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utterance. For example, let the following lines be read with suppressed force, and with an expression of apprehension, or fear:
“ Hah! dost thou not see by the moon's trembling light;
His eye big with vengeance and fate ?" If the learner does not on this passage spontaneously express the quality of voice here described, it will at least indicate to him one of the principal sentiments of which this is the symbol.
If he succeed, he will find that such words as “dost," moon, ” “trembling,” “ vengeance,” and “fate,” are uttered as though spelled dhost, mhoon, trhembling, vhengeance, fhate; and this process of aspiration is carried on according as the feeling rises, till the voice may be almost or entirely sunk in whispers.---This function of the voice requires to be used with caution.
4. The Guttural.— The quality of the voice here referred to is thus designated, because it is formed in the throat. It should never be employed in the current of discourse, nor as a function of the voice does it ever stand alone. It is usually combined with the radical or vanishing stress, and the aspiration; and is thus used on the word “detestable," in the following passage :
"Nothing I'll bear from thee
But nakedness, thou detestable town.” Any words of the same general import, such as despicable, dastardly, contemptible, scorn, &c., uttered with an affectation of the feeling which the use of them often implies, will for the sake of practice on this function bear the same modes of pronunciation. Dr. Rush says, " when this element is compounded with the highest powers of stress and aspiration, it produces the most impulsive blast of speech.”
5. The Falsette.-This term is used and is well understood in vocal music, as indicating the kind of voice employed by the singer when he wishes to rise above the compass of his natural voice. This admits of cultivation and may by a little practice be employed on many of the notes which the natural voice can reach. In speech however it is always a defect, either heard in the current melody of discourse, or in the breaking of the natural voice of the public speaker. It is not uncommon in the voices of women; and men of feeble voices, particularly if they have occasion to speak to large assemblies, are in danger of falling into it. It has its peculiar expression in the whine of peevishness, the high tremulous pitch of mirth, and in the scream of terror and of pain.
6. The Whisper. This may be called a kind of voice, but needs no illustration here. It is the symbol of secresy.
The voice generally used in common conversation, and which differs from any which we have described as employed to give effect to delivery, may be called the natural voice.
OF THE MELODIES OF THE VOICE.
In speaking of the slides of the voice, in the section on Pitch, the Slide of the Second was appropriated to simple narrative and to unimpassioned discourse. The object of this section is to develope the phenomena which occur, when the movements of the voice extend only to intervals of a single tone, as is the case always where neither feeling nor emphasis enters into the expression. As the concrete movement of the voice on the successive syllables is made through the interval of a tone, so the discrete movement from syllable to syllable is made only through the same space. This may be presented to the eye by calling again to our aid the musical scale.
With - in a long re - cess
and shades it from the rol - ling sea,
The learner, especially if accustomed to read music, will readily catch the melody of the two readings here suggested ; and can satisfy himself that others might still be given which would not differ from what we often hear in plain discourse. They both contain the conditions proposed as to the concrete and discrete changes of pitch; and however the order of the concrete tones may at first seem to vary, they will all be found reducible to the six following combinations.
Where two or more successive notes occupy the same place of radical pitch, it is called the phrase of the Monotone.
Where, of two successive notes, the one is next in radical pitch above the other, the phrase is called the Rising Ditone ; and where next below, the Falling Ditone.
Where the radicals of three successive notes ascend, it is called the Rising Tritone, and where they descend, the Falling Tritone.
Where there is a succession of three or more notes alternately a tone above or below each other, it is called the Alternate Phrase.
Where the falling tritone occurs at the end of a sentence, it is called the Triad of the Cadence.
These several Phrases of Melody are thus presented by Dr. Rush, on the following lines.
Thus, even for the expression of plain thought, has nature furnished an interesting and beautiful variety in the elements provided for the use of the human voice. Yet under the influence of bad habits, this rich provision is often entirely disregarded, and the ear is literally pained by listening to the sentiments of those who might be good speakers, doled out in an infinitely extended monotone, or varied only to exhibit at set intervals the uniform recurrence of the same phrases of melody,--producing thus a mechanical variety scarcely less inexpressive, or less offensive to the improved ear than the dullest monotony,
We now proceed to enumerate some of the more simple Melodies of the Voice, and to show how they are consti
1. The Diatonic Melody.-- This is produced by the varied succession of all the phrases just enumerated; and is the only one adapted to the expression of plain thought, interrupted neither by interrogation, emphasis, nor emotion.
2. The Melody of the Monotone. This is produced whenever the Phrase of the Monotone predominates, as it naturally and properly does in all dignified and solemn subjects.-When the speaker rises near to the top of his Natural Voice, his utterance is apt to degenerate into the monotone, simply because he cannot take a higher pitch without falling into the Falsette. And, in passing, we may express the belief, that this defective intonation of the voice, from whatever cause it arises, produces more of disease in the vocal organs, and brings more speakers to an untimely grave, than all the causes connected with the healthful use of these organs, and with necessary fatigue and exposure conjoined.