Document Detail


Prosody in French theatrical declamation traced backwards in time.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18530574     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Listening to early recordings of a French theatrical personality, such as Sarah Bernhardt, the emphatic emission of words is very noticeable. It is sometimes ascribed to Bernhardt's theatrical mannerisms, but possibly also caused by an erroneous speed of reproduction. But even at correct speed, huge variations in intenseness are very noticeable. Literature does not give a clear indication whether this manner of performance was considered deviating at the time (ca. 1900). New research into the original handwritten patent documents of Edouard-Leon Scott (filed 1857 and 1859) has analyzed his method of recording the performance of the human voice. Scott documented the performance of a complete stanza from a French play, and looking at his graphical output and interpretation it becomes clear that the prosody of Mme. Bernhardt was already in place in 1859. Having identified the French play, even earlier descriptions of the prosodic approach in French declamation were found. The paper also discusses the patents of Edouard-Leon Scott and his desire for the use of his invention, which was different from that of his manufacturer, Rudolph Koenig. Furthermore, the prosodic documentation will be demonstrated, and a historically informed reproduction of a recording by Sarah Bernhardt will be presented.
Authors:
George Brock-Nannestad
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America     Volume:  123     ISSN:  1520-8524     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Acoust. Soc. Am.     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-05     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503051     Medline TA:  J Acoust Soc Am     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3329     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Patent Tactics, Resedavej 40, DK-2820 Gentofte, Denmark, pattac@image.dk.
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