Researching the Song

Researching the Song : A Lexicon

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Singers are faced with a unique challenge among musicians: they must express not just the music, but the lyrics too. To effectively communicate the meaning behind these words, singers must understand the many references embedded in the vast international repertoire of great art songs. They must deal with the meaning of the lyrics, frequently in a language not their own and of a culture unfamiliar to them. From Zelter and Schubert to Rorem and Musto, Researching the Song serves as an invaluable guide for performers, teachers, and enthusiasts to the art song repertoire. Its more than 2,000 carefully researched entries supply information on most of the mythological, historical, geographical, and literary references contained in western art song. The authors explain the meaning of less familiar literary terms, figures, and authors referenced in song while placing songs in the context of larger literary sources. Readers will find entries dealing with art songs from the German, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, South American, Greek, Finnish, Scandinavian, and both American and British English repertoires. Sources, narratives, and explanations of major song cycles are also given. Organized alphabetically, the lexicon includes brief biographies of poets, lists of composers who set each poet's work, bibliographic materials, and brief synopses of major works from which song texts were taken, including the plots of all Restoration theater works containing Purcell's vocal music. The more performers know and understand the literary elements of a song, the richer their communication will be. Researching the Song is a vital aid for singers and teachers in interpreting art songs and building song recital more

Product details

  • Hardback | 608 pages
  • 185.4 x 254 x 45.7mm | 1,133.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195152026
  • 9780195152029

Review quote

The authors of this encyclopedia of song have offered a labor of love in explaining every conceivable reference, allusion, and personage found in the song repertory, each with bibliographic citation. This book will replace a whole shelf of reference works for singers, accompanists, and their teachers and is a Dictionary of Cultural Literacy for the song lover. Our deepest thanks. * Lindsey Christiansen, Professor of Voice, Westminster Choir College of Rider University * From the first entry AAWHERE to the last ZWEIG, this remarkable, scholarly lexicon will prove a treasure trove of inestimable value to singers, teachers, and everyone interested in a thorough understanding of the many, and often obscure, literary references found in the poetry of the world's greatest song literature. * Russell Oberlin, Countertenor, Thomas Hunter Professor of Music Emeritus, Hunter College of the City University of New York * This comprehensive lexicon will prove of assistance to the studio voice teacher and to singers at all levels of accomplishment. Communication of the essence of poetry and drama is essential to the singing art. Researching the Song offers explanations of the mythological, historical, and literary references that serve as foundation for the Lied, the melodie, and other art-song literatures. A valuable addition to the singer's library. * Richard Miller, Professor of Singing, Oberlin Conservatory of Music * This lexicon of Western classical art song explicates literary references (mythological, historical, geographical) and technical terminology associated with the poetic texts of this vast repertory. Intertwined alphabetically with the more than 2,000 topical entries are biographical sketches of poets whose lyrics classical composers have made into song. Curiously, the entries do not regularly refer to specific songs, thereby relinquishing numerous opportunities to point out thematic connections between songs that a student opening the book might be unaware of. The authors' presentation is well researched, concise, and clear; and their rationale for bringing the topical and biographical material together within a single volume has much to recommend it in terms of convenience. Especially for libraries that support active vocal studies programs, this book may well give much useful service. * Choice * This volume is meant to fill a void in the current literature surrounding research on unfamiliar or hard-to-find terms, concepts, and people in the area of the art song.... This book does an admirable job. * Brad Eden, Fontes Artis Musicae *show more

About Shirlee Emmons

Shirlee Emmons is a voice teacher of considerable renown and has taught at Columbia, Princeton, Boston, and Rutgers Universities. She is author of Tristanissimo (1990) and co-author of The Art of the Song Recital (1979) and Power Performance for Singers (OUP, 1998). She is an Obie award winning singer and the first and only female Chair of the prestigious American Academy of Teachers of Singing. Wilbur Watkin Lewis is a music educator with many years of experience as a performer. He maintains a private studio and teaches General and Vocal Music in the Elizabeth, NJ Public School system and has taught at Rutgers-Newark University and Bergen Community College. He began his study of art songs twenty-five years ago while a student of Shirlee Emmons and Stanley more

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