Faber Music’s The Language of Song, selected and edited by Nicola-Jane Kemp and Heidi Pegler has won “Best Educational Publication” at the Music Industries Association Awards on October 10th at The Savoy.
Singing in foreign languages can be a scary business; the problem of pronunciation and deciphering what the song is about can prove to be a challenge. Whilst the ability to do so is a much needed skill for singers, few vocal training resources tackle this aspect effectively in one book. To address this problem professional singers and ABRSM examiners Nicola-Jane Kemp and Heidi Pegler’s The Language of Song is a series of graded songbooks carefully selected to develop these skills, and give the teacher and pupil all the tools required to introduce the student singer to the richness of Classical song repertoire in European languages.
Heidi and Nicola-Jane have both had the benefit of expert teaching and language coaching throughout their own performing careers, however, as teachers and examiners, they have realised how rarely such support is to be found for younger singers. As Heidi explains “It can be very difficult to assemble accessible songs, the translations, pronunciation help and background needed to tackle repertoire in foreign languages - especially in the early stages".
The Language of Song comprises four repertoire books providing a wealth of songs with background notes, translation guides and pronunciation guides. The following books are available; Elementary, High and Low voice (Italian, German and French songs) and Intermediate, High and Low voice (Italian, German, French and Spanish songs) priced at £11.95 for book and CD. The songs have been carefully chosen to fit in with the syllabus for all examining boards and will also be helpful at undergraduate level. Each song or aria is given a brief background, setting it in the context of its historical tradition or where appropriate, its place in the drama.
Whilst there are already some books that attempt to do this, these books are markedly different, and the result of Heidi and Nicola-Jane's extensive research into the proper introduction of foreign language songs to young students. "There are two translations for each song or aria. The first is a word-for-word translation directly underneath the text in the musical score" says Heidi Pegler. "This is to enable the student to see exactly which words will be important for emphasis and interpretation. In addition the accompanying page includes an idiomatic translation which will clarify the meaning of the text in grammatical English". “A key to pronunciation is also provided for each language (using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols) and includes both examples from the song texts together with the closest English equivalents to the sounds explained” adds Nicola-Jane Kemp. “The accompanying CD provides a piano accompaniment for each song played skilfully by John Lenehan. In addition it also provides the text for each song or aria spoken by expert language consultants Tina Ruta (Italian), Franziska Roth (German), Michel Vallat (French) and Ramón Izeta (Spanish), all of whom are native speakers and work regularly with professional singers”
"We hope that these books will bridge a gap for both teachers and pupils and instil confidence in singing in foreign languages".
Faber Music also retained the prestigious “Printed Music Publisher of the Year” award - an accolade it has received for the last four years.
For further information and full song listing download our Language of Song brochure here.