A guide to the pronunciation of medieval and Renaissance French for singers and others
|Musical Editions||Boek (softcover)|
|Author/Composer||Brian Jeffery, Jeannine Alton|
|Scope||79 pages; 14 × 22 cm|
|Producer No.||TECLA 0056|
Bele Buche e Bele Parleure by Jeannine Alton and Brian Jeffery is a manual that I published in 1976 in conjunction with Jeannine Alton, a lovely lady who was my tutor in French philology when I was an undergraduate at Oxford. I saw that singers didn’t know what to do about the pronunciation when confronted with medieval and Renaissance French music, so I did something about it.
Bele Buche e Bele Parleure shows you how to speak or sing medieval and Renaissance French. The reviewer Laurence Wright in 1978 in the review which you will find at the foot of this page hit the nail on the head when he wrote that some of the philological details are debatable (“approximate” is the word that I used) but that nevertheless “the musician can be confident that use of the book will result in a pronunciation which is perfectly defensible, and sounds convincing”. Indeed, I’m sure that it is all philologically arguable but at least this book gives you something defensible and practical to work with when you sing (or speak).
The copies which we send out are in good condition, but as they are now almost fifty years old they sometimes have slight defects.
“Bele buche e bele parleure” is a phrase from a medieval French romance, if I remember correctly: “She had a beautiful mouth and spoke beautifully”).
At the same time as I and Jeannine wrote the book, I also put together spoken and sung examples so that users of the book could actually hear the sounds, and I made a cassette which I had duplicated (over in Miami) and have been selling it ever since; but now I have had it digitized and the soundfile as mp3 is now available here on its own page.