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LeFevre, Carla. Diction Study Cards: Rules for Pronunciation of Italian, German, and French Lyric Diction.

LeFevre, Carla. Diction Study Cards: Rules for Pronunciation of Italian, German, and French Lyric Diction. Italian: $4.00, German: $5.00, French: $6.00, Full Set: $15.00. dictionstudycards.com

The benefits of flash cards are well known; using them to test one's knowledge on a given subject is a boon to retaining information. Carla LeFevre, who has taught diction for more than thirty years, has devised a set of diction study cards. Measuring four inches by two-and-a-half inches, they are comparable in size to a deck of playing cards. Three sets are available: Italian, German, and French. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbol appears on one side, while the other side presents the spelling for the sound, complete with two or three sample words and their transcription into IPA. The transcriptions have a blank where the correct IPA symbol should be so the cards can be used to check knowledge of both the sound and the symbol.

The number of cards for each set is determined by the pronunciation rules of the language. Italian has the fewest cards, and only two subsections: vowels and consonants. LeFevre includes a caveat in the Italian deck; due to the unreliability of rules for stressed e and stressed o in Italian, students are advised to consult a dictionary to determine whether they are closed or open. The German set contains three subsets: vowels, consonants, and prefixes. The French set is the largest, with the most subsections: front vowels, back vowels, mixed vowels (including schwa), nasal vowels, consonants, and consonants in liaisons. The combined deck contains 275 cards.

The decks are a convenient aid in learning the rules for the lyric diction in three mainstay languages for singer. They also enable students to learn or review the sounds and symbols of IPA. The purchase price is exceedingly reasonable, and the decks of cards may inspire students to devise games based on pronunciation rules. Instructors of diction classes should consider adding these cards to their arsenal of teaching materials.

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Title Annotation:BOOKSHELF
Publication:Journal of Singing
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2018
Words:334
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