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Music 402A: Vocal Literature: Diction

Survey of vocal literature with emphasis on art song. Research in area of concentration.

Featured books on diction


Guides to the diction of foreign languages have been published for singers.

Some examples:

A Handbook of diction for singers: Italian, German, French. (MT 883 .A29 H36 2008)

Phonetic readings of Brahms Lieder. (MT 883 .M23 1987)

Singing early music: the pronunciation of European languages in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. (MT 883 .S56 2004)

Russian songs and arias: phonetic readings, word-by-word translations, and a concise guide to Russian diction. (MT 883 .P54 1991)

International Phonetic Alphabet for Singers. (MT 883 .W21 I58 1989)

 Search these and other diction guides in the Library's catalog using this subject heading:

You can also find them shelved under the call numbers MT 883 and MT 872.

 The International Phonetic Alphabet

Developed by linquists, the IPA has symbols representing all known sounds of spoken language (distinguishing, for example, between long and short "a").

Singers and actors use the IPA as a diction aid.

Some IPA guides:

International Phonetic Alphabet for singers: a manual for English and foreign language diction. (Call number: MT 872  .W187 1989)

IPA Source (website:

Music and Dance Librarian

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Myrna Layton
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Subjects: Music & Dance, Theatre