Page images





[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ak ak äk
ēk ik


oyk ар ap äp ёр ip op ūp

оор oyp åt. at ät ét it öt út out oot

oyt af af


ēf if öf üf ouf oof oyf as as äs és is Ös

oys åth äth ëth ith oth üth outh

ooth oyth ash ash äsh ësh ish osh ush oush oosh oysh ach. ach

äch ech ich och ůch ouch ooch oych In the practice on the foregoing Table, let the vowels be protracted as much as possible; but the consonants only enough for distinct utterance.









oodt ag eg ig

ug oogt aj ej ij oj

uj al el il ol ul

oolt am em im om um

oomt an en in on

un ar er ir or

ur av ev iv OV

UV az ez iz OZ

UZ ang eng


ung атн етн iTH OTH

UTH azh ezh izh ozh


[ocr errors]


* Oo before k is always short; also before the atonics p and t, in the words hoop and foot.

+ The short sound represented by oo is heard only before the tonic consonants d, g, h, and m, as in the words should, sugar, full, and woman; nor has oo this sound before the tonic consonants, except in the five words good, hood, stood, wood, and wool. In all others it is long

In the foregoing Table the vowels are to receive short quantity, while the consonants are lengthened as much as possible. In this, as in the VIth Table, the learner will find the consonant elements b, d and g more difficult of prolongation than the others, and more difficult than in the other exercises; but the ability to extend the quantity of these elements is so desirable, that the practice on them as well as on the others is here recommended.

In all these exercises, the learner should be careful to exhibit a distinct articulation of the elements, composing the syllabic combinations, to give the usual relative quantity to these elements, and carefully to execute the delicate vanish which should terminate the vocal movement. Most of the combinations thus formed, however strange to the ear they may sound on receiving this separate pronunciation, actually occur in the regular flow of ordinary speech; and he who leaves these exercises, either from their inherent difficulty of execution or from disgust, leaves them but to find them again, where, from inability to execute them, he may experience the chagrin of a failure, for having avoided the trouble of a preparation.

Median stress.—This is designated in music by the term swell; and in works of music is represented to the eye by the following sign :

The sound here indicated gradually swells to a full volume, and then gently subsides, exhibiting all the charm connected with the vanishing movement as before described. It is suited only to syllables of long quantity, and therefore the long vowels of Table I, and Tables IV, V, VI, and VII, are all that can be used for exercise on this form of stress, and they may be used under these two conditious: First, care should be taken that the middle point of the sound have the greatest fulness, and that the swell and vanish be smoothly and equably formed; and secondly, that in the Vth and VIIth Tables, embracing the atonics, the protraction of sound should be confined to the vowels, while in the others, it should extend to the consonants.

Vanishing stress. This can be given only on syllables of long quantity; and is the exact reverse of the Radical stress when combined with quantity. This then would be represented to the


thus :

It consists of a gradual increase in the fulness of the sound from the radical to the extreme of the vanish, which should exhibit a high degree of abruptness. For practice, use the long vowels of Table I, and Tables IV, V, VI and VII.

There is another kind of stress occasionally though rarely used, which is laid on both the radical and vanish of a syllable of long quantity; and is called the Compound stress. This has its peculiar force in delivery, as will be seen under the head of Emphasis; but its recurrence is not sufficiently frequent to suggest in relation to it any system of practice. There is still another form of stress which consists simply in the addition of force to the natural concrete movement, and which is designated as the Loud Concrete. This is employed particularly in accent.

It may not be amiss to remind the inexperienced learner that all these forms of stress, not less than the combinations of elements employed in the Tables of this section, are among the constantly recurring phenomena of actual speech. The lessons of this section are then of the most practical character, whatever the learner may be inclined to think of them; and thus should not be hastily abandoned even in the first place, and then should be often recurred to as a discipline of the voice.



Pitch has exclusive regard to the place of the sound with reference to the musical scale; thus its variations are denoted by the terms high and low, rise and fall. Differences in pitch are always presented by touching different keys of a piano; and the extent to which the learner can rise or fall on the musical scale determines the compass of his voice. The Natural or Diatonic scale to which we here refer consists of a succession of eight sounds either in an ascending or descending series. A simple sound produced at any point in the scale, is called a note ; and the first of these sounds in an ascending series is called the keynote. The distance between any two points of the scale, whether proximate or remote, is called an interval. The intervals between the proximate points are called tones, except between the third and fourth, and the seventh and eighth; in which cases they are but half the length of the others, and are called semitones.

The intervals between the first or keynote and the others successively are called the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh and the eighth or octave; and this irrespective of the point assumed on the scale as the keynote.

Compass of voice, or the power to rise and fall at pleasure through a wide scale, is of great importance to the speaker. It relieves his vocal organs from the fatigue of efforts long continued on the same pitch, and also furnishes the basis of an agreeable variety in his intonation. The compass of the voice may be sufficiently extended by proper exercise on the Tables of the foregoing sections, on words, or on sentences. First, let the example be uttered on as low a note as possible; then let it be repeated, gradually rising to the highest pitch of which the voice is capable. This exercise judiciously and perseveringly practiced cannot fail to give the learner the command of a sufficiently extensive compass of voice.

The changes of pitch produced by striking the different keys of the piano are called discrete changes of pitch. The same may be produced by drawing a bow across the different strings of a viol. The space between these successive notes is called a discrete interval. Another kind of change may be produced by sliding the finger along the string of the viol at the same time the bow is drawn, which is called a concrete change of pitch; and it is this which is heard in every effort of the human voice at speech as distinguished from song. In song, as produced by instruments, the sound is continuous on the same note; and it is the same with the human voice also, after the intended note is once reached by a slight upward movement. The continuity of sound on the same line of pitch is peculiar to song. This never properly belongs to speech; but, as a defect in delivery, is sometimes heard in the pulpit exercises of some of the minor Christian sects. This “ puritanical whine,” or system of “speech.singing,” which prevailed so generally two hundred years ago, is now however passing away.

This peculiarity of speech we shall illustrate. Let the

« PreviousContinue »