Musical Rantings and Ravings

Research Tips

Translations for Singers

WbWFinding good translations has always been a challenge for singers.  Now that we have google, its even harder!!!  Why you say?  Because google gives you so many bad translations, that unless your a native speaker, you can’t figure out which are good.

The answer is in the music library reference.  The magic number is ML 54.6.  That is where you find translations of songs and arias.  Coffin’s famous Translations of Songs and Arias, yes.  But many others–French chanson, Mozart libretti, Bach cantatas, German Lied, and a book translating almost all of the sacred latin texts.

I’ll see you soon because I know you wouldn’t be reading this if you were just any ole singer.  You must be the type of singer that would never just sing without caring what the words are saying.  You must be one of those singers who loves to bring subtle colors and inflections of pitch and rhythm and even enunciation to each syllable sung. You are?  Right?



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One thought on “Translations for Singers
  • Carrie Stevens says:

    Thank you for thinking of this, Brian! What a great idea to reinforce the issue of poor translations and the fact that we have some of the best resources right on the shelves of the…Reference section! Imagine that…where access is easy at all times!…You don’t even have to ask for a librarian to bring it out from the back stacks! 😉