Imagens das páginas


where the vocal organs first open on the sound. But i long is an exception. The first radical ah sound glides into ee. Therefore the position of the organs must change. In giving this name-sound of i we must be very cautious about having the organs in the right position, and making the proper effort from the lower muscles before alluded to.

The second sound of I is short. If, ill, imp, in, ink, inch, inn, is, it, itch, illi-cit, im-be-cile, in-ci-dent, in-dis-tinct, in-hab-it, in-quis-i-tive, in-sip-id, in-stinct, in-di-vis-i-bility, is-o-late; hid, cid, did, fib, gilt, hilt, jib, kid, lid, mit, nit, pin, quip, sit, tin, victim, wish, zinc.

Let us remember that in expelling the vowel-sounds we are practicing some of the most important principles involved in reading, speaking, and singing—measure, accent, and emphasis.

A peculiarly soft sound is given to i when it follows the hard guttural sound of g and k. Begin by making two syllables out of one,

and then gradually shorten them into one by degrees, speaking them
faster and faster. Begin thus: gee-ide, gee-ide, gee-ide, gyide; kee-ind,
kee-ind, kee-ind, ky-ind, kyind; geear-di-an; kyind-ness, lov-ing-
kyind-ness; which gives us a very soft and pleasant sound, both in
speech and song. Let us make our language as agreeable as possible,
and we can produce much better effects.

Laughing voices, scraps of song,
Lusty music, loud and strong,
Rustling of the banners blowing,
Whispers as of rivers flowing,
Whistle of the hawks we bore
As they rise and as they soar;
Now and then a clash of drums
As the rabble louder hums,
Now and then a burst of horns
Sounding over brooks and bourns,
As in merry guise we went

Riding to the tournament."
O has three regular sounds: first, its name-sound, or long. Make
the long name-sounds full and complete, by giving them plenty of

Coal, dole, home, hope, dome, hole, ho-ly, mole, hone, mote, note, pole, role, sole, stole, whole, whol-ly, whole-some.

Swell of voice is seen when we begin with a little sound, and gradually increase or widen it as we give it continuously. This is a very important practice, but the sound should be given smoothly as it becomes louder and longer. We will now expel this long sound of o by giving the accented, unaccented, and emphatic sounds, as before, with the pure measure of speech and song. This is an excellent


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


sound to prolong; but we must be sure to keep the mouth well opened, by dropping and projecting the under jaw, protruding the rounded lips, and keeping all the organs in the same state till we complete the exercise.

In making the swells and diminish with this sound, as with all the other single long sounds, we must not move any of the organs,

from beginning to end, thus shoving the sound, as it might be said.

10 world! O life! O time!

On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime ?

No more-oh, nevermore.
Out of the day and night

A joy has taken flight;
Fresh Spring, and Summer, and Winter hoar,
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight

No more-oh, nevermore." The second sound of O is close-00; so called because the lips and internal vocal organs are brought close together in pronouncing it; as ooze, oo-zy, oo-zing; coo, do, fool, roof, soot, tool, moon, loom, cool, doom, hoop, noon, poor, boo-by, cool-ing, do-ing, fool-ing, poo-dle, goose, soup, tooth. In prolonging equally this close sound of o we must not pucker the lips too much, but rather turn them out a little all around, like a funnel.

The third sound of O is short; and, like the other short sounds, can not be prolonged. Odd, of, off, on, or, oz, ob-ject, oc-tave, of-fer, om-e-let, on-ward, op-e-ra, or-der, bod-kin, con-ceit, cob-bler, dol-lar, fol-ly, gog-gles, hob-by, jol-ly, mod-el, non-sense, rob-in, yon-der, bot-tle, dot-ted, fop-pish, gob-ble, jock-ey, knock-er, lot-te-ry, mon-ument, non-plus, pop-py, wan-ton, etc.

In expelling this short sound of o, and giving the proper accent, etc., let us vocalize all the breath that escapes, so as to prevent unpleasant sensations in the throat and injury to the sounds; and by remembering how we pronounce the forbidding word to children, “Och, och, och! let that alone,” we shall be the better able to do it.

U has three regular sounds : first, its name-sound, because it is the sound we make in speaking its name. At least we get this sound pure in the word you. Un-ion, u-nique, u-ni-son, u-ni-ty, u-ni-form, u-nit.

When the name-sound of u is at the beginning of a word or syllable, it has a triple sound; that is, it is a diphthong, composed of


[ocr errors]

the consonant-sound of y, and its own double or diphthongal sound, which consists of short e and the full sound of u. By drawling out its name-sound, as in use, these three elements



thus y-u-se; also in un-ion, nat-ure, vol-ume; but when a consonant-sound goes before u in the same syllable, the sound of y is omitted. We must never pronounce duty, dooty; tune, toon; news, nooz; stew, stoo; dew, doo.

We shall find it somewhat difficult at first to expel this namesound of u unless we begin aright. Let us therefore commence as though we were going to pronounce short e and close o together, like ew, or speak the word lute, repeating it several times rapidly, and thus leave off the sound of l and t; thus, lute, lute, luté, ute, ute, ute, ew.

