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The correct way to sing this circumstance

We're singing an SATB arrangement of Amazing Grace set to Pachelbel's Canon.  The line is, "my fears relieved" and is sung over a decsending half note rhythm; each syllable is a half note.  So the word relieved is broken as re-liev-ed.  I'm instructing to sing the last syllable like you would pronounce the name Ed.  Re-lieve-ED.  I'm pretty sure this is correct but want some assurance or correction.  Thanks. :)
Replies (7): Threaded | Chronological
on November 6, 2014 2:05pm
Hi Robert,
You are correct - though the "ED" would be pronounced as a schwa -
Jim Marvin
on November 6, 2014 4:12pm
For me (British English), the final syllable would be:
  • when spoken, like the 'vid' in 'livid'
  • when sung, so as to rhyme with 'bed'
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 7, 2014 5:38am
Steve said:
  • when spoken, like the 'vid' in 'livid'
I'm astonished. Speaking as a native of England, I'd say it doesn't even form a syllable when spoken - reliev'd. Not that this is relevant for the singing pronunciation.
on November 7, 2014 8:20am
Perhaps I should clarify... I was thinking of the case of a Shakespearian actor speaking a line in which the ending is given syllabic value. As, for instance, in this poem of Keats (line 5). Cf. the opening words of the marriage service: 'Dearly belovèd...'.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 7, 2014 12:24pm
Dear Stephen, oh yes, in this case I certainly agree with you. Curious property of UK English, not shared, if I am not mistaken, by NZ English (and perhaps South African?) where I believe they use a schwa in those cases.
on November 8, 2014 2:56am
In this sort of circumstance I prefer a schwa colored with the "e as in bed" sound. What tends to happen in rehearsal is that everyone works on the coloring of the vowel, saying "re-lie-vèd", with the accent on the final syllable. If the singers keep in mind that the spoken pronunciation of the word in this form would be "re-lìe-ved" (accent on the second syllable), it helps with the pronunciation and sense of the words.
on November 8, 2014 5:15pm
Apparently no one has yet considered the rhyme scheme embedded in the hymn.  I think the answer might depend on how the next line of the hymn is handled: "the hour I first believed."  If "believed" in your piece is also treated with the 'ed' as a separate syllable, then you might do the same with "relieved," even though that's not the way the hymn text is usually pronounced.  If, however, "believed" is treated as only a two-syllable word, then you might consider doing the same with "relieved," even though the "ed" is tacked on to a single half note.  
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