Issues in the Instrumental Study 

of Poetry Reading


Stress Maximum in the Seventh Position


Instrumental Case Studies

First case study. 

5. Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme...



listen to Douglas Hodge’s reading of Excerpt 5. 

listen to Michael Sheen’s reading of Excerpt 5.

listen to Michael Sheen’s reading of Excerpt 5—doctored version 1. 

listen to Michael Sheen’s reading of Excerpt 5—doctored version 2.

Second case study.. image-3.jpg

listen to the reading Gielgud 1 of Excerpt 6. 

listen to the reading Gielgud 2 of Excerpt 6. 


1 The lower window presents the wave plot display which shows a plot of the wave amplitude (in volts) on the vertical axis, as a function of time (in milliseconds) on the horizontal axis. The upper window presents a fundamental frequency plot, which displays time on the horizontal axis and the estimated glottal frequency (F0 = pitch) in Hz on the vertical axis. 


Third case study.

Fourth case study. 

7. Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York

listen to Simon Russell Beale’s reading of Excerpt 7.




listen to the reading of “discontent” and “York”.  

Fifth case study

8. merengj a messze multba visszaríván

muse, weeping and yearning back to the distant past

listen to Ferenc Kállai’s reading of Excerpt 8. 

Sixth case study. 

9. And all should cry, Beware! Beware! 

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

listen to Roger Lloyd Pack’s reading of Excerpt 9.


Recorded Readings

Beale, Simon Russell et al. reading William Shakespeare: Great Speeches and Soliloquies. Naxos AudioBooks Na 20 1512.

Gielgud, Sir John reading Shakespeare: Ages of Man. HarperCollins AudioBooks HCA 53.

Gielgud, Sir John reading Sonnets of William Shakespeare. Caedmon SRS 241 C-D.

Hodge, Douglas reading John Keats. Hodder Headline AudioBooks HH 186. (1995).

Kállai, Ferenc reading Babits’s “Esti Kérdés”, on Varietas Delectat 3 (Hungaroton 14279). 

Pack, Roger Lloyd reading S.T. Coleridge. Rough Winds Productions. (2000)

Sheen, Michael reading Great Poets of the Romantic Age. Naxos AudioBooks NA20 2112. (1994).