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A Guide to Music Research and Finding Music Resources

This guide will assist music users in finding music materials

Finding Translations of Vocal Music

Do you need help finding English translations of songs, operas, arias, and choral music?

For tips on searching IUCAT, the online catalog of the IU Libraries, for translations of vocal music contained in printed music, see below.  Sometimes the only translations readily available are in the booklets of CDs or liner notes of LPs. In your keyword search in IUCAT add "english translation"

For assistance finding translations of vocal music in books, see below.

If you are still having difficulty finding the translations you need, or you need to find a translation in a language other than English, feel free to contact the Reference Desk!

Finding Translations of Vocal Music in Printed Music

Many editions of vocal works include English translations. You can find such editions by including "translation"? in your keyword search in IUCAT:

      Keyword = schubert AND songs AND score AND translation

Many librettos of operas, operettas, and oratorios are printed to accompany recordings of the works. In the case of operas, especially famous ones, librettos are also published separately, in book form. Almost invariably these days, both types of libretto come with translations, generally into several languages including English. You can find English translations of librettos by including the words "english AND libretto AND translation in your keyword search in IUCAT:

      Keyword = mozart AND figaro AND libretto AND english translation

The bibliographic records for recordings that have liners or booklets containing translations generally include the word "translation" or "translations". Therefore you can do a keyword search such as:

      Keyword = boheme AND translation (and limit the format to "sound recording")

You also can search for translations in scores and recordings at the same time. For example,

      Keyword = richard strauss AND songs AND translation

Finding Translations of Vocal Music in Books

This box offers help in finding English translations of songs, operas, arias, and choral music.

By Language:

French

Coffin, Berton, Werner Singer, & Pierre Delattre. Word-by-Word Translations of Songs and Arias. Part I: German and French.1966. Ref. ML54.6 .W85 v. 1.

Erbelding, Dietrich. Translations of 106 French Poems Set to Music by French Composers. 1990. Backlog ACZ5823.

LeVan, Timothy. Masters of the French Art Song: Translations of the Complete Songs of Chausson, Debussy, Duparc, Faure & Ravel. 1991. Ref. ML54.6 .M422.

Miller, Philip L. The Ring of Words: An Anthology of Song Texts. 1963. Ref. ML54.6 .M5 R5 1973. Includes German, French, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, and Spanish.

German

Coffin, Berton, Werner Singer, & Pierre Delattre. Word-by-Word Translations of Songs and Arias. Part I: German and French.1966. Ref. ML54.6 .W85 v. 1.

Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich. The Fischer-Dieskau Book of Lieder: The Original Texts of Over 750 Songs . . . with English Translations. 1976. Ref. ML54.6 .F54.

Miller, Philip L. The Ring of Words: An Anthology of Song Texts. 1963. Ref. ML54.6 .M5 R5 1973. Includes German, French, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, and Spanish.

Miller, Philip Lieson. German Lieder. 1990. Ref ML54.6 .G35.

Phillips, Lois. Lieder Line by Line and Word for Word. 1979. Ref. ML54.6 .P55 L5.

Prawer, S.S. The Penguin Book of Lieder. 1964. Ref. ML54.6 .P75 P5.

Italian

LeVan, Timothy. Masters of the Italian Art Song: Word-by- Word and Poetic Translations of the Complete Songs for Voice and Piano. 1990. Ref. ML54.6 .M42.
Includes: Bellini, Donaudy, Donizetti, Puccini, Rossini, Tosti, Verdi.
Liebling, Estelle. The Aria, Renaissance and Baroque. 1963. Backlog ABC8481.
Based on Arie antiche.
Miller, Philip L. The Ring of Words: An Anthology of Song Texts. 1963. Ref. ML54.6 .M5 R5 1973.
Includes German, French, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, and Spanish.

Richardson, Dorothy, & Tina Ruta. Arie antiche. 1990. ML54.6 .A75.

Schoep, Arthur, & Daniel Harris. Word-by-Word Translations of Songs and Arias. Part II: Italian. 1972. Ref. ML54.6 .W85 v. 2.

Latin

Jeffers, Ron. Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire. Vol. 1: Sacred Latin Texts. 1988. Ref. ML54.2 .J43 T6.

Russian

Miller, Philip L. The Ring of Words: An Anthology of Song Texts.1963. Ref. ML54.6 .M5 R5 1973. Includes German, French, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, and Spanish.

Piatak, Jean, & Regina Avrashov. Russian Songs & Arias: Phonetic Readings, Word-by-Word Translations, and a Concise Guide to Russian Diction. 1991. Ref. ML54.6 .P57 R8.

Spanish

Cockburn. Jacqueline, & Richard Stokes. The Spanish Song Companion. 1992. Ref. ML54.6 .C66 1992.

Miller, Philip L. The Ring of Words: An Anthology of Song Texts. 1963. Ref. ML54.6 .M5 R5 1973. Includes German, French, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, and Spanish.

Sobrer, Josep Miquel, & Edmon Colomer. The Singer's Anthology of 20th Century Spanish Songs. 1987. Ref. ML54.6 .S58.

 

By Composer:

Bach

Ambrose, Z. Philip. Texte zu den Kirchenkantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach = The Texts to Johann Sebastian Bach's Church Cantatas. 1984. ML54 .B15 C32.

Drinker, Henry S. Texts of the Choral Works of Johann Sebastian Bach in English Translation, 4 vols. including index and concordance. 1942-43. Ref. ML49 .B2 D7.

Brahms

Drinker, Henry S. Texts of the Vocal Works of Johannes Brahms in English Translation. 1945. Ref. ML49 .B8 D7.

Debussy

Cobb, Margaret G. & Richard Miller. The Poetic Debussy: A Collection of His Song Texts and Selected Letters. 2nd ed. 1994. Frontlog AEB5082.

Rohinsky, Marie-Claire. The Singer's Debussy. 1987. Ref. ML54.6 .D57 R62.

See also French Translations above.

Rachmaninoff

Challis, Natalia. The Singer's Rachmaninoff. 1989. Ref. ML54.6 .R18 S52.

Schubert

Garran, Robert Randoph. Schubert and Schumann: Songs and Translations. 1946. Ref. ML54.6 .S38 G23.

Minchin, Leslie. More Schubert in English: Singing Translations: A Collection of 80 New Song Texts. 1988. Backlog AAP3170.

Reed, John. The Schubert Song Companion. 1985. Ref. ML54.6 .S38 R4.

Wigmore, Richard. Schubert: The Complete Song Texts. Texts of the Lieder and Italian Songs with English Translations. 1988. Ref. ML54.6 .S38 W52.

Schumann

Drinker, Henry S. Texts of the Vocal Works of Robert Schumann in English Translation. 1947. Ref. ML49 .S38.

Garran, Robert Randolph. Schubert and Schumann: Songs and Translations. 1946. Ref. ML54.6 .S38 G23.

Reinhard, Thilo. The Singer's Schumann. 1989. Ref. ML54.6 .S4 R41.

Schutz

Drinker, Henry S. English Texts to the Vocal Works of Heinrich Schutz. 1952. Ref. ML54.6 .S3 D7.