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Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically

GUEST,Joanne 14 Jun 02 - 03:01 PM
michaelr 14 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Nancy 14 Jun 02 - 03:32 PM
Sorcha 14 Jun 02 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Joanne 14 Jun 02 - 03:39 PM
Zhenya 14 Jun 02 - 04:14 PM
Sorcha 14 Jun 02 - 04:24 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 14 Jun 02 - 05:59 PM
weepiper 14 Jun 02 - 07:03 PM
michaelr 14 Jun 02 - 07:13 PM
Zhenya 20 Jun 02 - 01:31 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Jun 02 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,scheysa 05 Apr 17 - 07:35 PM
Thompson 06 Apr 17 - 03:43 AM
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Subject: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: GUEST,Joanne
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 03:01 PM

I'm interested in learning some Irish Gaelic tunes but have found the pronounciation from reading the words very difficult if not impossible unless you've had training in the Gaelic language. Is there a source to learn them phonetically, that was how I learned english!:) Many thanks.


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM

Philippa, Noreen or ciarili, can you be of help here? I'd like to know, as well.

Michael


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: GUEST,Nancy
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 03:32 PM

Hi Joanne, I think I may have just what you need. I found it through the San Francisco free folk fest page here:

http://www.marymclaughlin.com/irishbookdemo.html

Here is what they say: "A phonetic approach to singing in the Irish language, suitable for non-Irish speakers.

At last! A book and CD set that enables the non Gaelic speaker to learn songs which, until now, have been inaccessible without prior knowledge of the Irish language.

On the CD, Mary speaks each phrase slowly, leaving a pause for the student to imitate the pronunciation. Mary then sings each song in a simple, unaccompanied, plain style.

The book has the sheet music, guitar chords, phonetics, Irish lyrics, and a translation and background to each song. There is an introduction which gives information on traditional singing in Irish as well as a guide to the phonetic system used. The songs are graded linguistically and musically so that the student can build up skills as she/he progresses through the book. A must for anyone who has longed to sing in Gaelic but not had the opportunity to learn the Irish language. $17.95"

I think that is a great deal, and although I haven't used it myself, I'll probably buy it too:)

This is Mary Mc Laughlin of Celtic Voices fame and many other CD's. I hope this helps!


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 03:35 PM

I'm not quite sure why you want to sing something neither you nor your audience understands what is is about......?


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: GUEST,Joanne
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 03:39 PM

Thanks Nancy, it looks great.

Sorcha, who said I was singing for an audience? Can I sing for my own pleasure and interest in my cultural heritage? Have a nice day.


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: Zhenya
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 04:14 PM

And who says you don't understand what it is about! Many songs have translations available, and if you're singing for an audience, you can tell them the gist of the story.

If you want to take the time, you can look up enough of the words in an Irish dictionary so that you have a good sense of what part you're singing when. And many people who love this music don't understand what they're listening to at all, but still find the sound really appealing.

Well, I'm off now to get that book. Thanks to guest,Nancy for the info!


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 04:24 PM

Sorry, I really wasn't trying to be crabby, just curious. Not something I'd want to do, but do your thing.


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 05:59 PM

I'm in the Scottish Gaelic camp, but I thought I would put in my two cents. Craig Cockburn explained a bit of why it is preferential to actually learn the language in a treatise on Gaelic singing

Almost everyone who isn't a native speaker, has to start singing with phonetics. It's pretty hard otherwise.

Once you learn how the vowels (mostly that) and consonants differ from the language you were brought up speaking, then you have half of the problem solved.

Needless to say, once you have learned that, Gaelic words DO then sound like the way they are spelled. (pet peeve of mine is why people ask why don't the words of "put in your favourite non-native language" don't sound like they are written?)

Many of the emotional content can be lost using phonetics. Phonetics are an invaluable aid in the beginning, but really most of us are pretty lax about the study of languages (particularly the practice of aforesaid language). I know I am. This leads to the fun when you learn a song phonetically and later on, try to teach it that way to someone else.

