'Conservatoire vs. 'conservatory'Life in general: Is there a difference?
From Marianne Hansen
From Michael Pijoan"Conservatoire" is just the French word for "conservatory".
Posted on June 28, 2012 at 05:42 PM
From Adrian HeathBut neither is concerned with conservation!
Posted on June 28, 2012 at 06:00 PM
From Joyce LinI thought they are interchangeable in American English, but I don't claim to know for sure, as English is not my first language...
Posted on June 28, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I guess it may indicate the person's background. For example, people with French or Russian influence (Russia has been strongly influenced by the French culture) are probably more inclined to use 'conservatoire'.
From Raphael KlaymanFrench-English. Like repertoire-repertory. Take your pick.
Posted on June 28, 2012 at 07:23 PM
As the song goes:
You say "legayto" and I say "legahto"
From John CaddBryn Mawr College ? How long have you been working in Wales Marianne ? (Bore da , as they say in Cardiff ). There`s fluent isn`t it ?
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 03:07 PM
From marjory langeThe words are denotatively equivalent, but not always connotatively so. That is, you may label yourself a snob by using 'conservatoire' in a context where people think French is snooty, or a hick in a context where they believe English is low-class.
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Ever since the time I, as a VERY ignorant music student, pronounced the pianist Robert Casadesus as "Robert Casa-dee-suss" I've been very humble about language and its social uses.
From Trevor JenningsJohn, perhaps there is some confusion between Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania (not the tiny village called Pennsylvania on the A46 in Gloucestershire, UK) and Brynmawr in South Wales? :)
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Anyway, in my book, a conservatory is a glass-covered enclosure where you grow plants, and a conservatoire is a place where you grow musicians.
From Joyce LinMarjory, also the names of composers and pieces - my teacher often has to correct my pronunciation. But sometimes I would try to pronounce a name in a way that's closest to the pronunciation of the composer's native language (within my ability), and would be corrected with the commonly accepted American pronunciation. Those arrogant Americans! ;)
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 06:53 PM
For those who don't know: Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the U.S., and it's for women only (not very common in the U.S.).
From Marianne HansenMargery and Trevor are getting closest to the type of thing I am interested in - whether in English, conservatoire is "higher class" than conservatory - or whether conservatory is simply not correctly used for a music school.
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 11:35 PM
There is a pair of words in my business - incunabulum and incunable - which mean the exact same thing: a book printed in Europe before Jan. 1, 1501. The one is 17th-century Latin; the other is an anglicization of the first. Rare books folks are generally divided on which is a better word to use, and the reasoning for either choice limns linguistic and class borders; concern for historical precedence; knowledge of Latin and its history of neologism, and one's tolerance for late Latin; etc. In short, as soon as you choose one of those words, you have taken a stand on many issues.
So - how much of that applies to conservatoire and conservatory when used in English? Is Trevor correct?
John, Noswaith dda!
From marjory langeWell, Trevor does say it's in 'his book' so, yes, it's true--for him!
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM
We have the New England Conservatory of Music, and I can't think of any music institution in hte U.S. called 'conservatoire,' off hand. I'd say the U.S. has less interest in the Frenchification of the language now than previously: I've not seen an etiquette book/column discussing 'serviettes' instead of napkins for several decades, as an example.
Is the person who plays flute a flautist or a flutist? that's the same issue between German and English.
The French have always tried to maintain strict control on their language--that's what the French Academy is for. [A side note: one of my professors, James Anthony, wrote what was then the seminal book on *The French Baroque.* The French Academy insisted that when it was officially(!) translated into French, the title had to be changed since the French didn't acknowledge they HAD a 'baroque' period (the word being derogatory in French) so in French, his book is titled "French Classical Period."
The U.S. has nothing similar to the Academy, and words seem to enter (at least online) dictionaries faster here than in any other Indo-European language with which I'm familiar, except maybe border Spanish, which is fast developing into a pidgin unique to the culture.
Sorry for the ramble; it's something I am interested in.
From Adrian HeathNot to mention specialist use of common words (e.g. pressure, weight,..aaargh)!
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 09:37 AM
From John CaddHats off to Marianne for playing along with my little Welsh teaser . Lovely to see you understand some Welsh Marianne . The snob element or reverse snob element about French spelling can be confusing . The joke covering that is "Pretentious ?? Moi ??" I should have paid more attention in History lessons years ago . I`ve just recently realised that the Hundred Years War was between England and France. I knew there was a very long war but nothing as detailed as who was fighting who. Like an unmade puzzle . Large chunks were never connected . I just like the fact that different countries are different .France seems more cool and aloof. Italy very colourful and creative where they shout and argue and make beautiful things . I managed to grow up without any anti French feelings. I even like the way they call their intercom units ;Talkie Walkies. But I would always switch between Conservatory and Conservatoire depending on who was listening. One avoids the impression of snobbery and the other avoids the feeling of being a country bumpkin. My Devonshire accent always makes people think I`m "Farmy". So the posh French version still falls flat . Domage .
