Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Why Should You Learn to Sing in a Different Language? Why Italian?
Backtrack a minute- what were the first languages of the world? Latin, Italian, French, German, Hebrew, there are so many. Therefore a large bulk of music written to date has been in a different language. I am not speaking of pop music and musical theater, but many other styles of music that seem to be tossed aside. Why SHOULDN'T you learn to sing in a different language? Why should you rule it out simply because it is not your first language? Singing is a form of communication in addition to being a think of beauty. If we want to be able to communicate our song, we should learn to sing in more than one language.
There are many valuable reasons to learn to sing in another language such as Italian or Latin !
Why Should You Sing in Italian or Latin?
- Italian/Latin have PURE vowels that make it easier to sing than English once you are familiar with the language.
- Because we do not generally speak it, we do not inflect our accent upon it. (Southern, Mid-western, or Northeastern)
- The beauty of the music itself! There is a variety of beautiful songs for all ability levels available to study
- Studying music in another language broadens your horizons and exposes you to music you may not even know exists.
- It increases your historical knowledge of music how we got to the music of today
Most Italian art songs use the following:
- Verse and Chorus
- Embellishing (adding notes to) a basic melody
- Creating artistic licence through embellishing a melody.
*Think about it -When was the last time you heard the National Anthem sung without added notes or looked at sheet music for a pop song that is written differently from how you hear the artist perform it? This concept did not develop in the 21st century, but is centuries old. When songs were performed as entertainment in parlors for guests, singers added notes and embellishments to the melody as personal artistry.
- Learning a little bit about other cultures helps us to appreciate differences and understand our own.
- When you then go and sing English, your singing of English is improved because of your mastery of pure vowels which CARRY the sound. This is not to say we do not stylistically need to alter vowels, but it helps you to find your true sound first.
What if people don't understand the language or what I am saying?
Few people in your audience would actually claim to know word for word what you are saying. However, if you have researched the meaning of the words, you are able to sing the piece in a way that communicates the MEANING of the song. Most recitals also provide a translation or opera's have subtitles.
Why not give it a try and see not only if you like it, but what it can do for your singing voice? It is great to explore singing in many languages. Some may be more comfortable for you then others, but expose you to so much beautiful music!