A Course in French Lyric Diction by author Deborah Williamson is a complete and comprehensive guide to French pronunciation, articulation, inflection, flow, and vocalization for singers and teachers of singing—ideal for any collegiate diction course.
Available in both an instructor’s edition and a student edition, Williamson offers an overview of French lyric diction that addresses the language’s distinctive elements, information on syllabification, stressing, word rhythm, accent and other diacritical marks, and vocalic harmonization.
In the sections on vowels, consonants, and liaison and elision, the author explores the nuances of French pronunciation, along with its unique challenges for the singer. Williamson presents vowels first by sound and then by letter, and organizes consonants by letter. All pronunciation is precisely transcribed into the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), an essential tool used extensively throughout the book. Williamson also provides a review of relevant IPA at the beginning of the book.
For each section of the book, the author provides numerous practice worksheets so that students may apply newly acquired skills and knowledge to French text from the standard art song and operatic repertoire. The separate instructor’s edition provides all of the answers in red for quick reference, as well as reproducible materials for in-class use, including a sample syllabus, assignment sheet, test review sheets, two tests, an oral exam, and a final exam.
A Course in French Lyric Diction is an expert resource that will facilitate the mastery of French diction and transform the study of diction from a pedantic, syllabic production of language into an expressive communication of the text, a worthy goal for students and teachers alike.
Deborah Williamson is Professor of Voice at Baylor University and has taught French diction at the university level for more than twenty years.