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Help with German-English translation: Music text

 
 
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 12:22 pm
A bit of background: I'm helping out a friend who is a choral teacher at a middle school by translating a text of "world music" songs from German to English. This is from a book designed for music teachers, so it has a lot of language that is unfamiliar to me because it is either (1) musical terminology or (2) educational jargon. And it doesn't help that I don't have a very good German-English dictionary with me right now.

Here's one passage that I'm having trouble with. I'll give the entire passage for context, but I'll underline the words or phrases that are causing me problems. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Das Stück kann von Solisten oder Gruppen ein- oder mehrstimmig (mit Überstimme) ausgeführt werden - idealerweise räumliche verteilt. Nach dem ersten und nach dem zweiten "Abeeyo" kann in beiden Stimmen dem Verklingen des eigenen Rufes in die Stille gelauscht werden (horchen). Die jeweiligen Schlusstöne der beiden "Abeeyo"-Phrasen können aber auch länger gesungen werden und in den Ruf der jeweils anderen Stimme hereinklingen.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:08 pm
They're all tough, and I don't think any of them has a perfect translation. Here are the least imperfect translations I can think of.

"Überstimme": harmonics

"kann in beiden Stimmen dem Verklingen des eigenen Rufes in die Stille gelauscht werden": I'd turn this one into the active voice and say: "Singers can listen to their own call fading into silence."

"Schlußtöne": "Final notes" or "final chord", depending on what the music actually sounds like.

"in den Ruf der jeweils anderen Stimme hereinklingen": to overlap with the call of the other voice".

If and when I find something better, I'll let you know.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:13 pm
My German is a little scratchy but:

"mit Überstimme" Looks like it should be "with accompaniment"

"in die Stille gelauscht werden" should translate to "both voices blend into silence"

"Schlusstöne" translates directly to "Conclusion tones" which I think would refer to "end notes"

"hereinklingen" should be "voice"
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:19 pm
Thomas wrote:
They're all tough, and I don't think any of them has a perfect translation. Here are the least imperfect translations I can think of.

"Überstimme": harmonics



That seems redundant. Razz

The sentence would translate to "The piece can be implemented by soloists or groups in harmony (with harmonics)..."
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helmi15
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:22 pm
Here is a explanation of the phrases/words in context:

Übestimme:
Is the highest voice in a musical movement.

in die Stille gelauscht werden:
I am not sure what it means...
Rolling Eyes
I guess it means the sound fading into silence, when you have stopped singing. But I don't know what an "Abeeyo" is.

Schlusstöne:
Plural for ending sound.

hereinklingen:
It means that the two voices can overlap in the case of slower chanted "abbeyo" phrases.


Hope this helps you. But be aware.....
I don't know much about music.
Confused
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:26 pm
Good point. An "Überstimme" is a harmonic on higher notes than the main melody. (Typically a third or a quint above it.)
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:27 pm
I've not that much ideas about musical terms, especially not in English.

"Überstime" is something especially used in folksongs (here: Alpne Volksmusik), the second voice above the main.


Thomas translatd it better than I could.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:28 pm
Thomas wrote:
(Typically a third or a quint above it.)



A 'Terz' if I remember correctly.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:33 pm
That's what I thought, but dict.leo.org translates "terz" into "third".
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:37 pm
Langenscheid's 'Studienwörterbuch' does the same :wink:

(I only mentioned the German term, because I'm sure Joe will know what it is.)
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:47 pm
Thomas wrote:
Good point. An "Überstimme" is a harmonic on higher notes than the main melody. (Typically a third or a quint above it.)


That makes sense. An Accompaniment can be two different things - the first is a lead singer with a back-up (or two!) singing in harmnony (which would match your translation) or it can be muscial instruments played in conjunction with a singer. :wink:
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:51 pm
Excellent! Thanks everybody!

I figured "Überstimme" had some connection with a harmonic vocal line, but it's the kind of specialized term that most dictionaries don't include.

"Abeeyo," by the way, is an Australian aboriginal word in the song that this particular piece of text is introducing. No, I don't know what "Abeeyo" means either.

There are thirteen more songs that I have to go through. I'm sure I'll have more questions. Thanks again.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 02:55 pm
Überstimme is 'descant' in Englísh = a voice (cantus) above another.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 04:06 pm
OK, here's another passage:

Die Takte 1 bis 4 werden einstimmig von 2 Solistinnen/Solisten gestaltet, sie singen echoartig kommunizierend mit freien Texten die erste oder die zweite Stimme (eventuell variierend). Dananch singen die Gruppen 1 und 2 jeweils die Takte 5 bis 10 als Refrain. Die Solisten können beim Ansingen weiterer Strophen auch die Tonhöhe ändern (z.B. einen Ganzton höher oder tiefer).

In this context, I would normally translate "Takte" as "beats," but here it seems like the author means the ten "notes" (the piece is in 4/4 time, but there are ten notes and only eight beats in the two measures, so it must mean "notes").

"Mit freien Texten" = "in their own words"?

"Ansingen," I would guess, means "to sing on" or "to continue singing."
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helmi15
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 04:32 pm
hi

mit freien Texten:
I think your explanaition is almost right. I suppose it means that arbitrary every existing text can be choosen.
Indeed, this is just cosmetical... Razz

ansingen:
to start singing a verse

Takt:
Generally, I think, this is the basic rhythm of a song..... Don't know what it means in this context.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 01:08 am
"Takt" = "Bar". Hence: "Bars 1 through 4 are sung ..."

"Ansingen einer Strophe" would be "beginning to sing a stanza." So "Beim Ansingen weiterer strophen" would be "When beginning to sing further stanzas", but that somehow sounds odd to my ears. I would translate the whole sentence freely as "The soloists can change the pitch at the beginning of each new stanza (for example, a by whole tone up or down.)" (General note: The language of this text isn't exactly Goethe, so to me it seems more important that the translation give clear instructions than that it preserve the original author's sentence structure.)

I can't quite figure out what they mean by "mit freien Texten". It sounds as if they can sing whatever text they want, in which case your "in their own words" would be about right.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 08:33 am
Thanks, helmi15 and Thomas, that helps a lot.

And a belated "Wilkommen" to helmi!
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:38 am
Here's another one:

"Uh a lay lay" ist ein scherzender Ruf mit freien lautmalerischen Singsilben.

Sorry, that's the entire context.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:52 am
joefromchicago wrote:
Here's another one:

"Uh a lay lay" ist ein scherzender Ruf mit freien lautmalerischen Singsilben.

Sorry, that's the entire context.

"Uh a lay lay" is a joking call with free, (or "freely" without the comma) onomatopoetic, sung syllables.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Sep, 2007 09:56 am
Thomas wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
Here's another one:

"Uh a lay lay" ist ein scherzender Ruf mit freien lautmalerischen Singsilben.

Sorry, that's the entire context.

"Uh a lay lay" is a joking call with free, (or "freely" without the comma) onomatopoetic, sung syllables.

Ah! "Onomatopeia" clearly is not common enough to be included in my German-English dictionary. Thanks much!
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