NC, NYC Vocal Literature        MUS 234



                 Professor D. Talley                         Spring 09


Course Day and Time:  Thursday 6:00 PM -7:45 PM

Room 605


Credits:  2


Office Hours:  6-8 Tuesday: By appointment, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. and Friday. Please see schedule posted outside my office


Phone: (212) 927-1015 Home

              (917) 825 8697 cell

              (212) 625-0500 ext. 607 Office



Prerequisites: MUS 122-124, Singer’s Diction; or permission of the Instructor.




Classical music concerts can either be electrifying or such a bore you wonder why you came. It is the purpose of this class to assist singers, and potential singing teachers, to program recitals of the electrifying kind – full of warmth, humor, and communication, as well as edification and instruction.  The future of classical music is very much at stake.  We must learn not just be consummate musicians, but entertainers.




This course is designed to help singers and potential singing teachers to examine and choose vocal solo literature for all voice types in a broad range of solo vocal literature, from the Medieval period to the present day. Both secular and sacred music will be considered, both from a historical perspective, and through the experience of live and recorded performance of vocal literature.  Students will be expected to provide written reaction to live performances and of recorded examples. Students will also plan a full-length (approximately 60-75 minutes of music) vocal recital program demonstrating diversity of styles, languages, genres, and historical periods.


This course is intended to introduce you to the songs of the major composers of German Lieder, Italian canzone, French mélodie and a few Russian, Spanish, and English songs.

In addition to solo songs, the standard repertory of oratorio, opera, and sacred song, especially spirituals, will be discussed. In the case of opera and oratorio, the German “Fach” system designation for each role will also be identified.  This system, in opera and song, has pitch categories that are sub-divided into voice-types which reflect not just the singer's range, but also the dramatic requirements of his or her roles. However, beyond all categorization and sub categorization, a singer has to learn to choose repertoire that is within his/her physical capabilities, and to begin to find out what is good and what is not for their voice! The goal is to equip you with both knowledge the literature and what songs would best suit both you as a singer and potentially your future students and the general skills needed to enable you to do your own interpretation of any composer's songs.


An important component of this course will be recognition of significant standard repertory. A long listening list will be distributed the second week of class. You will be expected to identify these songs by title and composer on the listening tests which will be your only written midterm and final examinations. This course will also endeavor to enable you to recognize composers by their style, so that, even without knowing a song, you can make an educated guess about who wrote it. In both exams you will be asked to make an "informed guess" about the composer of a particular written or aural excerpt.

Students will be expected to attend vocal recitals at Juilliard, Mannes, or Manhattan School of Music, and provide written reaction, to the performances of other students and to recorded examples. An oral report will be required of all students of assigned composers. 


There is no required text.  Assignments will be made from the Internet and from in-class discussions.

Optional Suggested Anthology:

Miller, Kenneth E., ed. Anthology of Songs for the Solo Voice (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1994, ISBN: 0-13-720558-9).

Optional Supplementary Texts (These may be obtained from the NYPL and will be very helpful in preparing oral presentations):

Stevens, Dennis. A History of Song (New York: W.W. Norton, 1970, ISBN: 0-393-00536-4). [this is out of print and there is also there is a 1961 edition]

Orrey, Leslie. Opera: A Concise History, revised edition, World Art Series, (New York: W.W. Norton, 1987, ISBN: 0-500-20217-6).

Reference materials, recordings, repertoire (and even listening centers) may be found at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (212) 870-1630  This is a wonderful resource, but not a substitute for the student developing a music library of his or her own.  MANY additional suggested books and web links will be found on the required class website.




Information Literacy Requirement:  You will be required to access the following website for further information to aid you in your study of singing:  


1. The student will visit the class website:    or


and submit a one page evaluation of the contents making suggestions for additions. This will be done at the beginning and at the end of the semester.

2. The student will look at the following Webliography to aid in concert attendance and make at least one addition to the list.

