On Consonants

"The consonant is not the natural enemy of the vowel. A quickly occurring consonant need not interrupt the legato any more than a twig cast upon a flowing mountain stream impedes the current."

Richard Miller, Solutions for Singers: tools for performers and teachers, Oxford University Press, 2004, pg. 119


SingersBabel offers a wealth of resources, learning tools, articles and more.  You'll find the most useful content in Learning and Community


Sound Sets
Each language has a unique set of sounds.  Many of the individual sounds are common among different languages but developing an ability to both recognize and accurately produce these sounds is an important step when singing in any language.  In this section the sound sets of American English, German, and French are presented in both their sung and spoken forms.  The sounds listed are represented using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and each sound is accompanied by two word examples.  Both the sound and the word examples are demonstrated by native speakers.

Guides & Tutorials  

Guides lay out the basic rules of pronunciation. There is currently a German Guide available. Others are in production and will be released as they are completed.
Tutorials are in a video format and lead by diction instructors.  The first tutorial on the International Phonetic Alphabet lead by Babara Paterson and Daniel Molkentin will be released on April 15th, 2012 


In this section you’ll find learning tools and information for hundreds of oratorios, sacred and secular choral music, and art songs in German, French, and American English. 
The main learning tools in this section are videos which combine the time tested Word-for-Word and IPA transcription with spoken demonstrations by a native speaker who is an accomplished singer or diction coach. For each work or movement there are two videos.  The first video displays and demonstrates the text read at a natural pace which matches the IPA transcription but also demonstrates what can’t be captured by IPA: the melody of the language.  The second video displays the same information but the text spoken is slowly, with each word clearly pronounced.    
The videos are the main learning tool in this section but users will also find other useful information and features  
  • View and Print the complete Word-for-Word Transcription and IPA transcription of a movement or song
  • Information on scores of the work, both in the public domain and those commercially available in physical or digital formats.
  • Listing of free or commercially available recordings of each work
  • Books or articles related to the work
 View a list of available titles here. 




SingersBabel is continuously adding content to the site. The vast repertoire, richness of language, and desire for learning demands it. As we build our library of repertoire, expand to other languages, and develop an online community to discuss and explore diction, our news stream will flow to users.

Because the elements of our craft are diverse – the intersection of literature, poetry, music, culture, theatre, history, and   art – singers cannot insulate themselves to music and words alone, but must be knowledgeable in these many different areas. SingersBabel engages singers, teaches, coaches, conductors, and others to write articles sharing their unique experiences and professional insights.
Additional Resources
Other musical and language resources found outside of SingersBabel.