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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-so
-sound, as in use, these three elements may be seen; 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, lutė, 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
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 !
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God.”
PITCH OF THE VOICE-DIATONIC SCALE-SCALE OR LADDER FOR THE VOICE.
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
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 company 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
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.
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. 1
Five. Whole stop, or tone. 4. At. Four. Whole stop, or tone. 3. Ale. Three. Half stop, or tone. 2. An.
Two. Whole stop, or tone. 1. All. One. 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.
2. O you 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