Free Concerts: (Also to fulfill the concert attendance requirement)

Juilliard School

Manhattan School of Music

Metropolitan Opera

New Your City Opera

New York Philharmonic




There will be two required class field trips this semester.  A vote will be made week two of the semester to decide one trip from each group.  Additionally, you may attend the others for extra credit and add to your journal:


Group ONE: MASTERS AT MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC: Master Classes with Distinguished Artists, Greenfield Hall - 4:00 PM


Wed Apr 12, 2006 MASTER CLASS: Charles Riecker, voice/auditioning

Tue Apr 18, 2006 AND/OR Wed Apr 19, 2006 MASTER CLASS: Martin Katz, voice


Group TWO: Vocal recital at the Juilliard School: (You may attend more than one recital or additional recitals at the Manhattan School or Mannes but one trip will be taken together to Paul Hall.(LIEDERABEND,   JUILLIARD SONGBOOK VOCAL ARTS HONORS RECITAL and 100 YEARS OF JUILLIARD COMPOSERS IN SONG can be attended for extra credit as well.)


Saturday January 28, 2006 8:30 PM LEAH EDWARDS, SOPRANO


Friday February 3, 2006 8:00 PM ALEX MANSOORI, TENOR


Friday March 31, 2006 8:00 PM ADRIAN KRAMER, BARITONE


Monday April 10, 2006 8:00 PM JEANETTE VECCHIONE, SOPRANO


Saturday April 15, 2006 8:30 PM TAMMY COIL, MEZZO SOPRANO


Friday April 21, 2006 6:00 PM LAFREDERICK COAXNER, VOICE


Saturday April 22, 2006 8:30 PM AARON BLAKE, TENOR


Thursday April 27, 2006 6:00 PM AINSLEY SOUTIERE, SOPRANO


Thursday May 4, 2006 4:00 PM ERNESTINE GUZMAN, SOPRANO




Grades will be assigned to the projects and examinations described and students will complete the following projects, in addition to taking two extensive listening tests in a traditional format:

1. One brief report on the songs, of an assigned composer, which must include either recorded examples or live performances of their literature. These in-class reports will be 20-25 minutes in length, which must include either videos, recorded examples, or live performances. These in-class reports should not just be quoted material from a book or website, but in your own words, about two pages each, with the videos and/or musical examples. (Five minutes of the oral report is biography, and 15-20 minutes of musical examples and your reaction to the music.) Attached calendar of composers is subject to change.

2. Listening Journal: Students will listen to assigned recorded examples, Nyack student recitals, and two required field trips, and keep a journal of their observations. (both analytical and aesthetic). There will be required attendance at several concerts during the semester.

3. Recital Planning Project: Students will plan a 60-minute vocal recital program, providing translations, historical commentary, and other relevant details for each work programmed. The program should represent a diverse offering with respect to languages, styles, and historical periods. The program should represent a diverse offering with respect to languages, styles, and historical periods.

The above are weighted as follows:


Listening Tests (2) 30%

Oral Presentation (1) 15%

Class participation and prompt, consistent attendance 15%

Listening Journal including web analysis 15%

Recital Planning Project including presentation at the final exam 25%

Extra credit can be obtained by attending additional recitals or master classes and adding comments to your journal. (Up to 30% additional credit)


Class time will be divided between lecture and discussion. Your participation in class discussions will be a consideration in determining your final grade.




Your grade will be reduced after one un-excused absence.  Students are to arrive on time.  If you are 15 minutes late, it will be considered half an absence.  Students are expected to attend every class. In the unusual event that an absence is unavoidable, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain the relevant notes, materials, videos, or recordings. Missed exams or tests can be made up at the Instructor’s discretion. Excessive absence (greater than 25% of class meetings) will result in a failing grade. All students are required to have access to the Online Course Resources via the Internet. 




Any student who has a learning disability is encouraged to speak privately with the professor or with Professor Adelaide Pabon the 504 coordinator for Nyack College/New York City.  Any student eligible for and requesting academic accommodations due to a disability is required to provide a letter of accommodation from Academic Support Services within the first two weeks of the beginning of the class.


