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we be likely to continue to the end of the exercise. Let us be certain that we are in the right way, and then persevere in it.
Gracchus, the Roman orator, used to have a person stand behind him, privately, to give him skillfully the proper note when he wished to change the pitch of his voice and quicken or soften its vehemence. The knowledge of this fact led the author of these pages to study and practice elocution and music together, and taught him that there is nothing in the latter that does not exist in the former. We must practice each of these sixteen vowel-sounds on every pitch of voice found in the diatonic scale, or voice-ladder, both in the speaking and singing tones.
8. Ale, an, all, at, eel, ell, isle, ill, etc.
all, at, eel, ell, isle, ill, etc.
2. Ale, an,
THE DIATONIC SCALE is so called because it extends through or comprehends all the pitches of voice and sound ever used in speaking or singing. Let us erect this scale, or ladder for the voice, on our lowest natural note, as before indicated. 8. | Eel. / Eight. 7. | Isle. Seven. Half stop, or tone. 6. Ooze. Six. Whole stop, or tone. 5. Old. Five. Whole stop, or tone. 4. At. Four. Whole stop, or tone.
Here is a ladder for the voice to ascend or descend on, or to move along upon any of its sounds; and it is always on some one of these, for it can be nowhere else. It naturally divides itself into three parts—the lower pitches for depressed tones of conversation, and grave and sublime emphasis; the middle for the common uses of speech; and the upper ones for calling out at a distance, and for impassioned eloquence.
To extend the compass of voice is very desirable both in reading and singing; and an excellent way thus to stretch the voice is to speak any phrase on as low a note or pitch as we can, and ascend the scale, or voice-ladder, by regular steps.
8. | O you hard hearts! you cruel, etc.
hard hearts! you cruel, etc.
hard hearts! you cruel, etc.
After practicing this exercise awhile, we must try to go higher and lower than these eight degrees, uttering the words as musically as we can, and seeing that the organs are moving properly.
The four vowel-sounds which are presented above, when naturally given, will be found on the lower half of the scale, and the other ones on the upper half; thus:
For the varied purposes of elocution the diatonic scale of seven notes is divided only into three parts, which must be perfectly understood, otherwise we shall have no solid foundation on which to build these arts. These divisions are the tone pitches.
The lower pitch extends from one to three inclusive—i. e., one, two, three; the middle pitch extends from three to six-three, four, five, six; the highest pitch from six to eight-six, seven, eight. The pupil must practice on these several pitches until he or she can tell instantly on which of them the voice is at any time.
DIRECTIONS FOR TALKING THE SCALE.-A practice to be highly recommended is the talking of the scale, which may be done with the accompaniment of the piano or some other musical instrument, as follows: Strike the middle C of the key-board repeatedly, keeping up the sound as long as required, and speak a whole sentence or couplet in that tone, prolonging the accented vowel in each word in as loud, clear, round, and full a voice as possible, and without any variation of the pitch; then strike the next note below, and repeat all the words in that tone; and so on down in the same way until the lowest possible pitch of voice is reached. Then ascend the scale in the same manner, speaking all the words on each note slowly, taking ample time for full prolongation, until the highest falsette pitch of voice is reached, without breaking into singing tones; then gradually descend. For example, take the sentence, “Oye cruel men of Rome!”
0-ye cru - el — men — of — Ro - me!
0-ye cru - el — men - of — Ro-me!
0-ye cru - el men-of-Ro- me!
0-ye cru - el — men — of — Ro-me!
Then talk on the third, the fifth, the seventh, and back again; then from the third to the seventh, and back again; from the first to the seventh, and back again. This practice persevered in will give great strength and compass to the voice, and flexibility, purity, and sweetness to the tones.
When classes are drilled in concert in this exercise, the teacher should beat time, and be careful that harmony of pitch is preserved.
ELEMENTS OF SPEECH–EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION_TABLE OF ASPIRATES
ASPIRATES AND SUBVOWELS—TABLE OF SUBVOWELS.
