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Pronunciation question...
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Author:  Dan A. [ Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Pronunciation question...

I have been learning the tunes in the book that came with my Feadóg in order. The next tune in the sequence was "Oranges and Lemons." I have always pronounced the first word in that title with three syllables: "or-an-ges." However, the book broke it into two syllables: "oran-ges." That threw me off so badly that I moved onto the next tune. Is the book wrong, or have I been pronouncing "oranges" incorrectly for over 30 years? Or maybe it was pronounced with two syllables at one time, but not anymore?

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

If it's two syllable, shouldn't it be "orn-ges"?

Author:  Dan A. [ Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

Nanohedron wrote:
If it's two syllable, shouldn't it be "orn-ges"?

I would think so. Now it's throwing me off even more!

Author:  s1m0n [ Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

It's a Mother Goose nursery rhyme.

Quote:
Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!


And yes, to fit the meter, the word 'oranges' has to get squashed into an iamb, ie, two syllables. Orn-ges comes close, but you can linger a bit on the orn so that it hints at or-uhn.

~~

Nursery rhymes are poems that have lingered so long in the nursery that all the extraneous bits have been pared away, leaving only what it takes to catch and hold a toddler's attention. Music and (especially) rhythm are everything to Mother Goose. They're not babytalk, but their target audience can't really speak, either. They're just learning to speak. The words are secondary to holding the kid's attention.

~~

The churches are all in London, and, incidentally, Bow bell (The great bell of Bow) is the traditional determinant of who's a cockney. If you were born within earshot of Bow bells, you qualify. Londoners, I add, can swallow unnecessary syllables with the best of them.

~~

Edited: Whoever laid out the music likely scored the first verse that way so that it has the same number of syllables as the other verses (the last verse has a different rhythm & melody; dunno if its included in the feodog book). It's less confusing that way for beginners. However, in music it's a simple matter to squeeze in an extra syllable by breaking a note into two notes of half the value, so that together they take the same time. A quarter note into two eighths, or an eighth into two sixteenths. If you were singing the song rather than playing it, that's what you could do for the first verse. Since you're playing it instead, try thinking two words while playing one note for both.

Author:  oleorezinator [ Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

s1m0n wrote:
It's a Mother Goose nursery rhyme.

Quote:
Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me.
There lie they and here lie we, under the spreading chestnut tree.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

s1m0n wrote:
And yes, to fit the meter, the word 'oranges' has to get squashed into an iamb, ie, two syllables.

That's not the case, the way the song is sung here in the UK. It clearly has three syllables, with the first two being on notes half the length of the note on "ges". Kind of like diddle dum.

Ah, and now I have had a moment of enlightenment! If the words were set to the music, it would indeed look like the first two syllables were as one: "oran" followed by "-ges". However, the way it is pronounced is definitely with two syllables on "oran" followed by "-ges."

Author:  kkrell [ Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

This makes it even harder to write haiku.

Author:  david_h [ Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

benhall.1 wrote:
That's not the case, the way the song is sung here in the UK. It clearly has three syllables, with the first two being on notes half the length of the note on "ges". Kind of like diddle dum.
Right or wrong that's what I thought right from the OP. It happens all the time with lyrics. Part of the fun of English 'folk songs' is the way the rhythm of the tune and/or words get pushed around for best effect from verse to verse.

Author:  Dan A. [ Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

s1m0n wrote:
The last verse has a different rhythm & melody; dunno if its included in the feodog book.

The last verse in the Feadóg book does show that difference.

After reading the replies in this thread, I might have to think of the song as "Apples and Lemons" to play it correctly.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

Dan A. wrote:
s1m0n wrote:
The last verse has a different rhythm & melody; dunno if its included in the feodog book.

The last verse in the Feadóg book does show that difference.

After reading the replies in this thread, I might have to think of the song as "Apples and Lemons" to play it correctly.

Why? What's wrong with playing it as one would sing it, with three syllables/notes on "oranges"?

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

s1m0n wrote:
Whoever laid out the music likely scored the first verse that way so that it has the same number of syllables as the other verses

But they're not constant anyway; the Shoreditch, Stepney and Bow verses have fewer syllables than the first three, with modified notes for Shoreditch and Bow the way I know it. And 'you owe me' has an anacrusis/upbeat.

benhall.1 wrote:
Why? What's wrong with playing it as one would sing it, with three syllables/notes on "oranges"?

My thoughts exactly!

Author:  david_h [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

To someone who does not have the rhyme ingrained from childhood do the rests between the short lines take some experimentation to work out?

Author:  s1m0n [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

I suspect the OP - and pardon me if I'm wrong - is learning to play whistle by taking the pitch from tab and the duration from the words printed below the tab.

This will not work well. As you're discovering, this makes it impossible to learn a song you don't already know. It takes less than two weeks to learn standard music notation as it pertains to whistle, and then you'll never have this problem again. It'll take even less time if all you concentrate on is rhythm.

If you haven't done this, you lack even the vocabulary to understand us when we try to tell you what's wrong and how to fix it. We'll both find this completely frustrating.

I don't know the feodog book, but I suspect that it has at least some lessons about reading music. I recommend that you take some time, now that you have stumbled upon this limitation, and learn them. It really is a LOT less difficult that you think, and getting this down now will make learning unfamiliar music a lot more easy in future, and will greatly speed your learning process.

You don't need to know this [yet] if you're learning by ear or by video, but if you're learning by book, you absolutely do.

Author:  david_h [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

P.S. The last verse as given by s1m0n, which may not be in the Feadog book, is chanted.

Author:  s1m0n [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pronunciation question...

Peter Duggan wrote:
s1m0n wrote:
Whoever laid out the music likely scored the first verse that way so that it has the same number of syllables as the other verses

But they're not constant anyway; the Shoreditch, Stepney and Bow verses have fewer syllables than the first three, with modified notes for Shoreditch and Bow the way I know it. And 'you owe me' has an anacrusis/upbeat.


Yeah. The verses alternate between 4 and 6 syllables in the first line. For a technical explanation of this, I refer you to the explanation of Sprung Verse (seriously) as it relates to nursery rhymes and music in The Collected Work of Gerard Manley Hopkins. He covers it.

In the arrangement we're discussing, I suspect that the arranger decided that settling on the average of 5 syllables for this line was the simplest solution, and fudged the hyphenatin' to make it work out. The learner is supposed to understand this and vary the melody of each verse to reflect the differing number of beats.

But if, as I suspect, the OP is ignoring the rhythm notations in favour of trying to work out the rhythm from the words, then none of this will be of any use.

You will not learn to play the whistle that way. You might as well try to learn with mittens on your fingers.

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