Welcome to the ipipapa blog where today we embark on a fascinating journey into the world of foreign languages, singing in foreign languages and singing with IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). In this blog article, we will focus on the song "Vesna: My Sister's Crown" that represented the Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. We will explore the multilingual lyrics and refer to similar pieces of music in the present and in history that follow similar approaches. We will also discuss the advantages of a phonetic transcription into vowel notes for such pieces, and also analyze the message behind the text, allowing connections to be made across national borders.
Vesna: My Sister's Crown - Cross borders with music
The Czech contribution Vesna: My Sister's Crown at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 not only impressed with its catchy melody and stirring performance, but also with its linguistic diversity. The lyrics are written in multiple languages, providing a unique challenge for people who don't speak those languages and want to sing it. Specifically, the lyrics are written in Czech, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and English. But this linguistic diversity is not uncommon in music history.
Musical connections across language borders
In the history of music we find numerous examples of artists who have used different languages in their songs and compositions in order to convey a universal message. A well-known example is the world hit "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which was released in both Spanish and English. A well-known example from classical music is Orlando di Lasso's song "Matona mia cara", in which a German lansquenet tries to sing in Italian, resulting in a real mix of languages. This linguistic diversity allows listeners to identify with the song and its content, regardless of their mother tongue. Similarly, Vesna: My Sister's Crown bridges cultures and encourages us to carry messages across national borders.
The advantages of a phonetic transcription in vocal music
For choral conductors and singers looking for vocal sheet music, a phonetic transcription into vocal sheet music offers valuable help to study songs like "Vesna: My Sister's Crown" with ease. By marking the pronunciation of foreign languages using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), singers can learn the correct intonation and pronunciation quickly and very closely to the original. This makes singing in foreign languages much easier and allows for an authentic performance of the song.
Transport messages across national borders
The lyrics of Vesna: My Sister's Crown are a welcoming message that urges us to transcend differences and move forward together. By being written in multiple languages, it enables us to break down barriers and connect with people from different cultures. This approach can also be found in other contemporary and historical pieces of music that promote multicultural understanding. The phonetic transcription into vowel notes could make pieces like "Vesna: My Sister's Crown" even more accessible, as it would make it easier for choirmasters and singers to learn the pronunciation of foreign languages and sing authentically. By connecting to music across language barriers in this way, we can convey messages of peace, love and unity together.
Understanding and singing together across national borders has many advantages and creates synergies. At the same time, wanted and unwanted political messages can reach the listener. Specifically, this piece can be placed in the context of pan-Slavic efforts, for example, but also in support of Ukrainian culture. Especially the latter is something that is to be welcomed from the point of view of European unity and cultural diversity and that we as ipipapa want to continue to consciously promote and support.