Human speech is made of vibrations of air, or exhaling breath. There are two kinds of sounds made by this exhaling breath-one we denominate voice or vowel-sound, the other breath or aspirate-sound. All voice-sounds are made in the glottis, whether they are pure open vowels or subvowels, as has been before explained. The aspirates are unvocalized sounds; that is, the air in passing through the glottis is not disturbed by the vocal chords, but passes out freely as in common breathing, is retained in the mouth, and shaped into peculiar characteristics or waves of sound by the tongue, teeth, and lips.
What we term the subvowels are voice-sounds, restrained and articulated by the tongue, teeth, and lips, just as are the aspirates. Indeed, these are equally paired, each of the aspirates having a correlative vocal or atonic, made by exactly the same position of the organs; the difference being that one is pure breath and the other vocal breath, or breath that has been previously agitated by the vocal chords. The aspirates are articulated breath; the subvowels are vocalized articulated breath.
The table in this chapter will show the division, giving the names of each, as also an arrangement of the correlatives, followed by a full description of the way in which each is produced by the organs of speech.
They are minutely described for the benefit of those who lisp, stammer, and have imperfect articulation; the last-named being much more numerous, but equally incapable of making themselves understood.
The sounds must be made correctly and practiced with care, for they are the elements of speech. They, with the exercises, are given as a practice for the articulating organs. The exercises on the vowelsounds have been hitherto mostly for strengthening, increasing, and beautifying the voice; now we want the same perfection in the enunciation of letters, syllables, and words, and they should be used as a daily practice even after the pupil has mastered them. They do for the articulating muscles what the five-finger piano exercises do for thc muscles of the fingers and hands; i. e., give power and flexibility of motion, and render them intuitively obedient to the will.
Particularly do foreigners, who desire a correct pronunciation of our language, require a thorough drill on these sounds and their combinations. A few weeks of practice on these elements would do more than many months of study. The French and Germans find great difficulty in pronouncing the th. For th the former give z, and the latter give d; making they, zay and day. For w they give – I vos for was; vot you zay for what you say. For p they place bbleazes for pleases. Such should be taught the true position of the articulating organs. A little practice will overcome the difficulty.
Slovenliness in articulation is as deserving of reprehension as slovenliness in dress or gait. Indeed, much more so; for words are used to clothe our thoughts and give expression to our sentiments, but if not clearly and distinctly uttered they can never convey with purity the information we wish.
Listen attentively to hear yourself pronounce the following exercises, and if your ears detect each word perfectly coined they will be much gratified.
EXERCISES. Down in the deep dụngeon he did delve; the flaming fire flashed full in his face. The glassy glaciers gleamed in glowing, gorgeous gloze on the glittering globe. The gly-phog-ra-pher glued the gluten glycerine, and gave golden gold-fish to the goitered goat-herd. The grunting groom groaned grossly at the golden grotto.
Swift the streamlet's soft struggles sent strong strings, stopt stuffs of stammering stones.
He accepts the tracts, and attempts by his acts to conceal his faults.
The glands, lands, bands, and sands; barb’dst, muzzl’dst, laid'st, and step'st, black’ndst and mangl’dst nothing.
An ocean, an oyster, an iceberg, an uncle, an aunt, a niece, an ink-bottle, a numb-skull, and an ou-ran-og-ra-phist asked to be mask'd and rasp’d, slash'd and dash'd.
Orb'd and robb’d he glow'd, ow'd, mow'd, and bestow'd; roasted and boasted of this thin and that thick thumping thimble.
These, those, that, theirs, thine, and mine.
Roasting, toasting, boasting, smoking, gloating, singing, clinging, stinging, banking, flanking, and ranting.
An exceeding expectant expected the expedient expedite, for an expedition to expel the expensive expert; explain the expletory and explode the exploit; and export the exponent by express, exclaiming excessively for the exchange of exchequer.