How do you sing in Danish?

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joenycboi
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How do you sing in Danish?

Postby joenycboi » 2010-06-14, 16:30

This may seem like a strange question, but how is Danish sung? That is, how does the pronunciation of spoken Danish change when it's sung.

I thought about this when I considered how much English can change when you sing it, depending on the genre. I'm sure people who listen to American pop notice things like "me" being pronounced as "may", or "my" pronounced more like "mah". I've heard "time" sung as "tahm", and I know of one song where it's rhymed with "prom".

Sometimes I think English singing has its own pronunciation. Speakers of British English and Australian English, for example, appear to adopt a similar pronunciation when they sing - well, at least in pop music.

Then, there's also choral music, where English singers will adopt a more British pronunciation. Even American choral singers, whose r's are most likely very pronounced, will drop them when singing a choral piece or hymn, as we learn (directly or indirectly) that our r's sound bad when sung.

I'm curious if Danish experiences any similar things.

hekkenfeldt
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Re: How do you sing in Danish?

Postby hekkenfeldt » 2010-06-23, 18:43

I've never thought about that. I don't think the pronunciation changes, but then again with English I've never noticed what you're describing, so maybe I'm just not that attentive when it comes to that.
Please correct me!

Hildibrandr
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Re: How do you sing in Danish?

Postby Hildibrandr » 2010-09-05, 20:24

I have noticed what you're describing, but not in Danish singing. The only thing might be that some syllables that are usually mumbled are pronounced clearly, because otherwise rhyme and rhythm wouldn't fit - but that really depends on the song and isn't different from singing in other languages as far as I know :)

In psalms, few words are often pronounced a bit closer to old Danish to make the rhymes work.

joenycboi
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Re: How do you sing in Danish?

Postby joenycboi » 2010-10-20, 15:40

That makes complete sense, and I've noticed that too.

I subscribe to the Radiogudstjeneste podcast on iTunes (I studied comparative religion in college, so it's a perfect blend of interests, lol), so that I can get used to spoken Danish, and I can hear the differences in speech:

1:
Lad os alle bede. [lað ʌs ˈa.lə ˈbeː.ðə]
vs.
Lad os bede sammen. [las beˀ ˈsɑmˀn]

2:
or, "Herre" being pronounced both [ˈhæɐ̯ʌ] and [ˈhæ.ʁʌ], but I encounter the second pronunciation more often in music than in speech.

3:
Helligt blive dit navn
[ˈhε.lid ˈbliː.və did nɑwˀn]
[ˈhε.lið ˈbliw did nɑwˀn]

And as for psalm rhymes that no longer work in modern Danish (e.g. rhyming 'drag' with 'dag' as in the song 'Se, nu stiger solen'), we have a similar problem in English (e.g. rhyming 'word' with 'Lord').

All of this is so interesting for me to study, as I want to concentrate on how Danish is actually spoken even in different social circumstances.

Thanks again for your insights!


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