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Texts, complementary material, and librettos: Words for discovering musicals

from No. 2024 | 1 zum Thema «Sprache und Musik»

Fabio Antonio Falcone, Isabelle Mili

It is song in particular which brings together music and language. Taking the reception of vocal music as its point of departure, this article sets out to highlight two educational directions for learning music in connection with the sung repertoire. One of these is methods used by individuals working in cultural mediation while the other is methods which can be found in using musical scores as teaching material. The data employed in this study are educational dossiers supplied by teachers at a range of cultural institutions and the written notation of the respective works (which do not form part of the dossiers).
A content analysis of the dossier led us to identify two kinds of vocabulary which are not typically included, these being stage directions for singers in scores (but which are neither sung nor spoken) and descriptors for voice. Details given in such scores are intended to influence artistic interpretation, which led us to our initial research questions: Can directions in the scores and the descriptors for voice help learners interpret a piece? Our study led us to conclude that this is certainly the case and, as such, we can confirm our initial hypothesis that mediators and teachers can play complementary roles by attaching great importance to text and to musical content, and in particular to interpretation.

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