation rule, 158

Wordsworth, William, 150, 190-191


Wylie, Elinor, 69, 179

Yodeling, 201

[z]\[s] production
aids for projection and legato, 148
tips for vocal ease, 153
b]\[J] production
aids for projection and legato, 155
lateralization, 154
Zaimont, Judith
"Soliloquy" (Millay), 204-205