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sight of the important fact that the muscles and organs of speech, like other members of the body, can be strengthened by use.
Syllables containing pure voice and pure aspirate-sounds may then be taken as the next step in the order of practice; and so on, slowly and calmly, to words; from words to clauses; from clauses to sentences—remembering always to hold firmly to the vowel-sounds, at least until the habit is completely acquired. The vowel-sounds are the anchor of hope to the stammerer. It is often remarked that stammerers have no trouble in singing what they wish, being perfectly understood, while they can not speak a word intelligibly. In singing they are obliged to prolong and make predominant the vocal or vowelsounds. The same practice should obtain in speaking, but not to so great an extent. The stammerer must learn to use these sounds in speech as readily as in song, and the battle is won.
We are fully aware that no written directions can take the place of the calm, strong, helpful will of a teacher. The magnetic presence of one who will not only inspire the patient to effort, but become a support and strength to the yielding courage, is of great importance. But let those who are thus afflicted consider this, that no one is with. out a resource; that, to throw away all excitement and sensitive nervousness on the subject, calmly accept the inevitable, and as calmly determine to master the difficulty, will surely result in a triumph over all obstacles.
The tendency of most persons in reading and writing is to let the voice drop before a climax is obtained, or the fury of passion has reached its height, which quite destroys the effect. To break up this habit the preceding exercises (see pages 88, 89, 90, 91) have been arranged on lines similar to the musical staff. By this means the eye assists and guides the voice in the continuous upward intensity which belongs to the vigor of passion; and then again, also, for the downward or falling intensity. These are exceedingly important exercises, and very invigorating and exciting.
The rapid circumflex of voice, or running of the scale, on a single word, as in the illustrations, must not be omitted; it will be impossible to produce the desired effect without it. If the word up, as illustrated on the chart, is first struck on the high pitch of voice upon which the preceding and following words are uttered, there is nothing gained but a severe strain of the vocal chords. But the rapid, upward circumflex of voice, or running of the scale, ending on the high pitch, will give the full expression and not injure the voice. This rule holds good in all intense emphatic words in which the climax is centered.
PITCH — THE OROTUND VOICE — THE FALSETTO — THE CONVERSATIONAL
VOICE-THE GRAVE VOICE—THE TREMOLO—THE WHISPER—VARIOUS MOVEMENTS OF VOICE.
There is a diversity of opinion among authors in regard to what constitutes the orotund and the falsetto voices; and after the most elaborate descriptions students are no wiser, but are frequently more puzzled than before.
The name “orotund,” or round tone, perhaps contains within itself the best definition that can be given. It properly means a prolonged utterance on a high pitch of voice, but not so high as to preclude the sound from a ringing fullness of tone. To make it the mouth must be wide open, the lips projected, the voice pitched perhaps on B, below the middle C, of the musical scale, and ranging in general modulation up to E for female voices; the male voice will be a fifth, or an octave, below. In producing this voice the organs are open, allowing a greater and more forcible column of air to pass out, causing a great breadth of vibration.
This is a general rule; but of course organic diversity must always be respected. Whatever the organism may be, producing either alto or treble, bass or tenor, each human voice has its relatively high, low, and medium tones. The natural pitch of each is the predominating tone used in speaking and reading; and the protracted exercises of speaking requires that there be no violation of this organic law. Still, in recitative exercises, one person may assume a variety of keys, and carry on quite a dialogue, sustaining each pitch of voice very satisfactorily.
The orotund is one of the most commanding and impressive movements of the voice. It fully displays the majesty of man as a being of soul, of thought, of imagination, and will. It is a quality of voice that every public speaker should cultivate, for it bears vital and magnetic forces on its wings. The patriotic and the loftier feelings of the soul are touched and aroused by its potency, and the religious emotions awakened at its magic call.
“Now for the fight! Now for the cannon-peal!
Forward-through blood, and toil, and cloud, and fire!
The volley's roll, the rocket's blasting spire!
They shakel like broken waves their squares retire!
Think of the orphan'd child, the murdered sire:
EXERCISES IN OROTUND VOICE. In the following exercises the voice ranges from G, on the fifth of the scale, to B, C, D, and E: (B) "Majestic monarch—of the cloud !
