LINGUIST List 8.1119

Fri Aug 1 1997

Disc: Anglicization of Composers' Names

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. Gordon Brown (MAPI) (Exchange), Anglicization of composers' names

Message 1: Anglicization of composers' names

Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 11:59:38 -0700
From: Gordon Brown (MAPI) (Exchange) <>
Subject: Anglicization of composers' names

Judging from the return post, I must have sounded like some kind of
self-proclaimed expert on composers' names. Let me hasten to say that
I'm not. All the pronunciations I put in that little list came as
surprises to me. In all cases but one, they were given to me by
native speakers of the composers' language, while I was visiting the
composers' native country. I don't speak any of those languages and
certainly do not claim any expertise. I've just been trusting
"competent native speakers".

The one exception, by the way, was when Karl Haas, on one of his daily
"Adventures in Good Music" broadcasts, asserted that Pachelbel should
be pronounced pach-EL-bel. Based on Karl's provenance I was inclined
to trust him. But perhaps I've gone overboard taking natives'
pronunciations as gospel. After all, we Americans certainly manage to
mangle enough of our own words, don't we?

Sorry for any consternation I may have caused. I've certainly gotten
an education from this.

Gordon Brown

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