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See: Peter Kooy - Short Biography

 

Kooy & Kooij: one and the same?

Craig Scheickert wrote (March 4, 2002):
One of the regulars in Suzuki's cantata series is the admirable bass Peter Kooij (as spelled by BIS). One of the regulars in Herreweghe's canata series is the admirable bass Peter Kooy (as spelled by Harmonia Mundi). I've always assumed these are one and the same person. Am I right? If so, does anyone know the reason for the different spellings?

Tom Hens wrote (March 4, 2002):
Craig Schweickert wrote:
< One of the regulars in Suzuki's cantata series is the admirable bass Peter Kooij (as spelled by BIS). One of the regulars in Herreweghe's canata series is the admirable bass Peter Kooy (as spelled by Harmonia Mundi). I've always assumed these are one and the same person. Am I right? >
You are right.

< If so, does anyone know the reason for the different spellings? >
Confusion among non-Dutch-speakers over the letter "y" vs. the "ij" compound letter which is unique to Dutch. Dutch usage in this hasn't been consistent over the ages, and still isn't in names which as everywhere else often retain archaic spellings. The confusion is understandable since in handwriting the only difference between "ij" and "y" is the two little dots above it. You'll sometimes find the same confusion with "Kuijken" (the correct spelling) being spelled as "Kuyken".

FWIW, I think "Kooy" is the correct spelling in Peter's case, but the fact that the alternative spelling apparently keeps on being used by BIS suggests that he doesn't think it's very important how you spell it. (And just to confuse people further, if his name were spelled as an ordinary Dutch word according to present-day rules, it would be "Kooi".)

Donald Satz wrote (March 4, 2002):
[To Craig Schweickert]They are one and the same - don't know why the different spelling.

Joost wrote (March 4, 2002):
[To Craig Schweickert]Yes, you are right.

Kooij is the correct spelling. The typical Dutch combination of an 'i' and an 'j' stands for a vowel sounding like the 'e' in 'yes'immediately followed by the 'y' in 'yes'. (Hope you are still with me.) In 'Kooij' however this 'ij' is pronounced as the 'y' in 'yes'. By the way, 'Kooi', without the 'j' is pronounced exactly the same, as is 'Kooy'. (These two o's together are pronounced as the 'oa' in 'toast'.)

As this 'ij' is unknown in all other languages (as far as I know), it is often replaced by a 'y'. For the same reason Anner Bijlsma's name is often written as Bylsma, and the Kuijken bros. as Kuyken.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (March 4, 2002):
[To Craig Schweickert]I think (and perhaps a Dutch member of the list will confirm this) that the former is the correct spelling, the later being an "acceptable" alternative used outside of the Netherlands. Anner Bylsma, for example, is really spelled Bijlsma in the Netherlands. Why this is, I don't know...

Philip Peters wrote (March 4, 2002):
Tom Hens wrote:
< Confusion among non-Dutch-speakers over the letter "y" vs. the "ij" compound letter which is unique to Dutch. Dutch usage in this hasn't been consistent over the ages, and still isn't in names which as everywhere else often retain archaic spellings. >
I can attest to that. I live in a street called Paulus Buysstraat (even niet aan elkaar t.b.v. de buitenlandsche lezertjes ;)) The sign at one end of the street says Paulus Buys and at the other it says Paulus Buijs....(And I would like to change it into Joseph Beuysstraat ;))

Philip (how is this for an inimitable contribution about Bach? Paulus Bach, that is ;))

Tom Hens wrote (March 6, 2002):
To gain more certainty about the correct spelling of Peter Kooy's name, as well as other names with ij/y variants, I asked the question in the Dutch classical music newsgroup.

A former member of this mailing list, who recently left over what he considered a free speech issue, has informed me that the name is indeed "Kooy". Peter's father, Maarten Kooy, was the cantor of Utrecht Cathedral, and for a long time gave weekly concerts there with his choir. The program booklets for those concerts always had "Kooy", so we can safely assume that is the correct spelling of the family name.

One additional bit of information emerged that was new to me: Anner Bylsma (as he now seems to be consistently called on CD boxes, although on early LP recordings he was Bijlsma) is actually oficially called Anne Bijlsma. Anne is a Frisian boy's name, he started adding the extra R to avoid the inevitable gender confusion that often arose at the beginning of his career.

Craig Scheickert wrote (March 6, 2002):
Thanks to all for their informative answers and especially to joost for the detailed phonology and Tom for doing extra legwork. Kooy it is, then.

< Kooij is the correct spelling. The typical Dutch combination of an 'i' and an 'j' stands for a vowel sounding like the 'e' in 'yes' immediately followed by the 'y' in 'yes'. (Hope you are still with me.) as the 'y' in 'yes'. By the way, 'Kooi', without the 'j' is pronounced exactly the same, as is 'Kooy'. (These two o's together are pronounced as the 'oa' in 'toast'.) >
joost, your post sent me to my mostly unused <blush> copy of Teach Yourself Dutch, where I read that Dutch is a particularly diphthong-rich language (and here I thought English had cornered that market) with 'ei', 'ij', 'ui', 'uw', 'ou', 'au', 'aui', 'oui', 'oei', 'ieuw' and 'eeuw'. The book also warns that they are the hardest sounds for non-Dutch speakers to master.

Anyway, if I understand you and the Teach Yourself book, Kooy/Kooij is pronounced like the 'coa' in English 'coat' followed by the 'ye' sound such as occurs at end of French 'fauteuil'. Is that right? Also, how stressed is the 'ye'? Like the 'ye' sound in 'fauteuil', i.e. not enough to constitute a syllable on its own?

Maybe after we get this straight, we can work on Kuijken... ;)

< One additional bit of information emerged that was new to me: Anner Bylsma (as he now seems to be consistently called on CD boxes, although on early LP recordings he was Bijlsma) is actually oficially called Anne Bijlsma. Anne is a Frisian boy's name, he started adding the extra R to avoid the inevitable gender confusion that often arose at the beginning of his career. >
Interesting, Tom. I had no idea. Frisian is said to be the Continental language most closely related to English, a closeness referred to in an old English folk rhyme:

Bread, butter and green cheese
Is good English and good Friese.

Joost wrote (March 7, 2002):
Craig Scheickert wrote:
[snip] < joost, your post sent me to my mostly unused <blush> copy of Teach Yourself Dutch, where I read that Dutch is a particularly phthong-rich language (and here I thought English had cornered that market) with 'ei', 'ij', 'ui', 'uw', 'ou', 'au', 'aui', 'oui', 'oei', 'ieuw' and 'eeuw'. The book also warns that they are the hardest sounds for non-Dutch speakers to master.
Anyway, if I understand you and the Teach Yourself book, Kooy/Kooij is pronounced like the 'coa' in English 'coat' followed by the 'ye' sound such as occurs at end of French 'fauteuil'. Is that right? >
That's correct.

< Also, how stressed is the 'ye'? Like the 'ye' sound in 'fauteuil', i.e. not enough to constitute a syllable on its own? >
If you pronounce it as the 'ye' sound in 'fauteuil', no-one will be able to tell the difference.

< Maybe after we get this straight, we can work on Kuijken... ;) >
This it not too difficult either. Start with a normal English 'k'. Proceed with the 'euil'-part of 'fauteuil', and end with the 'ken' as in the English 'drunken'. That'll do the trick!

joost
(start with the 'y'-sound as in 'yes', and rhyme with 'toast')

 

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