CLASS CALENDAR: Spring Semester, 2006 (This is only approximate and will be adjusted when the field trips are assigned and oral presentations finalized.)


Class 1, Jan. 12: Introduction, What is my Fach? Music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque: Bach and Handel.


Class 2, Jan. 19: Finish the Baroque plus Music of the classical era, Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn.


Class 3, Jan. 26: A change of pace: Standard Broadway selections.


Class 4, Feb. 2: German Lieder: Haydn/Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann, Liszt, Wagner, Franz,  Brahms, Wolf, Mahler, Strauss, Marx, Schoenberg, Berg

Oral Report Robert Bautista: Schubert (or Schumann)


Class 5, Feb. 9: Finish German Lieder: Oral Report Jasmine Fuentes: Brahms (or Wolf)


Class 6, Feb. 16: French Mélodie: Berlioz, Gounod, Franck, Bizet, Chabrier, Duparc, Chausson, St-Saëns, Fauré, Debussy, Satie, Ibert, Hahn, Ravel, Poulenc, and Canteloube.   Oral Report Brightnie Jones: Fauré (or Hahn)                    


Class 7, Feb. 23: Finish French Mélodie:Oral Report Juan Picart: Duparc (or Bellini)


Class 8, Mar. 2: Music of the British Isles and United States

Oral Report Marita Ramos: Barber (or Vaughn-Williams)


Class 9, Mar. 9: Mid-Term listening Exam Finish the United States and briefly mention Nationalism in Italy & Spain, Latin America           , Hungary, & Russia Oral Report Tara Simon: Ives (or Copeland)


Class 10, Mar. 23 Oratorio and Opera: the standard repertory: Oral Report Jonathan Perez:  De Falla (or Rachmaninoff)


Class 11, Mar. 30 Oratorio and Opera: the standard repertory: Oral Report Marjorie Puyol: Gershwin (or Porter)


Class 12, Apr. 6 Finish Oratorio and Opera and Church solo repertory. Oral Report Samantha Leacock: Spirituals (or Britten)


Class 13, Apr. 20 JOURNALS DUE (Juilliard concert analysis will be turned in on May 4th). Bringing it all together RECITAL Repertory requirements: Recital Program Guidelines, Recital Preparation, Notes and Translations,  and Program Selection.

Vocal Pedagogy — what is it?

Audition Repertoire: What do I prepare for my Graduate School Audition?

What do I bring to my audition? What do I wear to my audition? How about Broadway, church, or opera auditions?


Class 14, Apr. 27 Field trip to the Juilliard School 6:00 PM AINSLEY SOUTIERE, SOPRANO (This will be adjusted after week two of the semester.)


Class 15, May 4 Final exam: Listening test, plus distribution of Recital Planning Projects:  Each student will give a copy of his/her programs to the entire class and give 5-10 minutes of explanation of their choices of repertory.)


Other important Dates: Spring Registration:  Jan. 2 – 10 (Syllabi will be available in room 600) Martin Luther King (no classes) Jan. 16

Private Lessons Begin Jan. 18  SPRING BREAK Mar 13-19 (Monday-Sunday)

Early Registration Fall and Summer Terms, 2006 Mar. 27-31

EASTER BREAK Apr. 12 -16 (Wednesday - Sunday)


Planning a recital: (a beginning)


1.    Choose songs you like

2.    Choose songs in your fach

3.    Choose some easy and a few that stretch your ability

4.    Plan at least some selection from early or Baroque, Romantic era, and contemporary.  Additions could be either Opera, Show music, and/Sacred selections.

5.    Represent all 4 major languages for a senior recital and 3 for a junior recital.  Additions could include Spanish, Russian, or Latin.

6.    Prepare some songs that are very well known and some that will be new to the listener

7.    Think of your college recital as both entertainment and preparation for graduate school audition

8.    Plan 60-75 minutes of music.

9.    Choose music with the aid of your teacher

Remember to consider your program, translations, historical commentary, and other relevant details for each work programmed.