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and they may be used under these two conditions: 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 eye 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.
OF THE PITCH 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 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 sicth, 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 plea
sure 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 learner propose to himself in a familiar manner, this question: Do I say ā, or ā? and he will perceive a difference in the successive modes of uttering this vowel. In the first, the movement is upward, and in the latter it is downward. And now if he shall attempt to repeat the vowel elements, he will find that the voice will naturally fall into the one or the other of these modes of utterance; that is, it will either rise or fall on each successive effort. And the result will be the same, if he shall attempt to pronounce syllables or words.
Having satisfied himself of the existence of a rise or fall in these cases, let him repeat the same question with different degrees of earnestness, and he will find that the rise and fall will become greater, as the energy with which he proposes the question increases. The space in all these cases between the radical and vanish is called a concrete interval. And these movements, according as they are upward or downward, are called upward or downward Slides of the voice.*
The slides of the voice which occur mostly in speech, are those of the semitone, of a full tone or second, of the third or two full tones, of the fifth, and of the octave; all of which, except the first, may be represented by the aid of the musical scale.
* Called in our old books on Elocution rising and falling Inflections.
1. The slide of a Semitone. This is heard in the complaints of children, and is also the element which gives the peculiar expression to the language of grief, or of pity. It should be at the command of every speaker, and yet there is danger of using it too freely. It can be caught by the experienced ear, in the attempt to imitate the tender emotions, and can then be readily transferred to any desired syllable or word; but the exercise will be most successful if confined to passages expressing complaint, grief or pity. This element, when extended beyond mere words or phrases, is called the Chromatic melody.
2. The slide of the Second. This is the slide employed in the reading of simple narrative, and in unimpassioned discourse, and when used continuously constitutes the Diatonic melody.
3. The slides of the Third, Fifth, and Octave.- Exercise on these several functions of speech, after the extent of each shall be determined, is peculiarly important; and the exercise may extend to both the upward and downward movements. The upward movement may be given either with the radical or vanishing stress; the downward usually though not always requires the radical.
The musical scale will suggest to the learner the means of measuring the extent of a slide, by fixing in the mind the radical and vanishing points and thus determining the