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Need advice!

HI All,
Ok, I grew up speaking German and majoring in it as well as Music.  When it comes to singing it, I think I over think it. My question is regarding words ending in 'g'. (lustig, prächtig, etc.).
 
Should it be a hard 'g' or not?  In northern Germany, hard final 'g' is common, my family is from south central Germany, so it's not the same. 
What is the most correct in choral singing of German?  I can't decide what to do.
 
Thanks for any assistance!
Renee
on February 23, 2014 1:59pm
Hard g is fine altho I prefer the "ich-laut". Siebs, in his Buenen und Gesang Ausprache, also prefers the hard g. but I "refined" my German in Munich. Whatever you do, have your singers model your native German and not the spurious notions of American ears as handed down on Holy Tablets from most University choirs.
S
on February 23, 2014 2:42pm
Hello Renee,
 
the correct "high- German" pronunciation of the "ig" ending in adjectives ist the soft "ch" äs in "lächeln" or "weich".
Many German speakers use the hard "g" ending but in singing it is always soft.
Hope this helps
Best wishes Elisabeth
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 23, 2014 3:32pm
I'd go with what all the standard pronunciation dictionaries recommend, which is the voiceless palatal fricative, or 'ich-Laut'.
 
-- 
Steve
on February 24, 2014 6:00pm
Renee,
What I learned as a doctoral student way many moons ago was that the 'standard' pronunciation of the German language, for singing 'classical' music in that language, was gleaned from the pronunciations performed by actors who performed roles in the 'classical' German National Theatre ('high' German).
 
The /ch/ combination of letters is enunciated in three ways: (1) when preceeded by the letter "s," the "sch" letters are enunciated with the sound that people make when non-verbally asking for quiet (shh, as in Schubert, Schmerz, schlafe, berauscht), (2) a tongue-front air-turbulence-noise sound that speakers of English use when we initiate the word "human," and (3) a tongue-back-small-glottis air-turbulence-noise sound that some speakers of English use when they say the word "machinations" (not /mashinations/, but /machinations/). Does all that make sense to you?
 
The two main rules for when to use which sounds(1) When the /ch/ letter combination is preceeded by the printed letters "a", "o", or "u", the /ch/ is enunciated with the tongue-back-narrow-glottis air-turbulence-noise sound (as in Bach, gebrochen, Hauch, gemacht). (2) When the /ch/ letter combination is preceeded by any other printed letter, durch, leichtem, etc.).
 
TO YOUR QUESTION: In that 'classical' German National Theatre ('high' German) tradition, when a word ended in /-ig/ it was pronounced with the tongue-front air-turbulence-noise sound that we use when we initiate the word "human," as in heilig, selig, eisig.
 
Maybe more than you asked for, but maybe all that provides for a bit of deeper understanding. Anyway, be well and keep up the good work that you do!
Leon
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