Pronouncing Musical Dictionary: Of Technical Words, Phrases and Abbreviations

9781508502234: Pronouncing Musical Dictionary: Of Technical Words, Phrases and Abbreviations
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The method adopted in this work is to give to each word, or musical term, the pronunciation peculiar to the language to which it belongs. It is admitted that it is not unfrequently impossible to express with precision the native pronunciation of foreign languages with English letters, but even in such cases much will be gained by an approximation to the true sound. For the sake of brevity the English terms are, for the most part, only defined, without adding the pronunciation. One of the most difficult as well as important of the points to be made is that of placing the accent upon the proper syllable. But it is to be borne in mind that in most of the European languages the stress of voice is not thrown so exclusively upon a single syllable as it is in English; and, as a natural consequence, the unaccented syllables are almost invariably pronounced more distinctly than by us. This is especially true in the Italian; French and Spanish languages. In important cases accent is indicated in the word, as pronounced, by placing the accented syllable in Italics. In the Latin and Greek languages it has been deemed advisable to follow what is known as the Continental pronunciation, in preference to the English pronunciation which is adopted in some of our principal Colleges; since it is only by this means that we can conform at all to the usual pronunciation of the same terms by the principal European nations. In this connection it is proper to add, that the Latin words employed in the Catholic church service, as in the Mass, etc., are frequently made to conform to the Italian mode of pronunciation. Thus: Dominus, Dom-e-noos; pacem, pä-tshem; etc. ; but as this system has not been universally adopted by the church choirs of this country, it has seemed best to preserve a uniformity in the pronunciation of all Latin or Greek words, and accordingly no such distinction has been made. In the preparation of this work, the aim has been rather to practical utility than to great fullness and extent, and no hesitation was felt in discarding over two thousand (so called) musical terms which have appeared in recent publications, as being both useless and illegitimate.

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