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Pronunciation & Diction Guides for Music

Unsure of the correct pronunciation of an Eastern European orchestral conductor’s name or a performing artist from Africa? Are you stymied by the spelling and pronunciation of an obscure Asian musical instrument, an unfamiliar musical term, or the correct pronunciation of sung Latin?

This selected list of print and online resources may provide you the reliable answers!

General Sources

Pronouncing dictionary of proper names: pronunciations for more than 23,000 proper names, selected for currency, frequency, or difficulty of pronunciation
edited by John K. Bollard
r PE1137 .P82 1993

Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary
Possibly the most comprehensive online music dictionary, includes both oral and written pronunciations of musical terms, numerous additional links to dictionary definitions, historical time lines and background information covering all genres of music.

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Classical Music

Fradkin, Robert A.
The well-tempered announcer: a pronunciation guide to classical music
r ML109 .F73 1996

Music lovers' encyclopedia
Containing a pronouncing and defining dictionary of terms, instruments, etc., including a key to the pronunciation of sixteen languages, many charts.
edited by Deems Taylor and Russell Kerr
ML100.H892 1954

Pronouncing dictionary of musical terms and composers' names
A quick and convenient source of information on musical meanings and pronunciations
r ML 109 .P76

Scholes, Percy Alfred
Oxford Companion to Music
10th ed., 1970 (Later editions omit the pronunciation guide at the end of the book.)
edited by John Owen Ward
r 780.3 S36a5

Iowa Public Radio Dictionary of Music and Musicians

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Jazz & Pop

New England Jazz Radio Cooperative
http://www.wwuh.org/program/music/jazz/nejrc/pron.htm
Includes a compendium of especially difficult to pronounce names and song titles in the jazz world.

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World Music

Bakan, Michael
World music: traditions and transformations
ML 3545 .B24 2007
Pronunciation guidance provided in the margins throughout the book.

Murphy, John P.
Music in Brazil: experiencing music, expressing culture
ML 3487.B7M85 2006
http://web3.unt.edu/murphy/brazil
Features oral pronunciation of glossary terms on accompanying CD or online.

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Singers’ Diction

General Resources

Coffin, Berton
Phonetic readings of songs and arias
Authentic pronunciation of 413 Italian, German, and French lyrics from "The singer's repertoire" in International Phonetic Alphabet transcription.
784.9 C662

Elliott, Martha
Singing in style: a guide to vocal performance practices
MT892 .E45 2007

Wall, Joan
International Phonetic Alphabet for singers
A manual for English and foreign language diction.
qMT 883 .W21 1989

Czech

Cheek, Timothy
Singing in Czech: a guide to Czech lyric diction and vocal repertoire
MT883.C44 2001

Czech and Slovak Music Society Czech Language
http://www.music.ucsb.edu/projects/csms/czpronounc2.html

French

Arnold, William Harkness
French diction for singers and speakers
MT883 .A87 1979

French opera libretti
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, including a guide to the I.P.A. and notes on the French transcriptions by Nico Castel.
qML48.F74 1999

Grubb, Thomas
Singing in French
A manual of French diction and French vocal repertoire, with a foreword by Pierre Bernac.
MT883 .G88

German

Cox, Richard G.
The singer's manual of German and French diction.
784.9 C85

German miscellaneous opera libretti
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, a guide to the IPA and notes on the German transcriptions by Nico Castel.
qML48.G458 2005x

Odom, William
German for singers: a textbook of diction and phonetics.
MT883 .O35

Italian

Errolle, Ralph
Italian diction for singers
A treatment of methods and means of pronouncing Italian correctly in singing according to phonetic principles and with special attention to the necessary difference between spoken sounds and those that are sung.
784.9 E77

Italian belcanto opera libretti
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions and word for word translations, including a guide to the I.P.A. and notes on Italian phonetics by Nico Castel.
qML48.I83 2000 vol. 1-4

Italian verismo opera libretti: in two volumes
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions and word for word translations, including a guide to the I.P.A. and notes on Italian phonetics by Nico Castel.
qML48.I89 2000

Paton, John Glenn
Gateway to Italian diction: a guide for singers
qMT883.P3 2004

Latin

Hines, Robert S.
Singer's manual of Latin diction and phonetics
r MT883 .H55

Russian

Libretti of Russian operas. Volume I, Operas based on the poetry and prose of Alexander Pushkin
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions and word-for-word translations, including a guide to the IPA and Russian lyric diction by Anton Belov.
qML48.L485 2004x

The 19th century Russian operatic anthology : twenty arias for baritone
With international phonetic alphabet transcriptions and word-for-word translations, including a guide to the IPA and Russian lyric diction. Compiled and edited by Anton Belov.
qM1507.A08 2005x

Spanish

Castel, Nico
A singer's manual of Spanish lyric diction
MT883 .C27 1994

Complete operas of...

Handel, Georg Frederick
Handel opera libretti
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, notes on the Italian transcriptions by Nico Castel.
qML49.H13 K4 2005x

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
The libretti of Mozart's completed operas : in two volumes
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, including a guide to the I.P.A. and notes on the Italian and German transcriptions, by Nico Castel.
qML 49 .M83 C37 1997x

Puccini, Giaccomo
The complete Puccini libretti
With international phonetic transcriptions, word for word translations, including a guide to the I.P.A., and notes on the Italian transcriptions by Nico Castel.
qML 49 .P75 C37 2002x

Strauss, Richard
Four Strauss opera libretti
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, including a guide to the German IPA, and notes on the German transcriptions by Nico Castel.
qML 49 .S76 O62 2002

Verdi, Giuseppe
The complete Verdi libretti : in four volumes
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, including a guide to the I.P.A. and notes on the Italian transcriptions, by Nico Castel.
qML 49 .V45 C372 1994

Wagner, Richard
Der Ring des Nibelungen = The ring of the Nibelung
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, a guide to the IPA, and notes on the German transcriptions by Nico Castel.
qML 50 .W14 R32 2003

Song texts

Brahms, Johannes
Brahms' complete song texts
In one volume containing solo songs, duets, Liebeslieder waltzes (both sets), the Alto rhapsody, folk song arrangements; with International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, and commentary by Beaumont Glass.
qML 54.6 .B82 G52 1999

Italian song texts from the 17th through the 20th centuries
With International Phonetic Alphabet transliteration, word-for-word literal translation, and idiomatic translation by Martha Gerhart.
qML 54.6 .I85 2002

Schubert, Franz
Schubert's complete song texts
With International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, and commentary by Beaumont Glass.
qML 54.6 .S39G515 1996

Schumann, Robert
Schumann's complete song texts
In one volume containing all completed solo songs including those not published during the composer's lifetime, duets, trios, and quartets; with International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, and commentary by Beaumont Glass.
qML 54.6 .S4V62 2002

Wolf, Hugo
Hugo Wolf's complete song texts
In one volume containing all completed solo songs including those not published during the composer's lifetime; with International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, and commentary by Beaumont Glass.
qML 54.6 .W585G52 2000x

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