Another point is that differing dialects would have it sound different as well. These phonetics could never be applied to a different song. Gaelic, like some of the eastern languages, have tonal inflects not covered when you combine the words together. Some words would elide and others would be shortened, and it depends on the dialect. I remember the first full-length Gaelic movie, As An Eilean. I thought it was great. However, it was later brought to my attention (not in a negative fashion), that all of the leads were speaking in widely divergent versions of Gaelic on this one little island. In real life, there wouldn't be such a conglomeration of dialects in one spot, and if there were, they wouldn't be speaking as readily to one another with such ease.

Anyway, keep up with the phonetics, but please, try to go the next step if you like it that much, and learn the language.


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: weepiper
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 07:03 PM

Thread creep...

George, I was tutored at university by a PHD student/struggling actor who played one of the lead roles in As An Eilean! He told me he did a really bad impersonation of a Ness accent - he's from Back...

Beanachdan leibh


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 07:13 PM

There is also this site which gives a lot of great pronunciation tips.

Slainte,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: Zhenya
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 01:31 PM

Thanks for the links above. I printed some material out to read later.

I agree it's helpful to study a language if you really want to sing the songs. The problem, of course, is that there are so many appealing sounding traditional songs in many languages, and one can't study all these languages! (From the point of view of a complete non-speaker of the language, they could be appealing in terms of melody or story line, if a translation is available.)

I've gone at Irish a few ways. I took a beginning class several years ago. A few years after that, I took some Sean Nos singing classes taught by a woman who was a fine singer and had been studying Irish and Scots Gaelic for several years. This was incredibly helpful in learning how to sing the songs. She often pointed out differences in dialects and even vocabulary. She also was helpful in learning when to elide words, etc. After taking these classes, I took the beginning Irish class over again. Each of these approaches was complimentary to the other, but in terms of singing, it was of course more helpful to work with an actual singer. I hope to study more of the language when time permits. I do still try, even when I have a translation, to look up as many words as possible so I know the exact content of what I'm singing at any given point, which allows you to sing more meaningfully. I've generally only tried to learn songs where I have a recording available, so I can hear the pronunciation One album I really like for this is the Skara Brae CD, which has all the lyrics printed out.

One interesting thing I found was that Irish had a lot in common with Russian, which I had previously studied. Although I'm not aware of any actual linguistic connection, some of the Irish pronunciation was familiar to me because of the Russian. It was often easier to represent Irish sounds phonetically using the Cyrillic alphabet than using the Roman alphabet. Some of the grammar was even the same. (No actual verb "to have"; in both languages, you say something is "at me".)

I'll finish up by saying I did order the book (Thanks again Nancy!) and it arrived yesterday. It's definitely something I will use. Most of the songs are familiar to me in terms of recognizing the melody, and it seems to be an effective way to learn these songs. (Now I have some song requests for a second volume...) Mary McLaughlin was at the Old Songs festival a few years ago and taught a short workshop including a few songs in the book. I thought her approach worked well then and would recommend this book. Zhenya


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 06:18 PM

Good. Anyway, ask on specifics any time, Zhenya.


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: GUEST,scheysa
Date: 05 Apr 17 - 07:35 PM

From the Scots Gaelic point of view, I remember Julie Fowlis saying of the renowned English soprano, Lesley Garret that she 'understood the music.' So much music from Ireland and North-West Scotland is stunning and the lyrics devastating (I use celticlyricscorner). I have a form of dyslexia which makes learning a language after 10 years old almost almost impossible. DO you think I'm going to deprive myself of singing and otherwise appreciating Gaelic songs? Are you kidding?


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Subject: RE: Learning Gaelic Tunes Phonetically
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Apr 17 - 03:43 AM

The royal road to Mondegreen!

As well as phonetics, you might try the Duolingo Irish course (something like 1.6 million people learning actively) - this will give you a basic knowledge of grammar and a small but usable vocabulary.


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