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM
From Raphael KlaymanSpeaking of French pronunciation and music, if anybody knows French well:
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 01:03 PM
1. The conductor, Pierre Boulez - I've usually heard his name with the "z" pronounced. But a couple of people have told me that they think it should be pronounced "Boo-LAY" If his name were spelled "Boulet", I'd have no doubt of that. But with the "z"?
2. Perlman's Strad is known as the "Soil". Few people pronounce it as you would potting earth. But I've heard suggestions ranging from "Soy-EL" to "Shwah". Anybody know for sure?
From Nigel KeayIf it was "Boo-LAY" I don't think he would've been so quick to come up with his quip about the "joli navet" in 1959! (talking about Jolivet, of course)
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 01:27 PM
From N.A. MohrIt's pronounced 'Boo-lehz"...
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 06:03 PM
From Nicky PaxtonEven though Boo-lay would seem a valid pronunciation on paper, Boulez is actually pronounced Boo-lezz. I don't know how to pronounce the Soil in Soil Strad, though. In Great Britain, conservatoire is a standard form to mean a music college, conservatory not being used in the same sense. As has been posted above, conservatory over here usually means a glasshouse which is part of a house and which is used for growing hothouse plants and suchlike.So we stick to the original form of the word over here (much as library incunabula are always so called here, not incunables, which I've never heard before).
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 06:19 PM
From Raphael KlaymanThanks. I suspected that sounding the "z" was correct if for no other reason than on the classical radio station in New York, WQXR, it's been repeatedly pronounced so. Those folks are trained to get these things right. Being human, of course they can goof, but the inevitable phone calls would correct any consistent such goofs.
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Marjory made a good point about connotative vs denotative. In the US, a "conservatory" can also be used for plants. But the meaning is clear in the context. And while we're at it, "cello" or "violoncello"? "Violin maker" or "luthier"? "Vibrayto" or "vibrahto"? OK, maybe not!
Still waiting to solve the pronunciation of the "Soil" Strad.
From Nigel KeayThe only French word I can think of that ends in "oil" is poil, then there's toile with the "e" on the end, and those are pronounced pwahl and twahl (as far as I know, living in France and always trying to improve my French).
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 07:02 PM
From marjory langeFor what it's worth, Wiki pronounces the 'z' and calls it the "French pronunciation" in IPA: [pj?? bu.l??z] ... but that's wiki (that the author knows IPA is something!
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 07:30 PM
The luthier/violin maker is a good one, since technically a luthier makes lutes! (I chuckled when I realized that the German for 'luthier' is, naturally, "luther"--the Reformer certainly was not one)
From Nicky PaxtonAs to luthier/violin maker, I still stick to luthier because it remains in quite frequent use. OTOH, I see archetier/bowmaker as an altogether different choice. I would say archetier but am not confident that it would be understood, so feel constrained to opt for bowmaker instead.
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 07:39 PM
From John CaddSoil. How could you plat with that ? I can only imagine ;Swill.
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I lived in a Plymouth council house built on the site of a large country estate .The original grand house was called Swilly House. So the estate took the name Swilly. Not a nice name in any sense .
From Raphael KlaymanHmmm...Swilly or Silly? You somehow just reminded me of Monty Python's "Ministry of Silly Walks"!
Posted on June 30, 2012 at 09:33 PM
From Nathan ColeDefinitely Boulez, with a Z! It's been pronounced that way too many times in front of him without correction, so "Z" it is. This is the conductor who, at age 85, corrected the cowbells in a Mahler symphony, saying, "these cows are forming diminished chords!" OK, last Boulez story. We were playing a thorny world premiere, and he stopped and asked the harp to play several measures again. Several attempts later, it still wasn't to his satisfaction, so the harp player thought perhaps he was reading the wrong clef. She said, "Maestro, I'm in treble here." Immediately, in his strong French accent, "Madame, it appears we are all in treble here!"
Posted on July 1, 2012 at 05:22 AM
From Raphael KlaymanLol! That reminds me of this story: I was once engaged by a certain local Opera company as Concertmaster for "Madame Butterfly". It was not my first rodeo, CM-wise or MB-wise, and if I say so myself, I did a very good job and got a lot of good feedback.
Posted on July 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM
However, at the first rehearsal, at my first solo (there are a number of CM solos in that Opera) it did not go very well. I said to the conductor: "Could we try that again? I was in the wrong clef." He said "Sure". The scary thing is that I don't think he got my joke re the clef!
From Trevor JenningsThe "Soil" Stradivari of 1714. Named after Amédée Soil, a Belgian industrialist and consul to Moscow. His name was French, not Flemish, so "Soil" should evidently be pronounced "swahl" in this instance.