Now we will prolong this double sound by dwelling on the radical part of it, and keeping the vocal organs in the same position as when we first began the sound, and make it all the same size. Now let us make the swell and diminish with it, and be very

careful to prolong only the root of the sound.

The second sound of U is short, as in up. Tur-nips de-murred at the numb-skull of a musk-y scul-lion; a cour-teous hus-band coup-led himself to a tum-bling tur-tle; burst with the bulk of fun and run to the undertakers.

The third sound of U is full, as in pull. Bru-tus, the cru-el cuck-oo, would im-brue his youth-ful hands in Ruth's rouge; sin-ful butch-ers' bul-let push-ed puss grace-ful-ly on the peace-ful cush-ion.

To expel this full sound of u in a proper manner is quite hard for most persons, merely because the vocal organs are not in the right position, especially the lips, which must be projected straight forward, without turning them either up or down. Let us speak drawlingly the first syllable of the word wo-man; let us prolong the letter o a little, and this will be the exact sound of full u.

“And if it be Prometheus stole from heaven
The fire which we endure, it was repaid
By him to whom the energy was given
Which this poetic marble hath arrayed
With an eternal glory, which, if made
By human hands, is not of human thought;
And time himself hath hallowed it, nor laid
One ringlet in the dust; nor hath it caught
A tinge of years, but breathes the flame with which 't was wrought."
“ The light winds, which from unstaining wings
Shed the music of many murmurings.”


VANISHING FORCE is exhibited when we begin a word or sentence very loud and full, and gradually diminish it to a point of inaudibility.

QUANTITY means the longer or shorter time employed in enunciating sounds, syllables, words, and sentences. The further we wish a sound to be heard the longer it must be made, and with a proportioned enlargement of its volume. Quality means the kind of voice we use, and may be soft, harsh, clear, smooth, rough, or deep.

There are two special objects to be kept in view. These are the proper cultivation of both voice and ear in connection with all the elements of speech and song.

We shall find that practicing each vowel-sound and vocal consonant-sound on all the notes of the scale is of primary importance, and that perfect success can not be attained without such exercise; and we must carry each element to its utmost extent in the right direction. We can obtain as good control over our vocal organs as over any of our bodily organs.

“Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod!
Work-for some good, be it ever so slowly;
Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly;
Labor!-all labor is noble and holy;

Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God."
“We look before and after, and pine for what is naught.
Our sweetest laughter with some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”



PITCH OF THE VOICE is a most important subject, and fortunately for us nature has given us just the thing we need to definitely fix all kinds of reading, speaking, and singing, in giving us the diatonic scale, on some one of whose notes or tones the pitch of the voice is always found. Now, this scale consists of seven different pitches, five of which are each a whole tone apart from its neighbor, and two of them only half a tone apart; but the whole ones may be divided into half-tones, and these into quarters, these into eighths, these into sixteenths, these into thirty-seconds, and these into sixty-fourths; and ALL of these are used more or less by every one who talks in the usual manner.

By study ag the effects that are produced by the voice when we permit it to range from the lowest to the highest notes in the natural scale, we find that the half-tones always occur between the third and fourth and seventh and eighth notes or pitches, both in speech

and song:

The lower three are for private conversation; also for emphasis in very grave and solemn subjects, hereafter to be more fully explained. The upper three are for impassioned words and phrases, where the feelings predominate over the thoughts; and the middle four are for all the ordinary and general objects of reading and speaking, where the great object is to be heard by all when imparting information on any subject whatever, either by explaining or illustrating the truths of science, philosophy, or religion.

When speaking to a person near by, when in company with others, and I do not wish them to hear what I say, I speak on a lower note, or pitch, as it is called, and suppress my voice so as to be heard only by the person addressed; thus: “My dear friend, I hope you will be very careful about saying any thing ill of your neighbors, and always do as you would be done by.” In most cases of this kind the voice will drop to its lowest natural pitch, or to C, the first note in the diatonic scale.

When we call to a person at a great distance we naturally raise our voices to the highest notes or pitches; thus: “Mr. Hall, come back; I have a letter for you.” All of which is given on the upper pitches of voice, ranging from eight to ten. If we address a person at a medium distance, in


with others, in a public assembly, for instance, the voice will range about midway between the first and eighth ; thus: “I wish you all to hear what I say before I close; it is this: never, on any consideration, profess what you do not believe; for if you do you are hypocrites.”

In the above three examples we see what are the two extreme pitches of voice, and the medium ones, which comprehend all that are ever used in speech; for all the voice-sounds we ever hear come within the scale of the eight notes, though really there are but seven, the eighth being the first repeated, just an octave or eighth above or helow. (See the illustrations.)

As a general rule, we must not begin to speak or read below our third note (which is the upper one of the lower pitches), nor above our fifth note; for if we do we shall be quite sure to run into extremes. Therefore it is just as necessary to pitch our voices on the right key in reading and speaking as it is in singing; for as we begin so shall

« AnteriorContinuar »