Songs from Australia

By Miller, Dixon, Aggett, Foulsham

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By David Miller, Wendy Dixon, Cathy Aggett, Linda Foulsham.
Songs from Australia has been written as a resource for performers, teachers and students to assist in the development of individual interpretation and performance skills.  Pedagogical, musical and performance ideas are discussed for 27 Australian songs.  Each entry includes information on the following: textual analysis, performance and vocal techniques, musical concepts, piano accompaniment, phonetics, range and tessitura, pronunciation guide for diction, composition details, composer biography and available recordings and details teaching outcomes.  A CD of MIDI accompaniment for each song is included.  A glossary provides musical definitions and general explanations.  Songs from Australia approaches each song as an entity.  The interpretative and technical information provided for each song is offered to assist the teacher and student to build a successful performance.  

The Songs from Australia authors believe that a singer cannot perform a song without a thorough understanding of the original poem; this philosophy has been their impetus.  For this reason, the book provides the Textual Analysis before exploring how the composer has set the text.  (The poems have been presented and vocabulary assistance has been included where deemed (necessary).
Performance Techniques have been included to encourage individual interpretation.  They consider vocal technique, diction, phonetics, style, textual and musical information, pedagogy and exercises.  The exercises provided are specific to the song; however, most have a wider application and will be of assistance in different song settings.  (The Appendix lists such alternative uses.)  The section, Musical Concepts, discusses melody, harmony, tonality, duration and form, (tempo has been considered in the body of the text when it has a direct impact on interpretation).  

Songs from Australia is in no way the definitive text; it is anticipated that it will be used as a spring-board for further interpretation and analysis.  In their own way, each of the four co-authors have been researching Australian songs; the Trinity College London Singing Syllabus for 2005  was the catalyst for this collaboration. 
The selection and grading of songs follows the new Australian component of the 2005 and 2009 Trinity Syllabus.  AMEB grading is indicated where appropriate.  The Trinity Syllabus Australian selection is comprised mainly of art songs.   The art song is characterized by the close relationship of text and music; a song exists because the composer has an emotional reaction to a text.  In Songs from Australia, Horace Keats chose the exquisite words of the poet Blake; Carl Vine was inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Ester Rofe could not disregard the tragic plea of the contemporary Australian poet, Tom Rothfield, and in stark contrast, Mervyn Peake’s witty observations of humanity captivated Stephen Yates.  The folk songs, such as Moreton Bay and Waltzing Matilda, evolved from the story-telling tradition and are in a genre of their own. 

This is the first time that a book and accompanying MIDI file of this nature has been published on Australian songs.  Studio singing teachers, school music teachers, performers and anyone interested in Australian song will appreciate this new concept. Each of the 27 songs  has been recorded on CD by soprano Wendy Dixon and pianist David Miller and is also titled Songs from Australia and is available online.

A computer generated accompaniment CD included for all songs.

Listening and sheet music samples

Many of these works are available separately, see titles in catalogue.

ISMN M720041988  ISBN 1876829095

$80.00 PDF instant download (262 pages): Buy Now

$1.00 Computer generated backing tracks mp3 download -
        tracks 1 - 17:  Buy Now
$1.00 Computer generated backing tracks mp3 download -
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