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captainthomas
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Italian vowel trouble in new version   Orfeo_ed_Euridice_2016.mp3
« on: Jul 16th, 2018, 5:23am »
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For as long as I've been using Virtual Singer, I've been typing in Italian lyrics, and the program has automatically allocated the correct durations to vowels that appear together as part of the same syllable on the same note (i.e., the "i" in words like "mio," "Dio," and "sia" is sung for about twice as long as the "o" or "a").  Since upgrading to version 9.8.0 and above, however, this function seems to have failed.  The attached mp3s compare the same music, encoded in 2016 using version 9.6.something (I think), and encoded today using 9.8.0.  The difference in how those vowels are treated is clear, and the current way is not how it would be sung.  I've further included the .myr file used to encode both mp3s for reference.  I hope that this issue can be fixed.
« Last Edit: Jul 16th, 2018, 5:23am by captainthomas » offline
captainthomas
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version   Orfeo_ed_Euridice_2018.mp3
« Reply #1 on: Jul 16th, 2018, 5:24am »
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Annoyingly, it seems I can only attach one file at a time, so here's how the current version sounds:
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captainthomas
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version   Orfeo_ed_Euridice_Pages_40-62.myr
« Reply #2 on: Jul 16th, 2018, 5:26am »
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And the original .myr file:
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #3 on: Jul 18th, 2018, 11:05am »
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I confirm this behaviour: mio is converted to SAMPA as [#mjo] and sia as [#sja] in the current version, and also in 9.7.1c, which I have on another computer. I can't confirm the earlier behaviour as I don't have an older version, but your MP3 seems pretty good evidence if you're sure the .MYR file hasn't changed in the meantime. Presumably back then the SAMPA conversions were [#mio] and [#sia] respectively.
 
Looks like a bug (possibly a faulty dictionary). You could either just hope that the development team see this thread or email them about it.
 
In the meantime, you can override the pronunciation using SAMPA, but that's a lot of work.
 
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #4 on: Jul 18th, 2018, 8:35pm »
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I can confirm the following:  
 
the word "Dio" in bar 53 is pronounced [#diO] in HA 963i  - and [#djO] as of HA 970. That I can see, both are dated October 2016.  
 
The first thing to do is to be sure of the right pronunciation in Italian (or at least in "regular Italian", as there can be local or regional variations. If HA changed something wrong into something better, we cannot blame it.  
 
First thing to ensure, is how these words are pronounced when not sung. It can be one or two syllables; if one, the SAMPA transcription with a "j" is OK; if two, one needs an "i" or an "I"...  
 
My understanding (critical listening) is that these words have two syllables when stressed, only one when not.  
 
As an example, usually no stress in "il mio padre" but stress in "è il mio".  
"Io" is generally stressed, since when it wouldn't be, it is simply omitted. Perhaps "Dio" is more often stressed than "dio"...  
 
As an example, when Andrea Bocelli sings "Il mio refugio" he clearly sings "mio" on one syllable, which makes [#mjO] appropriate.  
 
My concern has been when "mio" or others are sung over two notes with a slur over them; I consider it must be sung as [#mjO]-[#O], particularly when other voices have only one note for the word.    
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captainthomas
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #5 on: Jul 19th, 2018, 2:18am »
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I'll grant that the "i" in "mio" can sometimes vary by context, but I've been going through my old files, and this issue affects other words like "Dio," "zio," "sia," "saria," and "via," which I have never heard (or sung) without a full "i." In fact, I've seen singers scolded by Italian dialect coaches for turning those into palatal "j" sounds.  
 
Maybe it's a classical thing, but for what it's worth, I just listened to a Ricardo Cocciante recording (couldn't find Bocelli) of Il Mio Rifugio, and I kept hearing [#mIO], not [#mjO], in the refrain.
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #6 on: Jul 19th, 2018, 12:01pm »
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Can anybody issue a clear rule about when, in Italian, the written "i" has to be sung as a transitional voyel j or a plain i ?
 
We can do anything, but only if we know what has to be done.
 
If you answer here, please also send your answer by e-mail to olivier@myriad-online.com
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #7 on: Jul 19th, 2018, 1:42pm »
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on Jul 19th, 2018, 2:18am, captainthomas wrote:
I just listened to a Ricardo Cocciante recording (couldn't find Bocelli) of Il Mio Rifugio, and I kept hearing [#mIO], not [#mjO], in the refrain.

