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eduardo
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Problem with the word "prayer" in english   Prayer_201203.myr
« on: Dec 4th, 2020, 5:35pm »
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The word "prayer" divided in two syllables produces a poor sound. I've tried several ways to write but none gave a good result.
Could someone help me, please?
I attached a myr file.
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Andre_B
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #1 on: Dec 4th, 2020, 6:54pm »
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Hello Eduardo,  
 
Worse than poor, indeed.  
 
In a quick test, I had the best result with "pray-yer".  
 
I guess that our US and UK friends will be able to help in the night, no doubt a church organist has encountered the word "prayer"...
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eduardo
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #2 on: Dec 4th, 2020, 6:57pm »
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Thanks a lot, Andre_B. I will try your option.
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #3 on: Dec 5th, 2020, 10:35am »
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Is there another sugestion for this problem?
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Tony Deff
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english   Prayer_201203b.myr
« Reply #4 on: Dec 5th, 2020, 10:47am »
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According to my Collins dictionary, the end-phonetics for prayer and stair are identical, so I tried this:
 
At[att]-tend /mine hum-ble /pra[prair]-yer[err], Lord, //
 
With the (hidden) volume rise-and-fall effects (attachment), the words are perfectly comprehensible to me.
 
Edit: When lyrics are not separated by a hyphen, I give the note a duration (pressure-time) of <100% .  
        This gives a better audible conception of a word-space and helps prevent a hiss or click at the start of the next syllable.  
        If the hiss or click is still objectionable, I lower the velocity and/or give the note a slow rise-time.  
« Last Edit: Dec 5th, 2020, 12:40pm by Tony Deff » offline

Anglophone using https://www.collinsdictionary.com/translator
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/ H.A. (2009>) / Gold / V.S. / PDF
eduardo
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #5 on: Dec 5th, 2020, 10:53am »
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Thank you, Tony; your solution seems perfect!
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #6 on: Dec 5th, 2020, 4:34pm »
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Tony,  
 
Indeed, this fixes it.  
 
Now there are some errors I'd like to understand a little more.  
It's not of arguing between some differences of pronunciation, where VS will never be perfect, and even less have a world-wide agreement.
 
Here, in Eduardo's case, "prayer" starts with a wild "Booh!" which I think nobody will retain as a possible correct pronunciation.  
So, there must be something rotten...
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Re: Booh !  
« Reply #7 on: Dec 6th, 2020, 11:47am »
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As an expression of disapproval, I do not think that "pra" is as effective as "boo!"  
 
Interestingly, when the pressure-time of the preceding note is reduced to 60%, what you perceive as "booh!" becomes closer to "proo!"  
(Especially if you give it a "volume rising" effect). Indeed, there is not much difference in the vowel sound by writing "pru-yer" instead of "pra-yer".
 
H.A. has no problem with multi-syllable words beginning with pra-, nor in splitting the single-syllable pra-wn / praw-n  or prai-se, but as Eduardo notes:   Quote:
The word "prayer" divided in two syllables produces a poor sound.
 
Despite being spelt as though the word can be hyphenated, the single-syllable can only be split over two notes by an artificial extra "utterance"  
(much as French songs emphasise the ends of words that are not normally pronounced).  
   
I have never had the time to study how Virtual Singer works, but I imagine that this kind of rare circumstance would require its own "exception" in the program's English-language dictionary.    C:\Program Files (x86)\Harmony Assistant\VirtualSinger\Languages\eng-0  (open in Notepad)
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Anglophone using https://www.collinsdictionary.com/translator
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #8 on: Dec 6th, 2020, 5:26pm »
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Thanks, Tony
I think that we Latins, are misled by the two-syllable look of the word "prayer". Futhermore, I expected "prayer" to be like "payer", which apparently isn't true.  
I understand that English can have more that one vowel-sound in a syllable,  when French cannot. Two vocal-letters (as "ou", "an") or a vowel and a semi-vowel.  
 
So, what we should do is taking the word as a one-syllable word, and if there are two notes, have a melisma.  
 
Generally, a split does not do real arm. An in US-English, there is no "Booh".  
I couldn't correlate this "booh" with the pressure time of the previous note, nor with a delay of the current one.  
However, I could find out that "pray-er" (and "pra-yer" as well) was analysed as [#pr]  (in US-Eng, it is analyzed as [#pre] ), the former being a syllable withhout any vowel sound. Which is most probably the reason of a noise rather than just the consonants.  
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #9 on: Dec 11th, 2020, 4:44pm »
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In English verse, "prayer" is almost always treated as a single syllable.  If it is to be sung over more than one note, handle it in the lyrics the same way as any other single syllable word.  The number of times this word is intended to be two syllables is vanishingly small.
 