Posted on July 1, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Source: Wikipedia (and my Belgian family connections)
From Trevor JenningsRaphael, the "clef" joke can resonate if you've been a cellist all your life and have fairly recently come to the violin! Even now, after 11 years of violin playing, my mind can very occasionally slip into cello mode for an instant and I realize I've just played that A on the G-string (two bar lines below the stave) as an open string - on the cello a note on those two bar lines would be the open C. Thankfully, as my cello playing is now getting pushed more and more onto the back burner, these embarrassing little episodes are getting rarer and rarer.
Posted on July 1, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I've often wondered how violists get on if they are also cellists - they both use the C-clef, but it is on different lines of the stave. My cello teacher was a professional symphony player on both the cello and the viola, but I never thought to ask him how he tackled it, or whether it had ever been a problem for him.
From Raphael KlaymanYes, but you'd think that a conductor who presumably has had score-reading training would realize that the violin only uses one clef, and wouldn't tend to suppose that the CM has doubled on something else. But I guess that with a conductor, we should not presume anything!
Posted on July 1, 2012 at 02:44 PM
From Marianne HansenSo, from the posts that are on the original topic, I am getting the feeling that the major difference is whether you are a US or a British speaker of English. The Americans accept both words and are inclined to use "conservatory." The Brits reject "conservatory" utterly. Is that correct?
Posted on July 4, 2012 at 05:17 PM
From Nigel KeayThere's also "conservatorium" that tends to be popular in Australasia.
Posted on July 4, 2012 at 05:36 PM
From Nicky PaxtonYes, Marianne, for practical purposes your last posting is correct. I suspect that 'conservatorium' may be taken from German but I am not sure of that.
Posted on July 4, 2012 at 09:09 PM
From John CaddYes , Conservatory currently has become the plastic house extension tacked onto many houses . My Mum in law calls hers the Wendy House . It gets too much Sun so I call it the Hell Hole . The word got buried in plastic .
Posted on July 4, 2012 at 09:29 PM
From sharelle taylorYes, Nigel - a conservatorium is for studying music, a conservatory is for growing plants, and a conservatoire is for studying music in France.
Posted on July 5, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Interesting how these word uses become so ingrained. Like Students in the US who are still going to school, when they are in college or uni. I remember as a child being quite confused by that terminology.
From Nigel KeayMy daughter has been at Trinity Laban Conservatoire - in London. Renamed in 2005 from Trinity College. Better to imitate the French than be seen growing plants...
Posted on July 5, 2012 at 04:59 AM
From John CaddIf you were a billionaire you could throw away the Conservatory and build an Orangery. They are much bigger and you could have nice quartet sessions . If you were a rotten player you could pay the audience to clap . That`s a good fantasy Mr Abramovitch . Better than being a football manager . Sorry about an irrelevant football topic .
Posted on July 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM
From Cara Williams"Anyway, in my book, a conservatory is a glass-covered enclosure where you grow plants, and a conservatoire is a place where you grow musicians."
Posted on July 8, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I go to a conservatoire, and in the UK no-one ever calls it a conservatory, you'd get some very funny looks if you did. My dad sometimes jokingly says I go to a conservatory, then I found out in America it is actually a conservatory!
Here a conservatory is only known as a glass type extension that tons of people have on their houses :D
From Margaret MehlGreetings,
Posted on July 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Has no one tried one of those old-fashioned things called a dictionary? My "New Oxford Dictionary of Engish" (admittedly the edition is 14 years old by now) says,"conservatoire" is British English, "conservatorium" is Australian, and "conservatory", when it's not one of those glass houses is "chiefly U.S. another term for conservatoire."
I checked all this ages ago, because reading American and British publications about music, I got confused. I think I have been woefully inconsistent in my own manuscript about the violin in Japan, but I guess I might as well wait until I know who'll be publishing it and then make the changes accordingly. Would "music college" be a suitable copout, or will that cause even more confusion and postings on violinist.com?
From Adrian HeathWe can't win!
Posted on July 15, 2012 at 07:48 AM
In France "école (primaire)" goes from 6 to 10 years old, "collège" from 11 to 14, and "lycée" 15 to 17.
From John CaddIt would be a difcovenable thing to choofe the wrong word in the wrong context .
Posted on July 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Marianne will no doubt enjoy the diverfion of that ancient word .Confervatoire .
From Adrian HeathI found like that before I put in my teesh!
Posted on July 16, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Once complete, I can sing madrigals about bees..
From John CaddThe only place I found the word discovenable was in a description of the Squire`s duties attending a Knight (in armour ). It said "It is a discovenable thing that a knight should learn the order and nobility any other man than a knight."
Posted on July 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I seem to remember that kind of thing being said on this very forum recently .
From Lisa Van SickleLooking at a few US websites, it's New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Colburn Conservatory, etc. Then there's Eastman School of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, and so on.
Posted on July 17, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I've never heard anyone in the US refer to having attended a "conservatoire." I have a hunch that the French pronunciation would result in uncontrollable giggles from everyone else, and an immediate reputation as a bit of a, well, . . .
From John CaddI think French things are classy .
Posted on July 17, 2012 at 09:15 PM
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