Page 54 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
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Surviving Diction Class
“The three major languages we utilize in classical musical literature have evolved through the centuries, resulting in the streamlining and codifying of standard
Steven B. Jepson pronunciation rules for most words . . .”
They are di erent enough to be selectively studied for proper elocution. For more detail, see “English: The Three-Headed Monster” in my companion online article at
What’s syntax?
Simply put, the sentence structure for various languages
does not always follow English. For example, the verb can be at the end of a long phrase. This comes into play in memorization—you translate the piece, but the words don’t
match. The rhythmic  ow of the phrase, the poetic foot, su ers and it’s harder to memorize.
Tips/Tricks to Help Get through Diction
When learning a new language, the keys are immersion and repetition—the more you use and speak it, the easier it is to retain. The same goes with diction. You are hopefully applying the rules/ IPA being learned to assigned music, so that should help solidify comprehension. But if you don’t use
the concepts as soon as you can after they’re presented in class, you will most likely fall back into the patterns of your native language, and the newly learned concepts won’t make sense.
There are hard-and-fast rules of diction in every language. Once you discover the patterns, they are easier to recognize. And a smart way to
be more familiar with this is to do assignments as soon as possible so they are more in your head and easier to bring back. Also, you’re guaranteed that your assignment is completed.
Who Will take oN leaDiNG roles across the Globe? SPARTANS WILL.
at MsU, internationally acclaimed faculty strive to help you realize your unique potential and put practice into performance.
• studies in opera, oratorio and art song
• bM, MM, and DMa degrees available
• Unique study abroad opportunities
• celebrating 10 years, MsU–china Vocal arts exchange
• assistantships and scholarships
• Master classes from world renowned visiting artists
• Nationally recognized opera productions
Connect with our faculty:
richard Fracker, tenor; Jane bunnell, mezzo-soprano; Marc embree, bass-baritone; Melanie helton, soprano; harlan Jennings, baritone; Mark rucker, baritone; elden little, vocal coach;
anne Nispel, soprano; David rayl, director of choral programs; Jonathan reed, choral conducting; sadie rucker, voice accompanist; sandra snow, choral conducting and
music education.
54 Classical Singer | September/October 2019

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