Page images

with Aspirate; to express revenge or hate with Orotund is as incorrect as to utter sublimity with Guttural.

Appropriate utterance requires the adaptation of the quality of voice to the sentiment expressed.

To determine the quality appropriate for the expression of the different styles of thought and feeling is an important part of the study of Elocution. Here, as every-where in the study of this science and art, we must “ Hold the mirror up to Nature." Her teachings are infallible; her guidance unerring. If we but learn her lessons aright, we will understand the principles of expression; if we but embody her teachings in practice, we will correctly illustrate the art of Elocution.

Upon no element of expression are the teachings of Nature more explicit than upon Quality. In every wind that blows, in every thunder-peal that rolls, in every laughing, dancing brook, and every storm-tossed wave, we find an instructive lesson.

Each has a quality appropriate to the thought or feeling awakened.

As quality cannot exist except in some form, and as all the qualities may be given in each of the forms, each quality will be presented in the three forms.

Pure Tone. Pure Tone is that quality of voice in which all the breath is converted into a clear, round, smooth, musical sound, with the resonance in the back part of the roof of the mouth." It is free from all Aspirate, Oral, Nasal, or other impure qualities.

Owing to our neglect of voice-culture this quality, 80 peculiar to childhood, is rarely possessed in more mature ages. The restraining influences of the schoolroom tend directly to destroy all the natural purity and sweetness of the voice.

ADVANTAGES. The advantages of Pure Tone are twofold — first, to the speaker ; second, to the hearer. It is produced with less expenditure of breath than any other quality ; its effect upon the vocal organs is beneficial rather than injurious; with the same effort it is heard at a greater distance than any other quality ; its clear musical properties give a distinctness to articulation and an ease to utterance grateful to the ear; it produces none of the jarring effects experienced in listening to a speaker whose voice is harsh, hard, or in any way impure in quality.

To cultivate and restore this natural quality, practice daily the following exercises with the strictest attention to the purity of the tone.

Repeat a number of times each of the following elements in the Effusive Form with the utmost purity of tone. It will be noticed that the object of the exercise on page 33 was to cultivate Effusive Form without reference to quality or other attributes. The special object of this exercise is to cultivate Pure Tone, and, at the same time, to retain and perfect what was gained by the exercises under Form. It should be constantly borne in mind that in connection with each new exercise, attention should be given to all the previous exercises, so that when the exercises in movement of Voice are presented (the last exercises under the Essential elements), they will be not only exercises in Movement, but also in Form, Quality, Force, Stress, and Pitch.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Repeat the words with less prolongation.

breathe softly,
gently, wondrous, bow, heaven,



PURE TONE, EFFUSIVE FORM_WHEN USED. In the first lesson you were taught that it is a principle of expression that the Effusive Form should always be employed in the expression of pathos, solemnity, sublimity, grandeur, reverence, adoration, and devotion, of a quiet and tranquil character.

Now if we limit the Effusive Form to Pure Tone we necessarily exclude many styles of thought and feeling, for Effusive Form has greater extension than Effusive Form, Pure Tone; and each element unlimited will have a wider range in expression than when limited even by one other element. "Pure Tone, Effusive Form, is appropriately employed chiefly in the expression of pathetic, solemn, serious, and tranquil thought. This principle is illustrated in the plantive cooing of the dove, the solemn. nes of the Æolian harp, and the tranquil murmur of the brook, all of which are not only Effusive in Form but Pure in Quality.!!


Pure Tone, Effusive Form.

Nearer Home


1 One sweetly solemn thought

Comes to me o'er and o'er;
I'm nearer my home to-day

Than I ever have been before.

2 Nearer my Father's house,

Where the many mansions be;
Nearer the great white throne,

Nearer the crystal sea;
3 Nearer the bound of life,

Where we lay our burdens down;
Nearer leaving the cross,

Nearer gaining the crown.
4 But the waves of that silent sea

Roll dark before my sight,
That brightly the other side

Break on a shore of light.

5 O, if my mortal feet

Have almost gained the brink,
If it be I am nearer home

Even to-day than I think,

6 Father, perfect my trust,

Let my spirit feel in death
That her feet are firmly set

On the Rock of a living faith.

QUESTIONS. 1. Define quality. 2. How many qualities of voice are there? 3. Into how many classes are they divided ? 4. To the first class belong what qualities? When used ? 6. To the second class belong what qualities ? When used ? 6. To the third class belong what qualities ? When used ? 7. Where do we learn when the different qualities should be used ? 8. Give illustrations. 9. What does appropriate utterance require ? 10. What is an important part of the study of Elocution ? 11. Who is the best instructor? 12. Give some illustrations of the teachings of nature on the quali

ties of voice? 13. In connection with what other element must quality be pre

sented? Why? 14. How will the qualities be presented ? 15. Define Pure Tone. 16. Why do we so seldom find persons of adult years with pure,

clear, sweet tunes ? 17. What is the special object of the exercise in this lesson ? 18. When do we use Pure Tone, Effusive Form ? 19. Why does the selection require Pure Tone ? 20. Why Effusive Form?

[blocks in formation]
« EelmineJätka »