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Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen (includes 12 CDs) Paperback – 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615461506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615461502
  • Product Dimensions: 30 x 22.6 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

This easy-to-follow yet incredibly detailed 370-page book is the industry standard on accents and dialects of the English language. This is the updated, improved and perfect-bound 2012 edition. You get not only a proven system of instruction instead of mere voice mimicry, but an invaluable collection of 12 CDs, each containing two dialects/accents, for a total of 24 accents/dialects. Paul Meier, who speaks the entire text himself while also providing recordings of real-life speakers, is a leading dialect coach for theatre and film, and contained in this impressive publication is his entire standard repertoire of the 24 most valuable accents and dialects for actors: Afrikaans (South Africa), American Deep South (Mississippi/Georgia/Alabama), American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee), Australian, Cockney, Downeast New England, French, General American, German, Hampshire, Indian, Irish, Italian, Liverpool, New York, Northern Ireland, Russian, Scottish, South Boston, Spanish (Castilian & Colonial), Standard British English (Received Pronunciation), Welsh, Yiddish, and Yorkshire. Coaching many famous actors (Tobey Maguire, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, etc.), Meier has also taught dialects at RADA, LAMDA, Webber-Douglas, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and other famous institutions. In addition to his user-friendly practice material, for each dialect Paul coaches you in two monologues (one male and one female) from a well-known play or film, and links you to the hundreds of online recordings of native speakers on his International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). Further enhancing the value of the book are his interactive IPA phonetics charts, in addition to information on his unique show-specific dialect CDs for hundreds of plays and musicals, custom CD recording, and phone-coaching services. Easy enough for the beginner, rigorous enough for the experienced professional.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great resource and fully detailed. I use it all the time. I suggest this if you are learning dialects.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, incredibly helpful. Don't bother trying to learn on your own. 12 cds and the text are worth the price. Acting students should get one for sure.
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Format: Paperback
My item came two days before I expected it and it did not disappoint. The book is very in depth and the CD's are great. The purchase exceeded my expectations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa56aa288) out of 5 stars 37 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa580ee10) out of 5 stars The best dialect and accent source on the market March 2 2009
By Krista Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As an instructor of dialects and accents in both MFA and BFA actor training programs, I've worked with, or am at least familiar with, most of the systems and texts for learning dialects and accents, and I cannot be more enthusiastic in my recommendation of Paul Meier's Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen. Meier brings dialect study into the 21st century with his practical training system, combining the best aspects of other popular dialect training methods and internet sources into a succinct, comprehensive and affordable training tool. It should be a staple in the libraries of every actor, voice-over artist, director, and drama department.

Meier has selected twenty-four of the most called-for dialects and accents in dramatic literature and film, and uses a "Seven Step Method" for each, first laying out the phonetic "signature sounds" with witty sentence drills; the specific articulatory adjustments are adroitly described and modeled by Meier in the recording. Additional features (particularly unique linguistic characteristics) and the rhythm, stress, intonation and tone are then introduced and incorporated into coordination exercises and sample monologues, each including full and precise IPA transcriptions and references to the sound change lessons.

Meier stresses that listening to authentic speakers on the related IDEA website is "central to the study," and provides the links to online samples that feature the pertinent characteristics of the particular dialect/accent. The CD's and accompanying manual are extremely user friendly for a self-learner, and since all of the instructional text is spoken on the discs, one could easily brush up a dialect in the car on the way to an audition or rehearsal. The length of each lesson is well constructed, with ample pause time to mimic the sentence drills, coordination exercises and appropriate monologues--both male and female for each. The large pages and print, spiral binding and attached CD pouches holding the twelve discs make this a very attractive and practical instruction package.

The price tag on this collection is incredibly generous; if you tried to buy the same collection of training packages from the other popular methods, you'd spend $500 to $600 dollars for an inferior product. This package is one of the best investments any actor--veteran or beginner--can make in his/her career.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa580f240) out of 5 stars A Masterful Work March 13 2009
By A. Sentoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the only source you'll need for a full comprehension of dialects and accents. Particularly outstanding are his British and Irish dialects, but there is an incredible wealth of information and useful tools throughout the entire book.

Mr. Meier incorporates IPA into this work, but you don't have to have prior experience with it. This is the only work I've come across that employs both an IPA and a "phonics-based" approach to dialects/accents with such fluidity, accessibility and effectiveness. Included in the book is an IPA chart, and stunningly, if you go to his IDEA website, you can hear the IPA (demonstrated by Mr. Meier) and practice working with the actual core sounds. This is a magnificent tool. I've worked with IPA as a singer before, not extensively (or even that successfully), but it's never been more accessible than with his work.

The seven-step process is highly effective: he begins with standard idiomatic sounds, develops the production of those sounds in (sometimes tongue-twisting!) statements, progresses to coordination exercises (sentences using a combination of the various sounds) and ends with two short, idiomatic and well-researched monologues in each dialect/accent. Mr. Meier is truly a master teacher of his material.

The CDs accompanying the book follow the texts perfectly. This allows (in my opinion) for three levels of working: read the text, follow the text with the CD, use the CD on its own. I've found that working this way gives a full immersion in the material and very quickly helps the actor to incorporate the principles into whatever role he or she is preparing. Mr. Meier's voice is engaging, accessible and intimate, as though he is your own personal private coach and his demonstrations are superbly performed.

It is without equivocation that I recommend this work to all actors and educators. We are fortunate to have access to Mr. Meier's years of experience, and his solid, effective, tested and practical method of instruction.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5679084) out of 5 stars Learn Accents Quickly and Correctly May 1 2006
By Don Wilkins, Ph.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Author and Professor Paul Meier has put together a practical and effective system for learning authentic accents and dialects quickly. When I started searching for works on the subject, I soon discovered that other books and audio aids available either were too technical or taught stereotypes or parodies of accents. Meier's system teaches you quickly by using not only the latest IPA tools but also signature sounds, i.e. the key phonetic features of the accent or dialect. He also provides information on rhythm, stress, intonation, and other important features. It would be impossible to do this without audio support, so the latest edition of the book (346 pages long) comes with twelve CD's covering all the dialects, and the high quality of the recordings ensures that the listener can clearly hear the fine distinctions, recorded by Meier himself.

The authenticity of the accents and dialects is assured by the fact that the system is based on Meier's own International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), a database of recordings of native speakers. Factors of age, gender, and geographical location are included for each speaker so that misunderstandings due to generalizations or stereotyping are eliminated.

Another major factor for me in choosing Meier's system was the dialects covered. As an accomplished actor himself with many British and American credits, Meier has selected what he feels are the dialects most often needed in the business: nine UK dialects (including standard British, Irish, and Scottish); six USA (including New York, Boston, and the South); Austrailian, Indian, French, German, Afrikanns, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and even Yiddish.

The days of big, sloppy Vaudevillian dialects are gone. Today's audiences are sophisticated, and authenticity is the key to winning them over and avoiding unnecessary offense. Meier's system is sure to please.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa58279cc) out of 5 stars It works, honestly... June 30 2010
By mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like most of us, I've been grappling with accents most of my live. I recently started doing Improv Theater as a hobby and noticed the power of Accents to get into Character. I purchased a couple of Accent books (Blomenfeld?) which was way too technical, clunky and didn't get me anywhere. With Meier's workbook and CD's, his 7 step approach makes it easy and fun, rather than a drill. With 24 different Accents, he gets right into the Culture of each, with amusing monologues from movies, books etc relevant to that culture. The systematic structure means with a little dedication, you make huge progress in a very short space of time, building confidence to actually test them in public, which is surely the name of the game!
I'm not one to do reviews etc, unless something is exceptionally good or bad. In this case it's the former and at $99 is a snip!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa580efa8) out of 5 stars The real deal Dec 7 2009
By Harlan Hogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a voice over performer NOT specializing in accents and dialects I still find myself asked to do some. Paul's work has literally saved my bacon. In particular having the the CD's to listen and learn from has helped fake my way through several sessions!


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