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University Library


MUS 558: Vocal Literature

Information to help students researching vocal literature


This page collects resources for pronunciation including IPA and language guides, and instructions to help you track down song texts and translations through the Library! In addition to search tips, we've also included some selected books with song texts and translations to get you started.

Remember that if any of them look interesting and you want to find similar materials, you can go to the shelf and check the books shelved near the book you're interested in, or do a subject search in the library catalog using some of the subject headings used to classify the book to find related items.

Pronunciation Resources

Finding Texts & Translations Through the Library

The Library has many collections of song texts and translations in a variety of languages, many with IPA transcriptions and extensive language notes. To search for song texts and translations in the catalog, you have a variety of options.

If you are searching for song texts and translations by a particular composer, you can try the following:

  • Conduct a subject search for "Texts" or "Songs" and the composer's name. For a refresher on how to search by subject, refer to the Finding Books page of this guide.
  • Search for the composer's name and "English translation"

If you are hoping to browse more generally by language of origin:

  • Try a search for Songs, [Language] and Texts (e.g. Songs, Spanish -- Texts)

You can also check out the tabbed box below for a selection of song text and translation resources to browse. The first tab features anthologies, the second focuses on translations of opera libretti, and the third includes collections divided by language.

Search tip: If you're having trouble tracking down song texts or translations remember that the liner notes that accompany many CDs and LPs are another great place to look! Often, you can find song texts and translations there.

Remember: If you still can't find what you're looking for, ask a librarian!

Selected Texts & Translations