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A MANUAL OF INSTRUCTION IN
VOCAL GYMNASTICS AND GESTURE,
WITH ILLUSTRATIVE DIAGRAMS AND
NUMEROUS READINGS AND RECITATIONS.
ANDREW COMSTOCK, M.D.,
JAMES ALLAN MAIR,
LONDON AND GLASGOW :
This little work is designed for the use of Schools and Colleges, as well as for the instruction of private individuals who desire to improve themselves in the art of reading and speaking. It consists of four parts—(1.) Vocal Gymnastics, or the cultivation and management of the voice ; (2.) Gesture; (3.) a series of exercises in Reading and Declamation for Junior Students; and (4.) a choice selection of Readings and Recitations for Senior Students.
The instructions in the various subjects of Articulation, Pitch, Force, Time, and Gesture, will be found to be of the simplest kind, offering no difficulties to persons of ordinary intelligence; and demanding from our youth nothing but a laudable ambition and common industry to enable them to rival those ancient orators whose eloquence, it is said, “shook distant thrones, and made the extremities of the earth tremble.
In ordinary works on Elocution, the inflections of the voice are given, but not the changes of pitch, which constitute melody. In this work, however, not only are the inflections and the melody given, but also those transitions in pitch, called modulation, or a change of key. The method of representing the melody and modulations of the speaking voice is original
, and will prove of singular advantage to the Student in Elocution.
The Exercises in Reading and Declamation have been taken from some of the best authors, and are well adapted to the purposes of the Student in Elocution. They are divided into paragraphs, and subdivided into sections. The latter division is marked by vertical bars. In concert reading, as soon as a section is pronounced by the teacher, the members of the class should repeat it together in the proper pitch and time, and with the requisite degree of force. When a paragraph shall have been pronounced in this way, it should be read singly by each member of the class. Sometimes it will be found advantageous to let each pupil, in turn, give out a piece, and the other members of the class repeat it after him; the teacher, meanwhile, making the necessary corrections. In fine, the exercise of reading should be practised in a variety of ways according to circumstances. When a piece is given out with gesticulation, the members of the class should rise simultaneously immediately after the first section is pronounced, and repeat the
words and gesture. As the organs of speech require much training
any branch of learning, yet there is none more generally neglected.
are cultivated with
In selecting the Readings and Recitations for Senior Students, it
1st January 1874.