Understanding French Verse: A Guide for Singers explains the formal structure of the French language and sets out the basics of French versification, using examples drawn from a wide range of well-kwn song settings. In clear and concise style, it explains the Alexandrine meter typically used in French-language poetry, how to distinguish different meters by counting syllables, how to identify stresses and rhyme in French verse, and ultimately, how to enhance the interpretation and enjoyment of the melodie . The book also offers valuable resources, including a brief history of French versification, detailed analysis of several poems, a glossary of technical terms, and suggestions for further reading. While other books help singers with French diction, or offer translations of French texts, other book helps a singer understand the meaning behind what they are singing. Understanding French Verse is an essential tool for singers, accompanists, and other musicians who want to understand more about the French texts with which they are working.
David Hunter is a graduate of Oxford University, where he specialized in 19th and 20th century French poetry. He is currently studying the verse of the melodie as part of a postgraduate degree. He is a keen amateur singer and collects rare recordings of French song.