"Pray-er" (in the sense of "one who prays") is very rare.  I'm not surprised it isn't handled correctly in VS.  There are a number of English words that don't come out right, some in the British English dictionary, others in the American English dictionary.  I just correct them with hints (I guess you would call them) in brackets, using SAMPA where necessary to get the nuances of the pronunciation correct.
 
In the phrase "Attend mine humble prayer" the word should be a single syllable.  If you are copying a score where that is not the case, I suspect that the editor was not a native speaker of English.  English is a complicated language, and many years ago, UNESCO published statistics to show that it is almost as difficult to learn as a second language as Mandarin Chinese.  Which means you non-native speakers often don't have a "prayer" of getting things right!
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english   Prayer_B.mus
« Reply #10 on: Dec 11th, 2020, 4:49pm »
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I have edited the MYR to show how the word should really appear.
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eduardo
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #11 on: Dec 11th, 2020, 5:37pm »
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Thank you, Paul. I always have problems in VS with this kind of words. You are right, in the score used for this file, prayer is divided in two syllables.
 
I searched in internet, and I've found some instances where "prayer" is considered as a two syllables word:  
https://www.poetrysoup.com/syllables/prayer
 
But I believe you are right. I've found some other words in scores that for us, non native speakers, would look as two-syllables, that are treated as only one.
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #12 on: Dec 13th, 2020, 4:25pm »
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Of the words that appear regularly in English religious texts, "prayer" is probably the trickiest.  In older editions, you will often find it written "pray'r" to clarify that it is supposed to be one syllable.
 
The other major words that vary in their number of syllables are "heaven" and "every," but whether they are supposed to be one or two syllables is usually clear from context.  In scores I make, I am always careful to write "heav'n" or "hea-ven," "ev-'ry" or "ev-er-y," as the case may be, for the singers' sakes.  
 
The other words that vary in their number of syllables are usually indicated, such as ever/e'er, wherever/where'er, over/o'er, etc.  In these words there is a consonant to be elided, so the apostrophe is required.  It also used to be the case that combinations intended to be sung on one note, such as "the'e-ter-nal," would be indicated with an apostrophe to show the liason, but I notice an annoying trend towards simply jamming the two syllables onto the same note, with simply a space between them.
 
There are a couple of special cases that should be mentioned:  in "the Church's one foundation," the syllables are divided as "the Church-'s . . . ."  And "fire," which can sometimes be two syllables, becomes "fi-re."  Old texts sometimes spelled this as "fyer," which is divided "fy-er."  (There is a madrigal by Morely, where you may see this, depending on the age of the edition.)
 
And in the Byrd motet, "If Ye Love Me," the word "spirit" appears in different editions as either "sp'rit" or "spir't."  Not to mention that some editors give up and write "spirit" under the note, leaving it up to the choir and director to figure out.  That's the only case I know of, however, where this word appears as a single syllable.
« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2020, 4:29pm by PaulL » offline

Le coeur a ses raisons, que la Raison ne connaît point.
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #13 on: Dec 13th, 2020, 6:16pm »
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Thanks for this, Paul.  
 
But next to that, there is an anomaly which goes further than the proper pronunciation of a word.  
 
When a syllable does not present a vowel in Sampa (which can happen with a misspelled word, a wrong hyphenation, or in an explicit Sampa specification), the obtained sound is is (often, sometimes?) a wild noise.
 
A "boooh" in this case of a [#pr]    
 
I would better accept a silnce, or the filler syllable.
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Re: Problem with the word "prayer" in english  
« Reply #14 on: Dec 14th, 2020, 3:41pm »
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on Dec 5th, 2020, 10:47am, Tony Deff wrote:
According to my Collins dictionary, the end-phonetics for prayer and stair are identical, so I tried this:
 
At[att]-tend /mine hum-ble /pra[prair]-yer[err], Lord, //
 
With the (hidden) volume rise-and-fall effects (attachment), the words are perfectly comprehensible to me.
 
Edit: When lyrics are not separated by a hyphen, I give the note a duration (pressure-time) of <100% .  
        This gives a better audible conception of a word-space and helps prevent a hiss or click at the start of the next syllable.  
        If the hiss or click is still objectionable, I lower the velocity and/or give the note a slow rise-time.  

 
I have the similar problem. I will trying the method. Thank you.
 
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« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2020, 6:53am by jackclain » offline
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