Understanding French Verse

Understanding French Verse : A Guide for Singers

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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 melodies. Just how do you approach a French poem? In the lyric poetry on which the melodie 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 howshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 132 pages
  • 147.3 x 210.8 x 17.8mm | 226.8g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195177169
  • 9780195177169

About David Hunter

David Hunter is a graduate of Oxford University, where he specialized in 19th and 20th century French poetry. He is currently studying the verse of the melodie as part of a postgraduate degree. He is a keen amateur singer and collects rare recordings of French song.show more

Review quote

...very useful... * Dorothee Mertz-Weigel, French Review, vol. 80.1 *show more

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