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Past Events > 2020

Mastercourse Day 4 with Helen Abbott - What’s the stress? Finding your feet with French poetry

01 April 2020, 10:00 - 15:00



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Holywell Music Room

Holywell St

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Guest tutor: Helen Abbott

10.00 - 13.00

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch (1 hour)

14.00 - 13.00

Today’s shorter Mastercourse day opens with a talk by Professor Helen Abbott on the structures and stresses of French poetry, and its different metrical forms. It will explore ways of performing the ‘mute e’ and how it is accounted for in French poetry and song, as well as where emphases fall in a poetic line and how composers navigate this in their scores. As the session continues, duos and members of the public alike will be encouraged to listen to the delivery of French poetry when sung, and respond with ideas about shaping expression in light of the rules of French poetry (and how to break them).


A Full Spring Song Pass is available to purchase for £190 representing the best value for the best value for those attending all Spring Song Events.

A Mastercourse Pass* is available to purchase for £45: the best value for those attending 9 sessions or more throughout the week.

An Evening Concert Pass is also available for £165.

All Spring Song Passes are available to purchase on the Booking page.

*Please note, the Mastercourse Pass does not include any evening concerts or the Mastercouse concert on Saturday 4 April 2020.

Artist Portrait

Helen Abbott

Helen Abbott


Professor Helen Abbott is a specialist in nineteenth-century French poetry and music at the University of Birmingham (UK). She writes about word-music relationships deployed in poetic language and critical-philosophical texts. An expert in using digital methodologies, she directs the AHRC-funded Baudelaire Song Project which has recently launched a database of over 1,700 songs in 25 languages, and 40 different musical genres The project also showcases a new networked model for analysing and visualising word/mus... Read Full Biography

Festival Passes

This event is part of a series:

Spring Song 2020

Coronavirus: This event has sadly been cancelled - please see this news item for details We’re thrilled to present this newly expanded Spring Song festival, which features outstanding concerts every evening and is the new home of our renowned residential Mastercourse. We welcome exceptional artists for the concert series, several of whom also appear as guest tutors on the ...

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