Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Patrick contributes German pronunciation analysis

Many thanks to Patrick for the following analysis of OUR German pronunciation and the German choir he heard on an online recording from our UAB library:

Patrick's observations:

As far as the German pronunciation discrepancies I had noticed, most of them involve the "e" vowel. I also heard most of them on the CD you gave us to listen to (the choir on the website is much better, by the way!). Here's what I noticed:

m. 9: Women need to be careful about their pronunciation of the รถ with an umlaut.
m. 11: Men's vowel sound on der isn't quite right. We sound too much like an American choir singing in German and not enough like a real German-speaking choir.
m. 18: The letter g at the end of the word traurig is treated like the ch sound would be in the same position, not like a hard g as our women have been doing.
m. 35 & 41: This is the same problem as m. 11. The first e in the word gehe needs to be closer to our long e sound in English (ee) rather than an "eh" or even "ay" sound.
m. 36 & 42: Our vowels on Altar need to be brighter.
m. 38 & 44: Again, the vowel on the word dem needs to be longer.
m. 45, 49, 54, 58, 62, 66, & 70: See comment for m. 11. The difference between dir and der is almost indistinguishable (but not entirely).
m. 75: The vowel in Seele also need to be closer to English "ee" than "eh" or "ay."
m. 78: The g at the end of unruhig is treated in the same manner as traurig in m. 18.
m. 85 & 93: The first e in werde needs to be longer (i.e., "VEER-de"). This caught my attention more that any of the others.
m. 96: Again, the e vowel in er needs to be longer (more like English ear than air, if that helps).
m. 97: We need to be sure that the s at the end of meines is hard, NOT soft like a z in English.

Great work from a fine student.


Holly Jean said...

Hiya Dr. Copeland...I'm tenatively in this blog thing...We'll see how that goes...Just thought I'd give you a heads up because I really don't know how this works.

Tara said...

I disagree with some of Patrick's findings... The Germans have dialects, just as we "Southerners" do, when they sing... THEREFORE you are supposed to, as musicians, refer to the "High German techniques to have an accurate pronunciation of the German language. (I have had that training,for 4 years, and have competed in and won German language Competitions.) This is NOT a moment to brag, but just a moment to stress concern.

Imagine it this way: The Germans get a recording of a (sloppy)southern US choir singing ANY English song out there, which there are plenty of them out there, and then they base all their English pronunciations on that one recording. How can you rightfully do such a thing, especially if you know more than one person who speaks the "non-accented" version of the language desired?

I am not saying anything BAD about Patrick's interpretation, I am only saying that I disagree... HOWEVER, if we as a choir decide to adopt his interpretations, I will go along with it for the unity-sake of singing with the world's best choir!