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German expressions[edit]

Could/Should we add this to the List of German expressions in common English? --KF 20:00 24 May 2003 (UTC)

Probably. There's certainly no English equivalent. I won't add it myself, though, as I'm not sure what constitutes "common English" (the word isn't likely to be used in everyday conversation - it's musical jargon, really). I'll leave it to your good judgement. --Camembert


Doesn't this article confuse by mentioning the same thing twice in two different ways? I mean the x heads.

Yup. It's messy, especially since the first mention seems to suggest Schoenberg used that notation, whereas the second implies that it was just something other composers used. The more misleading of the two mentions should be deleted, but I don't know which one that is. --Oolong 10:09, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Schoenberg's sprechstimme notation was different at different points in his career. Pierrot Lunaire looks as pictured with Xes on the stems. Moses und Aron uses X heads. The Ode to Napolean Bonaparte uses a different notation for it which I think is much more sensible. Instead of having a five line staff, he used one line, and no clef (thus eliminating pitch indication), and then simply put the regular noteheads above, below, or on the line to indicate relative inflection. (I think there were also sometimes curved strokes leading from the noteheads to indicate falling or rising pitch, but I don't have the score on hand to verify). - Rainwarrior 15:36, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Sprechgesang vs Sprechstimme[edit]

The article uses the terms Sprechgesang and Sprechstimme as synonymous which is not correct: the term used by Schoenberg was Sprechstimme while "Sprechgesang" is a word used much earlier by Richard Wagner to characterize the vocal line in his operas. --Georgius 12:33, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Ah, that's interesting. I wasn't aware of the difference, myself. However, simply removing the word "sprechgesang" from the page doesn't really clarify things. After looking it up, I've reorganized and rewritten the article a bit. Perhaps you could add some of your own information. Do you have a source or something relating to Wagner maybe? What about speaking parts like the Devil in Weber's Der Freischutz, or there is even some in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Isn't that more like "sprechstimme"? - Rainwarrior 19:16, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that my edit was somwhat confusing but it least it inspired you to make some good changes. As for Freischutz, Entfuhrung and also Zauberfloete. These works with german libretti were called Singspiel to differentiate from the italian opera.In singspiel the musical numbers are connected by spoken dialogue.In italian opera (and Mozarts operas are italian both in language and style) the numbers are connected by dialogue in recitativo.The choice of language was choice of style, Mozarts operas were written for public whose primary lnguage was not Italian in the majority. In Wagners late work however there is no divisioninto "numbers",the flow of music is continuous and in vocal parts there are both recitativo-like passages and melodic singing,with no clearcut divisions. --Georgius 15:29, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Might be interesting[edit]

It might be interesting for you, that sprechgesang is also synonym for rap in german. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Says who? -- megA (talk) 17:56, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Says someone who shares my opinion ... read my comment below. -- C. Deelmann (talk) 10:46, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Schoenberg Mondestrunken opening.png[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Schoenberg Mondestrunken opening.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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Save_Us_229 23:33, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Sprechgesang in contemporary music[edit]

Sprechgesang is also used by some German hip-hop groups (for example Die Fantastischen Vier, Fettes Brot) to describe their style of German hip-hop. That style could be described as rather independent from American hip-hop, often very inventive and/or crossover, either humorous or serious, but never Gangsta rap or cliché, the lyrics rarely deal with violence. Fler, Sido, and Bushido would never describe their work as Sprechgesang. -- C. Deelmann (talk) 18:17, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

In my personal experience with Hip-Hop or Rap I would say that it employs a certain rhythm and usually a certain tonality that would compliment the backing tracks and is therefore much different than sprechstimme. This is not to say that there may not be an exception (which might very well be eligible for the "Uses" section) but you might want to listen to your German hip-hop and compare it to Shoenberg's "A Survivor from Warsaw", because from what I've heard, they're completely different than sprechstimme. -- Ngoah89 (talk) 01:13, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Late thanks for clarifying. -- megA (talk) 15:10, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Contemporary use of the term(s) in English[edit]

Are there any musicology (or lexicology) sources which discuss how usage of the words sprechgresang and sprechstimme have evolved? The word sprechstimme crops up from time to time in mainstream music articles (about pop, rock, blues, etc). It's usage there seems to be more general (and perhaps incorrect) than the stricter historical sense described here. I'm not a musicologist, but merely notice that the term is used in a broader sense than this article covers. Some references:

 * The Ways in Which White People Talk Over Music (
 * Preview: The B-52s/House of Blues ( )
 * Fabulous fan video for William Shatner's cover of Pulp's "Common People (

Hopscotch23 (talk) 22:48, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Trouble Every Day by Frank Zappa[edit]

Before I delete this from the uses section, does anyone else actually agree that this song is different from sprechstimme? From what I heard (and I actually listened to the whole song) this is definitely singing & not talking. It has a tonal & rhythmic quality to it that I would say is definitely singing. The confusion I think could be due to the fact that this album deals a lot with mocking the bad singers of much of the rock & roll in the sixties, which causes the singing to be much more relaxed and out of tune than, say, a trained opera singer would be. -- Ngoah89 (talk) 01:27, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Sprechtimme in Die Dreigroschenoper.[edit]

"Macheath's part also employs the technique."? What evidence is there for this? How is this true?