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on a cold ; or else abated in energy, so as not greatly to fatigue the vocal organs. With a little familiarity however, and special care to preserve the erect position, and to use chiefly for the production of sound the abdominal and intercostal muscles, this will be found a most healthful exercise.
It should not follow immediately a hearty meal, nor be preceded or followed by stimulating drinks; nor, if the exercise has been violent, should it be followed by a careless exposure to the cold or damp air.
8. There is a period of youth, when the voice begins to break and to assume the manly tone, during which no violent exertion of the voice should be made. While all the other exercises of this Manual may be practiced during this period, those of this section should be reserved till the voice becomes confirmed and established.
9. Any successful effort to attain great power of voice must presuppose an observance of all the rules essential to the general health. Intemperance in drink, the use of tobacco, or. excess of any kind, injures the voice, not less than the other powers of both body and mind.
But there is an exercise still to be suggested, which aids perhaps in a higher degree the acquisition of a powerful voice, than any of those already proposed. It is on what Dr. Rush calls the explosive power of the vowel elements. To commence this exercise, let each of these elements as presented in Table I, be uttered with a suddenness like that presented in the abrupt vocality heard in the cough. The organs of speech must be open and free from compression, according to one of the foregoing directions, and each sound must be produced by a single instantaneous effort of the voice; which is neither more nor less than the forcible application of the radical stress, with the shortest possible quantity. And when a facility of thus producing these sounds has been acquired, let the learner repeat them with increasing degrees of force on all the different degrees of pitch from the lowest to the highest of which his voice has the command. This exercise may be continued and varied by using Table IV, and extending it by adding to the foot of each vertical column the six short vowel elements as found in Table I. Then let it be repeated, sometimes giving the shortest possible quantity both to consonants and vowels; and at others, protracting the consonants as much as possible, and bụrsting with sudden full explosive force on the vowel sounds, giving them as before the shortest possible quantity.
Table V, extended as it has just been proposed to extend Table IV, may also be used for practice, never attempting however to protract the atonic elements.
Energy and perseverance can alone overcome difficulties, and it seerns the decree of Heaven that real value cannot be procured but by labor. If the learner supposes that the full benefits proposed by this and the preceding exercises are to be obtained by the few occasional exercises of the lecture room, or in an ordinary course of lessons by a master, he has mistaken the nature of his undertaking. It is not in this way that the arts of penmanship, of fencing, or horsemanship are brought to their perfection. The business of the teacher here is to direct the learner how to educate his own powers ; and this discipline, conducted in the way we have proposed, may be advantageously carried on for years. And what would men think of the clergyman, the lawyer, or the physician, who should count his education finished, when he entered on the practice of his profession!
Before leaving this subject, it may be suggested that loud and rapid reading or speaking also furnishes a very valuable kind of training for the purpose of giving force and energy to the voice. These cannot however fully supply the lack of a prior discipline of the voice on the elementary sounds of our language, and on the simple combination of these elements; since without this the enunciation will be apt to be indistinct. A few speakers have acquired wonderful power of voice, mainly by the exercise of speaking. Dr. Porter says, “The habit of speaking gave to the utterance of Garrick so wonderful an energy, that even his underkey was distinctly audible to ten thousand people. In the same way the French missionary Bridaine brought his vocal powers to such strength, as to be easily heard by ten thousand persons, in the open air; and twice this number of listening auditors were sometimes addressed by Whitefield.” Thousands, less fortunate than these, have broken down in the attempt to acquire this power by other means than we here recommend, and have been compelled to retire from public life, or have gone prematurely to their graves.
OF THE QUALITY OF THE VOICE.
THE Quality of the voice is usually designated by such terms as rough, smooth, harsh, soft, full, slender, musical, shrill, nasal, &c. Without going into any definition of these terms, we may remark that the quality of the voice, as regards all its general characters of excellence, cannot but be improved by the exercises and practice suggested in the preceding sections. In this section, instead of going into an explanation of these popular terms, it will better subserve the interests of the learner to examine the quality of the voice under the following heads ;—the Orotund, the Tremor, the Aspiration, the Guttural, the Falsette, and the Whisper.
1. The Orotund.—The quality of voice implied in this term is possessed naturally by some, but more frequently has to be acquired by exercise and practice. It is possessed in no degree by a very large part even of public speakers, and in very different degrees by actors and orators of eminence. When fully developed by the requisite practice, it possesses numerous advantages. It is more musical, and fuller in volume, than the common voice; and is thus equally adapted to the delicate attenuation of the vanishing movement, and to the full body of the radical. It has a pureness of vocality, that gives distinctness to pronunciation; at the same time that it has a greater degree of strength than the common voice. From the discipline of cultivation, it is more under command than the common voice; and its dignity and energy can alone meet the demands of the orator or the actor, in their higher efforts. And, what is to be specially noticed, the acquisition and use of this kind of voice does not destroy the ability to use at will the common voice; thus their contrast
be made to throw a sort of vocal light and shade over the other means of oratorical coloring and design.
In the training for the practical acquisition of this quality of voice, three points need to be carefully observed. First, It is indispensable that the sound proceed from the throat, and that the organs of speech be kept open and free. Indeed this is the most important characteristic of the orotund voice. Second, The exercise, hitherto confined to the elements and their simplest combinations, must be extended to words and sentences. Third, There must be much practice; and that with different degrees of force, and on all the various degrees of pitch within the compass of the voice. Such a course of discipline cannot fail to improve the voice of the learner.
2. The Tremor.-—This expresses the tremulous movements of the voice heard in the act of laughing and of crying, and is naturally associated with the language of mirth and of sorrow. It is an important function of the voice, and may be readily caught by the learner from the voice of the teacher, from the feigned effort of laughing, or from the affected expression of a feeling of mirthfulness or of deep sorrow. This function may be practiced on any element, syllable, or word of long quantity: but when acquired the learner should recollect that it has its peculiar significancy, and can never be properly introduced into ordinary delivery, when the feelings it expresses are wanting. Indeed, like the other most expressive elements of speech, it requires to be used with great caution.
3. The Aspiration. The basis of the quality of voice here designated is found in the element h, which has been pronounced to be only a breathing. In the sigh we hear the sound of this single element associated with quantity, and can mark its radical and vanishing movement. There are several other elements which, admitting only of a whisper, are called aspirates; but these have a character and expression of their own, and are not to be confounded with the form of aspiration under discussion. When we speak of this as a quality of the voice, it is implied that this element is capable of so blending with the other elements employed in speech, as to give a distinct character to the