 
Yes, of course, it's Richard/Riccardo Cocciante. My apologies to Andrea Bocelli, who does not need to shout when singing...  
 
On the first recording I found on the net:  
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L26ixj-tY8  
 
I hear clearly [#mjO], i.e. a single syllable. Now, I know that different people have different auditive perceptions, or at least think so since conditioned to hear something specific.  
 
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #8 on: Jul 19th, 2018, 1:45pm »
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on Jul 19th, 2018, 12:01pm, Olivier Guillion wrote:
Can anybody issue a clear rule about when, in Italian, the written "i" has to be sung as a transitional voyel j or a plain i ?

 
Yes, Olivier, I'll care to do that but I think we need more exchange here before getting to an agreement. I'll ask an Italian contact who might be an authority.  
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #9 on: Aug 18th, 2018, 6:20am »
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Well, it wasn't very illuminating in terms of this discussion, but I've just had a lovely time listening to renditions of "O mio babbino caro."  How blest we are to be able to listen to the best work of so many talented ladies!
 
The only native Italian I could find was Tebaldi, and she sang something halfway between #miO and #mjO.
 
On the other hand, I have never heard anyone ever pronounce Dio as anything but #diO.
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #10 on: Sep 25th, 2018, 3:48pm »
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This is my opinion as a native Italian speaker.
 
The subject is definitely tricky. In all Italian words one vowel is always stressed, however the stressed vowel is seldom indicated with an accent in the written language. This appears to be a good reference:
 
https://www.thoughtco.com/italian-accent-marks-2011635
 
In practice, the accent is (almost) always written when the last vowel is stressed, and seldom written otherwise. As a consequence, lacking a written reference, local pronunciation may vary. Maybe the most prominent case is "cielo" (sky), which is pronounced "cèlo" almost everywhere in Italy except in certain areas of the South (e.g., Naples), where it is pronounced "cìélo", with the "i" stressed and the "e" pronounced like in "perché". Puccini sometimes used to write "cèlo" (which would be formally incorrect) just to point out that he was from Tuscany and therefore the Southern pronunciation must not be used!
 
In the spoken language, all words like "mio", "mia", "zio", "zia", having no accent on the last vowel, are to be stressed on the "i". An exception may be "zio' " (with an apostrophe at the end), shortened form for "zione", i.e., "big uncle". Then, local pronunciation may change the level of stress, anyway, without any doubt, the stress must not be on the last vowel.
 
In music the situation changes quite a bit, for two reasons:
 
1)    the vowels "i" and "u" are more difficult to sing and their sound is less prominent with respect to "a", "e", and "o". Singing a long "i" or "u" does not sound well.  This tends to move the stress on "a", "e", and "o" whenever possible, as these vowels are more "sonorous";
 
2)    music rhythm has its own stress on certain beats of the bar (i.e., stress on on-beats - especially on the first beat - and no stress on off-beats). This may suggest to alter the stress on vowels so that it is consistent with the rhythm.
 
Therefore the stress applied may vary as a function of the individual interpretation.
 
I would suggest the following:
 
-    whenever words like "mio" or "mia" (as well as "suo" or "sua") are on an off-beat, do not stress the "i" (or the "u"), hence use [#mjO] and the like;
 
-    whenever words like "mio" or "mia" (as well as "suo" or "sua") are on an on-beat (especially on the first beat), try first to stress the "i" (or the "u"), however do not do that if the resulting duration of the "i" (or of the "u") is too long. Singing "i" or "u" for a long time sounds like an ambulance siren or a howling wolf, and good singers would never do that.
 
Unfortunately the above rules are not easy to automate, as they have to take the music rhythm into consideration, and there is still some room for personal opinion and interpretation.
 
I hope this helps!
 
Max
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Re: Italian vowel trouble in new version  
« Reply #11 on: Sep 26th, 2018, 3:17pm »
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Grazie molto, Max.  That was very helpful to this non-Italian singer!  My voice teacher and I had a discussion on this very point, once.  I wish you had been there to help!
« Last Edit: Sep 26th, 2018, 3:18pm by PaulL » offline

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