Lyric Diction for Singers

Course Number: 326*/3.0 2L (Course Code Explanation)

Open To: B.Mus. and B.Mus./B.Ed. students, non-B.Mus. students

Area(s): Applied Music

Instructor(s): Ms. Dianne Baird

Term(s): A

Day(s) and Time(s): M: 10.00-11.30, W: 8.30-10.00

Room: HLH 120

Calendar Description

Introduction to phonetics, the International Phonetic Alphabet and voice physiology together with a study of the rules of pronunciation in English, Italian, French and German. Emphasis on active skills, singing and discussion. Highly recommended for all voice students and students planning graduate study in voice, choral conducting or collaborative piano.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s) / Exclusion(s)

  • PREREQUISITES (MUSC 120/6.0 or MUSC 121/6.0) or (permission of the coordinator of the voice area and [MUSC 124/6.0 or MUSC 180/3.0]).

Additional Information

English and Italian will be covered in the fall semester; French and German in the winter semester.

The course is for applied students in voice.

Course Objectives

  • To provide an introduction to the principles of phonetics and the symbols that represent speech sound, the International Phonetic Alphabet and its applications.
  • To include a study of the vocal tract and respiratory tract in the normal production of vocal sound.
  • To introduce the functional components of speech sound.
  • To enable the student to distinguish and produce accurately, a variety of vowel, consonant and other sounds unique to the various languages.
  • To provide the student with sufficient knowledge to transcribe text from English, French, German or Italian vocal repertoire into IPA symbols and vice versa.
  • To provide an introduction to the grammatical structure of each language with emphasis on expressive lyrical phrasing through text declamation.
  • To introduce the student to the rules of elision in the French language
  • To provide the student with a comparison of style and interpretation in Italian song, French melodie and German lied including detailed interpretation of texts and an introduction to the historical and cultural background of each style.
  • To allow special emphasis on the application of the theory through intelligible and expressive musical performances of various works in each language.
  • To develop the capability to analyze or examine lyric diction in a musical performance.
  • To expose the student to other languages and specialists in the field.


  • 4 performances 5% each for 20%
  • 4 analyses of other performances 5% each for 20%
  • 4 exams, one each for French, Italian, German and English 40%
  • 1 in-class presentation and paper 10%
  • attendance 10%