MAXIMIZING INTELLIGIBILITY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEXT SETTING and HEAVEN'S GATE

David Wolfson, David Wolfson, David Wolfson, Nancy Rao
<span class="release-stage">unpublished</span>
Is there anything a composer can do to maximize the chances that a setting of English text for the classically trained voice can be understood by audiences? Intelligibility can be a problem for composers of English-language opera and art songs, despite the best efforts of their singers. The existing literature from composers and composition teachers on the subject of maximizing intelligibility is negligible. I draw on recent research by Lauren Collister and David Huron, as well as Nicole Scotto
more &raquo; ... di Carlo (among others), who are beginning to shed some light on the ways in which song is heard differently than speech, on what aspects of classical singing can obscure listener comprehension, and on some specific ways in which different aspects of text setting can affect the text's intelligibility, and take an interdisciplinary approach to extending their work, introducing relevant ideas and results from the fields of phonetics and psycholinguistics to interrogate compositional practices. I suggest that these and other investigations point toward the possibility of a more comprehensive analytical toolkit for composers, singers, analysts, and others interested in the intelligibility of classically trained singers. iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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