The Domain includes books, websites, recordings, software, fonts and other materials and tools that are of use to singers learning to perform in various languages. The emphasis is on materials and resources of benefit to singers and teachers of vocal diction. A few representative (but in no way exhaustive) resources from related fields of spoken diction and linguistics are also included, in the hope they may provide further leads for vocal diction research. None of the lists in the Diction Domain should be considered to be all-inclusive or exhaustive--our goal is to provide a broad-based starting point for further study and investigation.
Type of Material:
Teachers of applied voice, vocal pedagogy, and singing diction, at any level, can use this site as a reference for their students to supplement studio or classroom work in foreign diction. Singers already fluent in IPA at any level can use this site as a reference for foreign language diction.
Could also be useful to actors working on foreign dialects.
"this site uses phonetic Unicode fonts to display phonetic symbols; you may need to download a free font or update older browsers to display our pages correctly." from website.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Users will be able to sing in a broad range of foreign languages using correct pronunciation.
Target Student Population:
student and professional singers, teachers of voice, vocal coaches. "Whether you teach voice diction, sing in foreign languages, or just love language-related resources, you're in the right place."
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A thorough working knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet is necessary to take full advantage of the site.
Correct diction in singing foreign repertoire is essential for any student of singing. This site offers an extraordinarily broad range of languages. Besides the obligatory French, German, Italian and "church" Latin, the site includes information on and/or links to sites about Asian, Celtic, Greek, Hebrew, Scandinavian and Slavic languages and Spanish, among others. Some of the more obscure links are to sites explaining how to pronounce Xhosa (an African click language), Swahili, the languages of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and Klingon!
The incorporation of suggestions from users is also excellent and expands the usefulness of the site.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Clear, focused learning objectives.
Provides multiple opportunities for applying a core concept in singing diction the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Provides the teacher with a variety of materials for homework assignments and review materials for the students.
Offers materials for both familiar and unfamiliar languages.
I am aware that some people might consider it a concern that there are no audio examples on this site. I think that, on the contrary, this is a strength. Correct application of the IPA is a very subtle skill that is best learned under the close supervision of a teacher.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The information is presented clearly and without technical jargon.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
The language is engaging and not too serious.
The design is simple and unpretentious.
The ads (necessary to fund the site) are sometimes distracting.
The sheer volume of information can be daunting.
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