Who rear'st aloft—thy regal form
When strive-the warriors of the storm
To guard the banner of the free,-
The harbingers of victory.”—DRAKE.
“No, let us rather choose, –
“The horrors and cruelties of civil and intestine war, the bloodshed and the barbarism of the battle-field, the furies and the crimes attendant upon massacre, conflagration, and pillage, can never be made to prepare the way for the blessings of liberty,-peace, and equal rights to enter-and take up their abode in any land. They serve only to bind upon it still more firmly the burden
and the woes of slavery and sin. 'All they that take the sword' (that is, select and adopt it as the means of improving their social or political condition) shall perish with the sword. But truth—is mighty, reason—is mighty, conscience—is mighty, yet the spirit of human and of Christian benevolence is mightier than them all,—and the most despised minority, the most trampled victims of oppression and slavery, if they make these the weapons of their warfare, and wield them in faith, patience, and perseverance, will be sure to conquer,-for God—will be their ally. And the strongest and fiercest-giant, who comes to the field with a spear, and with a sword, and with a shield will be sure to fall before the merest stripling who meets them in the name of-the LORD."-C. W. UPHAM.
The falsetto, as its name implies, is false voice. We may more properly say a strained voice. In oratory it is talking on a higher pitch than the orotund, and partakes of the tones used in the effort of calling or talking to persons at a distance. To produce it properly the imagination should be directed to distance. The lips and corners of the mouth are drawn further back than in producing the orotund, and the sound is more shrill. The round O will best represent the orotund tone and the compressed the falsetto.
This quality of voice is not much used in speaking, yet we have many passages in recitations where it occurs, adding usually great rhetorical force and beauty of expression, by its bursting suddenly upon the hearer, in tones from eight to ten notes higher than the general tenor of the piece. It occurs in passages where intense excitement or alarm is to be exhibited, as in the cry of fire, help, or of resistance, of victory, and in calling and hailing persons at a distance; as, (8) Fire! (9FIRE! (10)FIRE!
"Ah!' she said, 'the eyes of Panguk
Glare upon me in the darkness;
(8) Hiawatha! (10) HIAWATHAI”
“The midday watch was set beneath the blaze of light,
(11) A sail! (12)a sail in sight!'”
This voice, when used to represent sounds in the distance, must be fainter and much softer than that pitch of voice used in representing something near:
" When o'er the silent seas alone
Sparkling at once is every eye;
While answering back the sounds we hear,
The conversational voice, though it should be pure in tone, is restricted in compass or prolongation, and the vibrations are not so forcible as in the orotund. Very many people, in common conversation, run into an insipid falsetto, mixed with nasal tones, which are exceedingly grating to the ear of the listener.
We may perhaps be allowed to add here that this nasal-sound is a predominant fault in some parts of our country. But it should never be dignified, as it sometimes is, by naming it a head-voice. There is no such thing as a head-voice in nature. It is a habit, and an exceedingly bad one, of perverting pure sound; forcing it through the nose when it ought to have free passage through the open mouth. There is but one pure nasal-sound in the English alphabet, which occurs on ng or nk, and in this there is no mixture of mouth-sound. M and n are formed in the back of the mouth, and the sound thrown through the nose. They are mixed mouth and nasal-sounds. If there is any stoppage of this passage, by a drying of the secretions, by catarrh, or by snuff-taking, these sounds can not be produced, while the swallowed sounds of bo, d, gr usually take their place. If persons thus affected attempt to say "good morning" the result is good bordig. This is not more objectionable, however, than the constant habit of driving the sound through the nose or splitting it between the nasal and mouth passages. This habit prevails so widely in some parts of the United States—the sounds are so common—that they are unnoticed, and persons imitate each other by association without knowing it. To remedy this it is necessary to husband the expenditure of the breath, holding the sound firmly, and forcing it out through the open mouth. This, like other bad habits, requires frequent friendly hints from associates if we would have it effectually eradicated.
Others again talk on one key without modulation or breath. Incessant talkers generally choose this manner, and are called tiresome and disagreeable. The painful syłapathy of the listener, occasioned by their want of breath wherewith to make pure sounds, is almost intolerable. To be decently smothered would be merciful in comparison.
The following example shows the ascent from the conversational to the falsetto, and the descent to the conversational voice: