Understanding French Verse: A Guide for Singers / Edition 1by David Hunter
Pub. Date: 03/01/2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Advice to young singers often follows the standard line of the great French singer Claire Croiza: "Study the poem away from the music, so that you know what the words really mean." But Croiza's advice is notoriously difficult to follow when performing French mélodies. Just how do you approach a French poem? In the lyric poetry on which the
Advice to young singers often follows the standard line of the great French singer Claire Croiza: "Study the poem away from the music, so that you know what the words really mean." But Croiza's advice is notoriously difficult to follow when performing French mélodies. Just how do you approach a French poem? In the lyric poetry on which the mélodie is based, meaning is conveyed not just through the words but also through the poem's formal structure.
Understanding French Verse: A Guide for Singers explains this formal structure and sets out the basics of French versification, using examples drawn from a wide range of well-known song settings. Its chapters examine French meters, stanzaic forms, sonnets, rondels and other fixed forms, rhyme and sound patterning, and free verse poems. Written in a clear and concise way, it explains the Alexandrine, how to distinguish different meters by counting syllables, and how to identify stresses in French verse. The book also illustrates how rhyme works and the ways in which a French sonnet differs from its counterpart in English. And it demonstrates how the understanding of verse techniques enhances the interpretation and enjoyment of the mélodie. The book also offers valuable resources, including a brief history of French versification, detailed analysis of several poems, a glossary of technical terms, and suggestions for further reading.
While other books help singers with French diction, or offer translations of French texts, no other book helps a singer understand the meaning behind what they are singing. Understanding French Verse is an essential tool for singers, accompanists, and other musicians who want to understand more about the French texts with which they are working. It also provides a useful basic introduction to students of French poetry.
- Oxford University Press, USA
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 8.40(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Table of Contents
1. Why This Guide?
2. The Basics of the French Line
3. Common French Meters
5. Sonnets, rondels, and other fixed forms
7. Free verse
Appendix 1. Commentaries on four poems
Adieux de l'hôtesse arabe
Appendix 2. Poems and songs discussed in the guide
Appendix 3. A brief history of French versification
Glossary of technical terms
Suggestions for further reading
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